Press Release: Czech initiatives sent a letter to MFA Petříček regarding the Czech Republic’s relationship with Israel

7 December 2020 | Press release by Czech initiatives

Initiative Not in Our Name! For a Just Peace in the Middle East, the Jewish Voice of Solidarity, the Palestinian Club in the Czech Republic and the Friends of Palestine sent a letter to Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček on Monday, December 7, 2020.

Although they praised Petříček’s efforts to find a more balanced position in relation to Israel / Palestine, they also underlined that the Czech Republic is still a country that violates the agreed EU consensus on the basis of respect for international law and human rights.

In this regard, they criticized the position of the Czech Republic in the recent vote in the UN General Assembly, when the Czech delegation did not support key resolutions on violations of the human rights of Palestinians in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Foreign Minister Petříček later justified this by referring to the fact that the resolution does mention only the Arabic name of the sacred district Haram al-Sharif without mentioning its traditional Jewish name Temple Mount, which allegedly denies Israel historical ties to this place. However, the resolutions emphasize the importance of this place and the city of Jerusalem for all three monotheistic religions.

The letter recalls that the omission of a single place located in occupied East Jerusalem is purposefully pointed out, while the actual denial of Palestinian ties to Jerusalem, the demolition of Palestinian houses and monuments, the expulsion of Palestinians and the redrawing of maps of historic Palestine are overlooked.

At the same time, the initiatives opposed the strengthening of the Czech Republic’s diplomatic representation in Jerusalem, precisely in a situation where Israel is consolidating its presence in the occupied Palestinian territories and is still striving for the annexation of the West Bank. Initiatives see this step as a support of settlement policy aimed at thwarting the establishment of a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.

The signatories therefore called on the Foreign Minister to adhere to the EU’s foreign policy line on Israel / Palestine, not to block resolutions condemning Israel’s violations of international and human rights at the UN and not to strengthen our diplomatic representation in Jerusalem.

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