Friday, July 19, 2013

EU trade guidelines against Israeli settlements are no good for anyone, let alone the EU


From Mr Nick Gray:

News has been breaking this week of an apparently draconian new set of EU trade guidelines* that would force Israel to declare the whole of the West Bank and East Jerusalem outside of the State of Israel in any future agreements, funding arrangements or award schemes with the EU. While the extent of the teeth in this new move is vague at the moment, the Israeli government is certainly showing serious concern over it. The country's deputy Foreign Minister, Ze'ev Elkin, told the Jerusalem Post:
"This is an over-eager bureaucratic process that can have far-reaching ramifications that Israel cannot agree to and which are liable to significantly hurt Israeli-EU cooperation in Research and Development, education, culture and scientific exchanges... it badly hurts the diplomatic process and Kerry's efforts."
That the EU would continue to tighten the screws on Israel's activities beyond the green line is no surprise to anyone. What is new this time is that the EU is trying to force Israel's government into accepting a historical armistice line with no political meaning as the country's international border. The new guidelines crystalise a number of previous quiet and mutually-accepted decisions into a single and more publicly blatant document.

Besides being an insult to Israel's rights as a sovereign state, the guidelines interfere with every agreement signed between Israel and the Palestinian leaders by presuming on an issue that can only be decided between the two negotiating parties (who haven't actually negotiated anything for several years). Prime Minister Netanyahu clearly takes the document seriously, having called an emergency cabinet meeting and issued a strong condemnation, in which he points out that execution of the guildelines will 'make it more difficult to bring the Palestinians back to the negotiating table, because they will ask why negotiate when the Europeans are giving them what they want.'.

The dust is still swirling in the air over this issue; even as to whether the offending document is a firm directive to all member states or a set of guidelines. But if it is as severe as is being reported, I predict several possible outcomes, none of them good for Europe or Britain.

1. British trade with Israel has never been stronger and is growing all the time. Co-operation between British companies and Israeli start-ups through our Tel Aviv embassy's technology hub is yielding tangible benefits for both countries. Furthermore, Britain is now Israel's fourth largest export receiver. If the EU enforces the directive, which comes into force today, it could have a catastrophic effect on the fruitful economic ties Britain has with Israel.

2. The EU as a whole will suffer if Israel does as she should and refuses to co-operate with the terms of the guidelines. European countries benefit from many Israeli medical and technological advances and future co-operation in these areas would grind to a halt to the detriment of us all. If Prime Minister Netanyahu wants to poke the EU in the eye, all he has to do is move small parts of his country's drone production into the West Bank and let Brussels chew on a halt to her purchase of Israeli drone technology.

3. While Israel exports millions of dollars of goods and food to European nations, the EU is not Israel's only trading partner. Even some Arab Gulf states have begun developing quiet links with their traditional enemy. Further, east Israel is building stronger trade links with India and China, two of the world's biggest economies. And, of course, Israel still has the USA, totally unaffected by silly decisions made by an unelected bureaucracy across the sea. No doubt Israel's detractors and boycott-wishers will crow and celebrate this European condemnation of Israel's so-called 'occupation' of Judea and Samaria. Let's be clear about this, though: if the EU enforces this latest anti-Israel directive, it will do nothing for peace; it will do nothing for the economies of any European nation and will only bring to an end the benefits we all have from Israel's technology and medical and agricultural advances.

4. Closer to home and just as damaging for Israel is the certainty that the Palestinian Authority (PA) will make as much mileage out of this as it can. What incentive does Mr Abbas have to stop laying down pre-conditions for talks with Israel if the EU is setting borders and defining his future state's territory for him? Israel should ban all EU projects in Area C of the West Bank until the guidelines are changed. This would prevent the EU giving further aid to the PA to develop the Israeli-controlled part of the disputed territories. Mr Netanyahu is unlikely to go as far as applying full Israeli sovereignty over that part of the West bank, as demanded by some settler groups, but he can put pressure on the EU and the Palestinians by refusing to allow further EU funded projects there.

Sorry EU Commission, but methinks you've shot yourself in the foot this time!

*The actual document describes itself as 'Guidelines', but the EU Commission commits itself to 'implement these guidelines in their entirety', giving them more force than just advice to member states. As mentioned above, the strength of the 'teeth' of this document will become apparent as it is applied.

