Nearly 40 European trade unions, water and human rights networks and environmental groups from a dozen countries have written a letter to the European Commission urging withdrawal of patronage from Watec, the Israeli water conference and exhibition to be held for the first time in Europe, September 21-23 in Venice, Italy. (See letter and signatories)
Endorsers of the letter note the European Commission patronage comes “at a time when Israel is cutting off water to Palestinian communities, leaving tens of thousands without access to water during the hottest time of the year.” In addition, WATEC includes “companies involved in and facilitating violations of international law.”
Among the signatories of the letter are the Italian Forum of Water Movements, Right2Water Ireland, Eau Secours and the Association des Consommateurs d’Eau de la ville de Sète in France, and the Association for International Water Studies in Norway; the Italian trade unions FIOM-Cgil and USB, representing 360,000 and 250,000 workers respectively, as well as the Teachers’ Union of Greater Lisbon; Italy’s one million member strong Associazione ARCI, the Belgian NGO coalition CNCD 11.11.11, Italian NGOs Cospe and Un ponte per…, and Umanotera, The Slovenian Foundation for Sustainable Development.
The letter comes after fourteen prominent Palestinian agricultural and environmental organizations wrote to the Italian agricultural network Coldiretti urging their Italian counterparts to withdraw sponsorship and participation from Watec, noting that “it is through the control of water resources that one of the most blatant violations of international law related to the illegal occupation of our territory manifests itself.”
See the full press release by Campagna No Mekorot - Italy here: http://bdsitalia.org/index.php/english/2150-ce-watec
See the full letter here: http://bdsitalia.org/images/stories/pdfs/letter-ec.pdf