(JNS.org) The European Union on July 19 will issue a directive to all of its member nations that bans cooperation with Israel in Judea and Samaria, eastern Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights, all territories acquired by Israel in the 1967 Six Day War.
As of 2014, Israeli projects seeking EU funding will be required to sign a clause in their cooperation agreement stating that areas beyond Israel’s pre-1967 lines are not part of the agreement. According to the EU directive, which was first reported by Haaretz, forbidden activities for EU members will also include the awarding of scholarships and research stipends to Israelis living beyond the pre-1967 lines.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned the EU directive, saying that his government “will not accept any external edicts about our borders” and will attempt to reach a peace agreement with the Palestinians only through direct negotiations. Israel’s deputy foreign minister, Zeev Elkin, said the directive “fuels the Palestinian refusal to return to the negotiation table,” the Associated Press reported.
B’nai B’rith International President Allan J. Jacobs said the EU guidelines “clearly display the longstanding EU double standard and obsession with Israel to the point of outright discrimination.”
“Syria’s civil war and Iran’s march toward nuclear weapons do not get the same attention as Israel,” Jacobs said.
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) said the EU has exhibited bias against Israel “for not pressuring the Palestinian Authority to drop its pre-conditions for peace negotiations and end anti-Israel and anti-Semitic incitement in official Palestinian media.”
“[PA] President [Mahmoud] Abbas has blocked the process with his pre-conditions, so who does the EU pressure? Israel. Who gets a free pass? The Palestinians,” ADL National Director Abraham H. Foxman said in a statement.
Senior Palestinian official Hanan Ashrawi, meanwhile, called the EU’s decision the “beginning of a new era.”