EU excluded from “peace efforts”

Aipac, BDS, Israel
Screenshot from Aipac web

In light of the EU’s recent jewish settlement labelling guidelines, Israel syas that it is suspending contact with EU officials involved in what they call peace efforts with the Palestinians.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “ordered suspension of diplomatic contacts with the institutions of the European Union on this issue”, a foreign ministry statement said.

Just over two weeks ago the European Commission issued new guidelines for the labelling of some products made in Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian and Syrian land. The guidelines stipulate that agricultural produce and cosmetics sold in EU member states must have clear labels showing their place of origin.

The EU considers settlements built on territories occupied by Israel in 1967 to be illegal under international law, but Israel disputes this position. The EU says settlements constitute an obstacle to peace and threaten to make a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict impossible.

Israel and the powerful pro-Israeli lobby organisation Aipac have made fighting the BDS, boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, the main priority. Millions are put into fighting the BDS movement, that has been growing stronger and stronger.

Aipac writes on its web:

“These efforts are designed to weaken, pressure and isolate Israel. They misapply the language of international law to depict Israel as an illegitimate aggressor and subject those who interact with her to sanction.  These efforts also reduce the prospects for peace by placing the onus of concession solely on Israel while devolving the PA of any responsibility or incentive to negotiate”.

Aipac also congratulates itself for pressuring the US congress into approve a “first-of-its-kind” initiative to combat this type of BDS, including an amendment in the “Fast Track” Trade Promotion Authority bill that targets harmful anti-Israel trade and commercial practices.

“The amendment, authored by Sens. Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Rob Portman (R-OH), with the House version led by Reps. Peter Roskam (R-IL) and Juan Vargas (D-CA), addresses efforts by foreign governments to boycott, divest from and sanction Israel. It instructs American trade negotiators that one of their principal objectives in trade negotiations with the European Union is to discourage economic attacks against Israel and to ensure that our trading partners take no actions that could limit U.S.-Israel commerce.”