EU rows back over Is­rael res­o­lu­tion

The Jewish Chronicle - - WORLD NEWS - BY ANSHEL PFEFFER

AN IS­RAELI DIPLO­MATIC of­fen­sive over the week­end, led per­son­ally by Prime Min­is­ter Ben­jamin Ne­tanyahu, brought about a “soft­en­ing” of an EU res­o­lu­tion aimed at up­ping the pres­sure on Is­rael over the set­tle­ments.

The orig­i­nal draft res­o­lu­tion was de­signed as a fol­low-up to the set­tle­ment goods la­belling guide­lines is­sued by the EU two months ago.

A such, it was due to spec­ify that the EU viewed all Is­raeli en­ti­ties in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights as il­le­gal and tar­gets for fur­ther sanc­tions if progress was not made to­wards a two-state so­lu­tion.

Is­raeli lob­by­ing, how­ever, con­vinced a num­ber of EU mem­bers to op­pose the draft res­o­lu­tion. What was is­sued on Mon­day in Brus­sels was a re­it­er­a­tion of the EU’s ex­ist­ing pol­icy that all agree­ments signed with Is­rael ap­ply only to the pre-1967 ter­ri­to­ries, but to op­pose all forms of boy­cott of Is­rael.

The EU for­eign min­is­ters meet­ing has also high­lighted the emer­gence of two blocs on Is­rael. While the “big five” — the UK, France, Ger­many, Italy and Spain; crit­i­cal al­lies of Is­rael — are pro­mot­ing a harsher pol­icy on the set­tle­ments, Greece, Ro­ma­nia, Hun­gary, Poland and the Czech Re­pub­lic are block­ing fur­ther puni­tive mea­sures.

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