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September 1, 2015 / 17 Elul, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘European Union’

EU Pushes Israel to Negotiate ‘Peace’ as PA Heads to ICC

Thursday, March 19th, 2015

The European Union is pushing Israel to get back to work on reaching a final status agreement with the Palestinian Authority as its leaders prepare to sue Israel for “war crimes” at the International Criminal Court.

The pressure comes on the heels of an historic vote in which Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was elected for a fourth term, the only person to be so chosen other than Israeli founding father David Ben Gurion.

Late Wednesday night, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini spoke with Netanyahu and congratulated him on his re-election. She confirmed the “readiness of the EU to work with the new Israeli government on the mutually beneficial bilateral relationship as well as the peaceful resolution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict,” according to a statement sent to media on Thursday. Mogherini and Netanyahu “agreed to work together for the security of Israel and that of the region,” the statement added. The EU foreign policy chief stressed the need for the relaunch of peace negotiations “with the aim of achieving a comprehensive peace agreement based on a two-state solution.”

Netanyahu stated firmly in this campaign that he would no longer attempt and in fact would work to block the establishment of an independent PA state as long as he is in office, due to the security risks such a move now clearly presents to Israel’s citizens at home.

Somehow this message has not been absorbed by the leadership of the European Union.

“The EU is committed to working with the incoming Israeli government on a mutually beneficial relationship as well as on the re-launch of the peace process,” Mogherini said in a statement earlier Wednesday.

“We are at a crucial moment with many threats all over the Middle East. The EU staunchly supports a peaceful resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, in the interest of the Israeli people, of the Palestinian people, and of the whole region. We are at your side, you can count on us,” Mogherini assured.

She called on Israel’s “bold leadership” to reach “a comprehensive, stable and viable settlement of a conflict that has already deprived too many generations of peace and security. It’s time to turn this page and I’m confident that we can work together with the international community for a solution that will guarantee peace and security in the Middle East.”

Perhaps the EU leader has been conversing with U.S. President Barack Obama, who is now contemplating an historic change of his own.

For the first time ever, the American president is weighing support for a PA resolution in the United Nations Security Council that would establish a PA state in violation of the internationally-recognized Oslo Accords, and would force Israel to withdraw from Judea, Samaria and parts of Jerusalem restored to its capital in 1967.

On Monday, Netanyahu visited the eastern Jerusalem neighborhood of Har Homa and vowed to preserve the unity of the capital “in all its parts,” saying he would “continue to build and fortify” the city.

The Palestinian Authority is set to become a member of the International Criminal Court at The Hague on April 1.

Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) leader Wasel Abu Yousseff told Reuters on Thursday, “This makes it more necessary than ever to go to the international community and to go to the ICC and escalate peaceful resistance and boycott against the ‘occupation.’”

Israel Demolishes EU-Funded Illegal Buildings near Hebrew University [video]

Wednesday, March 11th, 2015

Israel demolished on Tuesday several illegal shanties in land zoned for a national park near Hebrew University’s Mount Scopus campus and funded by the European Union.

The EU denounced the bulldozing of the buildings and stated:

We condemn today’s demolition of temporary shelters funded by the European Union… as part of its response to the needs of the affected communities.

It made no mention that it threw Europeans’ tax money down the drain by funding construction inside a future national park and without permits, mostly for Bedouin whom they help pay to claim government land in eastern Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria.

The demolitions were initiated by the Israel Nature and Parks Authority, which acts against anyone trying to live or damage areas that are designated as preserved.

Regavim, which campaigns against illegal Arab buildings and false claims against Jewish landowners in Judea and Samaria, said the demolition was unusual and “certainly doesn’t happen to EU buildings.”

The Israeli Committee against House Demolitions claimed that Israel has demolished 552 structures in eastern Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria this year, according to the Ma’an News Agency, based in Bethlehem.

