Seconds often make the difference between life and death and new technology makes the difference…
The issue of European Union restrictions on participation in activities over Israel’s Green Line continues to roil. By any reasonable measure, the rules made no sense when promulgated and even less now. Yet the EU is resisting American efforts to push back their effective date. And though Secretary of State Kerry’s urging them to do so is welcome, his peculiarly-worded statement raises a concern of its own.
Back in July, the EU issued guidelines, to take effect next month, banning the financing of Israeli institutions in territory seized in 1967 or cooperating with them generally. Thus, the guidelines say that any agreements involving research grants, scholarships and cultural exchanges must be limited to institutions within Israel’s pre-June 1967 borders.
It was widely understood at the time that the rules were adopted in order to prod Israel to go back to the negotiating table with the Palestinians. Indeed, they were drafted while Secretary Kerry was in the Middle East trying to broker a resumption of talks.
We’ve always thought the rationale for the new rules was somewhat odd since it was Israel that had long declared its willingness to return to the negotiating table while the Palestinians insisted on substantive concessions by Israel as preconditions to their return.
In any case, now that both sides have returned to negotiations, it is hard to understand why the EU won’t agree to suspend the starting date for the new rules. Hard but not impossible, because it’s clear the EU has adopted the Palestinian narrative as Truth Incarnate.
In fact, this is what Hanan Ashrawi, a leading member of the PLO executive committee of the PLO (which includes Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah party) had to say – rather duplicitously – about American efforts to get the rules suspended:
The announcement of the EU guidelines was a very positive step which played a significant role in the decision to resume negotiations…. Reports of U.S. lobbying the EU on behalf of Israel are extremely discouraging and cast serious doubts on the U.S. mediation role.
So, perversely, American efforts to level the playing field for negotiations somehow favor Israel and put into question the ability of the U.S. to act as a mediator.
Though the Obama administration continues to strongly support Israel in the international arena, as President Obama has promised to do on several occasions, we were taken aback by Secretary Kerry’s rationale for the U.S. effort regarding the EU guidelines:
I think it’s important that the Israeli people and the government see that coming to the talks, taking the risk of moving towards peace is worthwhile…. Because he [Prime Minister Netanyahu] has paid some political price for making his decision, I think it’s important for Europe to say in return, “See what this gets? This gets a change in our relationship, a change for the better.”
We would have liked to hear a more principled explanation – something along the lines of “until talks result in borders to which both sides are agreeable, Israel is entitled to retain the land it seized in a war of self-defense whose end was codified by a UN resolution calling for some of the land, not all, to be returned through a negotiated settlement.”
About the Author:
If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.
Comments are closed.
Each craved more out life and within a few months they’d mastered English, received their high school equivalencies, and begun climbing the rungs of the ladder of the American Dream.
Many think they’re serving G-d but they’re really asleep-Rebbe Nachman taught stories to wake people
Pollsters asked Palestinians “What is the #1 obstacle facing the Middle East?” Israel placed only #4
Although it’s emotionally difficult to see the suffering, helping out makes me happy.
I decided to really understand what Jewish people go through by becoming a Jew.
Why does Obama and other democratic world leaders resist branding the Armenian killings as genocide?
I stated with clarity in simple terms, “Jews don’t have gangs.”
FBI’s undercover agents contacted ORA (Org. for the Resolution of Agunot) pretending to be an agunah
Israel promotes coexistence and peace, providing freedom for all religions on the Temple Mount.
The Jewish vote won’t impact polls as much as it will the coffers of candidates and their Super PACs
Iran stands unopposed by the “international community” and is racing to assert regional dominance.
If some Israeli cops got a Jewish education & learned to love Jews, Israel would be a better place
No where in the world is there the level of intervention by foreign countries as exists in Israel.
The Ravens’ Ray Lewis screamed that violence is never the answer.” Unfortunately, he is wrong.
A committed Religious Zionist, he was a sought-after adviser on Zionist affairs around the world.
More important, Mr. Obama is simply acceding to Iran’s position on the timing of the lifting of sanctions.
For our community, Mrs. Clinton’s foreign policy record will doubtless attract the most attention. And it is a most interesting one.
He went on to say that the United States would defend Israel if it were “attacked by any state.”
In their zechus may we all come to appreciate that life is a fleeting gift and resolve to spend every precious moment of it as if it were the last.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/editorial/those-new-over-the-green-line-eu-rules/2013/09/17/
Scan this QR code to visit this page online: