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November 26, 2015 / 14 Kislev, 5776
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘European Union’

European Jewish Leader Exposes EU Hypocrisy

Wednesday, November 11th, 2015

European Jewish Congress President Dr. Moshe Kantor has called on the new European Union labeling regime for products made by Israelis in Judea and Samaria “very problematic.”

Shortly after the EU publicized its decision Wednesday, Dr. Kantor stated:

The EU has been consistently asked why Israel is made a special case without any other precedent.

The EU has refused to answer even though we see it signing agreements to profit from and contributing to Morocco’s occupation of Western Sahara and Turkey’s occupation of Northern Cyprus.

In many other disputes the EU actually supports or profits from an internationally designated occupation.

The European Commission, the executive arm of the EU in Brussels, released today new guidelines regarding the labeling of products from Israeli companies in the West Bank that are sold in Europe.

Dr. Kantor said that the EU decision “is clearly discriminatory and stands in stark contradistinction to the EU’s own mandate to be fair and free of prejudice.

He added:

After studying the issue deeply we have concluded that there are no comparable guidelines for any other territorial dispute or what are perceived as occupations anywhere else in the world….

Furthermore, these guidelines may contravene international treaties and agreements like the World Trade Organization.

US Senators: ‘EU Plans to Label Israeli Products Mere Figleaf for Boycott’

Tuesday, November 10th, 2015

Sometime in the near future the EU is expected to publish guidelines on consumer labeling of all Israeli products produced over the so-called “Green Line,” the armistice line created when the war against the nascent Jewish State ended.

The EU considers all Jewish cities and towns over the pre-1967 lines to be illegal. As such, anything produced, grown or packaged in either eastern Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria or the Golan Heights will be labeled so that consumers can more easily boycott those products.

The guidelines will be published by the office of Federica Mogherini, the EU foreign policy chief. No vote is required for this measure to be taken.

There is pushback to that labeling plan coming not only from Israel, but also from many members of the U.S. Senate.

Three dozen U.S. Senators sent a letter to Mogherini, decrying the decision of the European Union to place labels on all those products imported into the EU which are produced beyond the “Green Line.”

The bipartisan letter, co-sponsored by Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), calls on the EU to refrain from this labeling effort which, they explained, is a mere cover for boycotting Israeli products.

“As allies, elected representatives of the American people, and strong supporters of Israel, we urge you not to implement this labeling policy, which appears intended to discourage Europeans from purchasing these products and promote a de-facto boycott of Israel, a key ally and the only true democracy in the Middle East,” the letter states.

“We believe strongly that these efforts are unwarranted, dangerous, and damaging to the prospects of a negotiated solution to [the Israeli-Palestinian] conflict.”

The full text of the letter and all the names of the 36 signers follows:

November 9, 2015

Ms. Federica Mogherini High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/ Vice-President of the European Commission (HRVP) Delegation of the European Union to the United States Suite 800 2175 K Street NW Washington, DC 20037

Dear High Representative Mogherini,

We write to express our concern over reports that the European Union (EU) intends to move forward with new guidelines to label certain products made by Israeli companies imported into the EU. In April, more than half of the foreign ministers of EU member states sent a letter encouraging you to proceed with this policy, and members of the EU Parliament subsequently voted to endorse this initiative in September. As allies, elected representatives of the American people, and strong supporters of Israel, we urge you not to implement this labeling policy, which appears intended to discourage Europeans from purchasing these products and promote a de-facto boycott of Israel, a key ally and the only true democracy in the Middle East. We believe strongly that these efforts are unwarranted, dangerous, and damaging to the prospects of a negotiated solution to this conflict.

We are also deeply concerned that enacting this policy would lead to the broader boycott of Israel. For decades, it has been the policy of the United States to oppose economic boycotts by other countries against Israel. In the 1970s, the United States Congress enacted legislation making it illegal for a U.S. company to comply with the Arab League boycott of Israel. This year, Congress has passed Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) legislation requiring the United States to discourage Europe from enacting any politically motivated policies that would boycott, divest from, or sanction Israel when negotiating the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. Differentiating between products made by Israeli companies creates a troubling precedent that could eventually lead to the type of activities that the TPA provisions aim to address.

Knesset Bill Would Label Products from EU Boycotters

Thursday, November 5th, 2015

An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, and a label for a label.

