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June 26, 2016 / 20 Sivan, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘European Union’

British Citizens Urged to ‘Support Israel, Leave Europe’

Monday, June 20th, 2016

A campaign sponsored by Regavim is being waged to encourage British citizens living anywhere in the world, whether it be within the boundaries of the UK, or elsewhere, to vote against the UK remaining in the European Union.

The referendum on whether Britain should remain in or leave the EU is to be held this week, on June 23. British citizens are eligible to vote as long as one was listed on the electoral register in the past 15 years. But it is important to have registered by June 7 in order to be eligible to vote in this referendum.

The “Support Israel – Leave Europe” campaign describes all the reasons why encouraging Britain to leave the European Union is a great way to support Israel.

For a start, the EU has been accused of taking actions against Israel that are tantamount to state-sponsored anti-Semitism. Among those are the orders given to its member states to specifically label products made by Israelis living in Judea and Samaria – an order given to separate Jewish-made products in those regions. Yet no other such order was issued to label products made in communities based in the 200-plus land disputes elsewhere around the world.

The EU has generously funded NGOs dedicated to defaming and in some cases actually framing Israeli soldiers, as well as pursuing anti-Israel boycott and lawfare agendas.

In addition, the EU has built more than a thousand illegal structures on Israeli land in Area C under the Oslo Accords, in its attempt to establish “facts on the ground” to advocate for a de facto Palestinian Authority state. The EU has also build roads, dug wells, installed windmills and electricity pylons in such areas – all without Israeli authorization.

These activities have been carried out using aid money for political purposes rather than for which it was donated and allocated.

It is this kind of activity that has so outraged British parliamentarians and many British citizens, who accuse the EU of using aid funding to “meddle” in the internal affairs of a sovereign nation.

But Britain has not lacked for “meddling” credits: The UK has been quite generous in its contributions to the Palestinian Authority coffers, which flow into those of the Palestine Liberation Organization.

Millions in funding are donated to the PA direct from the UK. Much of the money is used to support the bloodthirsty terrorists responsible for murdering Jewish families, with the PA handing funds to the PLO to pay terror inmates.

Amjad Awad, who in 2011 stabbed to death Ruth and Ehud Fogel, their 3-month-old baby and two toddlers, has thus far been paid an estimated 16,000 British pounds Sterling, according to Regavim. His accomplice and cousin, Hakim Awad, has also received a “salary.”

It is believed that Hamas bomb-making expert Abdallah Barghouti has so far received a total of 106,000 British pounds Sterling. Barghouti is serving a life sentence for his part in terror attacks that took place during the second intifada in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.

The UK is comprised of a population that makes every decision one that challenges any parliamentarian. But leaving the European Union would certainly be a practical start to regaining control over the political dispensation of its fiscal resources.

Hana Levi Julian

EU Commissioner in Israel to Discuss Bilateral Cooperation

Monday, June 13th, 2016

Johannes Hahn, the European Commission’s Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, arrived in Israel on an official visit Monday. Hahn, an Austrian politician, previously served as European Commissioner for Regional Policy, leading the transformation of regional policy into a genuine investment policy, closely linked with EU economic governance and macro-economic conditions.

Hahn’s latest mission is to promote stability at Europe’s borders and helping neighboring countries to develop stable democratic institutions and to become more prosperous, under the European Neighborhood Policy. He also coordinates the EU’s offer of closer cooperation in areas like trade, mobility, energy, and education to create tailor-made partnerships to develop relations with each neighbor.

The purpose of the visit is to initiate a process of consultations with Israel ahead of the launch of the new Israel-EU bilateral cooperation program.

Because of its high national income, Israel is not eligible for bilateral funding under MEDA (MEsures D’Accompagnement — French for accompanying measures), which deals with problems common to the EU’s Mediterranean partners. But Israel has nevertheless been involved in a wide variety of Euro-Mediterranean regional programs funded under MEDA: young Israelis participate in youth exchange programs with their European and Mediterranean counterparts under the Euro-Med Youth Action Programme; Israeli filmmakers have benefited from funding and training under the Euro-Med Audiovisual Program; Israeli universities participate in the FEMISE forum of economic institutes while chambers of commerce and employers associations have participated in programs like UNIMED and ArchiMedes; and institutes like the Israel Antiquities Authority participate in the Euromed Cultural Heritage.

During his visit, Commissioner Hahn met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Director General Dore Gold and opposition leader Yitzhak Herzog. Commissioner Hahn also visited Israeli projects that are supported by EU funding.

In his remarks, Dir-Gen Gold stated: “Israel and the EU share a broad common denominator, which makes it possible to expand current cooperation.”

