Sunday, July 28, 2013

EU's partisan meddling in Israel

From Daily Alert, 26 July 2013:

New EU Restrictions on Israel Are about Foreign Policy, Not Law - Eugene Kontorovich*
The European Commission has published administrative guidelines that severely restrict its dealings with any Israeli company, municipality or NGO based in, or even involved in, activities east of the 1949 Armistice line, including most of Jerusalem. European officials claim international law and a concern for Palestinian self-determination demand such action. The rules also bar funding of any organization connected to the Golan Heights, which has nothing to do with "settlements" in the West Bank.
    The Europeans regard Israel as an occupier in the West Bank, despite the illegitimacy of the previous Jordanian presence there. They also see Jewish communities there as violating the Geneva Conventions prohibition on the "occupying power...transferring its civilian population," despite the fact that Jews living in the West Bank were not "transferred" by Israel in any meaning of the word; they just moved themselves.
    Article 15 of the EU guidelines exempts groups that "promot[e] the Middle East peace process in line with EU policy." The exemption reveals the true purpose of the rules: to promote European foreign policy, not to vindicate international law. Indeed, the essence of the rule of law is about applying general rules to similar cases, regardless of one's sympathies. The application of unique rules to the Jewish state is the opposite of lawful.  

*The writer is a professor at Northwestern University School of Law, specializing in international law. (Times of Israel)

The EU Tightens Economic Restrictions on Israel - Daniel Hannan
In its latest guidelines, the EU in effect restricts its economic dealings with Israel to the pre-1967 border. It's a bizarre decision, even by Brussels standards. By blundering in, the EU risks repeating the mistake it made in Cyprus and disincentivizing serious bilateral talks. No one seriously expects that a deal can be reached on the basis of an unaltered 1967 line (or rather, unaltered 1949 line). By putting that idea back on the table, the EU is making compromise more difficult. 

This isn't really about peace, though. It's about the EU's natural inclination to one side of the dispute. 
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