For the EU to place sanctions on Israel as Abbas and Palestinian leaders send out civilians to stab & butcher Jews, labeling rewards their terrorism and supports the Palestinians refusal for direct talks.
The European Union is expected to publish in the next few weeks its long anticipated guidelines on the consumer labeling of Israeli products produced over the pre-1967 lines, in Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Golan Heights.
The impending EU labeling of what it calls “settlement products” has been a contentious issue between Brussels and Jerusalem since 2012.
Late Monday night an Israeli diplomatic official said, “We expect the guidelines to be published soon, possibly within days.”
The official added, “We’re trying to convince the European Union and its member states that this is a mistake. It has an element of discrimination to it and does not in any way help the diplomatic process.”
The official took issue with the publication of the guidelines at time when the Palestinian leadership refuses to hold direct talks with Israel and when Palestinian assailants have killed 11 Israelis and wounded over 100 in a series of some 60 attacks since October 1.
“If anything the publication of these guidelines now, gives the Palestinians a prize for their terrorism and obstinance. It also supports the overall atmosphere of Israeli boycotts,” the official said.
The guidelines, to be published out of Brussels under the guidance of the EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, do not need to be put to a vote.
The document simply puts together already existing guidelines and legislation with regard to “settlement products.” It is designed to help EU member states understand what the law is with regard to the labeling of such products.
The EU considers Jewish communities over the pre-1967 lines in east Jerusalem, the Golan Heights and the West Bank to be illegal.
For over a decade, Israeli products produced over the pre-1967 lines have been excempt from Israel’s free trade agreement with the EU. Codes have been placed on the products to allow EU custom official to properly determined if the products were produced within the Green Line or over it.
These guidelines would provide European consumers in stores with that same information.
Under pressure from the United States, the EU backed away from its push to publish the settlement guidelines during the nine-month negotiations period brokered by US Secretary of State John Kerry that ended without any results in April 2014.
Since then the peace process has been frozen. All attempts to bring the two sides together have failed. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called on Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to resume direct talks immediately without any preconditions.
Abbas has refused to hold such talks unless Israel agrees to withdraw to the pre-1967 lines and to stop all Jewish building in east Jerusalem and the West Bank.
On Tuesday Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely is expected to head to the Barkan Industrial Park in the Samaria region of the West Bank to speak against settlement product labeling.
On Sunday Knesset speaker Yuli Edelstein also attacked product labeling a special meeting int he Knesset with the Samaria Regional Council and a visiting delegation of Italian Jews.
The information about the pending publication of EU guidelines for settlement products comes just one week before Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is set to travel to Washington DC to meet with US President Barack Obama.
On Monday, Army Radio said that in advance of that trip, the Jerusalem Municipality has agreed not to publish building permits for Jewish and Arab construction over the pre-1967 lines in the country’s capital. It noted in particular that approval for permits to allow for additional construction in the contentious Ramat Shlomo neighborhood had been removed from the agenda of Wednesday municipal planning and construction committee.
The Jerusalem Municipality denied the report and said that construction would continue unabated throughout the capital.
“The Jerusalem municipality continues to advance construction throughout the city for all populations,” it said in a statement. It added, “The plans will be presented later.”
Initial plans for that neighborhood first hit the headlines during a 2010 visit to Israel by US Vice President Joseph Biden and created a major diplomatic row with Washington. Two years later, the Interior Ministry’s Jerusalem District Planning and Construction Committee ratified the plan.
Daniel K. Eisenbud contributed to this report.
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