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December 1, 2015 / 19 Kislev, 5776
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EU ‘Upgrades’ Relations with Israel, Strangling Strings Attached

EU Foreign Policy chief Catherine Ashton and sraeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman

EU Foreign Policy chief Catherine Ashton and sraeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman
Photo Credit: Flah90

Also in December, four EU members of the UN Security Council issued an angry joint statement branding Israeli “settlements” in Palestinian occupied territories and East Jerusalem as “illegal under international law.” The statement said: “We call on the Israeli government to reverse these steps. The viability of the Palestinian state that we want to see and the two-state solution that is essential for Israel’s long-term security are threatened by the systematic and deliberate expansion of settlements.”

While the EU continues to exert pressure on Israel, Jerusalem has been unable to extract meaningful concessions from Brussels. For example, the EU has once again rejected an Israeli request that the bloc designate the Lebanon-based Hezbollah as a terrorist group.

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman recently launched a new diplomatic push to convince the EU to outlaw Hezbollah following the murders of five Israelis and a Bulgarian bus driver on July 18. Israel blames Hezbollah for the suicide bombing at Bulgaria’s Burgas airport.

Cypriot Foreign Minister Erato Kozakou-Marcoullis, whose country currently heads the EU presidency, said there is “no consensus among the EU member states for putting Hezbollah on the terrorist list of the organization,” and claimed that there is “no tangible evidence of Hezbollah engaging in acts of terrorism.”

Liberman has also failed to persuade Catherine Ashton, the EU foreign policy chief, to “intervene” on Israel’s behalf in a controversy regarding Tunisia’s desire to include a clause in its new constitution making normalized relations with Israel a criminal offense.

As these examples and many others indicate, Israel should be under no illusion that the recent “upgrading” of bilateral relations with the European Union will end European hostility toward the Jewish state. Quite to the contrary; Israel should be expecting an increase in European meddling in its internal affairs.

Originally published by the Gatestone Institute http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org

About the Author: The writer is a Senior Fellow at the New York-based Gatestone Institute. He is also Senior Fellow for European Politics at the Madrid-based Grupo de Estudios Estratégicos / Strategic Studies Group, one of the oldest and most influential foreign policy think tanks in Spain.

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2 Responses to “EU ‘Upgrades’ Relations with Israel, Strangling Strings Attached”

  1. Although trying to please the European Union is futile, some of the issues raised by them also influence US public opinion.

    Israel needs to be vigilant about anything that can be used in a negative news story.

    If Israel has settlements next to Palestinian villages then it has to try to be good neighbors.

    Rabbi Riskin of Efrat has made efforts to do just that.

    Stories about farmers not being able to harvest trees need to be not heard. Price-tag events need to be eliminated by police enforcement.

  2. Roc Diaz says:

    ask obama if he would like to give manhattan back to the native americans who settled it long before the europeans came to take it over. will france give up the eifel tower to the arabs, to demolish it and build a mosk in its place for the sake of peace? its bs. israel is now (BH) in the hands of the chosen people, we don't need the EU to approve us, we don't need to give them leverage by accepting their money and we don't need to conceed to them. if we do so then in the end we will have no home, no place to live without peril, and no peace. we don't need the USA either, Hashem will back us up if we all put our trust in Him.

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