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The EU's Vicious Economic Sanctions on Israel

 
 
Reply Tue 30 Jul, 2013 12:21 pm
Europe Wages War on Israel: How the Jewish State Must Respond

Were Israel to fight fire with fire and levy counter sanctions on European goods, it would be entering an economic war that it would lose and therefore has every interest in avoiding.

By Caroline Glick, Jerusalem Post, July 25, 2013

This week the EU took three steps that together prove Europe's ill-intentions toward the Jewish state.

First, last Friday the EU announced it is imposing economic sanctions on Israel. The sanctions deny EU funds to Israeli entities with an address beyond the 1949 Armistice Lines. They also deny EU funds to Israeli entities countrywide that carry out activities beyond the 1949 Armistice Lines.

The areas beyond the 1949 Armistice Lines delineated by the EU directive include the Gaza Strip, which Israel abandoned eight years ago; the Golan Heights, which has been under Israeli sovereignty since 1981; eastern, northern and southern Jerusalem, which have been under Israeli sovereignty since 1967; and Judea and Samaria, over which Israel has shared governance with the PLO since 1994 in accordance with signed agreements witnessed by EU representatives.

The EU's second action was the publication Tuesday of EU foreign policy commissioner Catherine Ashton's letter to her fellow commissioners informing them that by the end of the year, the EU will publish binding requirements for specially labeling Israeli goods produced by Jews beyond the 1949 Armistice Lines exported to EU member states.

This act is potentially more damaging for Israel than the ban on transferring EU monies to Israeli entities with "bad" addresses. Labeling Israeli products is a means of signaling Europeans consumers that they should view all Israeli exports as morally inferior to other goods and wage a consumer boycott of Israeli products. Indeed, Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius described the proposed labeling as an alternative to a broader boycott of all Israeli goods.

The EU's third act was its decision to define Hezbollah's "military wing" as a terrorist organization, but leave all the other Hezbollah-related institutions untouched. While the move has been applauded by Israeli politicians desperate to deny Europe's animosity, Europe's partial designation of Hezbollah as a terrorist entity is another act of aggression against Israel.

By pretending that Hezbollah has a legitimate "political wing" – a transparent lie that even Hezbollah has denied – the EU ensures that Hezbollah personnel and Hezbollah institutions can continue to find safe haven in Europe so long as the avoid attacking non-Jewish Europeans.

Hezbollah agents can continue raising money, planning attacks, and recruiting terrorists in Europe, as long as Hezbollah labels the activities "political."

In other words, all Hezbollah operations directed against Israel and Jews will remain lawful in Europe.

Beyond exposing the EU's fundamental and obsessive hostility toward the Jewish state, these three actions put paid to the EU's protestations of allegiance to international law and commitment to bringing about peace between the Palestinians and Israel.

As ambassador Alan Baker, the former legal adviser to the Foreign Ministry, wrote in an article published by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, the EU's actions against Israeli entities that operate beyond the 1949 Armistice Lines are unsupported by international law. The EU's claim that Israel's presence beyond the 1949 Armistice Lines is unlawful is not supported by any treaties or customs. Indeed, it is explicitly refuted by treaties and customs.

Israel's legal rights to sovereignty over Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem are recognized under the law of nations through the 1922 League of Nations Mandate for Palestine, which also called for "close Jewish settlement" of these areas. The Mandate's allocation of sovereign rights over all of these areas to the Jewish people, and its recognition of the Jews as the indigenous people of the areas, has not been abrogated by any subsequent treaty. To the contrary, they were reinforced by Article 80 of the UN Charter.

Moreover, as Baker noted, the EU wrongly claims that Jewish communities beyond the 1949 Armistice Lines are illegal under Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention from 1949. But authoritative interpretations of Article 49 make clear that Article 49 does not apply to such communities.