Another mission of the Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations is to maintain ongoing EU membership negotiations with neighboring countries, and help to prepare those countries with a membership perspective for future challenges. Israel is not one of the nine countries that are on the agenda for a future enlargement of the European Union. However, despite the fact that Israel is not geographically located in Europe, it is a member of many European transnational federations and frameworks and takes part in many European sporting events.

Like most western European countries, Israel is a member of the OECD and compares well with European Union states with its economic indicators (GDP per capita, government deficit, public debt level, current account surplus, inflation level).

In 2014, former Spanish Prime Minister José María Aznar said Israel is needed by the European Union. Aznar submitted a report recommending that due to its Western culture and the benefits it brings the European Union, Israel should become a full member of the EU without pre-conditions.

Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, visiting Israel in 2010, said that his “greatest desire” was to see Israel join the European Union. The European Union’s former High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy, Javier Solana, stated in 2009 that Israel had a very significant relationship with the EU, amounting almost to full cooperation through participation in the EU’s programs. In 2012, former Bulgarian foreign minister Solomon Passy said Israel should more assertively seek to join NATO and the European Union.

David Israel

As US Anthropologists Reject BDS Resolution, Israeli Economy Thriving Despite Boycotts

Tuesday, June 7th, 2016

On Tuesday, the 10,000-member American Anthropological Association announced the results of a vote on its proposed boycott of Israeli academic institutions: the call to boycott failed. After many who are close to the organization had predicted the measure would pass, it lost by 2,423 to 2,384 votes.

The failure of the boycott proposal came as unexpected relief to people like Ted Gup, a professor of journalism at Emerson College, who wrote on the eve of the vote in The Chronicle of Higher Education that it is “misguided, counterproductive, and sure to damage both the association and the Palestinian cause.” He added that “it also puts at risk any network of scholars by inviting similar future reprisals.” Also, he warned that “the boycott will harm the very people it is intended to help and embolden those whose hardline policies the AAA disdains.” But “beyond all this,” Gup, who is Jewish, noted that “the boycott itself is irreparably flawed and discredited by the historical and contemporary context that produced it.”

It also appears that the boycotts have had no influence at all on Israel’s economy, which today is the fastest growing in OEDC, according to a Bloomberg News report citing a steep increase in foreign investments in Israeli assets, which last year hit a record high of $285.12 billion, “a near-tripling from 2005 when the so-called Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement was started by a group of Palestinians.”

“We don’t have a problem with foreign investment in Israel — on the contrary,” Yoel Naveh, chief economist at Israel’s finance ministry, told Bloomberg.

According to people from the entire spectrum of the market: money managers, economists and government officials, “Israeli assets are an attractive alternative to weak performers elsewhere.” And even though Israel’s economy has slowed down in 2016, it is still growing faster than the economies of the US and Europe and its interest rate is higher.

Interestingly, Bloomberg also reported that the business community rejects the fabricated accusations against Israel perpetrated by the BDS activists, “that investing in Israeli innovation and natural gas violates Palestinian rights, and that Israel’s misdeeds are so exceptional that they justify singling it out for censure.”

Bloomberg quotes data collected by IVC Research Center which suggests that even with an appreciating shekel, Israeli startups have raised $3.76 billion in 2015 from foreign investors, their highest annual figure in ten years. In 2015 Israeli industrial high-tech exports rose 13% from 2014 to $23.7 billion, and in 2016 Israel’s economy is expected to grow 2.8%, compared with the US (1.8%) and the EU (1.8%).

Or, as the Torah put it, back in 1248 BCE: “But the more the Egyptians oppressed them, the more the Israelites multiplied and spread, and the more alarmed the Egyptians became.” (Exodus 1:12)

Back to the failed BDS vote at the AAA, there’s a point Ted Gup was making in his thoughtful article which suggests the more Israel makes itself known to the world, the less would anti-Semitic NGOs be able to feed off its flesh. “In the summer of 2015, with the support of a Fulbright, I taught at the University of Haifa, in Israel’s third-largest city and one of its most secular and progressive urban centers,” Gup related. “The university boasts a student population that is one-third Arab. It is common to see student-soldiers of the Israeli Defense Forces, rifles slung over their shoulders, checking alongside their Arab classmates the same class announcement boards or discussing homework. Nor is it unusual for heated debates about Israeli policy to arise between Jews and Arabs in the classroom — and even more commonly, between Jews and Jews.”

Then he made a most cogent point, coming as it does from a leftwing perspective: “So how does a learned society like the AAA justify punishing the likes of the University of Haifa or see doing so as an effective message to the Israeli government? Many of my colleagues on the Haifa faculty openly criticize that government, as do their students. A wholesale boycott of academic institutions applies the same indiscriminate standard of punishment that the association says it abhors. The AAA would argue that you don’t bulldoze a house or bomb a block in Gaza because of one attacker. How then do you justify cutting off relations with all Israeli academic institutions based not on actions but on geography?”

