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Netanyahu Gambles Again, Refuses to Sign New Agreements with EU

If the Prime Minister gets his way and the European Union blinks first, he could be riding high in the saddle again. If Netanyahu blinks first, he'd better run for his life.
bibi gambling

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu gambled on Thursday that threatening the European Union over its recent guidelines to ban funding for anyone dealing with post-1967 Israel won’t backfire and cost the country financially, politically and academically.

He made a decision Thursday, along with several ministers at a Defense Ministry meeting Thursday, not to sign any new agreements with the EU unless it agrees to reword, or “clarify” last month’s guidelines that bar funding, grants or prizes for ventures in Judea and Samaria, the Golan Heights and areas of Jerusalem formerly occupied by Jordan.

The guidelines followed a decision made by the foreign ministers of EU member states at the Foreign Affairs Council meeting on Dec. 10 in which they said that “all agreements between the State of Israel and the European Union must unequivocally and explicitly indicate their inapplicability to the territories occupied by Israel in 1967.”

The decision places a question mark over the Horizon 2020 program to promote scientific research and development. Israel is the only non-European country that has been asked to join the prestigious program.

If the Prime Minister gets his way and the European Union blinks first, he could be riding high in the saddle again.

But unless Israel already has scouted out support from key EU nations, he is placing little Israel, despite its scientific and technological clout, against the gigantic European Union as well as directly challenging its political muscle.

The European Union already has publicly stated it will not cancel, modify or delay the implementation of the guidelines published last month and set to take effect in January 2014.

The EU stands to lose if Netanyahu lives up to his threat not to sign any new agreements. Immediate results would be the loss of Israel’s contribution of more than $800 million to the Horizon 2020 program over seven years, plus the loss of Israel’s scientific input.

But the cost to Israel for opting out could be far, far greater if the EU gets its back up and decides to teach Netanyahu a lesson that he cannot play  David and throw rocks at the EU Goliath. Israel could be a double-loser, once for not being a part of agreements that could profit the country and the second time for pushing the EU into writing in stone the ban on aid to post-1967 Israel.

The negative impact on Israel’s standing in the international scientific community would be “devastating,” the Times of Israel wrote Thursday, citing academics.

If the EU does not back down, Israel also will lose financially and politically. The country stands to gain more in future revenues that it is supposed to invest in the Horizons 2020 program.

A refusal by the EU to agree to amend the guidelines also would humiliate Israel politically, leaving it weaker than ever in the talks with the Palestinian Authority and which are being conducted under the guiding hand of the Obama administration. Washington has stated over and over that Israel has no “legitimacy” in all of the land claimed by the Palestinian Authority.

 

Israel already has lost the opportunity to use facts, legal arguments and logic to support a Jewish presence in all of Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria and the Golan Heights. Its lack of explanations and two decades of gradual political and security concessions have allowed nearly the entire international community, as well as most foreign journalists, to claim that Jewish “settlers” are illegal and an obstacle to peace.

Not even the deadly results of the deadly Oslo accords, the total withdrawal of the IDF from Gaza and the expulsion of civilian Jews living there have changed international opinion.

Among the changes that will be requested in the new EU guidelines, according to Haaretz, are to drop the demand that Israeli groups be required to submit a written declaration to the EU foundations that they have no direct or indirect connections with groups in the territories; to remove the stipulation that an indirect connection to the settlements makes Israeli groups ineligible for EU grants and loans; and to drop the territorial clause in the agreement, which states that Israel recognizes that it is not sovereign beyond the 1967 lines and that the agreement does not apply to those areas.

The ban is considered by Israel as proof that the European Union cannot be an honest broker in the dispute between Israel and the Palestinian Authority over a future PA state. However, not all of the ministers at Thursday’s meeting agree that the ban is harmful to the renewed talks.

 

About the Author: Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu is a graduate in journalism and economics from The George Washington University. He has worked as a cub reporter in rural Virginia and as senior copy editor for major Canadian metropolitan dailies. Tzvi wrote for Arutz Sheva for several years before joining the Jewish Press.


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11 Responses to “Netanyahu Gambles Again, Refuses to Sign New Agreements with EU”

  1. The land of Israel is God’s land and no one is allowed to give it away. Iran continues unwavering on it’s march in the development of nuclear weapons and Assad the dictator of Syria is still in power. Current intelligence seems uncertain of when Iran will get the bomb and Israel cannot afford to gamble with this. Assad of Syria has allegedly used chemical weapons against his own people and has targeted Tel-Aviv with his missiles. If this situation does not drastically change soon for the better, I believe the war in Isaiah Chapter 17 will likely take place. Damascus Syria would be destroyed. The worlds economy would likely collapse as a result and could usher in a one world government movement. I wrote a small 6 page book that outlines what I believe the Bible states will take place soon as well as the potential trends I see at this time. I don’t accept donations and it’s free. It’s a short read. I encourage you to have a look: http://www.booksie.com/religion_and_spirituality/book/richard_b_barnes/after-the-rapture-whats-next.