The lines the EU points to as Israel's legal border were never borders and never legal. The 1949 Armistice Lines, which the EU falsely refers to as the 1967 borders, represent nothing more than the lines at which Israeli forces halted the invading armies of Arab states that illegally assaulted the nascent Jewish state at its birth on May 15, 1948.

The armistice agreements explicitly stated that the armistice lines lack all legal significance in terms of claims of parties to lands beyond the lines.

Finally, as Baker noted, the EU itself repeatedly supported UN resolutions and international agreements that recognize the legality of Israel's continued control and civilian presence in the areas. As a consequence, its own actions contradict its claim that Israel's presence and the presence of Israeli civilian communities beyond the 1949 Armistice Lines are illegal.

Beyond its unsubstantiated legal claims against Israel, both in its intention to label Israeli products and in its actions related to Hezbollah, the EU is acting in violation of international law. The EU's intention to label Israeli products involves the imposition of trade barriers in contravention of the World Trade Organization's legally binding rules.

By allowing Hezbollah to continue to operate in the EU, the EU is in violation of binding UN Security Council Resolution 1373 from 2001 that prohibits the use of member states' territory for the benefit of terrorist groups.

Justice Minister Tzipi Livni called the EU's imposition of economic sanctions a "resounding wake-up call," adding, "I hope that now all those who thought it is possible to continue with the freeze [in the peace talks with the PLO] will understand that we have to act to open negotiations, because this is the only way to protect Israel's general interests."

This view, which is the official view of the Left, is based on a complete denial of reality.

The EU announced its sanctions on the very same day US Secretary of State John Kerry announced he had convinced the PLO to return to peace talks with Israel. The confluence of these events could not demonstrate more clearly that the EU's diplomatic onslaught against Israel has nothing to do with the conduct of negotiations with the PLO. If the EU's chief interest was bringing Israel and the PLO to the negotiating table, Brussels would be sanctioning the Palestinians who have refused to negotiate with Israel since 2008.

By levying sanctions the EU does not seek to advance the cause of peace. It hopes to coerce Israel into abandoning its legitimate historic claims as the indigenous people of the Land of Israel to the lands allocated to the Jewish people under international law by the 1922 League of Nations Mandate for Palestine. It hopes to coerce Israel into surrendering its right to defensible borders and voluntarily transform itself into an indefensible strategic basket case wholly dependent on the goodwill of outside powers for its survival.

The question is what can Israel do about it? Were Israel to fight fire with fire and levy counter sanctions on European goods it would be entering an economic war that it would lose and therefore has every interest in avoiding. But Israel's inability to respond in kind to European aggression does not mean it is without options.

Europe is using economic sanctions to expand its political power over Israeli decision-makers. So Israel should act to diminish Europe's political power in Israel.

The EU itself told Israel how to go about doing this in Paragraph 15 of the sanctions directive. It reads, "The requirements [banning the transfer of EU funds to Israeli entities operating beyond the 1949 armistice lines]... do not apply to activities which, although carried out in the territories...
aim at benefiting protected persons under the terms of international humanitarian law who live in these territories [i.e., the Palestinians] and/or at promoting the Middle East peace process in line with EU policy."

In other words, Israeli NGOs that receive EU assistance are exempt from the financing ban if they commit to undermining Israel's rights in the area. As the EU sees it, NGOs who receive EU money are EU agents, advancing European goals in the domestic Israeli arena, and as such should be exempted from the EU's economic sanctions.

In a 2010 meeting with US diplomats leaked by WikiLeaks, Jessica Montell, the executive director of the Israeli-registered pro-Palestinian pressure group B'Tselem, effectively admitted that her organization would cease to exist without European funding.

According to the protocol of the meeting, Montell "estimated her NIS 9 million ($2.4 million) budget is 95 percent funded from abroad, mostly from European countries."

To stem the momentum of Europe's new economic war, Israel's first response to the EU's sanctions must be swift passage in the Knesset of a law requiring all Israeli entities that agree to operate under the EU's funding guidelines to register as foreign agents and report all EU contributions.