Nick Gray is Director of Christian Middle East Watch

29 Comments:

Blogger bluedog said...

Well said, Nick Gray.

' but he (Netanyahu) can put pressure on the EU and the Palestinians by refusing to allow further EU funded projects there.'

Sharp's the word and quick's the action. No need to give the EU a free option to reconsider by asking them to explain their plans more fully, just cut the money supply to the Pallies. Additionally, the sooner Israel claims sovereignty over the entire West Bank the better.

Divided or ambiguous sovereignty just doesn't work, as the British political elite have taken nearly fifty years to discover in their own dealings with the EU. It follows that an immediate understanding or even recognition of any Israeli initiative in this regard is unlikely from either the UK or the EU. Indeed, the EU will probably collapse before recognising Israeli sovereignty over the West Bank, possibly causing a flood of refugees from southern Europe.

O wait, that's already happening.

19 July 2013 09:04  
Blogger Drastic Plastic said...

I agree. The whole business of allowing part of Israel to be designated as belonging to someone else is crazy. But the politics of it are complicated, I know.

Anybody know why we are members of the EU? Who appointed these petty officials to speak as if for *us*? Leave the Israelis alone. They're only doing what any of us would do in their position. Such an act as this, issuing "guidelines" intended to change the borders of a friendly country, in more normal times would be considered an act of war. It is, at least, an attempted act of bullying.

This story reminds me of EU officials trying to interfere on Mount Athos, to force the monks to admit women or whatever it was. Nobody voted for any such thing; and even if they had, it would be a gross act of tyranny.

I hope this one gets nailed. But I bet the officials who cooked it up, sniggering, in their offices, don't get fired.

19 July 2013 09:23  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Almost everything the dreadful EU touches leads to folly, or even worse, such as injustice bordering on tyranny, not to mention the emerging poverty of the Mediterranean countries.

The sooner that we and the other countries can become free from this Franco-German dangerous nonsense, the better. Even the French and German people will be better placed to follow their own paths.

19 July 2013 09:44  
Blogger English Pensioner said...

With Germany being a leading member of the EU it will be seen by many as being the start of the rise of new Nazi anti-Jewish policies within the EU.

19 July 2013 09:54  
Blogger Jay Bee said...

Trade guidelines. Sanctions in disguise. Iron fist in a velvet glove.

It comes as no surprise that the EU's bullying tactics include “guidelines” as part of a relentless pro-Palestinian strategy to corral the Israelis within the 1949 armistice boundary. This is being called the Auschwitz Border because of its defence implications in the face of the Iranian threat of genocide.

This is not the only recent example of EU bullying. Iceland has also been threatened with sanctions if it doesn't capitulate to EU demands to take less fish out of its own waters.

19 July 2013 09:58  
Blogger Preacher said...

The Euro-Parliament acts like an obnoxious drunk at a party. Full of it's own power & importance staggering, swaggering & boasting of its own prowess. It has no thought for anything except its own agenda of World domination.
In my experience the answer is simple. Eject the Drunk to wallow in his own vomit in the gutter. Or leave the party!.

19 July 2013 10:47  
Blogger Irene's Daughter said...

1 ¶ Why do the nations conspire and the peoples plot in vain?
2 The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the LORD and against his Anointed One.
3 "Let us break their chains," they say, "and throw off their fetters."
4 The One enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them.
5 Then he rebukes them in his anger and terrifies them in his wrath, saying,
6 "I have installed my King on Zion, my holy hill." (Psalm 2 NIV)

The EU has set itself against the Almighty and its people will suffer as a result. We must get out or go down with them.

19 July 2013 11:10  
Blogger Johnnyrvf said...

Sorry E.U. Commission, but methinks you've shot yourdelf in the foot this time.

This time? You give them too much credit, EVERY time is more accurate, a more decoupled from reality bunch of troughers is hard to imagine, their idiocy is comfirmation Albert Einsteins famous remark relating to the infinite capacity of human stupidity.

19 July 2013 11:29  
Blogger Corrigan said...

What is it about the state of Israel that means stealing isn't wrong when they do it? If I study Talmudic law for three years and have a painful operation afterwards, would anyone here object if I came round and took their house at gunpoint?

