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Thursday, November 21, 2013

Europe's issue isn't the 'territories,' it's Israel

It's been one of those days....

You will recall that in July, the European Union published guidelines that significantly restrict Israeli institutions from taking part in various EU programs and being eligible for EU grants, prizes and financial instruments if they have activities beyond the Green Line. The Europeans claim that this is all about abiding by 'international law.'

Morocco has occupied the territory of Western Sahara since 1975. The occupation has been condemned by the United Nations, but in response the Moroccans have sent hundreds of thousands of settlers there - so many that Moroccans now make up a majority of the population in Western Sahara. 

Northwestern Law professor Eugene Kontorovich reports that the Europeans are paying Morocco for the rights to exploit scarce natural resources in the Western Sahara. And they are doing so 'in accordance with international law.' Yes, of course, that is the diametric opposite of what the Europeans are doing in Judea and Samaria.

How could they be doing one thing in Judea and Samaria and another in Western Sahara and have both be 'in accordance with international law'? They can't. Which one is right? Take a guess....
The controversy over EU deals with Morocco led to a ruling from the European Parliament’s legal advisor. In brief, the official opinion says international law does not prevent Morocco from exploiting the natural resources of the occupied territory, or for the EU to pay Morocco to exploit the resources of occupied territory.
The EU position regarding Western Sahara is consistent with prior international law, including a 2002 opinion by the Security Council’s legal advisor, and a ruling of the French Court of Appeals this summer, as well as the general practice of nations.
The EU is right about Western Sahara — which means it is wrong about Israel.
To be sure, there are differences between the EU’s policies toward Western Sahara and the West Bank; the former is much worse.
In Western Sahara, the EU has licensed the exploitation of scarce natural resources. In the West Bank, the EU seeks to punish pure academic and business activity that do not exhaust resources but only create jobs and opportunities for Arabs and Jews.
Moreover, Israel’s economic activity in the West Bank is confined to areas under Israeli jurisdiction by agreement with Palestinian authorities under the Oslo Accords. Morocco’s activities have no limitations, because unlike Israel, it has not turned over most of the territory to Polisario rule.
Ironically, the inconsistency in European policies sends exactly the opposite message from that intended by Europe.
The Moroccan precedent suggests that if significant Israeli defense, high-tech or biotech enterprises were located in the West Bank, the EU would reduce diplomatic pressures on Israel.
Unless the EU's problem isn't just with the 'territories,' but with Israel itself.

Read the whole thing

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At 10:24 PM, Blogger mrzee said...

Their problem isn't with Israel either, just the Jews who make up most of the population.

At 10:26 PM, Blogger Empress Trudy said...

Re reading Abba Eban's "My Country" I see he notes that on March 4, 1949 the UNSC put to a vote whether to admit Israel as a member state to the UN. Two nations did not vote yes - Syria voted no, and the UK abstained. That tells you everything you need to know about Europe and Israel right there.


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