Likud Knesset Member Miki Zohar has introduced a bill that would require importers to label all products from European Union countries that stamp goods from Judea and Samaria in an effort to discourage people from buying them.

The European Union two months ago overwhelmingly voted for labeling products from Judea and Samaria, “East Jerusalem” and the Golan Heights, distinguishing them from the rest of Israel. EU officials claimed that the labeling is not a boycott but only implements EU policy that considers those areas as “occupied territory” and not a part of Israel.

Under provisions in MK Zohar’s bill, anyone who does not label goods from European countries would face six months in prison or pay a fine of $3,700 (14.400 shekels)

He said:

Boycott Israel groups in Europe cynically use expressions such as ‘human rights’ and ‘war against the Israeli occupation,’ but their political agenda is to boycott Israel and undermine the country as a Jewish state.

If the European Union countries label pour predicts, we should take the same step so that the Israeli consumer can choose if he wants to buy predicts from countries that boycott us and instead can boycott in return.

He added that the EU policy is “gross hypocrisy” that is two-faced because the Boycott Israel movement ignores other countries such as China and Turkey that rule areas that are considered “‘occupied territory.”

MK Michael Oren of the Kulanu party carried out his own “label for a label” action Wednesday by placing “Made in Europe” stickers on European-made products sold in stores a Jerusalem neighborhood.

Ambassador: Germany Strongly Opposes Boycott of Israeli Products

Wednesday, November 4th, 2015

(JNi.media) German new ambassador to Israel Clemens Von Goetze, his country’s former Foreign Ministry’s political director, told Israel Radio on Wednesday that Germany strongly opposes any kind of boycott of Israeli products. According to Von Goetze, the EU’s initiative to mark products originating in the settlements is merely a technical step.

Israel is anticipating a decision by the EU in the next few days on guidelines for member states to begin labeling goods from the settlements to differentiate them from products made inside Israel’s 1949 armistice border.

Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely said Tuesday at a press conference at the Barkan industrial Park in Judea and Samaria that the move to mark products from the Jewish Settlements is part of a clear process of delegitimizing the State of Israel. “Whoever is trying to boycott certain regions of Israel is basically boycotting the state itself and creating delegitimization of the state,” she said. “When you boycott Judea and Samaria,” she added, “you eventually boycott Tel Aviv.”

Meanwhile, Knesset Member Tzipi Livni (Zionist Camp) criticized the government’s conduct regarding the European Union’s initiative to mark products manufactured beyond the green line, telling Israel Radio that she opposes the European initiative, but the government does not know how to deal with this challenge.

According to the Financial Times, many UK supermarkets introduced settlement labeling in 2009, and already mark products from farms in the region “West Bank (Israeli settlement)” and “West Bank (Palestinian product)” respectively. Denmark and Belgium follow similar guidelines.

Also according to the Financial Times, Israeli farmers in the Jordan Valley have shifted their sales to Russia, the US and Canada, and don’t bother being treated as second class vendors in Europe. Russia, which gets more of its food from outside the EU since the start of sanctions over the Ukraine conflict, has been a particularly welcome buyer in Judea and Samaria.

EU Gives 13M Euro ‘Social Allowance Payment’ to Palestinian Authority

Sunday, November 1st, 2015

The Palestinian Authority received 12.6 million euros from the EU on Friday, according to a statement by the Office of the European Union Representative. Most of it went to Gaza.

It was the third of four quarterly payments of social allowances by the EU pledged to support poor Arab families in Judea, Samaria and Gaza.

“Eligible beneficiaries are households living in extreme poverty that are registered in the cash transfer program of the Ministry of Social Affairs,” the statement read. “The program is designed to provide a basic safety net to the poorest and most vulnerable Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, through cash and in-kind assistance.

The Palestinian Authority grants convicted, incarcerated murderers monthly stipends of up $3,500, and release grants of up to $25,000, according to the Israel Government Press Office. The GPO quoted a senior PA official responsible for prisoner affairs who said in June 2014 that former Arab prisoners were to receive grants of up to $50,000.

“In this way, the PA is giving a strong financial incentive to terrorism, including through the misuse of fungible foreign financial assistance,” said Israel’s foreign ministry. “Publicly rewarding convicted murderers gives an official stamp of approval to terrorist attacks on Israeli civilians. It is a highly persuasive form of incitement to violence and terrorism… and may tempt young Palestinians to seek an answer to familial financial difficulties through the use of violence.”