Israel is (since the fall of Apartheid South Africa) the most racist state on the face of the planet, and that's just fine with the contributors here. Their racism doesn't just stop with dem dirty Ay-Rabs, but basically extends to anyone who isn't a Jew. They see the European Union and its citizens as a cow to be milked and now they and their apologists are complaining because the udders have run dry (far past time).

On a related point, how do all the good Tories and Ukipers here square the desire to withdraw from the wasteful and spendthrift EU, where all the lazy foreigners are living off the sweat of the British taxpayers, when they don't apparantly have any problem with pumping those same tax pounds into this ramshakle entity?

19 July 2013 11:59  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Aww, c'mon guys. Have a heart. There are lots of Muslims in the EU and the number is growing. So how else is a gutless emasculated EU bureaucrat going to appease a mob?

carl

19 July 2013 12:24  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Short and sweet, Nick. Been too busy to even notice this until yesterday and your post...and the commentary here is the best info I've seen so far. Come to Cranmer's for your source on ME happennings! Yasher koakh, kids.

"If I study Talmudic law for three years and have a painful operation afterwards, would anyone here object if I came round and took their house at gunpoint?" --Corigan

Goodness no, bro, I figure you'd deserve my house if you did all that. Wow. Must have been some party last night, eh?

19 July 2013 12:26  
Blogger Nick said...

The EU is clearly throwing its weight around into areas where it has no real business to do so. It (the EU) is also the last institution on this planet that would have any respect for sovereignty. Soverreignty, like patriotism, as any teenager who has learnt their politics on facebook will tell you, is actually the same as racism, fascism, and is thereefore totally evil. Simples.

In truth, Israel, because it is patriotic, will still have the dignity of being a sovereign nation when we are overrun by welfare migrants and trying to keep up with the latest EU regulation on the shape of carrots.

Israel should not, and will not let itself be bullied by this godless, arroagant institution. I suspect these trade "guidelines" will backfire as Nick Gray says.

19 July 2013 12:58  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Preacher,

Nice turn of phrase there, most apt.

Yes, Israel should not be bullied by this doomed, Godless, self serving political construct. This latest dangerous nonsense gives us another excellent reason for getting out of it.

So I'm looking forward to the Ukip regional conference in Colchester tomorrow.

19 July 2013 14:12  
Blogger LEN said...

IF the EU was interested in the Democratic process it would support Israel which is' an Island' surrounded by increasingly hostile military dictatorships.

The EU assumes an authority to speak for those who have not given them any such authority.I would have though that Politicians within the EU might have supported the Democratic process which many parts of the Arab World were actively seeking?. The Politicians within the EU seem to be siding with those who wish to crush the democratic process within the middle East?.

19 July 2013 14:56  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Len ,

Quite ! . Well said. The EU falsely wears the clothes of democracy, borrowing from the continent's earlier genuine national democracies, to trick its audience, the world, into believing that it is also democratic, and then attacks the only democratic island, a beacon, in a middle eastern sea of tyranny and , at best, semi-democracy, all to further its distorted anti-Jewish , anti-democratic , and at home anti-Christian agenda. It is a charlatan and must be slain, politically.

19 July 2013 16:10  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

One is reminded of the tale of the lion found crying on its side in the bush with a massive thorn its paw. A young maiden sees him in his agony and pulls the thorn out. After that, the lion moves and manages to stand up on all paws. The young maiden looks on in delight, for she has done a kindness.

Later, human remains including a skull, and fragments of a dress are found strewn around the area. The lion was starving hungry of course. You see, he hadn’t been able to hunt for a few days…

Be damn careful whom you help out in this life, and be especially wary if the object of your aid is Islamic…





19 July 2013 17:43  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Inspector,

Indeed !

19 July 2013 18:09  
Blogger Corrigan said...

Well, Inspector, not ALL the object of EU aid is Islamic; there are (or were) quite a few Christian Palestinians who have been steadily driven out by the Zionists (which is ok by most contributors here) and latterly by the Muslims (which, of course, is not).

In any event, I would have thought that any cutback on wasteful EU expenditure was a good thing...

19 July 2013 20:20  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Corrigan, if the Palestinian Christians in the area are being driven out, then one is sure Cranmer would have informed us of such. You see, this man puts great stock in his integrity. If he loses his integrity, this site is doomed.

