Joint List calls on EU to suspend ties with Israel over sovereignty

Predominantly Arab party sends letters to senior EU officials, urges them to suspend ties with Israel unless it abandons sovereignty plans.

Ben Ariel ,

Members of the Joint List party
Members of the Joint List party
David Cohen/Flash 90

The predominantly Arab Joint List party on Tuesday called on the European Union to suspend its ties with Israel unless it abandons its plans to apply sovereignty over Judea and Samaria, the Times of Israel reported.

In letters to senior EU officials, including foreign policy chief Josep Borrell and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, the 15 MKs from the party claimed that “the traditional approach based on providing incentives to Israel has thus far failed to achieve our shared legitimate positions.”

The party called on the EU to “seriously examine all options and make it clear that it will suspend the EU-Israel Association Agreement should Israel fail to declare that it has permanently abandoned its expansionist aims.” The referenced agreement represents the main legal ties between Israel and Brussels.

The Joint List also urges the EU to encourage member states to recognize the “state of Palestine” based on the pre-1967 borders.

“Such a step would express strong support for Israelis and Palestinians striving for reconciliation,” the party claimed.

“Reaction to annexation should also include full implementation of the policy of differentiation between Israel and the settlements in all businesses,” the letter said. “These steps will make significant progress toward rectifying grave injustices committed toward the Palestinian people and moving Israel and Palestine toward peace.”

The Joint List has reportedly sent similar letters to lawmakers around the world, including US Congressional Democrats and political parties in the UK.

The predominantly Arab party has in the past turned to international bodies in an attempt to pressure Israel.

In 2018, a delegation of Arab MKs held a series of meetings at the United Nations Human Rights Council as part of their efforts against the Nationality Law, which states that Israel is the Jewish people's nation state.

MKs from the Joint List also turned to the EU and asked it to denounce Israel over the Nationality Law.

The law does not affect the rights of minority citizens in Israel, but has been criticized by Arab countries which claimed that it is discriminatory.