Those contributions should be taxed at the highest corporate tax rate.

EU officials have stated repeatedly that they seek to undermine Israeli control over Area C. Area C is the area of Judea and Samaria where, in accordance with agreements signed between the PLO and Israel, Israel exercises most civil and military authorities. The EU is funding projects in Area C whose stated goal is to make it impossible over time for Israel to assert its authority over the area.

Israel's second response to the EU's announcement of economic sanctions on Israeli economic activity in Judea and Samaria should be to suspend all EU projects in Area C. Future EU projects should be subject to intense scrutiny by the civil administration. Israel's default position should be to reject, rather than approve, such requests, given their hostile intent.

Finally, EU peacekeeping forces from Gaza to Lebanon to Syria have repeatedly proven not only their cowardice, but their willingness to act in ways that endanger Israel in order to protect themselves.

In Gaza, EU border guards fled to Israel following Hamas's takeover of the area in 2007.

Along the border with Syria, Austrian peacekeepers fled at the first sign of trouble, leaving Israel to deal with Syrian breaches of the European-sanctioned 1974 disengagement agreement by itself.

European forces in UNIFIL in Lebanon have signed protection agreements with Hezbollah where in exchange for European forces' turning a blind eye to Hezbollah's illegal use of civilian infrastructures as military installations, Hezbollah has promised not to murder European forces.

Given this track record, Israel should bar European forces from further participation in armed forces in Israel. To this end, Israel should allow the mandate of the European-dominated Temporary International Presence in Hebron to expire when it next comes up for review. The TIPH, which has been deployed to the city since 1994, is composed of forces from Denmark, Italy, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey.

Israel has for years been operating under the misguided belief that the EU would eventually come around and side with Israel against its enemies.

This belief has been informed by equal doses of innocence and wishful thinking. The EU's decision to initiate an economic war against the Jewish state forces Israel to abandon its long-held illusions.

Israel has options for responding forcefully to Europe's aggression. If judiciously and firmly employed, these responses can diminish the Europeans' interest in escalating this economic war, by denying them the political victory they seek.

Caroline B. Glick is the senior Middle East Fellow at the Center for Security Policy in Washington, DC and the deputy managing editor of the Jerusalem Post, where her column appears.

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Type: Discussion • Score: 10 • Views: 10,421 • Replies: 192

 
engineer
 
  3  
Reply Tue 30 Jul, 2013 12:28 pm
@Advocate,
I'm sure the Iranians feel the same way about the much more severe sanctions on them.
Advocate
 
  0  
Reply Tue 30 Jul, 2013 01:23 pm
@engineer,
It is a very different situation with Iran. Its former president was pretty clear that its nuclear research was aimed at attacking Israel. Moreover, the world is afraid that the research would provide Iran with hegemony in the area.
contrex
 
  4  
Reply Tue 30 Jul, 2013 01:31 pm
Jewish settlements in occupied Palestinian territory are not considered part of the state of Israel under international law.

The explicit restatement of the European Union's position is intended to force an end to the ambiguity that has helped Israel to maintain and expand its presence beyond the old "green line" border since the 1967 Middle East war without incurring significant costs.

The EU's declaration spells out that there can be consequences for flouting United Nations' resolutions and international legality. Not enormous ones, true, but they still include funding, co-operation, scholarships, research funds and prizes for institutions in Jewish settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, whose population now numbers about 520,000 people. Ariel University, near the Palestinian city of Nablus, is one obvious target.

Trade between the EU and Israel will not be affected, though there is a growing demand for the clear labelling of products originating in settlements – worth about £200-million of the £8.3-billion in Israeli exports to the EU in 2011.

