Tuesday, July 23, 2013
The European Union - Hypocrisy, Hostility and Blatant Prejudice
Alan Baker 18 July 2013
• The publication of guidelines by the European Commission on the eligibility of Israeli entities for EU cooperation is the culmination of a concerted policy initiative led by the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Catherine Ashton, directed against Israel's settlements in Judea and Samaria [the West Bank] to press the Israeli government into making territorial and political concessions.
• This unprecedented and hostile EU fixation with Israel and its settlements is based on a series of long-standing and deliberately misleading and flawed legal and political assumptions regarding the illegality of Israel's settlements and the status of the pre-1967 armistice lines as Israel's border.
• Similarly, they negate the very positions supported by the European states that endorsed UN Security Council Resolution 242 from 1967 calling for "secure and recognized boundaries," and negate the EU's own commitments as signatory and witness to the Oslo Accords not to predetermine and undermine specific negotiating issues including the final status of the territories, borders, settlements, Jerusalem, and other issues.
• Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention (1949), often cited as the basis for the claim that Israel's settlements are illegal, relates to deportations of over 40 million people subjected to forced migration, evacuation, displacement, and expulsion in World War II. The vast numbers of people affected and the aims and purposes behind such a population movement speak for themselves. There is nothing to link such circumstances to Israel's settlement policy.
• The rigid fixation of the EU to assert that its agreements with Israel must reflect the non-recognition of Israel's sovereignty over any territory beyond the 1967 lines stands out in contrast to European policy toward other conflicts.
• The EU has many free trade agreements and understandings with countries whose territorial boundaries are in dispute. The EU has been negotiating a free trade agreement with India, yet its applicability to Kashmir is not under discussion. An EU fisheries agreement from 2005 allows European fisherman to operate in Western Sahara, even though the EU does not recognize Moroccan sovereignty in this territory.
Amb. Alan Baker, Director of the Institute for Contemporary Affairs at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, is former Legal Adviser to Israel's Foreign Ministry and former Ambassador of Israel to Canada.
For further facts and information on this subject read: http://tinyurl.com/l4pha7s