European Parliament Members Urge EU Freeze on PA Funding

Sunday, March 8th, 2015

Eleven members of the European Parliament are calling on the European Union to fight terrorist by freezing funds to the Palestinian Authority.

The group has sent a written declaration to the EU, urging the European body to cut its financing to organizations actively involved in promoting terror “as the best way to fight terrorism.”

German Liberal member of the European Parliament, Michael Theurer, is one of the signatories to the declaration.

The European Jewish Press reported this weekend the group has found that the Palestinian Authority and countries such as Pakistan have been financing terror via Hamas and Al Qaeda, among other groups.

“We have many indications … the Palestinian Authority [funnels] EU money towards terrorist organizations, such as Al Qaeda or Hamas,” Theurer said over the weekend. “With this written declaration we are urging the European Court of Justice and he European External Action service to follow up on these indications and deliver final proof so that funding can be frozen,” he said.

More than 400 Palestinian houses have been illegally built with EU assistance in Area C, the area of Judea and Samaria that was designated under the internationally- recognized Oslo Accords to be under Israeli jurisdiction.

No one has addressed the issue, which has been virtually ignored by the international community until Britain’s Daily Mail publication blasted the issue on its website, complete with incriminating photos and maps.

The EU was a signatory to the Oslo Accords, along with Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in the early 1990s. The document designated Area A to be totally controlled by the Palestinian Authority, Area B to be jointly controlled by the PA and Israel, and Area C to be under the total control of the State of Israel.

‘Settlers’ Committee Launches Idiotic Anti-EU Video [video]

Sunday, February 15th, 2015

A home-grown committee in Samaria (Shomron) has launched a new video that describes the European Union and leftist Jews as anti-Zionists but is in such poor taste that it is an embarrassment to “settlers” and Jews anywhere in the world.

The content is accurate, but the medium is the message, and this one flunks.

The video, as seen below, shows a negative caricature of a European leader reading a newspaper with a design similar to the left-wing Haaretz and giving money to leftist Jews in return for dispatching propaganda against the IDF. When the European leader finally has achieved his aim, he tells the Jew to get lost, and the video then shows him being hanged.

The caricatures in the clip include suggestive references to Nazi Germany and a comparison of Haaretz with the former Nazi newspaper.

The clip concludes with a clear message comparing the European Union to Nazis, and it states, “The Europeans perhaps appear to use today as being different, but you appear to them the same as before.”
Haaretz’ Hebrew edition reported a reply to the clip from the Shomron committee chairman Benny Katzover, who explained:

In the past several years, there has been increasing support by groups and foreign governments for extreme left-wing groups in Israel. The objective of the groups is to ruin the lives of Jews in Israel, especially those in Judea and Samaria, with funding of millions of Euros.
The objective of the video clip is to make it clear that at best, leftist organizations in Israel like idiots on behalf of modern anti-Semites, and at worst, act to destroy Israel as the national home of the Jewish People.

Katzover is absolutely correct, but the video is in such poor taste that settlers should be embarrassed. It is a continuation of tactics of old-guard leaders in Judea and Samaria who justify all means to justify their campaign, no matter how much their childish stunts damage the image of all settlers and those who support them.
Haaretz challenged Naftali Bennett, chairman of the Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home), to repudiate the clip.

Here is the video. Judge for yourself.

Congressional Bill Introduced: Europe Must Reject Anti-Israel BDS in Free Trade Deal

Wednesday, February 11th, 2015

If Europe wants to enjoy the benefits of what could be the largest free trade deal in history, the leaders of its member nations will have to pay a price: they must agree to reject the anti-Israel Boycott, Divest and Sanctions (BDS) movement, say two U.S. Representatives – one from each side of the political aisle.

The Israel Trade and Commercial Enhancement Act was formally submitted Tuesday afternoon (Feb. 10) on Capitol Hill under bipartisan sponsorship, which is expected to smooth the way for rapid passage.