The new Brussels guidelines are hardly the "earthquake" described in Jerusalem. But they do reflect changes on the ground in the territory that Israeli rightwingers call by the biblical names of Judea and Samaria and do not recognise as the heartland of Palestinian national aspirations. The EU's impatience has also grown as it has remained a "payer rather than player", bankrolling the Palestinian Authority and picking up the tab for a nonexistent or virtual "peace process".

Advocate
 
  0  
Reply Tue 30 Jul, 2013 01:36 pm
@contrex,
International law is basically a joke when it comes to this conflict. The Pals, with their incessant attacks on Israel and Israelis have always ignored international law. To unilaterally apply it to Israel in connection with the settlements is a cruel jest.
0 Replies
 
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Tue 30 Jul, 2013 01:42 pm
It's hardly vicious, it doesn't go nearly far enough. What is needed is a complete boycott of everything Israeli, not just the produce grown on illegal settlements in lands stolen from the Palestinian people.

Quote:
Israel continues to build illegal settlements and the wall, controls Gaza, denies Palestinian refugees their right to return, grows produce and sets up industrial zones on stolen Palestinian land. Only international pressure can deliver a just peace for Palestinians.

As Governments have failed to hold Israel accountable, it is up to people of conscience in civil society worldwide to heed Palestinian calls for protection and justice. Only international pressure can make Israel cease its violations of international law and human rights.

Why boycott?

It lets the Palestinian people know that they are not forgotten and the justice of their cause is recognised.

It sends a signal that the world will not sit by whilst Israel flouts UN resolutions, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Geneva Convention and other international laws – Israel cannot be allowed to act with impunity.

It enables decisions made in their everyday lives by people outside Israel and Palestine to refresh and reinforce their opposition to Israeli policy.

It exerts moral pressure on the British Government by giving expression to the desire to move towards a more ethical foreign policy.

It provides an excellent way of stimulating public debate, offers a focus for leafleting and discussion, as well as exerting moral and economic pressure on Israel to comply with international legislation and principles of justice.

Apartheid was weakened by a similar international movement of solidarity that succeeded in branding South Africa as a pariah state. Despite obvious differences between these two forms of oppression, this antecedent provides an inspiring model


http://www.palestinecampaign.org/boycott/

Follow the link to sign the pledge to boycott the apartheid state.
0 Replies
 
engineer
 
  6  
Reply Tue 30 Jul, 2013 01:53 pm
@Advocate,
Advocate wrote:

It is a very different situation with Iran. Its former president was pretty clear that its nuclear research was aimed at attacking Israel. Moreover, the world is afraid that the research would provide Iran with hegemony in the area.

Hardly. The former president said time and again his country's research was towards developing peaceful nuclear energy and the brutal sanctions (far, far worse than the wrist slap that is aimed at Israel) imposed on his country were an afront to his country independence. Whether you choose to believe that is up to you (I take it with a large grain of salt) but the article you posted could have come right out of Iranian government mouthpiece by just changing some names.
Walter Hinteler
 
  4  
Reply Tue 30 Jul, 2013 02:48 pm
@contrex,
Those guidelines already were announced in December - seems that wasn't taken serious.

As a reaction, Israel is refusing to co-operate with European Union humanitarian projects aimed at helping Palestinians in the West Bank (European aid staff have been barred from entering Gaza by Israeli defence officials) and has imposed travel restrictions on EU diplomats based in the West Bank who wish to travel to Israel or Gaza.
0 Replies
 
oralloy
 
  -1  
Reply Tue 30 Jul, 2013 03:34 pm
@Advocate,
Advocate wrote:
Justice Minister Tzipi Livni called the EU's imposition of economic sanctions a "resounding wake-up call," adding, "I hope that now all those who thought it is possible to continue with the freeze [in the peace talks with the PLO] will understand that we have to act to open negotiations, because this is the only way to protect Israel's general interests."

This view, which is the official view of the Left, is based on a complete denial of reality.