  2. Rob Conwell says:

    So, what are the stated objectives of "the Horizon 2020 program to promote scientific research and development" and jobs in Europe, not in Israel but in Europe. "Israel is the only non-European country that has been asked to join the prestigious program" because of its vast innovations in technology, research and development. The EU is a basket case, several States are bankrupt, most of it's states are in recession, it's forgotten how to be innovative and it's R&D is shot to hell. Sounds to me like the EU NEEDS Israel, hence why Israel is the "only non-European country that has been asked to join the 'prestigious' program". The EU needs to learn that its demands are irrelevant since it has made such a botch of its socialist nanny state existence, that has brought it to the edge of oblivion. Yet they believe their own fantasies that they're a powerful force and can dictate their socialist claptrap. Good on you Israel, it time to call them to account.

  3. I am shocked, is this the same Prime Minister who allows the U.S. to treat them like a child? The trick is, will Netanyahu stand his ground, he should but we will have to wait and see. The EU is in the same category as the U.N., they should have to account for their anti semitic, anti Israel policies, this is a good way to do it. Now if we could just get Netanyahu to display the same moral clarity with the U.S. we would be in good shape.

  4. Good for our PM. He is showing some backbone, the only way to secure some resemblance of peace.

  5. Thank you, Rob Conwell for your excellent comments, which are greatly appreciated.

  6. Alan Kardon says:

    I the United States claims "Israel has no “legitimacy” in all of the land claimed by the Palestinian Authority." Who has the right to claim this land and why? Land won in war is a right. Especially if you were attacked by the ones who claim the land.

  7. Alan Kardon says:

    Finally the Bibi we know and love has reappeared. Thank you for teaching Barack Hussein what backbone is. We are with you 100% on this issue.

  8. Kathy Mckimm says:

    Now more than ever Israel needs to defend her rights as a sovereign state. The US and the EU have zero say in what happens in Israel.

  9. Eva Feld says:

    B'yhad hazaka o'bzroa netoya! With a strong hand and an outstretched arm. Israel is showing off political guts.

  10. The EU smells blood as BOBO stomps Israel. there is no wayn if Israel gives in that they will finally feel Israel is defeated on giving up half it's country with BOBO leading the charge.

    Israel loses by letting the EU do this without taking all the counter action it can. it has nothing to lose by fighting back!

    Stand up to the EU and BOBO! They are both losers!

  11. Linda Estrada says:

    STAND !!! SIR. DONT BE BULLIED BY ANYONE! STAND YOR GROUND!!!!! AND CONTINUE TO STAND ON 'ALLLLL'OUR LORD GOD HAS DONE FOR YOUR NATION REMEMBER ALLLLL HIS DONE! DOING AND ABOUT TO DO FOR THIS NATION AS HE ENDS THIS WORLDS SYSTEM! DONT GIVE IN YOU K N O W GODS PROMISE! YOU K N O W GODS WORD AND YOU K N O W HE IS NOT! A MAN THAT HE SHOULD LIE , HE IS GOD OUR CREATOR! GOD OR FATHER! GOD OUR SAVIOR! GOD OUR DELIVERER! GOD OUR DEFENDER! HE HAS AND HE WILL CONTINUE TO FIGHT FOR HIS CHOSEN !!! REMEMBER HE PARTED THE RED SEA FOR YOU TO GET TO THE OTHERE SIDE AS HE DESTROYED THE ENEMY FOR YOU ! YOU DID NOTGING TO FIGHT THE enemy HE FOUGHT AND WON YOUR BATTLE THEN AND
    ! HE WILL FIGHT THIS BATTLE FOR YOU AND WINI!
    GOD IS MASTER OF THE WHOLE UNIVERS HE CREATED AL THINGS! YOU K N O W !!! HE WILL TAKE CARE OF THIS FOR AS WELL "WHATEVER CONCERNS HIS CHILDREN CONCERNS HIM!!!! AMEN BE BLESSED LIL NATION FOR GOD THE CREATOR OF AAALLLLLL THINGS IS ON YOUR SIDE AND IF GOD BE FOR YOU CAN BE AGAINST YOU? ?? MY BROTHER, "BE STRONG AND STAND FOR THE LORD OUR GOD IS WITH YOU" FOR THIS IS GODS! !!! AND HE WILL WIN!!!!!!!!!!

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