Report: Fearing further settlement boycotts, Israel trying to ‘soften’ EU resolution

Julie Wiener

(JTA) — Israeli officials are trying to stop the European Union from passing an impending resolution that differentiates between Israel and its territory beyond the Green Line, its borders before the 1967 Six-Day War.

Senior diplomats are concerned the resolution, which is expected to be published on Monday, will lead to more boycotts and other punitive actions against goods produced in Jewish settlements in the West Bank, Haaretz reported.

The resolution’s wording was edited to become “increasingly harsh with regard to Israel” during a session Thursday in Brussels, Haaretz reported.

Israeli officials and other diplomats told Haaretz the draft states that the EU “will continue to unequivocally and explicitly make the distinction between Israel and all territories occupied by Israel in 1967.”

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“EU agreements with the State of Israel are only applicable to the State of Israel [and not to the settlements],” the draft continues, adding that the EU and its member states “are united in their commitment to ensure full implementation of existing EU legislation and agreements applicable to settlement products. The EU reaffirms its decision and doesn’t consider it a boycott of Israel, which the EU opposes.”

The draft reiterates the EU’s support for a two-state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and said it will “consider further action to protect the viability of the two-state solution, which is constantly eroded by new facts on the ground.”

The draft also supports France’s idea that an international support group be created to promote the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and to convene an international peace conference aimed at re-launching negotiations between Israel, the Palestinians and the Arab states.

Citing “a senior official in Jerusalem,” Haaretz reported that Israeli ambassadors throughout Europe have been working since Thursday to “soften the draft resolution” but that so far ”that effort has not met with success.

“The drafts have become increasingly harsh and grave from moment to moment,” the Israeli official told Haaretz. “The Swedes and Irish are pushing and it appears as if our friends are not able to withstand it. The Germans are trying to hold the line, but are not succeeding.”

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