Prepared for the
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations

by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
View this page at
Daily Alert app on Android
July 19, 2013

In-Depth Issues:

Israeli Poll: 81 Percent Oppose EU Restrictions (IMRA-Israel Hayom)
    81% of Jewish Israelis oppose and 10% support requiring Israel to state that the settlements are not part of Israel, in order to receive EU funding, according to a survey conducted for Israel Hayom published on July 19.

Egyptian General: Hamas "Terrorizing Egyptians" - Elhanan Miller (Times of Israel)
    Maj.-Gen. Osama Askar, commander of Egypt's Third Field Army, said Wednesday that 19 Grad rockets intercepted by the military on the Suez-Cairo highway were of the same brand as those used by Hamas' military wing, the Izz ad-Din Al-Qassam Brigades, and were on their way to Cairo "to help the Muslim Brotherhood against the Egyptian people."
    "The confiscated rockets were enough to destroy an entire neighborhood, indicating they were on their way to be used in terror activities against the Egyptian people," Askar told the Egyptian news site Aswat Masriya.
    He added that smuggled army uniforms captured by his troops last Sunday "were enough for an entire army."
    See also Sinai, Egypt's Unsolved Problem - Ahmed Eleiba (Ahram-Egypt)
    In the past two weeks, 39 terrorist attacks have occurred in North Sinai, in which 52 gunmen and civilians and six security personnel have died.
    The frequency of attacks has varied from two to five a day. In three recent attacks, RPG-7 launchers were used, most likely smuggled from Libya.
    A tribal source stressed that people in Sinai are especially worried about "alien elements" who hail from "jihadist" fighting fronts in North Africa and "Asian" al-Qaeda that continue to enter Sinai.

Report: Rebels Say Assad Transferred Chemical Weapons to Hizbullah - Yoel Goldman (Times of Israel)
    A spokesman for the Free Syrian Army claimed on Thursday that Syrian President Assad recently transferred two shipments of chemical weapons to Hizbullah.
    Fahad al Masri told the Lebanese news website El Nashra that the weapons were moved from an area near Damascus to Lebanese territory in the past several weeks, that the transfer was coordinated by Syria and Iran, and that international security forces were aware of the shipments.

Beware of Hizbullah in New York - Matthew Levitt (New York Post)
    Nineteen years ago on July 18, Hizbullah operatives and Iranian agents blew up the AMIA Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, killing 85 and injuring 150 others. It appears that Hizbullah operatives in New York City played a part.
    On July 1, 1994, a call was placed from the pay phone near the AMIA building to a New York number, presumably by Samuel el-Reda, who prosecutors concluded coordinated the Hizbullah cells in Buenos Aires.
    Eleven days later, another call was placed to the New York number, this time from a pay phone two miles west of the AMIA building. A third call was placed to that number on July 17, the day before the bombing.
    Still another was made from the same phone to a line investigators identified as a Hizbullah communication center in Beirut.
    The writer is director of the program on counterterrorism and intelligence at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

Follow the Jerusalem Center on:

Plunging Currency Adds to Syria's Gloom - Loveday Morris and Ahmed Ramadan (AP-Washington Post)
    After more than two years of relentless conflict, the Syrian economy has shrunk by 35% as industrial production has stalled, nearly half the population is unemployed and foreign currency reserves have been decimated.
    The Syrian pound, valued at 47 to the dollar before the conflict began, dipped last week to 315 against the dollar on the black market.
    Abu Hashim, 52, a Damascus businessman, is faced with a quandary: whether to convert his savings into dollars.
    "I don't want to keep money in the pound, as I'm scared it might fall again, but I don't want to sell hard-earned money for quarter the value I got it for."
    After government intervention last week, the pound had recovered to 220 to the dollar on Wednesday.

Iranian Filmmaker's Visit to Israel Stirs Controversy Back Home - Farnaz Fassihi (Wall Street Journal)
    Mohsen Makhmalbaf, 56, an internationally acclaimed Iranian film director, went to Jerusalem last week to be honored at the Jerusalem Film Festival, where he advocated for peace and cultural dialogue between the two nations.
    "I am proud to pave the way for Iran's cinema in Israel. Boycotting and petitioning doesn't solve anything, it only leads to war," Makhmalbaf told BBC Persian last week.
    In reaction, Iran's cinema organization banned the sale of all of Makhmalbaf's movies and ordered the museum of cinema to clear out the section devoted to his career, awards and memorabilia from his movies.

