BY KHALED ABU TOAMEH OCTOBER 3, 2018
The anti-Israel Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) has called on the EU to cancel a program to bring together young Israelis and Palestinians in December under the pretext that the event promotes normalization between the two people.
The group said that it sent a letter last month to Ralph Tarraf, Head of the EU delegation in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, protesting the planned event, which is scheduled to be held in the context of a program called “Israeli and Palestinian Young Leaders at the European Parliament.”
The campaign targeting the EU program is likely to prompt some of the Palestinian participants to withdraw from the events out of fear of facing a shame campaign on social media.
Palestinian activists regularly target meetings between Israelis and Palestinians, claiming that such encounters promote normalization between the two sides.
Last month, Palestinian activists, some of them affiliated with the ruling Fatah faction, disrupted a meeting at east Jerusalem’s American Colony Hotel marking the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Oslo Accords. Israeli and Palestinian participants were forced to call off the meeting.
The PABCI letter claimed that the EU program “violates the relevant BDS guidelines agreed upon by the vast majority of Palestinian civil society.” The letter also accused the EU of being “highly complicit in Israel’s violations of Palestinian rights and international law.” It urged the EU to “end all forms of complicity and to halt all its normalization programs.”
The group said it decided to publish the letter in public after it did not receive a response from the EU delegation chief. “We therefore share the letter publicly so that Palestinians and Europeans alike will realize how harmful these EU-funded normalization projects are to the popular Palestinian struggle for freedom, justice and equality.”
The group also called on Palestinian participants to cancel their participation in the event so as to “avoid becoming themselves complicit in undermining the Palestinian struggle for our inalienable rights under international law.”