But there’s a catch. The legislation will “leverage ongoing trade negotiations to discourage prospective U.S. trade partners from engaging in economic discrimination against Israel, said Representatives Juan Vargas (D-CA) and Peter Roskam (R-IL), who co-sponsored the bill.

Additional co-sponsors are to be recruited to the measure after its introduction to the floor. The two lawmakers said they are optimistic the bill will pass through the House of Representatives.

It’s a great deal. It is estimated the measure could add as much as 0.5 percent to the European Union’s annual economic output. The flip side of it, however, involves how the bill impacts the ongoing free trade negotiations between the U.S. and the EU. Foreign companies traded on U.S. stock exchanges will have to disclose links to BDS activities, and whether they have faced any pressure for avoiding participation in any boycotts.

“The bill … establishes a clear U.S. policy of opposing BDS as detrimental to global trade and regional peace and stability,” the two lawmakers wrote in their introduction to the legislation. They also noted that the measure was created in response to a growing trend among countries “primarily in Europe, to isolate and delegitimize Israel through BDS for political purposes.”

“Today, an alarming number of countries within the European Union and beyond have embraced BDS as a form of economic warfare aimed to cripple Israel’s economy and demonize its very existence. These attacks not only threaten Israel, but commercial relations across the globe,” Roskam told reporters.

“The US-Israel Trade and Commercial Enhancement Act will ensure that American free trade partners never engage in this harmful and illegitimate political protest against Israel, while also protecting US companies from foreign lawsuits targeting their associations with Israel.”

Vargas likewise noted, “BDS is a harmful political tactic which seeks to undermine and diminish Israel’s economic strength. We need to reassure our commitment to our ally in the region by clearly defining US policy to oppose this practice and dissuade other nations from adopting BDS policies toward Israel.”

The measure also unequivocally underlines the “strategic importance of trade and commercial relations to the pursuit of sustainable peace and regional stability,” making it clear that boycotts break down the potential for peace between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, the lawmakers said.

Perhaps that bit of wisdom should be directed towards the PA headquarters at its capital in Ramallah: Its latest anti-Israel economic boycott has just been launched, punishing local merchants far more than Israeli manufacturers. Worse, the boycott reinforces for Israelis the utter futility of attempting to secure any lasting agreement with anyone who claims to lead the Palestinian Authority.

Arab governments in the Middle East come and go, and so do those who lead the Arab residents of Judea, Samaria and Gaza. The PA commitments in particular – on paper or otherwise – can be likened to a ritual courtesy one carries out in ceremonial garb. They mean everything for the moment, but are instantly put aside when “reality” steps back into the scene. In that moment, all is forgotten and anything goes, as happened with the obligations of the internationally recognized Oslo Accords.

A bill such as the Roskam-Vargas measure is invaluable, coming at a time when a European groundswell of anti-Semitism appears to be growing into a tsunami and the U.S.-Israel relationship appears to be floundering in ways never seen before. The entire Middle East is in disarray, and Israel may be facing an existential threat from Iran as it gallops towards a nuclear military threshold. It is precisely now, as Iran strengthens its terrorist guerrilla proxies to the north and south of Israel’s borders, that the Jewish State most needs the support of its friends in the international community.

How fortunate that the lawmakers in Congress have chosen this moment to reaffirm — and concretely demonstrate — America’s commitment to Israel, and to underscore the strong relationship both nations share.

EU Openly Funds, Builds in West Bank to Change Israel-PA Status

Sunday, February 8th, 2015

Hundreds of European Union-funded Palestinian homes, schools and other buildings have dotted the hills and valleys of Judea and Samaria – including Area C, the area placed under Israeli control by the Oslo Accords.

In fact, more than 400 Palestinian houses were illegally built with EU assistance in the area that is supposed to be under Israeli jurisdiction. The EU was a signatory to the international law designating the areas with their respective authorities.

No one has addressed the issue, which has been virtually ignored by the international community until Britain’s Daily Mail publication blasted the issue on its website, complete with incriminating photos and maps.

