EU confused on Israel, as annexation looms

Sallie Anderson

“You can divide a municipality, but you can’t divide a mayor in two,” an EU official stated, in another European muddle on Israel at a challenging time.

” Everyone’s awaiting the German EU presidency to see what actions we [Europe] may take,” an EU diplomat likewise informed EUobserver, describing a developing storm on Israeli annexation of parts of the WestBank


  • 2 EU states currently broke ranks on East Jerusalem annexation (Picture: RonnyPohl).

The joke, about bisecting mayors, described Haim Bibas, who supervises of an Israeli town called Modi’in- Maccabim-Re’ ut.

The quip originated from an official in the Committee of the Areas (CoR), a small EU organization, after CoR let Bibas sign up with among its clubs, the Euro-Mediterranean Regional and Regional Assembly.

A Palestinian NGO, Al Haq, grumbled due to the fact that part of Bibas’ town lies over the Green Line, on what the EU and UN states is Palestinian land.

And Bibas was making matters worse, Al Haq kept in mind, due to the fact that his town”recently adopted additional settlement plans”


According to European Commission standards, from 2012, just those parts of Modi’in- Maccabim-Re’ ut in Israel appropriate are implied to gain from EU trade and other advantages.

When called by EUobserver,

Bibas declined to comment.

However he stated the EU standards were “insulting … [to] the sovereignty of the State of Israel,” in an op-ed in the past.

COR stated it would appreciate the EU guidelines, if it comprehended them.

” If the EEAS [EU External Action Service] states he [Bibas] is an inhabitant, we won’ t have him as a member [of the mayors’ club]”, another CoR official informed this website.

However when asked by EUobserver, the EU foreign service stated: “There is absolutely nothing we can state on this concern, because it falls completely under CoR [competence]”.

Much ado

It may sound like much ado about absolutely nothing.

However the muddle is among numerous in the EU’s handling of the Arab-Israeli dispute at a defining moment.

The EU likewise has standards on retail labels of “settler-made” items, for example, however it has no concept if they are being carried out.

On The Other Hand, Hungary, a strong Israeli ally, methodically messes up EU declarations on Israeli misbehaviour.

On the world phase, a pro-Israeli EU splinter group votes versus the typical line in UN bodies.

And the Czech Republic and Hungary, a couple of years back, even agreed United States president Donald Trump versus the EU, when Trump backed Israel’s 1967 annexation of East Jerusalem and its Muslim gems, such as the al-Aqsa mosque.

The EU confusion, from Bibas to al-Aqsa, comes at a crunch time due to the fact that Israel just recently promised to likewise annex one 3rd of the WestBank


That would squash, at last, Palestinian individuals’ goal for a homeland.

And United States secretary of state Mike Pompeo intends to offer the handle video-talks with EU foreign relations and foreign ministers primary Josep Borrell on 15 June, diplomatic sources informed this website.

The EU foreign service might not validate that Pompeo would call in, as of Sunday.

However whether he does or not, the United States has actually currently provided Israel an amber light to go on.

Amber light

The light was amber, not green, due to the fact that Pompeo, in May, likewise asked Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu to go sluggish.

Which implied Israel may postpone the West Bank bombshell till fall, when it might improve Trump’s re-election quote.

For their part, some hawkish EU states, led by Luxembourg, have actually advised Borrell to table possible sanctions as a prophylactic versus Israel’s strategy.

However when asked by EUobserver if Borrell was doing that, his spokesperson stated both he and EU capitals were, rather, doing “diplomatic outreach”, in order”to prevent the Israeli government from proceeding with the announced intention of annexation”


Previously-discussed EU anti-settler sanctions, from 2014, varied from acknowledgment of Palestinian statehood, to visa restrictions, and financial charges.

However in any case, EU states were most likely to make their relocations just after Israel really went on, an EU source stated, even if that ran the risk of a fait accompli.

And Borrell’s 15 June talks, with or without Pompeo, may not make much distinction due to the fact that, in the end, the EU response will be collaborated out of Berlin, not Brussels, an EU diplomat stated.

“Everybody’s waiting for the German EU presidency,” they stated, as German chancellor Angela Merkel prepares to use up the European sceptre, for 6 months, on 1 July.

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