(JNi.media) A European think tank whose Middle East Program is headed by an Israeli who worked for Yossi Beilin and Ehud Barak, and who authored the 2003 Geneva Accord, issued a report recommending leaning on Israeli banks to sever their ties with Jewish enterprises in Judea, Samaria and east Jerusalem.
The European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR), a pan-European think tank with offices in seven European capitals, on Wednesday issued a report urging the EU to take more firm steps in sanctioning Israeli activities in Judea, Samaria and east Jerusalem, Reuters reported.
According to Ha’aretz, the stocks of the First International Bank of Israel, Bank Leumi, Bank Hapoalim, and Dexia fell in reaction to the news of the report.
But Israeli bankers would have been calmer had they seen the following Tweeter exchange:
Gerald M. Steinberg of NGO Monitor, on Wednesday evening tweeted the EU delegation in Israel:
Gerald M. Steinberg @GeraldNGOM
is this accurate? ‘Euro Council on Foreign Relations…proposals frequently inform EU policy-making’
The EU in Israel account responded:
The report, titled “EU Differentiation and Israeli Settlements,” argues that “Under its own regulations and principles, Europe cannot legally escape from its duty to differentiate between Israel and its activities in the occupied Palestinian territories.”
The report suggests that Israel would capitulate to economic pressure on its banking system, and would return to the negotiating table with the Palestinians.
“Do day-to-day dealings between European and Israeli banks comply with the EU requirement not to provide material support to the occupation?” the report asks, suggesting that large Israeli banks have daily interactions with European banks, which technically violates EU policy on supporting Jewish settlements—because those Israeli banks are also providing loans and financing to Jewish businesses and individuals in the settlements.
ECFR was founded by Mark Leonard, who serves as its director. Leonard’s maternal grandparents were German Jews who fled the Nazis and hid in France. “They weren’t religious, yet they were aggressed because they were Jewish,” Leonard told The Independent in 1998. “I am not religious either. My route to Judaism is through the Holocaust.”
He said this means that he sometimes views history “with a persecution complex.” His late Jewish grandmother helped to rear him. She would feed baby Mark, tell him stories, take him for walks and, from the age of three, read him Shakespeare.
ECFR’s Middle East and North Africa (MENA) program is headed by Daniel Levy. an Israeli political scientist, policy advisor and diplomat. He was the Director of Policy and International Efforts at Heskem, the Israeli headquarters of the joint non-governmental Israeli-Palestinian Geneva Initiative. Levy was the lead Israeli drafter of the 2003 Geneva Accord, which advocated returning Israel close to its 1967 borders.
Levy served as senior policy adviser to former Israeli Minister of Justice Yossi Beilin from 2000 to 2001. During the Ehud Barak government, Levy worked in the Prime Minister’s Office as special adviser and head of the Jerusalem Affairs unit under Minister Haim Ramon.
Levy was a member of the Israeli delegation to the Taba Summit with the Palestinians in 2001, and of the negotiating team for the “Oslo 2″ Agreement in 1995, under Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.