Egypt Punishes the Palestinians - Khaled Abu Toameh (Gatestone Institute)
    The Palestinians have a long history of meddling in the internal affairs of Arab countries, even if that always proves to be counterproductive and harmful to Palestinian interests. Now, the new rulers of Egypt are extremely angry with the Palestinians, especially Hamas, for supporting Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood.
    Egypt is allowed to strangle the entire Gaza Strip and deny its people food and fuel on the eve of the holy fasting month of Ramadan. Yet one hardly hears about these anti-Palestinian measures since they are being carried out by an Arab country, not by Israel.
    Instead of blaming others for their misery, the Palestinians would be better served if they would start directing their energies toward solving their own problems and improving their living conditions.

200 Students from Nepal to Receive Advanced Agricultural Training in Israel (Nepal News)
    Some 200 students from Nepal will be leaving for Israel for advanced agricultural training this year at the Arava International Center for Agricultural Training (AICAT) in the Negev.
    The first batch of 55 students will leave in mid-August for the week-long program.

Women's Lacrosse Team from Israel Ready to Forfeit World Cup Rather than Play on Sabbath - Kevin McGran (Toronto Star-Canada)
    The Israeli women's lacrosse team could find itself forfeiting the playoffs in the World Cup this week in Oshawa, Ontario.
    "It was an absolute team consensus we will not play on Shabbat. Competing in the World Cup is very important to all of us, but who we're representing and who we are comes first and foremost," said attacker Jenna Block.
    The way the schedule is shaping up, the Israeli team will guarantee itself a spot in the top 8. That means they'll head toward a playoff game Saturday that will determine the gold medal.
    The team asked for a schedule change, offering three alternatives: Friday, before sundown. Saturday, after sundown. Sunday morning. Their request was denied by the Federation of International Lacrosse.

Search the Recent History of Israel and the Middle East
    Explore 11 years of Daily Alert - since May 2002.

Add the Daily Alert Israel News Ticker to Your Website

Send the Daily Alert to a Friend
    If you are viewing the email version of the Daily Alert - and want to share it with friends - please click Forward in your email program and enter their address.

