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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

EU to require special travel visas for 'settlers'?

A 'senior American official' is warning that if US Secretary of State John Kerry's efforts to restart the 'peace process' fail, the Europeans are likely to take further action against Israel.
"The Europeans are giving us the time and allowing us to try and get the talks going," the official said. "But if we don’t succeed, they would want to go in other directions and take steps. The Israelis know it very well."
The U.S. administration doesn’t intend to abandon the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, but the official added that there is a sense of urgency with regard to breaking the deadlock.
"At the moment, the situation on the ground and in the international fora seems calm but it will not last in the long term," the official said. "The Palestinians might go back to the UN and the Israelis will react with more building and the result can be an escalation," he warned.
Secretary of State Kerry and Tony Blair, the Quartet envoy to the region, have asked EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton to thwart initiatives from various European countries regarding the Middle East peace process. Kerry and Blair told Ashton and additional leading European foreign ministers, including Britain's William Hague and France's Laurent Fabius, to give Kerry's efforts time.


The U.S. administration and the political echelon in Jerusalem surmise that European countries will blame Israel should Kerry's efforts fail – and that they will then move ahead with plans to label goods produced in Israeli settlements across the 28-member union. Other European proposals that have been raised include requiring visas for Israeli settlers wishing to travel to the EU. 
But Kerry's schedule during his trip to the region indicates that it's not Israel that's holding up the 'peace process' and all that European help is likely to make the 'Palestinians' dig in even more.
Kerry is expected to arrive in the region Monday, for his sixth trip to the region since replacing Hillary Clinton. He is scheduled to meet with the Arab League secretary general and Arab foreign ministers in Jordan on Tuesday to update them on efforts to restart peace talks. Kerry is also expected to meet Abbas Tuesday, however he has no current plans to return to Israel. That may change if he feels an additional meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would advance the renewal of negotiations.
It's Tisha b'Av and the Nazis are back. What could go wrong?

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