As far as this man can discern, the Christians are in no worse a situation than the Arabs, and he has no problem it being a Jewish state. For those two groups who wish to thrive there, It’s called knowing which side of your bread is buttered.

Do you REALLY want to see Israel snuffed out as a Western beacon in the same way the UK delivered Rhodesia to a black devil ???


19 July 2013 21:03  
Blogger Corrigan said...

Inspector, Israel is NOT a western beacon, it is a racist state founded on theft and murder and sooner or later people are going to finally start accpeting that short of a holocaust, you cannot write the indigenous population out of the story, however much you wish they would just disappear. If "the west" defines itself as being Israel writ large, then "the west" has a problem.

19 July 2013 21:37  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Corrigan, you do have something there, don’t let anyone take that away from you. It’s just sheer bad occurrence that the indigenous population of late is Johnny “Mad Dog” Muslim. People who are not worth a piss. Racist perhaps ? Then learn to live with it, and before you know it, you too can stare into the shaving mirror of a morning and it doesn’t bloody well bother you one bit...

Must go. Need to ring the American ambassador to Libya. Make sure he’s alright...


19 July 2013 21:54  
Blogger Nick said...

Corrigan, on the issue of racism, I don't think any of the Muslim nations appear particularly tolerant of other ethnic groups, especially of "infidels". Despite th fact the PC brigade tell us there is no such thing as anti-white racism, we know that is nonsense.

I think that if the Scots and Welsh decided that England had no right to exist and reinforced the decision by firing rockets across Offas Dyke / Hadrians Wall then I think the English would feel a tad "racist" too.

19 July 2013 23:26  
Blogger Corrigan said...

Like all good Zionists, Nick, you feel entitled to put words in my mouth. I never claimed Muslims can not be racist; I said it's irrelevant. The west is simply supporting the lighter skinned racial supremecists over the darker. I say we shouldn't support either.

20 July 2013 06:16  
Blogger bluedog said...

Corrigan says, 'The west is simply supporting the lighter skinned racial supremecists over the darker.'

Here we go again, darkies good, whiteys bad - the old post-colonial white guilt thingy.

Is it possible that the West supports Israel because it is a liberal democracy that upholds the rule of law (based on English Common Law)? Compare and contrast with the surrounding despotates, tyrannies and dictatorships.

Israel is self-evidently a first world nation while its neighbours are standard-bearers of third world failure. Why would that be?

20 July 2013 13:17  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Corrigan has his 'invasion' narrative and he will not be turned either left or right from it. Over and over he screams "Ireland for the Irish!". Oh, wait. Wrong conflict. This a thread about Israel. But I am not sure he can distinguish between the two anymore.

You can tell him the historical facts (I have) but he won't listen. You can ask him what should be done (I have) and he will respond with unrealizable solutions that could only lead to slaughter. It doesn't matter. He marches for Antrim Town with shining pike in hand. He has transposed Ireland onto Palestine.

In Corrigan's mind Israel should never have been. The Jewish remnant should have been sent back home to live in the ashes of destroyed communities among people who had tried to kill them. Or perhaps they should have been sent to the US so Europe could be well shut of them. But the Jewish survivors wanted to go to Palestine. And they would also not be turned aside either to the right or left.

Woe to them who buy land and settle it and develop it for they shall be called invaders. Woe to them who do not let themselves and their children be slaughtered for they shall be called aggressors. Woe to them who keep watch by day and night for the murderer who comes with bombs strapped to his chest for they shall be called oppressors.

Out the Zionists! Palestine for the Palestinians!

carl

20 July 2013 14:44  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Carl. This man wondered whether Corrigan had found a correlation between Ireland and Palestine, and raised the question last year. No answer came back...

20 July 2013 18:27  
Blogger Drastic Plastic said...

Altogether now, "Raaaaciisst!! Raaacccissst!! Raaacccissst!! Raaacccissst!!"

These days I always hear it pronounced "Joooo! Joooo! Joooo!". After all, it's a word that was manufactured for hate, by haters, to intimidate those whom they couldn't out-argue.

Don't you just love the tolerant left?

22 July 2013 11:19  
Blogger Manfarang said...

EU blacklist Hezbollah.

24 July 2013 07:27  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

Corrigan -

"Israel is a racist state".

The biggest LOL ever!

24 July 2013 23:10  

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