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Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Mah Nishtana... Why is this 'occupation' different from all the other occupations?

Raphael Ahren reports that Eugene Kontorovich and Alan Baker have come up against a brick wall in their efforts to elicit an explanation from the Europeans why Israel's 'occupation' of Judea and Samaria is different from Turkey's occupation of Northern Cyprus and from Morocco's occupation of the Western Sahara.
The EU maintains that Israel’s presence in the West Bank and East Jerusalem is unique, legally speaking, but consistently refuses to explain exactly how it differs from, say, Turkey’s occupation of Northern Cyprus or that Moroccan presence in Western Sahara; while Rabat asserts ownership of the territory, not a single other country recognizes the claim.
In their letter to Ashton, the legal scholars posited that the EU-Morocco Fisheries Partnership Agreement, approved earlier this month by the European Parliament, appears “to directly contradict what the EU has called obligations of international law in its dealing with Israel.”
“In fact, the EU has been negotiating this agreement with Morocco even as it imposes on Israel unprecedented funding guidelines and rules of origin requirements that say the exact opposite,” Kontorovich and Baker wrote, referring to much-discussed guidelines that, from January 1, ban any European funding from going to Israeli entities beyond the Green Line or those with any connections beyond the Green Line. Jerusalem’s fierce opposition to those guidelines famously jeopardized Israel’s participation in Horizon 2020, a highly lucrative scientific cooperation program; the Horizon partnership was ultimately saved.
The EU’s response, authored on Ashton’s behalf by the managing director of the union’s external action service’s Middle East and Southern Neighborhood department, Hugues Mingarelli, read: “With regards to the allegation of using double standards for Israel and Morocco, our analysis is that the two cases are different and cannot be compared.” No further explanation was given.
“Whatever they have identified in their ‘analysis,’ they’re obviously not very proud of it. Had it been substantial, they would have surely not hesitated to provide more detail,” Kontorovich told The Times of Israel this week.
“The terseness of Ashton’s statement reflects the general moral superiority of EU officials toward Israel that I’ve encountered in my attempts to discuss these issues with them,” he added. “The attitude is that they are the judges, we are the suspect. How dare we accuse or judge them? As one senior EU official said when I brought these matters up with him, ‘We’re here to talk about you [Israel], not us.’ That is why they do not need to give their reasons: They do not have to explain themselves. We do.”
The EU delegation in Israel declined to formally comment on the matter for this article. Privately, local EU sources told The Times of Israel that, according to the United Nations, Western Sahara is a “disputed non-self-governing territory under de-facto Moroccan administration. This differs from the legal situation applying to the West Bank and Gaza Strip.”
Read the whole thing. You don't think this could have something to do with... anti-Semitism, do you?

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At 2:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

semite-baiting.... nice.


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