Israel & OPT: European Commission called upon to withdraw support to water conference organized by companies with ties to settlements

Author: Sara Jerome, Water Online, Published on: 10 October 2016

International Water Industry Conference Stirs Controversy, 13 September 2016

A conference for water-industry professionals [held in September] in Venice, Italy, has landed at the center of an international political debate. The event is the Water Technology and Environmental Control Exhibition and Conference, known in the industry as WATEC Italy 2016. The conference is organized by Kenes Exhibitions, which is based in Israel, according to The Jerusalem Post.

Around 40 “trade unions, environmental groups and human rights networks are demanding that the European Commission withdraw its support” from the conference…The protesters take issue with Israeli water policy and with Israeli companies they see as complicit in those policies. “By granting patronage to events sponsored by and involving companies and institutions operating in Israeli settlements, the European Commission is at odds with the European Union’s own official position on settlements. Even worse, it legitimates and encourages illegal activities that trample fundamental rights such as access to water, thereby reinforcing Israel’s impunity,” the letter said…

WATEC organizers did not provide a response to The Jerusalem Post, according to the report. 

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