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Israel to collide with EU

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    Israeli report also warns of country becoming a pariah state like apartheid-era South Africa. Report: Israel set to collide with EU by Tom Regan |
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 15, 2004
      Israeli report also warns of country becoming a 'pariah state' like
      apartheid-era South Africa.

      Report: Israel set to collide with EU
      by Tom Regan | csmonitor.com
      October 15, 2004, updated 10:30 a.m.

      Israel could one day become a "pariah state" like apartheid-era South
      Africa. It also looks set to collide with a European Union that is
      growing in power and influence.

      These are some of the possible outcomes if the Israeli-Palestinian
      conflict is not resolved, reports a confidential, but leaked to the
      media, 25-page ten-year forecast written by the Israeli Foreign
      Ministry's Center for Public Research.

      The report, which contains no recommendations and was written in
      August of 2004, says it's important to improve relations with Europe
      since a European Union growing in power and influence would mean that
      Israel's main political partner, the United States, would probably
      diminish in international stature.

      'It is a prognosis of the general outline of the international
      environment in the future... it is us looking into the crystal ball,'
      the report's author said. 'Everyone is aware of the importance of the
      relations with Europe.'

      Reuters reported Thursday that Israel's relationship with the EU has
      been strained for a long time over what Israel sees as EU favoritism
      toward the Palestinians, and anti-Semitism in Europe. That
      relationship has grown worse, the Associated Press reported Thursday,
      as the EU has strongly criticized Israeli military action against the
      Palestinians and the construction of what Israel calls a security
      barrier in the West Bank.
      "Regarding the Middle East peace process and our relations with
      Israel and the Palestinians, there is no doubt that the role of the
      EU has increased," said Christina Gallach, a spokeswoman for EU
      foreign policy chief Javier Solana. The EU says Israel's planned
      withdrawal from the Gaza Strip in 2005 must be followed by major
      troop withdrawals in the West Bank, and pave the way for Palestinian
      statehood. "None of this is exactly what the Israelis want to hear,
      but we have to say it," Ms. Gallach said.

      In an interview with Radio Netherlands about the report, Zalman
      Shoval, a former Israeli ambassador to the US and a foreign policy
      advisor to Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, said he is not sure
      if Mr. Sharon shares the Foreign Ministry's concerns about Israel's
      future, but that most Israelis are "concerned" about developments in

      Some concerns which we have [are] that it is convenient – and the
      Jewish people know something about that from its history – to make us
      responsible for things which really have nothing to do with us at
      all. [I didn't realize Sharon was a comedian! -WVNS] We will have to
      fight with that, but I must say quite frankly that we have good
      reason to rely much more on the leader of the free world, America,
      than on some of these political machinations in Europe.

      Sharon threatened to freeze the EU out of the Middle East peacemaking
      process in July when the EU backed a UN General Assembly resolution
      demanding that Israel heed a World Court ruling calling on it to tear
      down its West Bank barrier.
      Columnist Caroline Glick of the Jerusalem Post wonders if Sharon's
      Gaza disengagement plan, which lacks the support of many in his own
      party but does have the support of the broader Israeli public, is not
      an attempt to buy "an insurance policy" with the EU, a position Ms.
      Glick says was supported by an interview key Sharon's advisor, Dov
      Weinsglass, recently gave with the Israeli newspaper, Ha'aretz.

      According to Weisglass, the downward trend in Europe's view of Israel
      will be halted by Sharon's withdrawal plan from the Gaza Strip and
      northern Samaria. By Weisglass's telling, the need to mollify and
      moderate Europe's view of Israel is one of the main reasons that
      Sharon chose the radical approach of withdrawal without an agreement
      and in the midst of war. In his words, the purpose of the withdrawal
      plan is to enable the US 'to go to the seething and simmering
      international community and say to them, "What do you want [from
      Israel]?." '
      Meanwhile, Sharon announced he was scaling back the Israeli military
      offensive in the Gaza Strip after the Israeli Army warned that
      staying longer than it already has in "crowded Palestinian areas" was
      too risky. Al Jazeera reports Friday that the situation in the Gaza
      Strip has created a dilemma for Sharon: continued Palestinian rocket
      attacks from the area into Israel undermines his plan for a
      withdrawal from Gaza, but the heavy Palestinian civilian casualties
      incurred during the 17-day offensive have drawn widespread
      international condemnation.
      The Israeli action comes as an 18-page United Nation report accuses
      Israel of severe human rights violations, including "massive and
      wanton destruction" of property in Gaza. The report, compiled by UN
      representative for human rights John Dugard, said that while some of
      Israel's actions could be explained by security concerns, most could
      not. The report will be presented to the UN General Assembly later
      this month, and was prepared before the latest Israeli actions in

      The Israeli government criticized the report saying it "has nothing
      to contribute to any serious discussion about finding the right
      balance between security and human rights."

      Finally, Ha'aretz reports that Israel is the only country in a survey
      of ten nations that would like to see US President George Bush re-
      elected. It was also the only country in the survey where the
      favorable opinion of the US improved in recent months, rather than
      deteriorated, and the only country where the war in Iraq was not
      considered a mistake. The joint poll was taken by 10 newspapers
      worldwide; other countries surveyed included coalition allies Britain
      and Australia, as well as Canada, Mexico, Russia, Japan, Korea, Spain
      and France.



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