The Chilean Senate Wednesday approved, by 29 votes in favor, 6 abstentions and no votes against, a strong resolution calling upon the Chilean government to review all its agreements with Israel, among other things.
The resolution called as well to promote legislation to ban all Israeli settlement products, ban companies involved in the Israeli occupation to benefit from any agreements or bidding signed by Chile, promote tourism guidelines for Israel and Palestine in order not to allow the promotion of trips to Israel using pictures of East Jerusalem or Bethlehem ("among other Palestinian cities"), to forbid any kind of cooperation, including monetary, with the Israeli colonization of occupied Palestine and to make sure that no organizations operating in Chile will have any tax benefits if they are involved in the occupation of Palestine.
The resolution was promoted by members of political parties from left to right, and was voted as a response to the Israeli plans of annexation in occupied Palestine. The text of the resolution mentions that Chile has recognized the State of Palestine on the 1967 border and that the Israeli plans of annexation will also affect thousands of Chilean citizens who own lands in the western Bethlehem area, particularly in Cremisan and Al Makhrour of the city of Beit Jala, from where the majority of the Chilean-Palestinian community comes.
The text also quotes the UN Human Rights Commissioner and former Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, who said that "annexation is illegal, period".
Senator Ivan Moreira, from the right wing-party UDI, said "we are asking the government of Chile to take concrete measures to stop the annexation that the (Israeli) government of Benjamin Netanyahu is trying to conduct. We, and millions worldwide, know very well that this crime will end the two-state solution. The least Chile can do is to take measures against this flagrant violation of international law and human rights of the Palestinian people. We don't forget that there are hundreds of Chilean families that will be affected by the annexation and it is our duty to take action on that matter. The Palestinians have the right to live in a state as a free nation".
Socialist senator Jose Miguel Insulza (former Secretary General of the Organization of American States) said that "it is unfortunate that the Chilean government still hasn't said anything about what is happening. What Israel is doing has no precedents and it is extremely grave as it prevents any possibility for a peace agreement in the Middle East and the prospects of a two-state solution that we have always supported. There are agreements that are being violated, including international agreements, and we should condemn what the government of Israel is doing."
Senator Insulza also said "if Israel goes ahead it will violate the property of many Chileans, Chilean-Palestinians, and therefore Chile has to protect them and call upon the State of Israel to put an end to its illegal occupation and to stop causing damage to Chileans that have lands in their homeland, Palestine."
Other senators that spoke strongly against the annexation and in favor of the resolution were Isabel Allende (former president of the Senate and daughter of late president Salvador Allende), Francisco Shahwan (right-wing senator originally from Beit Jala), Juan Pablo Letelier, Alfonso de Urresti and Alejandro Navarro, representing a wide spectrum of Chilean politicians.
Following is a translated copy of the text of the resolution:
Republic of Chile – Senate
The announcement of the Israeli Prime Minister aiming to annex occupied Palestinian territory in the West Bank in utter contradiction to what has been established in the relevant UN resolutions and international legislation.
Chile has recognized the State of Palestine as a "free, independent and sovereign state", "in accordance with the resolutions adopted by the United Nations", following the position of hundreds of countries that have sided with the defense for Human Rights and the International Humanitarian Law, reiterating the position of not recognizing any sovereignty by Israel over the Occupied Territories since June 5 1967, including the West Bank and East Jerusalem, whose colonization is considered to be a war crime under the IV Geneva Convention of 1949 and the Rome Statute.
The mentioned measure (annexation), other than affecting the Palestinian population, affects thousands of Chilean citizens that have lands in the valleys of Cremisan and Al Makhrour, both in Beit Jala, from where come most of the Chileans of Palestinian origin.
Dozens of nations, human rights organizations and international organizations have condemned the annexation aimed by Israel. In this regard the former President Michelle Bachelet, today UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, has referred to it as "the annexation is illegal, period".
Because of what has been presented, the Senate agrees to:
Request the Government of H.E. President of the Republic, Sebastian Pinera Echenique, through our Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to review all agreements signed between Chile and Israel in order to make sure that they include a reference that specifies the borders of Israel, recognizes as those from before the war of June 1967, in accordance with UN Security Council resolution 2334.
To provide guidelines to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that the signature of any agreement between Chile and Israel will only include the 1967 borders in accordance with UN General Assembly Resolution 67/19 (29 of November 2012) that recognizes the State of Palestine over the 1967 border with East Jerusalem as its capital.
Additionally, we request to H.E. President of the Republic, to send a project of resolution (bill) as soon as possible aiming at:
To ban the entry to Chile of products produced in Israeli colonies in occupied Palestinian territory.
To ban companies linked with violations of International Humanitarian Law from accessing any bidding in Chile or to benefit from agreements signed between Chile and other countries, including those providing goods to the occupation.
To regularize the promotion of tourism towards Israel and Palestine in order to ensure that there will be no misleading information, such as promoting trips to Israel with pictures of East Jerusalem or Bethlehem, among other Palestinian cities.
To ban any kind of cooperation, including monetary, with the Israeli colonization of occupied Palestine.
To make sure that no organization operating in Chile and that enjoys tax benefits could keep those tax incentives if they are involved in the occupation of Palestine.