The EU announced its sanctions on the very same day US Secretary of State John Kerry announced he had convinced the PLO to return to peace talks with Israel. The confluence of these events could not demonstrate more clearly that the EU's diplomatic onslaught against Israel has nothing to do with the conduct of negotiations with the PLO. If the EU's chief interest was bringing Israel and the PLO to the negotiating table, Brussels would be sanctioning the Palestinians who have refused to negotiate with Israel since 2008.

By levying sanctions the EU does not seek to advance the cause of peace. It hopes to coerce Israel into abandoning its legitimate historic claims as the indigenous people of the Land of Israel to the lands allocated to the Jewish people under international law by the 1922 League of Nations Mandate for Palestine. It hopes to coerce Israel into surrendering its right to defensible borders and voluntarily transform itself into an indefensible strategic basket case wholly dependent on the goodwill of outside powers for its survival.

Actually, I suspect there is a behind-the-scenes arrangement for pressure to be put on the Israelis and the Palestinians from various sources, and Europe's role in the plot is to provide pressure on Israel.

The plotters' likely goal is for all sides to fear the consequences if negotiations fail.

I know various anti-Semites on the internet are cheering these moves because they see them as some sort of strike against Israel. But keep in mind that they're anti-Semites: don't give freaks more credence than they deserve. These European moves are clearly just part of a worldwide kabuki dance in support of the negotiations.

In any case, I recommend holding off the punitive measures until it is clear whether negotiations will succeed or not. Should negotiations fail, it'll be time to sweep all the Palestinians out of the West Bank and into Gaza, and that will provide opportunities aplenty when it comes to irritating Europe.
0 Replies
 
oralloy
 
  -1  
Reply Tue 30 Jul, 2013 04:06 pm
@engineer,
engineer wrote:
Advocate wrote:
engineer wrote:
I'm sure the Iranians feel the same way about the much more severe sanctions on them.

It is a very different situation with Iran. Its former president was pretty clear that its nuclear research was aimed at attacking Israel. Moreover, the world is afraid that the research would provide Iran with hegemony in the area.

Hardly. The former president said time and again his country's research was towards developing peaceful nuclear energy and the brutal sanctions (far, far worse than the wrist slap that is aimed at Israel) imposed on his country were an afront to his country independence. Whether you choose to believe that is up to you (I take it with a large grain of salt) but the article you posted could have come right out of Iranian government mouthpiece by just changing some names.

That Iran might lie and say something similar does not make their complaint even remotely legitimate.

Israel's complaint is actually legitimate.
engineer
 
  4  
Reply Tue 30 Jul, 2013 06:29 pm
@oralloy,
oralloy wrote:

That Iran might lie and say something similar does not make their complaint even remotely legitimate.

Israel's complaint is actually legitimate.

I'm sure that view depends on which side of the fence you are sitting on.
oralloy
 
  -1  
Reply Tue 30 Jul, 2013 06:36 pm
@engineer,
engineer wrote:
oralloy wrote:
That Iran might lie and say something similar does not make their complaint even remotely legitimate.
Israel's complaint is actually legitimate.

I'm sure that view depends on which side of the fence you are sitting on.

No. My comment was a statement of absolute fact.
0 Replies
 
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Wed 31 Jul, 2013 05:07 am
Latest from the PSC.

Quote:
Palestinians have called on us to join them in a ‘day of rage’ on Thursday 1st August against the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from the Naqab (also known as the Negev).

Join our Virtual Protest between 1900-2000 (UK time is GMT+1) against Israel’s Prawer Plan to ethnically cleanse 40,000 Palestinian Bedouin from their homes and land.

You might be on a beach, at your desk or at a train station or airport – wherever you are you can join the protest!