JNi.Media

Russians Support Keeping Some Settlements Intact in Peace Negotiations

Saturday, June 4th, 2016

A Russian state news agency TASS story in the wake of the Friday Paris Conference for peace, quoted Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov who advocated concrete territorial exchanges between Israel and the Arabs in Judea and Samaria, in order to preserve Israeli settlements. “The border should be established between Israelis and Palestinians,” Bogdanov said, adding, “This border may envisage territorial exchanges, appropriate and adequate, taking into account that such an approach allows to resolve the problem of Israeli settlements on the West Bank.”

The Deputy Foreign Minister stressed that Israeli settlements “may remain in some regions with the understanding that in exchange for territories with Israeli settlements, Palestinians will get an appropriate compensation in the form of parts of the territory. This is a so-called territorial exchange.”

It should be noted in this context that Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman in the past advocated handing over to the Palestinian State the Israeli cities of the Arab Triangle, such as Um El Fahm and Tira — a suggestion that caused an uproar and accusations of racism.

Following the Paris international conference on a peace deal between Israel and the Arabs, in which 29 nations as well as the UN and EU participated, but Israel did not, Bogdanov, the Russian president’s Special Representative for the Middle East and Africa, told TASS that the conference had been “useful. We still need to analyze the content of the Paris discussion; study the final document and then see what can be done, by using common approaches, to promote a sustainable negotiating process between the Palestinians and the Israelis,” Bogdanov said. He recommended that both sides assess the conference’s results, and promised that “We are going to have contacts at a very high level with both sides.”

Signaling the Russians’ intense interest in remaining involved in the process, TASS on Friday ran five different stories involving Mikhail Bogdanov and the peace agreement. According to the diplomat, Moscow is prepared to host negotiations between Palestinian and Israeli representatives. “Of course, we will be prepared to do this, if there is the wish and readiness of the two parties — Israelis and Palestinians — to have a meeting… if they wish to meet in Moscow, we are prepared to host them.”

In another story, Bogdanov lamented the fact that the split among the Palestinians hampers progress in the Middle Eastern settlement. “This problem should be resolved as a priority task so that Palestinians present a single and united delegation at the talks on the final status,” Bogdanov advised.

He also promised that “Russia fully supports efforts to restore inter-Palestinian unity on the basis of the PLO and Arab Peace Initiative.” He suggested a “dialogue with representatives of the whole range of Palestinian forces, first of all Fatah and Hamas, in the interest of achieving appropriate agreements.”

It was not easy to asses whether the high-ranking diplomat was being naïve or cynical, but it appears that he is promoting peace between Hamas and the Jews it has sworn to annihilate. In fact, Bogdanov is serious about preventing the next clash between Israel and Hamas:

“The exchange of strikes between Israel and the Palestinians in Gaza in early May of this year that became the biggest since the ceasefire agreement was reached in August 2014 is another confirmation of a well-known point, which is that the recurrence of confrontation is not ruled out without solving the enclave’s problems, lifting the blockade imposed on it and restoring its infrastructure destroyed by Israel, including in the summer of the year before last,” Bogdanov said.

He did not mention that those clashes in May erupted when IDF bulldozers were crossing a few yards into Gazan territory to demolish Hamas terror tunnels that lead into Israel. Hamas was unhappy to see its work being destroyed, and so their snipers shot at IDF soldiers to shoo them away.

JNi.Media

Tovia Singer Show – Turning To The EU For Fresh Material [audio]

Friday, June 3rd, 2016

Tovia can always count on the European Union to provide fresh comedic material for his show. What’s the latest stunt they’re pulling?

Also, if settlements are the problem now, what was the problem when the PLO was formed, before the settlements existed?

Tovia Singer Show 02Jun – PODCAST

Israel News Talk Radio

Continental Chutzpah: EU Building on Israeli Land, Warning Against Demolitions

Wednesday, June 1st, 2016

The European Union over the past few years has been erecting illegal structures in Area C, which according to the Oslo agreement is under Israeli control. After several rightwing NGOs have complained, the IDF set out to demolish some of those structures. By rights, they should have taken all of them down, what with their being built without a permit. Israeli media publicized the demolition of those structures, some of which actually flew the EU flag — like those mythical cat burglars who leave their personal business card in the open safe. But last week the EU chutzpah has reached unprecedented highs when Lars Faaborg-Andersen, the Danish diplomat who since 2013 has been the ambassador of the European Union to Jerusalem, met with Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories Gen. Yoav Mordechai, to warn him that if Israel keeps demolishing those “Palestinian homes” it would damage relations with Brussels.

According to a senior Israeli official who spoke to Ha’aretz, the meeting was tense and loaded. The ambassador accused Israel of hurting the “weakest Palestinian populations.” What the senior official did not share was that those structures are a means by which the EU has been challenging Israel’s claim to sovereignty in Area C (the PA is currently in charge in Areas A and B). It has to do with the diametrically opposed views of Israel and the EU of what constitutes the “two-state solution.”

