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EU diplomats recommend sanctions against Israeli settlements

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  • Cort Greene
    - Envoys to the EU: Put your money where your mouth is ByMichael Omer-Man
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 27, 2013
      - Envoys to the EU: Put your money where your mouth
      ByMichael Omer-Man <http://972mag.com/author/michaelom/>Published
      February 27, 2013

      Report calls on EU to use sanctions against Israeli settlements;
      diplomats appear frustrated with European inaction against Israel.
      - IDF busy classifying bullets while children are being
      ByMairav Zonszein <http://972mag.com/author/mairavz/>Published February
      27, 2013



      By Michael Omer-Man <http://972mag.com/author/michaelom/> |Published
      February 27, 2013EU diplomats recommend sanctions against Israeli

      *European diplomatic heads of mission in Jerusalem submit report to
      Brussels calling on the EU and its member states to take economic measures
      to stop Israel�s settlement enterprise, and to prevent European companies
      from supporting the settlements.*

      Maale Adumim settlement near east of Jerusalem (Activestills.org)

      European diplomats in the Palestinian Authority called on Brussels and
      their respective European states to take concrete measures to stop Israel�s
      �systematic, deliberate and provocative� settlement enterprise, including
      preventing economic and financial support for settlements � actions that
      could described as sanctions.

      The report, obtained by +972, describes Israeli settlements as �the biggest
      single threat to the two-state solution,� and recommends specific measures
      that Brussels could or should take in order to mitigate that threat.

      *Read the full report

      Two of the recommendations most likely to irk Israel, directly relate to
      the economic activities of European companies that profit from settlements.

      In addition to the standard practice of excluding settlement products from
      the free trade agreement between the EU and Israel, the report recommends
      �guarantee[ing] the consumers� right to an informed choice,� asking the
      European Commission to provide guidelines on labeling of settlement

      More significantly is the recommendation that EU governments �[p]revent,
      discourage and raise awareness about problematic implications of financial
      transactions, including foreign direct investment, from within the EU in
      support of settlement activities, infrastructure and services�

      It is followed by a recommendation that the EU inform businesses of the
      �financial and legal risks involved in purchasing property or providing
      services in settlements.�

      The implication of this recommendation is that any EU-based company that
      invests in and provides services for settlements could be held legally (and
      financially) liable for supporting the illegal enterprise. While European
      companies like Veolia have long been targeted by activists for owning and
      operating land fills, waste-water treatment facilities and buses that serve
      Israeli settlements in the West Bank, implementing
      this recommendation would constitute a direct and official warning to
      similar companies by the EU itself.

      In addition, the report recommends that individual EU member states explore
      the possibility of denying entry to known individual violent Israeli

      It also places particular emphasis on East Jerusalem and Israel�s
      settlement activities there, ranging from construction that aims to
      completely isolate East Jerusalem from the rest of the West Bank, to the
      use of archeological activities for furthering Israel�s political and
      ideological goals.

      The diplomats also recommend creating voluntary guidelines for European
      tour operators in order to ensure they do not intentionally or
      inadvertently support Israeli settlement activities in East Jerusalem, such
      as the City of David archeological park run by settler organization El-Ad.

      The non-binding report is not the first of its kind; a similar report last
      year carried many of the same recommendations, although they were fewer and
      not as harsh.

      Although the document reflects common thinking among European diplomats,
      lack of action by the politicians they work for is indicative of the
      political difficulties in applying serious pressure to further the EU�s
      foreign policy aims: ending Israeli settlement construction and achieving a
      two-state solution.

      The likelihood of Europe applying serious pressure against Israel based on
      this report alone, without the support of elected politicians, is close to
      non-existent. However, the mere existence of such scathing documents coming
      out of capitals that are traditionally supportive of Israel is in itself

      *Read an analysis of the report

      Could UNHRC�s settlement report put the �S� back in
      Dim prospects for international pressure to end

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