Key Links 
Media Contacts 
Back Issues 
Fair Use/Privacy 

Related Publication:
Israel Campus Beat
News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • Palestinians Call Kerry's Formula for Talks Insufficient - Khaled Abu Aker and Jodi Rudoren
    The Palestinian political leadership did not approve Secretary of State John Kerry's plan for returning to peace talks with Israel as expected Thursday, dulling hopes that Washington's intense diplomatic push might soon yield a breakthrough. Palestinian leaders formed a committee to review the plan in more detail. "We are not in a rush in taking decisions," said Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the executive committee. (New York Times)
        See also PA's Hesitance Comes from Grassroots - Herb Keinon
    The PLO's failure to grasp the Kerry offer is the Palestinian leadership responding to its grassroots. The well-intentioned Kerry invested a lot of time and effort getting the Arab League on board and behind his initiative. Kerry thought that Arab League backing would impress the Palestinians, but it simply does not matter.
        What the Palestinians want is to continue their struggle because of a sense that time and world opinion - as evidenced by the current crisis over the new EU settlement guidelines - is on their side and will eventually wear Israel down until it gives them what they want. (Jerusalem Post)
        See also Obama Encourages Netanyahu to Stick with Kerry Efforts to Restart Talks with Palestinians
    The White House says President Obama spoke by phone Thursday with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu to encourage him to continue working with Secretary of State Kerry on efforts to restart peace talks with the Palestinians. The two leaders also discussed the crisis in Egypt, Syria's civil war and Iran's nuclear program. Kerry has claimed progress in his push to relaunch stalled peace talks. But the State Department says there are currently no plans for an announcement on resuming negotiations. (AP-Washington Post)
        See also Kerry's Plan for Resumption of Peace Talks - Barak Ravid and Jack Khoury
    A senior Israeli official said that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's outline for the resumption of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians called for negotiations on borders based on the 1967 lines, with land swaps - taking into account the current reality in the West Bank, i.e. the major settlement blocs. The goal of the negotiations will be to reach the reality of "two states for two people" - Palestine as a Palestinian state and Israel as a Jewish state.
        The Israeli official stressed that according to the understandings Kerry has reached with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Mahmoud Abbas, each side will be able to declare publicly its reservations to the outline. The Palestinians are entitled to say that they will not accept the principle of Israel as a Jewish state, and the Israelis can say they are not prepared to return to the 1967 lines. (Ha'aretz)
  • Bulgaria Says Clear Signs Hizbullah Behind Burgas Bombing - Angel Krasimirov
    "There are clear signs that say Hizbullah is behind the Burgas bombing" that killed five Israeli tourists and a Bulgarian driver exactly a year ago, Bulgarian Interior Minister Tsvetlin Yovchev said on Thursday at a commemoration ceremony for the victims of the attack. Sofia has received more information from foreign services that also points to Hizbullah's involvement, he added. (Reuters)
  • Arab Demonstrators at Al Aqsa Mosque: "May America Be Destroyed"
    In a video of an Arab demonstration outside the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem that was posted on the Internet on July 12, a Palestinian cleric shouts slogans and the crowd repeats: "Allah Akbar. May America be destroyed." "May France be destroyed." "May Rome be conquered." "May Britain be destroyed." "The Caliphate shall return." "The Caliphate is the solution."
        "Down with America and with all its dogs." "Whoever negotiates with America is a collaborator and a coward." "Down with peaceful solutions."  (MEMRI)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Israel Warns EU Ambassadors of Serious Crisis over New Settlement Guidelines - Barak Ravid
    The Israel Foreign Ministry on Thursday summoned the ambassadors of Britain and France and the deputy ambassador of Germany to discuss a new EU ruling barring EU agencies from funding Israeli entities connected to West Bank settlements. The ambassadors were told their governments must act to deflect a serious crisis between Israel and the EU, a senior Foreign Ministry source said. (Ha'aretz)
        See also Meet Christian Berger: Responsible for the EU Settlement Guidelines - Boaz Bismuth
    It is rather embarrassing to see former great empires conspiring together today like some beacon of morality. When they have no ability to influence, they choose the second option, which is to get in the way.
        A small group of clerks in Brussels has formulated a complex legal document, which determines that future agreements with Israel will not apply beyond the 1967 lines. The report was compiled in the European Commission's Middle East department headed by Christian Berger, an Austrian diplomat who for the past few years was the EU envoy in the Palestinian territories.
        On Monday, the EU's foreign ministers are expected to meet again. The Czech Republic, Holland, Germany, Bulgaria and Romania are likely to question whether the EU move was smart, considering Kerry's current push in the region. In contrast, countries like Sweden, Belgium, Ireland, Austria and Spain are expected to welcome the policy. (Israel Hayom)
        See also Text of EU Settlement Guidelines (Times of Israel)
  • Maccabiah Games Open in Jerusalem with 9,000 Athletes from 70 Countries - Andrew Esensten
    The 19th Maccabiah Games opened in spectacular fashion on Thursday night with a procession of 9,000 Jewish athletes from over 70 countries into Jerusalem's Teddy Stadium. The Maccabiah torch was lit by American gymnast and Olympic gold medalist Aly Raisman. U.S. President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron both wished the athletes good luck in pre-recorded video messages. (Ha'aretz)
        See also Video: Maccabiah Games Opening Ceremony-Hatikvah (YouTube)
        See also Video: Maccabiah Games Opening Ceremony-Entertainment (YouTube)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):


