European Parliament votes to delay EU-Israeli trade deal

3 December 2008

European Parliament votes to delay EU-Israeli trade deal

On a proposal from the European United Left political group, to which the SP belongs, the European Parliament today decided to delay a vote on a new trade treaty between the EU and Israel. Known as an 'Association Agreement', the deal would deliver a range of trade advantages to Israel, but as a result of the Parliament's vote, which was in protest at the continued occupation of the Palestinian territories and other Israeli abuses of human rights, it will remain for the time being on ice.


Erik MeijerSP Euro-MP Erik Meijer, commenting on the decision, said "The result of the vote, 194 for and 173 against, shows just how controversial this Association Agreement is. As joint movers of the resolution, we are opposed to the EU giving Israel trade advantages while the occupation of the Gaza Strip continues, and while they go on with the building of the separation wall between Israel and the Palestinian territories and with the building of new settlements in the occupied territories."

The delay to the decision on the Association Agreement represents a political success for the SP. "There will shortly be elections in Israel, which the hardliners seem likely to win," Meijer explained. "The conservative Likud politician Benjamin Netanjahu, who has said he wants to put a stop to all negotiations with the Palestinians, does not deserve encouragement. He would have used this show of trust by the EU in his campaign."

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