The suspension of the association agreement with Israel divides Europeans


The head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell, during a meeting of foreign ministers, in Brussels, May 27, 2024. VIRGINIA MAYO / AP

Can the European Union (EU) review, or even suspend, its association agreement with Israel? In light of the multiple violations of humanitarian law by the Israeli army, documented by NGOs, some 36,000 Palestinian victims, most of them civilians, according to figures from the Hamas Ministry of Health, but also from the Court’s judgment international court of justice which orders the Jewish state to cease its military operations in Gaza, this question has become burning in Brussels, but also in the European electoral campaign, ten days before the elections.

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Monday May 27, the head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell, announced that he had “the necessary unanimity of States to convene an association council with Israel [instance de dialogue politique de l’accord d’association], to discuss the situation in Gaza, the respect for human rights that Israel must assume under the Association Agreement and how it plans to respect the decision of the International Court of Justice. »

“It’s a strong signalgreeted Hadja Lahbib, the Belgian Minister of Foreign Affairs. We must ensure that our rules and values ​​are respected by everyone and especially by our partners like Israel. Our credibility is at stake. »

Request from 195 NGOs

In France, the main leaders of the left list, from Raphaël Glucksmann (Socialist Party-Place publique) to Manon Aubry (La France insoumise), via Marie Toussaint (Europe Ecologie-Les Verts) are calling for a much more measure. strong: the “suspension” of this agreement, a few weeks after an identical request made by 195 European NGOs, including Oxfam, the Human Rights League and La Cimade.

Signed between the EU and Israel in 1995 and entered into force in 2000, this treaty provides not only for political dialogue, but above all for the liberalization of trade. The EU thus quickly became the Jewish state’s leading trading partner. Gradually, this agreement was expanded, integrating Israel into several community policies in terms of research or student mobility, such as in the Erasmus program.

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Initially, this text was “set up after the Oslo Accords to maintain this peace on the territory, [mais] since, today, the conditions are not met, it is necessary [le] to suspend “, underlined Marie Toussaint, Wednesday, on France Inter. It was intended to support the peace process launched in 1993. At the same time, Europe committed to helping the Palestinian Authority, with which an agreement was also signed in 1997, to create the infrastructure of its future state.

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