The Celebrate Israel Festival on May 31 at Pier 94, slated to be the largest gathering to date of Israeli-Americans in New York.
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.”
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We take a whole person approach, giving our people assistance with whatever they need.
During my spiritual journey I discovered G-d spoke to man only once, to the Jewish people at Sinai
20 years after the great Ethiopian aliyah, we must treat them like everyone else; no better or worse
Many Black protesters compared Baltimore’s unrest to the Palestinian penchant of terrorism & rioting
She credited success to “mini” decisions-Small choices building on each other leading to big changes
Shavuot 1915, 200000 Jews were expelled; amongst the largest single expulsions since Roman times
Realizing there was no US military threat, Iran resumed, expanded & accelerated its nuclear program
“Enlightened Jews” who refuse to show chareidim the tolerance they insist we give to Arabs sicken me
Somewhat surprisingly, the Vatican’s unwelcome gesture was diametrically at odds with what President Obama signaled in an interview with the news outlet Al Arabiya.
The recent solid victory of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party produced something very different.
The reaction is so strong that nine times out of ten, parents engage in some form of coping mechanism before arriving at a level of acceptance of a special-needs diagnosis.
“…his neshamah reached out to us to have the zechus of Torah learning to take with him on his final journey.”
“Let’s get something straight so we don’t kid each other…[the Iranians] already have paved a path to a bomb’s worth of material,” said Mr. Biden. “Iran could get there now if they walked away in two to three months without a deal.”
The president is unwilling to cede any of what he considers his exclusive powers in the area of foreign policy and has struggled mightily to keep the Senate away from any role in the kind of deal to be negotiated.
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.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/editorial/those-new-over-the-green-line-eu-rules/2013/09/17/
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