The United States and European Union are Israel’s biggest trading partners, conducting roughly €60bn per year in trade, including arms trading. Aloha Palestine will not trade in weapons or instruments of violence of any kind, ever.
We have chosen Cyprus as our base of operations for several reasons, including its close proximity to Gaza, its admirable ability to maintain constructive relations with both the Israeli and Palestinian governments and its status as a full EU member state. Notably, Cyprus has been under occupation since the Turkish invasion of 1974. It has subsequently endured the negative effects of a Turkish embargo that denies Cypriot merchant vessels freedom of transit and access to ports, thereby infringing on Cypriot free movement of goods. The official position of the European Union (and Cypriot government) is that the embargo is illegal and a violation of equality of treatment and the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership. This has been a key stumbling block to Turkish ascension to the EU.
Aloha Palestine is based on the principles of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (or Barcelona Process). The partnership consists of 43 members: 27 European Union member states, and 16 partner countries including Israel and the Palestinian Territories. The Euro-Mediterranean Partnership mandates ‘free trade’ among the members and considers selective discrimination that results in barriers to trade to be direct violations of the agreed principles. We are genuinely confident that the EU, Cyprus, Palestine and Israel will honour the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership rather than compromise the very foundation of the agreement.
With regard to security, we fully acknowledge the obligation of governments to provide security to their citizens. Accordingly, Aloha Palestine is committed to working with Israeli, Palestinian, Cypriot and EU officials in the spirit of social responsibility and maintenance of regional security. SafeTrade is the therefore key to our success. We simply will not deviate from our commitment to trade in goods that build security and promote peace.
“It would be illegal for Israel to interfere with trade between EU member and partner states and could seriously threaten their trade relations with the European Union.” Ken O’Keefe (Director – Aloha Palestine)