Essentially, the Israeli politicians who are now in government, as well as more than a few in the opposition, envision a future peace deal that turns Areas A and B into an independent Palestinian entity, either as a state or an autonomy. The same Israeli leaders envision some permanent legal solution for the upwards of 400 thousand Jews living in Judea and Samaria, all of them in Area C, most likely with Israel annexing the large settlement clusters and giving away the rest of the land.

Virtually no one outside Israel supports this idea at the moment. Even Israel’s best friends in the world envision the ousting of the Jews from Area C, possibly while allowing Israel to retain eastern Jerusalem. How would that actually be done—no one cares to say, nor where would Israel gather the tens of billions of dollars required for such a move, never mind whether the settler population would acquiesce or opt instead for resistance that would make the traumatic evacuation of 8,000 Jews from Gaza’s Gush Katif look like a picnic. Meanwhile, while Area C in Israel’s view is eventually going to be annexed as part of a peace deal — to the Europeans Area C is Palestinian land ready to be redeemed.

Which is why the EU has been relentless at challenging Israel’s claim to Area C. And it’s why they’ve come up with the delusional notion that taking down 531 illegal Arab structures in 2015, 75 of which had been built by the EU, was damaging the two-state solution. Because the two-state solution the Europeans envision is without any Jews in Area C.

For the same reason, Ambassador Faaborg-Andersen was complaining that Israel is quick to condemn and demolish those illegal structures, but at the same time refuses to give Arabs permits to build legally in Area C. Because while the Arabs view Area C as soon to be part of free Palestine, Israelis plan to keep most of it, thank you very much.

There’s going to be another meeting with the EU envoy, on June 15, this time at the Israeli foreign ministry. The Europeans are going to demand a freeze on demolishing Arab structures in Area C, while at the same time also demanding a freeze on Jewish construction in the same Area C. And at some point something will have to give.

David Israel

16 International NGOs Condemn Israel’s Refusal to Support BDS Founder’s World Travels

Monday, May 30th, 2016

Earlier this month, Israeli authorities refused to renew the travel documents of Omar Barghouti, a founding committee member of the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) and co-founder of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.

Barghouti was born in Qatar, grew up in Egypt and later moved to Jaffa and then to Acre in Israel as an adult, but he insists on counting himself as part of the indigenous people, as when he told the AP back in 2007, that the “Palestinians cannot possibly observe the same boycott guidelines as asked of internationals” and that the “indigenous population” is entitled to all services they can get from the system.

After marrying his wife, an Israeli Arab, Barghouti, was granted permanent residency in Israel, which he has enjoyed for the past 23 years. He holds a master’s degree in ethics from Tel Aviv University, and is pursuing a PhD. A petition drew more than 184,000 signatures asked the university to expel him, but he was never expelled.

Interior Minister Aryeh Deri (Shas) has threatened to revoke Barghouti’s residency on the grounds that “he is using his resident status to travel all over the world in order to operate against Israel in the most serious manner.”

Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz (Likud) called for a campaign of “targeted civil elimination” of BDS leaders with the help of Israeli intelligence.

Minister of Public Security, Strategic Affairs and Information Gilad Erdan (Likud), who is in charge of the fight against the BDS, said that activists including Barghouti should “pay the price” for their work.

Well, the Israeli system this month decided to deny the BDS leader one vital service: they will not renew his travel papers. Barghouti told the Arab press in response: “I am unnerved but certainly undeterred by these threats. Nothing will stop me from struggling for my people’s freedom, justice and peace.”

They could take away his Internet connection, of course.

Sixteen organizations from American, Asian, and European countries are demanding that Israel make it possible for Barghouti to travel around the world to sabotage Israeli commercial and national interests. But rather than addressing Israel’s foreign ministry (which is currently headed by PM Benjamin Netanyahu), these NGOs sent their protest to the foreign ministers of 14 countries and international organizations, including, naturally, John Kerry of the USA, Federica Mogherini, High Representative for the European Union, Margot Wallström of Sweden, and Charles Flanagan of Ireland.

After relating Israel’s repressive attitude against its enemy within, the NGOs demanded that the foreign ministers “use the power and influence that resides in your office to impress on the Israeli government the absolute necessity of ceasing its repressive measures against Palestine’s civil leaders, and in particular to permit Omar Barghouti to play his full role, both inside Israel and without, in representing the aspirations of the Palestinian people.”

Incidentally, any one of the 14 countries addressed by those NGOs could offer Omar Barghouti residency or citizenship and travel papers galore. There must be a reason why they haven’t so far.

David Israel

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/16-international-ngos-condemn-israels-refusal-to-support-bds-founders-world-travels/2016/05/30/

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