EU states promote settler boycott amid Israel crisis

EU urges Israel to co-operate with Palestinians on kidnapping crisis

The group includes: Austria; Belgium; Croatia; Denmark; Finland; Greece; Ireland; Luxembourg; Malta; Portugal; Slovakia; and Slovenia.

Portugal published its statement on Wednesday (2 July) and the others came out on Thursday. France, Italy, and Spain put out similar communiqes earlier this week. Germany and the UK already did it months ago. Poland is expected to publish a warning shortly.

The Irish foreign ministry said the action “has been co-ordinated at EU level”.

The 12 warnings make similar points, with the Irish one, for instance, saying that “economic activities (including in services like tourism) in Israeli settlements or benefiting Israeli settlements, entail legal and economic risks”.

It said investors could face lawsuits over “disputed titles to the land, water, mineral, or other natural resources”. It added that: “In case of disputes, it could be very difficult for [EU] member states to ensure national protection of their interests”.

The communique noted that Ireland does not endorse “any form of boycott directed against Israel”.

But it also said Irish businesses should beware of the “reputational implications” of indirect support for “possible abuses of the rights of individuals”.

The warnings come after the EU last year blocked grants for Israeli projects on the other side of the Green Line – Israel’s old border with Palestine. (Note: There never was a Palestine and Israel never had such a border)

EU diplomats have also threatened to publish a code for retail labels on Israeli settler exports if Israel does not stop building more houses on Palestinian land. (Once again, its not Palestinian land.)

The new wave of business warnings come amid a security crisis caused by the murder of three Jewish teenagers in the West bank and the murder of a Palestinian boy in Jerusalem.

They also come amid an escalating exchange of fire between Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza, including Hamas. (No mention is made of who started it.)

Israel blames Hamas for the three murders and arrested more than 400 of its members in the West Bank in a crackdown which also saw Israeli soldiers shoot dead five Palestinians.

It has long blamed the EU for what it says is taking the Palestinian side in the on-off peace talks, making it harder for the two parties to come to their own accord.

On Friday, it also criticised the timing of the business warnings.

A foreign ministry spokesman, Paul Hirschson, told EUobserver from Tel Aviv – a town in range of Hamas rockets – the EU “is renowned for bad timing. We’ve got a very delicate situation here and the last thing you should be doing is antagonising either side”.

He said some Israeli calls for revenge against Hamas are “ugly” but represent a “fringe” view.

“I don’t think we’re heading for a third intifada [Palestinian uprising] and we don’t want to enter Gaza [in a ground assault] if it can be avoided. But there’s a very sombre mood here. It’s a very tough time”.

He added: “We don’t want to get dragged back into a fully fledged conflict, but we’re not scared of it either – the balance of power is such that Israel is the strongest country in the region and we do not face an existential threat”.

The Palestinian Authority could not be reached for a comment on Friday.

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3 Comments / 3 Comments

  1. Once again, It’s not Palestinian land

    Ted , where do you get the idea that the land DOES NOT belong to the Pals? Certainly not from any government of Israel. Obviously the state of Israel policy is that the land belongs to the Palestians and the state of Israel is currently administrating it for the future benefit of the Pals. A sort of Palestine Mandate where the Pals replace the Jews and Britain is replaced as mandate by Israel.
    Perhaps the state of Israel is dyslexic and reversed certain clauses of the original mandate? Certainly it would be a dyslexia that is chronic spanning many administrations.
    Surely if there was a shred of belief that YS did NOT belong to the pals then the gov of Israel would call in the individual ambassadors of the EU and demand:

    1- that they withdraw the lies and libels that the settlements are illegal or illegitimate
    2- that they cease to obstruct the Jewish settlement of YS to which they committed to encourage in prior legal treaties and agreements.
    3- That they are in breach of numerous international legal agreements with the Jewish people and Israel.
    4- that their reneging and double standards demonstrate their continuing anti semitism

    Ted, surely you are mistaken as it appears the government of Israel is the Mandate Trustee for the Palestinian people and their future state.

  2. Ted, something wrong with the article. the entire text acts like a link and text cannot be copied and pasted into comments

  3. More excuses.

    Instead of dismantling Hamas and the PA, the Israeli government prefers to kick the can down the road.

    Israeli Jews live in a country in which Jewish blood is cheap.