Follow the link to find out what you can do.

http://www.palestinecampaign.org/virtual-protest-against-the-prawer-plan/?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=PSC+update%3A+join+our+virtual+protest+on+...&utm_source=YMLP&utm_term=Tweet%2C+facebook+or+email+to+jo...
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Wed 31 Jul, 2013 05:08 am
@izzythepush,
http://www.palestinecampaign.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/iaminvisible.jpg
0 Replies
 
InfraBlue
 
  3  
Reply Wed 31 Jul, 2013 03:11 pm
@Advocate,
In yet another of Advi's tiresome cut and paste jobs, Caroline Glick wrote:
As ambassador Alan Baker, the former legal adviser to the Foreign Ministry, wrote in an article published by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, the EU's actions against Israeli entities that operate beyond the 1949 Armistice Lines are unsupported by international law. The EU's claim that Israel's presence beyond the 1949 Armistice Lines is unlawful is not supported by any treaties or customs. Indeed, it is explicitly refuted by treaties and customs.


Neither Glick nor Baker, whose article that Glick refers to was also cut and pasted in an earlier thread by Advi, point to any treaties that stipulate that the Zionists can unilaterally establish "borders" and "boundaries" pursuant to their own ends, let alone do they point to any treaties that validate the Zionists' repression of the Palestinian peoples. What’s more other treaties that both Glick and Baker completely ignore reiterate the Palestinians' rights to Palestine, namely, UN General Assembly Resolution 194, United Security Council Resolutions 237, 242 and 338.
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Wed 31 Jul, 2013 08:31 pm
Mookbark
0 Replies
 
Advocate
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Aug, 2013 08:25 am
@InfraBlue,
InfraBlue wrote:

In yet another of Advi's tiresome cut and paste jobs, Caroline Glick wrote:
As ambassador Alan Baker, the former legal adviser to the Foreign Ministry, wrote in an article published by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, the EU's actions against Israeli entities that operate beyond the 1949 Armistice Lines are unsupported by international law. The EU's claim that Israel's presence beyond the 1949 Armistice Lines is unlawful is not supported by any treaties or customs. Indeed, it is explicitly refuted by treaties and customs.


Neither Glick nor Baker, whose article that Glick refers to was also cut and pasted in an earlier thread by Advi, point to any treaties that stipulate that the Zionists can unilaterally establish "borders" and "boundaries" pursuant to their own ends, let alone do they point to any treaties that validate the Zionists' repression of the Palestinian peoples. What’s more other treaties that both Glick and Baker completely ignore reiterate the Palestinians' rights to Palestine, namely, UN General Assembly Resolution 194, United Security Council Resolutions 237, 242 and 338.


The continuous attacks on Israel by the Pals gave Israel the right to adjust borders.

I agree that the Israelis do repress the Pals. They are repressed from routinely blowing up Israeli buses, bingo and pizza parlors, and otherwise killing Israeli citizens. Only you can fault Israel for this type of repression.
InfraBlue
 
  2  
Reply Thu 1 Aug, 2013 12:55 pm
@Advocate,
Quote:
The continuous attacks on Israel by the Pals gave Israel the right to adjust borders.


Says you.

Quote:
I agree that the Israelis do repress the Pals. They are repressed from routinely blowing up Israeli buses, bingo and pizza parlors, and otherwise killing Israeli citizens. Only you can fault Israel for this type of repression.


uh-HUH.

You're sounding more and more like Oralloy, Advi.
oralloy
 
  0  
Reply Thu 1 Aug, 2013 02:21 pm
@InfraBlue,
InfraBlue wrote:
You're sounding more and more like Oralloy, Advi.

That stands to reason. Advocate and I both stick to the truth.

That said, there are peace talks going on. How about an a2k ceasefire while we all wait to see what the diplomats produce for us?
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Aug, 2013 02:29 pm
@oralloy,
EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton said on Wednesday that the EU will be "fully engaged with both parties and will make every effort, together with our partners, to ensure that negotiations succeed."

She stated: "Both Israel and the Palestinians have a reliable friend and ally in the European Union." (Source: Jerusalem Post)
 

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