Netanyahu tells EU president: Stop forcing Israel into agreements that threaten our existence

 

By TOVAH LAZAROFF

 

The European Union must stop pressuring Israel to enter dangerous agreements that threaten the future of the Jewish state, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in Jerusalem on Monday night.

Europe “seeks to unilaterally press Israel into agreements that will endanger our very existence and therefore your very defense,” Netanyahu publicly told visiting European Council President Donald Tusk prior to holding a private discussion with him.

Israel’s Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu (R) gestures during a news conference with his Polish counterpart Donald Tusk after a joint meeting of Polish and Israeli ministers in Jerusalem. – Photo: REUTERS/BAZ RATNER

“I’ve known you for many years. You’ve been a great friend of Israel, of the Jewish people, and may I say of me personally,” Netanyahu told Tusk.

Netanyahu said that he hoped that together they could find a way to improve relations between Israel and Europe.

Israel, which has strong economic and cultural ties with several European countries, is often at odds with them on diplomatic issues such as Iran’s nuclear program and the stalemate Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

In addition, Israel has been concerned by EU plans to publish legal guidelines that would help its member states affix consumer labels to products produced in West Bank settlements. The guidelines are non-binding, however Israel fears that they could be used to further encourage people boycott the Jewish state.

“I find it perplexing that some in Europe are still possessed by the anti-Israeli obsession,” Netanyahu lamented. “Hundreds of thousands of people are being displaced and slaughtered in the Middle East, but some in Europe believe the only thing they have to do is to press, boycott and vilify the Middle East’s only true democracy, Israel,” said Netanyahu.

“I find this inexplicable but I find it also to the detriment of Europe.”

Netanyahu furthered his sentiments by stating that both Israel and Europe face the common danger posed by extremist groups such as ISIS, and Iran’s nuclear and military weapons program.

“Iran is building ICBMs for Europe, not for us. We’re on the same continent. They can reach us already. They’re building inter-continental missiles for Europe and for the United States,” Netanyahu said. “Israel and Europe should be working together to help improve life for people in Africa and to halt the dangerous extremism that is sweeping the Middle East.”

“I want to discuss with you, as I’ve discussed with other European leaders and will discuss with them, how Europe and Israel can cooperate to assure the progress of modernity for all the peoples of the Middle East, for peace with all our neighbors,” Netanyahu concluded his conversation by stating.

 

View original The Jerusalem Post publication at:
http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Politics-And-Diplomacy/Netanyahu-to-EU-stop-pressuring-us-into-agreements-that-endanger-our-existence-415640

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