(Communicated by the Prime Minister's Media Adviser)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, this afternoon (Tuesday, 16 July 2013), in his Jerusalem office, held consultations with Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, Economy Minister Naftali Bennett and Deputy Foreign Minister Zeev Elkin in wake of the intention to add conditions to contacts between the EU and the State of Israel in the future.
Prime Minister Netanyahu said, "I would expect those who truly want peace and stability in the region would discuss this issue after solving more urgent regional problems such as the civil war in Syria or Iran's race to achieve nuclear weapons. As the Prime Minister of Israel, I will not allow the hundreds of thousands of Israelis who live in Judea and Samaria, on the Golan Heights and in Jerusalem, our united capital, to be harmed. We will not accept any outside diktat about our borders. This issue will be decided only in direct negotiations between the sides."
"The European Union has issued a binding directive to the 28 member states forbidding any funding, cooperation, awarding of scholarships, research funds or prizes to institutions or people residing in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights."
1. Does the latest European initiative mean that the EU has abandoned, officially or de facto, the Middle East Quartet effort? Borders were supposed to be a “final status” issue under the Quartet Roadmap, and last we heard—granted, it’s been a couple of years—Tony Blair, the Quartet envoy, was seeking proposals for border arrangements. Has the EU now explicitly abandoned this effort and unilaterally determined the borders of Israel?
2. According to the report, a Jew living in Hebron is not eligible for some prize or scholarship, but an Arab living in Hebron is eligible. Is this sort of antisemitic discrimination legal under the EU and individual countries’ laws?
3. Is an Arab-owned organization or entity in the West Bank eligible for EU cooperation or funding? How about a Jewish-owned organization that employs non-Jews? An entity owned by both Jews and non-Jews? What exactly defines an organization or entity as Jewish or non-Jewish, or as eligible or not eligible? Its address? The ethnicity or religion of its owners, managers, or employees?
4. Does the EU have a similar directive for agreements with Turkey, regarding Turkey’s occupation of Northern Cyprus—which the EU also doesn’t recognize? Or do EU contracts specify sovereign borders only for Israel? If the latter, what is the legal or moral basis for the distinction or discrimination between the two?
5. Does this new EU directive apply funding for all organizations operating in the West Bank, including those—like B’Tselem—that oppose the Israeli occupation and work to change or undermine Israeli government policies—in accordance with EU policies? Is it what the American legal system calls a “viewpoint neutral” policy, or one that actively seeks to endorse one specific political position and censor another—within a (democratic) third country?
(Can anyone press EU officials to clarify whether the new restrictions apply to territory or to the ethnic/national/religious identity of the people with whom the EU and its member countries are willing to work? And how the new rules relate to European anti-discrimination laws? See, for example, EU Directive 2000/43/EC, “Equal treatment irrespective of racial or ethnic origin,” and the 2008 Framework Strategy for “Non-Discrimination and Equal Opportunities for All” which explicitly references “the promotion of non-discrimination and equal opportunities for all in the context of enlargement and in relations with third countries.”)
Does the EU have a similar directive for agreements with Morocco, regarding Morocco’s occupation of Western Sahara? Or do EU contracts specify sovereign borders only for Israel?
Does the EU have a similar directive for agreements with Russia, regarding Russia’s occupation of South Ossetia and Abkhazia? Or do EU contracts specify borders only for Israel?
Does the EU have a similar directive for agreements with China, regarding China’s occupation of Tibet and Aksai Chin? Or do EU contracts specify borders only for Israel?
Does the EU have a similar directive for agreements with India, regarding India’s occupation of Arnuchal Pradesh and Kashmir? Or do EU contracts specify borders only for Israel?
Does the EU have a similar directive for agreements with Armenia, regarding Armenia’s occupation of Nagorno Karabach? Or do EU contracts specify borders only for Israel?
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