Action Item: Stop the Prawer Plan – Model Letter for the Dept. Foreign Affairs
In order to help stop Israel’s ‘Prawer Plan‘ which will see the forcible removal of over 30,000 Palestinian Bedouin from their ancestral homelands in the Naqab (Negev) Desert in what would be Israel’s biggest act of ethnic cleansing since 1967, we encourage you to write to, or call, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Eamon Gilmore TD, and let the Irish government know you want them to take action.
A model letter is below, which you can email to firstname.lastname@example.org and cc to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Foreign Affairs email@example.com. Alternatively you can use the postal address ‘Department of Foreign Affairs’ 80 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2′ or call the Department directly (01) 4082000.
Finally, take 30 seconds to sign Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel’s petition here.
I am writing to bring to your attention the situation facing the Palestinian Bedouin citizens of Israel. The Israeli government is in the process of passing into law the so-called ‘Prawer Plan’. If implemented, the plan will see over 30,000 Bedouin citizens forcibly displaced from their ancestral homelands in the Naqab (Negev) desert, and forced into a series of ‘Bedouin townships’, taking their lands and destroying their traditional way of life. Were such an act to take place, it would be the largest act of ethnic cleansing carried out by the Israeli state since 1967, and could possibly constitute a Crime Against Humanity.
The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court stipulates that “Deportation or forcible transfer of population” is a Crime Against Humanity, where “’Deportation or forcible transfer of population’ means forced displacement of the persons concerned by expulsion or other coercive acts from the area in which they are lawfully present, without grounds permitted under international law”. Israel is seemingly ignoring international law concepts such as ‘semi-nomadic property rights’ amd ‘native rights’, and thus this action, if allowed to take place, could potentially be a Crime Against Humanity, under the terms of the Rome Statute
The Israeli Knesset approved the Prawer Plan on 24 June 2013. The bill will now be sent to the Committee for Interior Affairs and Environment to be prepared for the second and third readings. As the Knesset has yet to approve and enact it as law, there is still time to act.
I believe that the Irish government should take immediate action to help stop this plan, including:
– Using its influence to pressure Israel into
a) abandoning this plan for large scale ethnic cleansing;
b) recognising and respecting the rights of its indigenous Palestinian Bedouin citizens.
– Using its influence at European Union level to
a) encourage fellow EU member states to take similar action
b) call for the suspension of Israel from the Euro-Med preferential trade agreement of which this action is in breach; Article II of the Agreement states it is “based on respect for human rights and democratic principles [in] internal and international policy” and this respect “constitutes an essential element of this Agreement”.
I trust that the Irish government will not sit idly by while this potential Crime Against Humanity is allowed to take place.