Jake Wallis Simons, writing for MailOnline, noted that all of the Palestinian buildings, “which have no permits, come at a cost of tens of millions of Euros in public money, a proportion of which comes from the British taxpayer.

“This has raised concerns that that EU is using valuable resources to take sides in a foreign territorial dispute.”

Wow. Points for bravery and sheer brazen audacity to you, Simons. Hope your site’s still standing next week, given the current trends in Europe and frankly, the UK.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu instructed Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon to advance with plans to demolish the structures, Israeli media reported Friday. The order came a day after Simons posted his piece on The Mail’s website.

Some 17 such villages can be found in various locations around the West Bank (Judea and Samaria), flying the EU flag and displaying EU stickers and signs.

Brussels-based EU spokesperson Maja Kocijancic denied the construction was taking place, saying, “The EU’s funding will provide training and expertise to help the relevant Palestinian Authority (PA) ministries to plan and build new infrastructure and enable people to reclaim and rebuild their land there. To date, no construction has started yet under these programs. The EU is not funding illegal projects,” she claimed.

When presented with photograph documentation of the actual homes not only completed but those in process of being built, with the EU logos in place, however, the spokesperson declined to comment.

Shadi Othman, an on-site spokesperson for the EU in Judea, Samaria and Gaza, spoke with The Mail on the phone. He told the news outlet, “We support the Palestinian presence in Area C. Palestinian presence should not be limited to Areas A and B.

Map of illegal structures throughout Area C funded and/or built by the European Union. (Map: Regavim)

Map of illegal structures throughout Area C funded and/or built by the European Union.       (Map: Regavim)

Othman made the situation crystal clear: “Area C is part of the occupied Palestinian territory which eventually will be Palestinian land. Palestinians have a right to live there, build schools there, have economic development. This is part of the work done to build the future Palestinian state which will live side by side with Israel. It’s an international and EU interest to protect the viability of the two-state solution.

And in case anyone had any doubts about where the EU’s bias lies – or why EU officials were in such a rush to meet with Israel’s opposition leader, Labor party chairman Isaac Herzog, this Saturday on the sidelines of the Munich security conference, consider the rest of Othman’s statement and its implications for the national security of Israeli citizens:

If some people are complaining about this, we should not forget the illegal Israeli settlements that are built on occupied Palestinian territory and are illegal under international law and constitute an obstacle to peace.” (ed. note: italics added)

No White House Worries Over ‘Election Proximity’ with Herzog

Saturday, February 7th, 2015

Is the Obama administration tampering with Israel’s electoral process? Top U.S. officials met on Saturday in Munich with opposition leader and Labor party chairman Isaac Herzog, a candidate in the upcoming election.

U.S. President Barack Obama and senior White House staff repeatedly have claimed the upcoming Israeli national elections were too close to allow American administration officials to meet with Israeli candidates, including the prime minister.

Just a matter of policy, after all.

So how does that fit with a meeting between Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State John Kerry, and Isaac Herzog? Of course, the meeting was not “formally” scheduled and there were no photo ops.

The two American leaders both have said they will skip Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s address to a joint session of Congress on March 3 specifically because the date runs too close to Israel’s elections.

Herzog also managed to squeeze in meetings with European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier on the sidelines of the security conference.

Following the talks in Munich, Herzog told Israel’s Channel 10 news that Netanyahu “won’t get to meet with a single American official on this visit – not from the National Security Agency, not from the White House, not from the State Department. It’s a complete boycott. Even if that’s not stated, that’s the story.”

And what a story it is. A complete endorsement of Labor party candidate Isaac Herzog, for whom the White House is clearly campaigning, along with the European Union.

One might be tempted to think that U.S. President Barack Obama is fiddling with Israeli politics. Tampering, even, with help from the European Union.

But isn’t that illegal?

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/no-white-house-worries-over-election-proximity-with-isaac-herzog/2015/02/07/

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