Over 150 Organizations Oppose TTIP’s Harmful Impact on Palestinians

Over 150 Organizations Oppose TTIP's Harmful Impact on Palestinians

An open letter from the War on Want signed by 154 organizations:

On 29 June 2015, President Barack Obama signed into law the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act, granting him ‘fast track’ authority over trade negotiations such as TTIP. Section 20 of the Act establishes the “principal negotiating objectives” for commercial partnerships in TTIP as including the provision “to discourage politically motivated actions to boycott, divest from, or sanction Israel and to seek the elimination of politically motivated non-tariff barriers on Israeli goods, services, or other commerce imposed on the State of Israel.”

The definition of such actions specifies further that they would include not only actions targeted at those doing business in Israel, but also at those doing business “in Israeli- controlled territories”.

The Act thus aims to protect Israel’s illegal settlements from accountability measures in future, despite the fact that the EU and the UN consider Israeli settlements to be illegal under international law.

The inclusion of these provisions in the ‘fast rack’ legislation is a response to the growing success of Palestine solidarity campaigns across Europe and the USA, and could require the EU to reverse existing measures already taken in recognition of its obligations under international law.

This includes the ending of preferential treatment for exports coming from illegal Israeli settlements in the Occupied West Bank, and the implementation of guidelines preventing EU public funds from being awarded to such settlements.

The EU has also taken action to warn businesses against having economic relations with illegal Israeli settlements; major European banks have divested from Israeli banks and corporations due to their role in Israeli violations of international law.

No TTIP, no silencing support for Palestinian rights

We, the undersigned, oppose the dangerous Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations and the related attempts by some US politicians to use the TTIP process to restrict freedom of political expression and campaigning in solidarity with the Palestinian people’s struggle for freedom, justice and equality.

TTIP, currently being negotiated between the European Union and the USA, would see an unprecedented transfer of power to corporate interests and represents a serious attack on democracy, social standards, workers’ rights and environmental regulations. It would lead to irreversible privatisation and fragmentation of public services and would seriously undermine measures to protect the environment.

Also deeply worrying are the secrecy and lack of democracy that are key features of the negotiations, and the proposed Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) mechanism, which would allow multinational corporations to sue governments in a parallel judicial system available to them alone.

As organisations opposed to any EU-US trade treaty that does not serve the public interest, we are gravely concerned at the recent introduction of US legislation that seeks to use TTIP to block human rights actions in solidarity with the Palestinian people.

On 29 June 2015, President Barack Obama signed into law the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act, granting him ‘fast track’ authority over trade negotiations such as TTIP. Section 20 of the Act establishes the “principal negotiating objectives” for commercial partnerships in TTIP as including the provision “to discourage politically motivated actions to boycott, divest from, or sanction Israel and to seek the elimination of politically motivated non-tariff barriers on Israeli goods, services, or other commerce imposed on the State of Israel.”

The definition of such actions specifies further that they would include not only actions targeted at those doing business in Israel, but also at those doing business “in Israelicontrolled territories”. The Act thus aims to protect Israel’s illegal settlements from accountability measures in future, despite the fact that the EU and the UN consider Israeli settlements to be illegal under international law.

The inclusion of these provisions in the ‘fast track’ legislation is a response to the growing success of Palestine solidarity campaigns across Europe and the USA, and could require the EU to reverse existing measures already taken in recognition of its obligations under international law. This includes the ending of preferential treatment for exports coming from illegal Israeli settlements in the Occupied West Bank, and the implementation of guidelines preventing EU public funds from being awarded to such settlements.

The EU has also taken action to warn businesses against having economic relations with illegal Israeli settlements; major European banks have divested from Israeli banks and corporations due to their role in Israeli violations of international law; and large Europeancompanies such as G4S and Veolia are being held accountable for their participation in the infrastructure of Israel’s occupation of Palestinian land.

In the wake of Israel’s 2014 attack on the Gaza Strip, which killed more than 2,200 people and included deliberate attacks on civilians that amounted to war crimes according to the UN and other bodies, people around the world came out in numbers to express support for the Palestinian struggle for freedom, justice, and equality. We will not accept any legislative attempt to silence these expressions of solidarity.

Read the letter and signing organizations here: http://www.waronwant.org/sites/default/files/TTIP%20Palestine%20and%20BDS%20Sept%202015_0.pdf