The recent decision by the European Union to label products from Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank has elicited loud cries of protest from Israel and from the Netanyahu government’s supporters in Washington. Critics have claimed that Israel is being treated unfairly, that the EU is trying to pressure Israel into concessions outside of the framework of bilateral negotiations, and that these measures are a part of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement whose real aim, critics claim, is to de-legitimize Israel.
In fact, the EU measures simply represent an effort to more faithfully implement a longstanding policy, backed by a strong international consensus, of differentiating between the State of Israel within the pre-1967 line, often referred to as the Green Line, and Israeli settlements built in the territories occupied in the 1967 war.
The effort to oppose this differentiation is often based on partial or misleading information, which we address below. It is important to recognize, however, that the unimpeded growth of settlements will eventually foreclose the option of a two-state solution, if it hasn’t already done so, as it will eliminate any possibility of contiguous and economically viable Palestinian state. It is therefore imperative that anyone hoping for a peaceful future for Israelis and Palestinians understand the facts about the settlements, EU labeling and the goal of differentiation. Read more at Facts on the Ground, FMEP’s blog.
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One might think Israel would leap to embrace the EU’s effort to (among other things) cast “legitimacy” on Israel’s sovereignty within Israel-48. For surely, Israel would not like that element of its militarily-created-and-held de facto territorial sovereignty to be anywhere in question.
But no. Israel cannot, apparently, imagine any serious threat to its claim of that part of its defacto sovereignty and therefore reacts only to something rather odd — a non-attack which is a straightforward EU recognition of Israel’s non-de-jure sovereignty over the OPTs.
Anything to keep the game going I guess. What’s life for if you do not live on the edge?
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