  • Iran's Critical Capability in 2014: Verifiably Stopping Iran from Increasing the Number and Quality of its Centrifuges - David Albright and Christina Walrond
    Iran is expected to achieve a critical capability in mid-2014, which is defined as the technical capability to produce sufficient weapon-grade uranium from its safeguarded stocks of low-enriched uranium for a nuclear explosive, without being detected. Iran would achieve this capability principally by implementing its existing, firm plans to install thousands more IR-1 centrifuges, and perhaps a few thousand IR-2m centrifuges, at its declared Natanz and Fordow centrifuge sites. Iran's criticality date could be achieved a few months earlier, if Iran successfully deploys and operates several thousand advanced centrifuges and continues installing thousands of IR-1 centrifuges.
        The most immediate priority is preventing Iran from developing a critical capability that would allow it to far more easily produce nuclear weapons. If an Iranian breakout to nuclear weapons is detectable, it becomes less likely Iran will try for fear of the repercussions. In addition to curtailing Iran's production and stockpile of near 20%-enriched uranium, any interim negotiated deal must include a verifiable pledge by Iran not to upgrade the type and increase the number of its operational centrifuges anywhere in Iran. (Institute for Science and International Security)
  • Road to Damascus Runs Through Tehran - Amitai Etzioni
    The best way to deal with Iran's various attempts to dominate the Middle East is not to face it indirectly in one arena after another, but to go after the mainland. If Iran were defanged, Hizbullah's military arm would soon run out of funds and top-of-the-line weapons, and it would lose its capacity to checkmate other Lebanese parties and forces.
        If Iran were defanged, Hizbullah would be forced to withdraw its forces from Syria. The Iraqi Shia would be less emboldened, and might be more ready to come to terms with their Sunni compatriots.
        In contrast, engaging indirectly in a proxy fight with Iran in Syria is a very tricky maneuver. As many have pointed out, it is not clear whom to support, what we can safely give them and whether whatever we do give them will suffice.
        The U.S. will have to engage Iran in any case if President Obama is to live up to his commitment to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. Granted, the election of a smiling "moderate," Hassan Rowhani, makes confronting Iran more difficult. The U.S. should hence give him a chance to withdraw Iranian support for terrorists, insurgents and tyrannical regimes and live up to Iran's commitments under the Nonproliferation Treaty.
        But if Iran's next president does not change its present course, we must face the possibility that the Middle East will be dominated by Iran. This threat may only be stopped by going after the head of the creature, rather than each of the various tentacles that it is planting throughout the region. The writer served as a senior advisor to the Carter White House and is professor of international relations at George Washington University. (National Interest)

  • Arab World

  • Why Hizbullah Is a Terrorist Organization - Irwin Cotler
    In an eerie coincidence, the terrorist bombing of a tourist bus in Bulgaria, attributed by Bulgarian authorities to Hizbullah, took place on the 18th anniversary of the bombing of the Jewish Cultural Center (AMIA) in Buenos Aires in 1994. Argentinean Special Prosecutor Alberto Nisman's exhaustive 800-page report on the AMIA bombing exposed how the terrorist bombing was conceived, planned and ordered by the highest echelons in the Iranian government, with Hizbullah carrying out the central role in the AMIA attack as the "terrorist proxy of the Iranian regime."
        Nisman points out that there are "clear signs that the terrorist networks established in South American countries in the '80s and '90s are still in place for the long term," and "ready to be used whenever Iran needs them."
        As the late U.S. senator Henry Jackson put it: "The idea that one person's terrorist is another person's ‘freedom fighter' cannot be sanctioned. Freedom fighters don't blow up buses containing noncombatants; terrorist murderers do. Freedom fighters don't set out to capture and slaughter schoolchildren; terrorist murders do.... It is a disgrace that democracies would allow the treasured word 'freedom' to be associated with acts of terrorists." The writer served as the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Recapturing the Arab Muslim World's Golden Age - David Ignatius
    Hisham Melhem, a prominent Lebanese journalist, visited the Great Mosque of Cordoba in southern Spain last May, where he found himself wondering how the Arab Muslim genius of a thousand years ago had veered in modern times toward such chaos and repression. He focused on the openness and tolerance of the Moorish kings of Andalusia, where not only Muslims but Jews and Christians prospered as well. He wrote in an-Nahar: "Today's Middle Eastern Muslims, with their narrow sectarian awareness, appear extremely far from the humane sources that under Islam made them the second civilization after the great Romans."
        The ethic of tolerance - so central to the zenith of Muslim culture - is precisely what seems missing in so many Arab countries today. The political culture is broken. Politicians on all sides lack the confidence that allows compromise and moderation. Politics is a zero-sum game, and everything is a fight to the death. (Washington Post)
  • For Insight into Mideast, Tune into Ramadan TV - Joseph Braude
    In the Middle East, Ramadan is the most high-stakes period for hundreds of satellite channels in 21 Arab countries. A traditional mainstay of Ramadan TV has been programming depicting Jews as hook-nosed spillers of blood who want to enslave the world, starting with Muslims. This year, one Qatari-backed historical drama, "Khaybar," shows why a Jewish tribe in seventh-century Arabia deserved to be slaughtered by Muslims and recreates the carnage. But early ratings show "Khaybar" to be a commercial flop. This year's most popular shows don't focus on an external enemy but on current intra-Arab issues.
        Arab cops hunt jihadi terrorists. A con artist becomes president of Egypt. A mosque preacher falls in love with a secular violinist at the opera house. These are just a few of the plots for dozens of new TV shows playing to 90 million households in the Arab world this month. (Wall Street Journal)
        See also Ramadan TV Show Calls Attention to Child Marriage - Roi Kais
    This year on Ramadan, the Saudi Arabian TV series, "The Minors," depicts the practice, common across the Arab world, by which rich, old men buy little girls as "brides." The Saudi MBC network drama series tells the story of a 9-year-old bride. (Ynet News)

