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Sanctions

  • Congress: There is no legitimate form of Palestinian resistance

    Congress uses U.S. trade policy to undercut European pressure against Israeli settlements. A new U.S. bill legitimizes Israeli settlements and delegitimizes Palestinian non-violent resistance to the occupation. The United States Congress is about to pass a law that erases the Green Line and delegitimizes one of the most effective non-violent tools Palestinians have for fighting the 48-year-old Israeli occupation. The Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act legally authorizes the White House to negotiate and sign trade deals. An amendment in that bill now defines Washington’s principal objectives in those negotiations to include the discouragement of boycott, divestment and sanctions moves…

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  • The one thing that could have defeated Netanyahu — hope

    There was a sense of misplaced joy on some parts of the Israeli Left as Netanyahu's carefully crafted messaging began to unravel in the days leading up to elections. Finally, the world would see his true colors. But the same thing that keeps Netanyahu in power is the same thing that perpetuates the occupation: lack of an alternative vision. It would have been pretty tempting to write a headline along the lines of, “Netanyahu rules out two-state solution, Israel votes for him anyway.” But that would have been silly. First off, Benjamin Netanyahu didn’t support the two-state solution when he…

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  • If Netanyahu is re-elected, Israel has a Europe problem

    Nobody ever thought the window for a two-state solution would ever truly close — or be closed. Benjamin Netanyahu just declared it so in a last-ditched attempt to rally his base ahead of elections. Forget whatever temporary crisis Benjamin Netanyahu created with the United States in his campaign speech on the Hill. If Netanyahu is re-elected on Tuesday, Israel is going to have a much more serious problem with Europe. In an interview with Israeli news site NRG one day before elections, the prime minister made clear what he has only hinted at and skirted around for years. [tmwinpost] The…

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  • Israelis know status quo is untenable, but there’s no alternative vision

    With three-quarters of Israelis saying they worry about international isolation and only 10 percent supporting the status quo, logic would hold that they might seek change. But don't expect it to happen anytime soon. The success of the Zionist project — from the pre-state era to Startup Nation — is often attributed to some combination of stubbornness and improvisation in the face of adversity. Those characteristics form the nexus of how Israelis see themselves. Another way of describing those same traits, however, is a lucky combination of recklessness and desperation. Israelis know how much they stand to lose by not…

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  • What’s the significance of a 'settlement-free Europe?'

    The direct effects of official sanctions against Israeli settlements are limited. But the momentum created by such moves inspires and pushes private actors to take their own steps in the same direction. France on Tuesday published a warning to its citizens against doing business in or with Israeli settlements in the West Bank, Golan Heights and East Jerusalem. The UK issued a similar official warning to its citizens late last year, and according to Haaretz’s Barak Ravid, Italy and Spain are expected to make similar announcements soon. There has been an open movement in the halls of European power in…

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  • The world's blatant double standard - in Israel's favor

    The American Studies Association may be singling out Israel for boycott, but if you look at the serious, painful punishments the world metes out to oppressor nations, Israel is not being singled out, it’s being let off the hook. As of Friday at noon, a Google search of “human rights sanctions” turns up over 40 million results. There are human rights sanctions and other punishments against China, Russia, Iran, Syria, Zimbabwe, Sudan, Yemen, Belarus, Cuba, North Korea and lots of other countries. And these sanctions weren’t put in place by some minor academic group like the American Studies Association, but…

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  • Delaying EU settlement rules 'reinforces Israeli intransigence'

    The EU's settlement guidelines, if implemented, could be the first step in showing Israel that there are consequences for its occupation and illegal settlement building, and actually push both sides toward a resolution to the conflict. Since the EU announced new guidelines regarding its activity in settlements in July, Israel and most recently, the United States, have pushed back against their implementation. On Monday, a group of former senior European officials penned a letter to EU foreign ministers urging them to stand tough against the pressure and implement the regulations as planned. The regulations, which would limit the EU’s financial…

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  • The myth of benign sanctions against Iran

    Sanctions against Iran, which  have routinely been called 'targeted' but are now self-assuredly called 'crippling,' have long been crippling rather than targeted when it comes to their impact upon the Iranian people and economy. By Ali Fathollah-Nejad Sacrosanct sanctions: A fantastical construction They aim to bring recalcitrant tyrants to their senses, to put an end to their external as well as internal malefaction. With surgical precision, they pull the noose ever closer around the tyrant’s neck, so that in hopeless despair he is compelled to behave reasonably in foreign affairs while, enfeebled, he lifts his bloodied hands from the throat…

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  • Will Europe take a leading role on Israel/Palestine?

    A new position paper, which echoes previous statements by EU negotiators and leaders, urges the EU to adopt a more confrontational approach toward Jerusalem. A top European think tank is urging the European Union to take concrete measures to keep open a window for the two-state solution. The report, published two weeks ago, urges European countries to exempt settlements goods from Israeli-European trade agreements, to refrain from contacts with the West Bank’s new university in Ariel and even impose visa requirements on settlers. The report (PDF), published by the Middle East-North Africa program at the European Council on Foreign Relations and written…

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  • Former senior EU officials: 'Oslo process has nothing more to offer'

    An unprecedented letter by former European leaders and peace process veterans recognizes Western support for the occupation and calls for immediate steps that will bring an end to it. 13 European states support labeling products from Israeli settlements. A group of senior former European officials, including former prime ministers, foreign ministers and diplomats, is urging the European Union to abandon the Oslo process and come up with new urgent measures that will put an end to the occupation, Ali Gharib reports for Open Zion. In a letter addressed to the Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy…

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  • EU diplomats to Brussels: Put your money where your mouth is

    Written in between the lines of the EU heads of mission report on Israeli settlements is a sense of frustration with the EU's inaction against Israel. The EU makes regular statements against Israel's illegal settlement enterprise, but takes no action despite the existing tools it has at its disposal. At face value, the European Union heads of mission report on the Israeli settlement enterprise is a scathing indictment and call to action against Israel’s illegal settlement activities. In between the lines, however, the report reflects a frustration by European diplomats and bureaucrats at their own governments’ inaction. They are not…

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  • EU diplomats recommend sanctions against Israeli settlements

    European diplomatic heads of mission in Jerusalem submit report to Brussels calling on the EU and its member states to take economic measures to stop Israel's settlement enterprise, and to prevent European companies from supporting the settlements. European diplomats in the Palestinian Authority called on Brussels and their respective European states to take concrete measures to stop Israel’s “systematic, deliberate and provocative” settlement enterprise, including preventing economic and financial support for settlements – actions that could described as sanctions. The report, obtained by +972, describes Israeli settlements as “the biggest single threat to the two-state solution,” and recommends specific measures…

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  • Resource: EU Heads of Mission report on Israeli settlements

    Prepared by the European Union heads of mission to the Palestinian Authority, the report is a strongly-worded and very critical of Israel's settlement activities in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The draft, obtained by +972 Magazine and published here in full, is to be presented to the EU's Political Security Committee (PSC/COPPS). Among its recommendations are preventing financial transactions that support settlements and informing EU companies of the legal and financial risks of doing business with and in Israeli settlements. The report was prepared in January 2013 and covers 2012. Read a news report based on the document here and…

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