The EU contribution covers nearly 40 percent of the total cost of providing cash assistance to over 122,000 Palestinian households living in poverty,” the statement continued.

“Almost two-thirds of the beneficiaries are in Gaza, including over 8,100 families who have been added to the program one year after the escalation of hostilities and its disastrous consequences…. this amount includes 10 million euros to provide immediate relief and build the resilience of households that have been pulled into further poverty as a result of the 2014 hostilities in Gaza,” said Ralph Tarraf, the EU Representative.

“With this amount, an estimated 10,000 households in Gaza who fulfill the criteria of the cash transfer program will benefit from a limited number of quarterly payments in 2015, until a more sustainable solution is found to ensure their livelihood in safety and dignity.”

Instead of using the donated funds to improve the lives of Gaza residents, however, the ruling Hamas terrorist organization has been redirecting most resources towards its endless goal to annihilate the State of Israel.

A Hamas fighter captured by Israel this past July revealed the group has rebuilt much of its terrorist infrastructure since the 2014 summer war, including its multi-million dollar subterranean tunnel network.

Very few Gaza families have benefited from the millions of dollars and euros pledged and the building materials shipped into the region to construct their neighborhoods and homes.

Instead, precious materials were used to build a new road along Gaza’s border with Israel in order to execute surprise attacks against the Jewish State.

Since February 2008, more than 1.9 billion euros from the EU coffers have been disbursed through PEGASE — the financial mechanism launched in 2008 to support the direct financial support programs of the PA Reform and Development Plan (2008-2010).

In addition, the EU continues to provide assistance to the Palestinian Authority through UNRWA and other cooperative projects.

In 2013, the EU paid $32 million (29 million euros) in direct support for the PA budget, in addition to its contribution of $389 million (353 million euros) in indirect support.

IDF Expects Terror to Continue for ‘Weeks to Come’

Wednesday, October 28th, 2015

The IDF expects the current wave of terrorist attacks, including rock-throwing and firebombings, to continue “in the coming weeks.” In a letter obtained by The JewishPress.com and sent by a brigade commander to residents under his command in Judea and Samaria, he wrote:

The challenge we face is not a short-term issue and from what I know, it will continue in the coming weeks with the understanding that there are many factors that influence the security situation.

The IDF, Border Police, police and Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) and civilian security forces continue to work night and day to return to residents a sense of security. The army has significantly beefed up patrols and guard posts on Highway 60, the major artery linking northern Samaria with Gush Etzion, Kiryat Arba-Hebron and the southern Hebron Hills. The brigade commander also wrote:

I promise we will get through this period and, God willing, return security and the feeling of security.

However, government policy is another matter. Residents of Judea and Samaria have lived for years with the same cycle of calm and violence. The calm is maintained when a large number of soldiers patrol the highways. Then, the United States and European Union work on behalf of the Palestinian Authority and demand that Israel “boost the popularity” of Mahmoud Abbas and reduce the presence of soldiers,. The next step is another escalation of violence that gives Abbas another chance to complain that the IDF is interfering with the daily life of Arabs by patrolling the roads and setting up checkpoints.

Netanyahu, Kerry, Steinmeier, Mogherini Meeting in Berlin

Thursday, October 22nd, 2015

Israel’s prime minister meets today with the EU foreign policy chief and Germany’s foreign minister, after having already met with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, with whom he had an early-morning discussion.

European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs Federica Mogherini is also scheduled to meet today (Oct. 22) with Secretary Kerry and German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

All four leaders are expected to discuss the current wave of terror attacks aimed at Israel by Arab assailants, and the incitement emanating from the Palestinian Authority and its associated terrorist organizations.

A spokesperson for the European Union said the agenda for Mogherini will also include “the long stalemate in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, the crises in Syria and in the entire region.

“Furthermore, the HRFA (Mogherini) plans to meet Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the coming days,” the spokesperson said in a statement.

So far the current wave of Arab terrorism in Israel has left 10 Israelis dead and more than 112 wounded. At least 46 Arabs have also been killed in this latest jihad, (Islamic holy war) more than half of them terrorists.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/netanyahu-kerry-steinmeier-mogherini-meeting-in-berlin/2015/10/22/

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