  • Other Issues

  • Long Is the Road to True Democracy - Moshe Arens
    In history there are no examples of instant establishment of true democracy in societies that don't have a tradition of democratic rule, democratic institutions, the rule of law, and respect for the individual and his rights. Evidently a transition period stretching over years, sometimes generations, often accompanied by violent convulsions, is required before societies that have been under autocratic rule for many years adapt to the political culture that characterizes modern-day democracies.
        Transitioning to democracy is particularly difficult in Islamic countries where Islamic political movements that are ideologically opposed to Western-style democracy enjoy massive support. Although prepared to come to power via elections, they intend to stay in power thereafter. The writer served as Israel's Minister of Defense three times and once as Minister of Foreign Affairs. (Ha'aretz)
  • Did Jews Abandon the Temple Mount? - F.M. Loewenberg
    The claim that no Jewish temple ever existed in Jerusalem and that Jews have no rights whatsoever on the Temple Mount is part of the "temple denial" doctrine that has been increasingly internalized in Palestinian academic, religious, and political circles since the 1967 Six-Day War. Others believe that a temple did exist but indicate that the Jews abandoned the area soon after the destruction of the Second Temple nearly two thousand years ago.
        But the destruction of the Second Temple in the year 70 CE did not spell the end of Jewish activities on the Temple Mount. For many centuries, Jews continued their attachment to the site by maintaining a physical presence on the mountain. Despite the conventional wisdom that the Jewish people were banished from this holy site, the evidence suggests that Jews continued to maintain a strong connection to and frequently even a presence on the Temple Mount for the next two thousand years. Even when they were physically prevented from ascending the site, their attachment to Har Habayit remained strong and vibrant.
        Against this backdrop, the continued denial that Jews have any connection with the Temple Mount cannot but pose a formidable obstacle to a settlement of the Arab-Israel conflict. The writer is a professor emeritus at Bar-Ilan University. (Middle East Quarterly)

