The EU gets Israel's attention

EU takes tougher stance on Israeli settlements
'Earthquake' directive will prohibit EU states from signing deals with Israel unless settlement exclusion clause is included

by Harriet Sherwood - The Guardian

     The European Union has dealt a harsh blow to the Israeli settlement enterprise in a directive that insists all future agreements between the EU and Israel must explicitly exclude Jewish colonies in the West Bank or East Jerusalem.
     The move, described by an Israeli official as an "earthquake", prompted furious criticism from the Israeli prime minister over "external diktats".
But it was hailed by Palestinians and their supporters as a significant political and economic sanction against settlements.
     The EU guidelines will prohibit the issuing of grants, funding, prizes or scholarships unless a settlement exclusion clause is included. Israeli institutions and bodies situated across the pre-1967 Green Line – including the Golan Heights, occupied by Israel in 1967 and later annexed — will be automatically ineligible.
In order to secure agreements with the EU in the future, the Israeli government will be required to concede in writing that settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem are outside the state of Israel.
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The day Europe got Israel’s attention
Responding to the EU’s decision to limit all joint projects at the Green Line, Prime Minister Netanyahu displayed a confrontational attitude, vowing not to let anyone ‘harm’ the settlers.
by Noam Sheizaf - 972Mag

The European Union’s decision to limit all joint projects with Israel beyond the pre-1967 borders accomplished what all of President Obama’s speeches and Secretary of State Kerry’s diplomatic missions have failed to – it put the occupation back as the top story on the Israeli agenda.
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EU: Future agreements with Israel won't apply to territories
Jerusalem says guideline will make it impossible to sign accords with Brussels without recognizing in writing that West Bank settlements are not part of Israel.
by Barak Ravid - Haaretz

The European Union has circulated a guideline for all 28 member states forbidding any funding, cooperation, awarding of scholarships, research funds or prizes to anyone residing in the Jewish settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The guideline, which will be published in the EU Journal on Friday, requires that any agreement or contract signed by an EU country with Israel include a clause stating that the settlements are not part of the State of Israel and therefore are not part of the agreement. The guidelines will go into effect on January 1, 2014.
 
A senior Israeli official, speaking on condition of anonymity, described the new ruling, which was published on June 30, as an "earthquake."
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Why is New York Times' reporting on Israeli settlements so timid?
by Ali Abunimah - Electronic Intifada

The New York Times’ Jodi Rudoren reported today on the EU decision to ban cooperation or financing agreements with Israel unless they explicitly exclude Israeli settler institutions in the occupied West Bank.
 
Rudoren quoted several Israeli ministers including:
Zeev Elkin, the deputy foreign minister, [who] said that it was inappropriate for one side to stipulate terms of bilateral agreements in advance, and that the move would “impede Israeli organizations as a whole, and not only in the territories.”
And Uri Ariel,
the pro-settlement housing minister, [who] went further, saying the move was racist and “reminiscent of boycotts of the Jews in Europe over 66 years ago.”
 
Rudoren failed to mention the fact that Elkin is himself a proud settler, squatting on occupied Palestinian land in the West Bank. While she called Ariel “pro-settlement,” she also omitted to mention that Ariel too is a settler who has personally helped establish several illegal colonies on occupied Palestinian land.
 
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Israel Condemns New European Union Rules on Territory Seized in 1967 War
by Jodi Rudoren - New York Times

Jerusalem — In a move Israeli leaders quickly condemned as undermining Secretary of State John Kerry’s push to revive peace talks, the European Union issued guidelines this week that for the first time ban the financing of and cooperation with Israeli institutions in territory seized during the 1967 war.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday evening in a defiant statement that he would “not accept external dictates” on his country’s borders, and that the matter would be “solely resolved in direct negotiations between the sides.” Other senior Israeli ministers denounced the European action as “discriminatory,” “hypocritical” and “unhelpful.”

An American official, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the delicacy of the diplomatic process, also called the move “unhelpful.”

Read full story here.


What's in the new EU guidelines regarding activities beyond the Green Line?
by Noam Sheizaf - 972 Mag

The European Union’s new guidelines regarding the settlements were the talk of the day in Israel yesterday (Tuesday), and they are still the leading story in all the morning papers. The feeling is that for the first time, an international body has taken a real measure to limit Israeli activities in the occupied territories.
 
There has also been a lot of misinformation and a lack of clarity in the media regarding these guidelines. Here are some clarifications from a European source regarding the Commission Notice (this is the exact term). Below is the four page document the EU has passed to all member states later today.
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with link to the EU Guideline's language

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