  • Weekend Features

  • At the Maccabiah, an Elderly Polish Woman Reunites with the Holocaust Survivor She Saved - Judy Maltz
    An 86-year-old Polish-Catholic woman will be among the crowd at the opening ceremony of the 19th Maccabiah Games. Czeslawa Zak had always dreamed of flying to Israel to reunite, after all these years, with those Jews she and her family had saved during the Holocaust. This week, thanks to a fundraising campaign launched by March of the Living Canada, it has come true.
        For two years and seven months, Zak and her family provided shelter to 14 Jews from several different families, in their Warsaw apartment. In 1993, the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum recognized Zak as a Righteous Among the Nations - people who risked their lives to save Jews from extermination by the Nazis.
        On three separate occasions, German soldiers searched their apartment. At one point, when they came very close to the hideout, Zak got them to back away by saying the back room was filled with rabbits she was breeding and that she feared they might escape if they opened the entryway. (Ha'aretz)
  • French Righteous Gentiles Honored - Elhanan Miller
    In a Paris police station, government clerk Alfred Le Guellec overheard two policemen complaining that they must wake up early the following morning in order to round up the Jews of Paris. Over 13,000 Jews were apprehended by the French police as part of the notorious Vel d'Hiv Roundup of July 16, 1942. Most were sent to their death at Auschwitz.
        Le Guellec rushed back to his office and warned Stepha Skurnik - holding her two-year-old baby Dora and waiting to renew her papers - of the looming danger. He then ran out to the street and warned every Jew he identified by a yellow star not to sleep at home that night. The Le Guellecs then hid the Skurniks and their baby daughter in a maid's room throughout the remainder of the war.
        Le Guelllec and his wife Augustine were posthumously recognized on July 7 as "righteous gentiles" in a ceremony at his hometown of Douarnenez in Brittany. (Times of Israel)
  • To Ramallah and Back: A Student's Take on Israeli Security - Mollie Adatto
    This past month, I went on a trip to Ramallah with J Street. After we passed through a checkpoint, some students said they believed these checkpoints were unnecessary and caused emotional harm to the Palestinians. I said that I am extremely grateful for these checkpoints which ensure my safety and the safety of every Israeli. In Ramallah, I noticed how modern and beautiful the city was, as we drove past sushi restaurants and five-star hotels.
        Probably the strangest part of the entire trip was going to the PLO Headquarters to visit Yasser Arafat's memorial. I did not want to be disrespectful, but I in no way wanted to be mistaken as honoring him. I felt chills as I stood at the monument of the man who was thought of as a hero to the suicide bombers who killed so many Israelis over the years.
        On the way back to Jerusalem, we debriefed. The other students continued to speak emotionally rather than realistically. Taking down a checkpoint because you are "scared" is only going to make riding a public bus even scarier. What I found most upsetting was the reactions from my fellow students who were so out of touch with the Israeli reality. Too concerned with the feelings of the Palestinians, these students completely took for granted the safe environment the Israeli government and military has established. The writer, a student at American University in Washington, is an intern with the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs in Israel. (Jewish News of Greater Phoenix)
  • King David's Palace Uncovered in Judean Foothills
    Two royal public buildings from the Kingdom of Judah of the tenth century BCE were uncovered this past year by researchers of the Hebrew University and the Israel Antiquities Authority at Khirbet Qeiyafa - a fortified city dating to the time of King David and identified with the biblical city of Shaarayim. One of the buildings is identified by the researchers, Professor Yossi Garfinkel of the Hebrew University and Saar Ganor of the Israel Antiquities Authority, as David's palace, and the other structure served as an enormous royal storeroom.
        In the storeroom building the kingdom stored taxes it received in the form of agricultural produce. Hundreds of large store jars were found at the site whose handles were stamped with an official seal as was customary in the Kingdom of Judah for centuries. The site is to become a national park. (Israel Antiquities Authority)
        See also Excavations Uncover 3,000-Year-Old Palace, Believed to Be that of King David - Nir Hasson (Ha'aretz)
  • Arab Students in Israel Are Learning Yiddish - Vita Bekker
    Samah Jayosi, 24, a headscarf-wearing Muslim Palestinian citizen of Israel, is one of about 70 Israeli Arabs enrolled in courses at Bar-Ilan University's Rena Costa Center for Yiddish Studies, where they account for almost a quarter of the institution's students this year. For Jayosi, studying Yiddish is at least partly a bid to bolster coexistence between Israel's Jewish majority and Arab minority. Mohamad Eissa, 22, an optometry student at Bar-Ilan and enrolled in a Yiddish course, said he was concerned initially about discrimination. "I hesitated to come to this university, but the studies are good, I have both Jewish and Arab friends and haven't met with any racism," he said. (The National-UAE)

The European Union - Hypocrisy, Hostility and Blatant Prejudice - Alan Baker (Institute for Contemporary Affairs-Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)

  • 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.
Support Daily Alert
Daily Alert is the work of a team of expert analysts who find the most important and timely articles from around the world on Israel, the Middle East and U.S. policy. No wonder it is read by heads of government, leading journalists, and thousands of people who want to stay on top of the news. To continue to provide this service, Daily Alert requires your support. Please take a moment to click here and make your contribution through the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.

Unsubscribe from Daily Alert