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What's in the new EU guidelines regarding activities beyond the Green Line?

The European Union’s new guidelines regarding the settlements were the talk of the day in Israel yesterday (Tuesday), and they are still the leading story in all the morning papers. The feeling is that for the first time, an international body has taken a real measure to limit Israeli activities in the occupied territories.

There has also been a lot of misinformation and a lack of clarity in the media regarding these guidelines. Here are some clarifications from a European source regarding the Commission Notice (this is the exact term). Below is the four page document the EU has passed to all member states later today.

Technically, the Commission Notice does not apply to agreements but to EU grants, prizes and programs (though the logic is the same). It applies to EU-funded programs but is not binding to member state programs. It means that Ariel University, for instance, cannot benefit from EU funding, but a member state can decide to fund it or conduct a joint program with it.

The Commission Notice does not apply to individuals nor to government entities, such as the Israeli Justice Department or the Jerusalem Police headquarters, which are located in East Jerusalem, beyond the Green Line.

This morning, some Israeli sources have told the media that the Commission Notice will hurt the Palestinians, too. It is therefore important to note that the Commission Notice (naturally) exempts the Palestinian Authority from it, as well as any “humanitarian project.”

My source also insisted that Israeli officials were updated throughout the process, and therefore Israel cannot claim that it was ambushed or caught by surprise by of the new guidelines.

Another point, which is not exactly about the guidelines themselves but more about their meaning: the Commission Notice clarly states in its first articles that “The EU does not recognize Israel’s sovereignty” in any of the territories captured in 1967, including the Golan and East Jerusalem, “irrespective of their legal status under domestic Israeli law.” While this has been the European policy for years, the article makes it clear that without an agreement, Israel will not be able to treat the so-called settlement blocs and East Jerusalem as its own territory in the way it has been trying to do recently.

Here are the full guidelines:

Guidelines on IL and EU Funding Instruments

The day Europe got Israel’s attention
Can the EU’s settlement exclusion push the U.S. to follow suit?

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    1. Engelbert Luitsz

      Jonathan Cook:
      “This is probably not a sign that Europe is starting very belatedly to grow a backbone on the Israel-Palestine conflict. It looks more likely that Europe is continuing to follow orders from the US. Kerry needs a stick with which to beat Netanyahu into making some minor concessions that will help get the pointless peace process restarted – and the Europeans, it seems, are providing it. “

      Reply to Comment
    2. Charles-Jerusalem

      Big deal,
      After all, yes it is a big deal, because no Israeli will vote for giving the Golan back.
      Est Jerusalem is negociable, but putting a limit on the 67 borders is not relevant anymore, talking about the Golan especially with what’s going on there, it is not relevant either.
      For sure, it will force Israel to diversify its trade partners in order to anticipate a reduction of trade with Europe.
      Anyway, soon Europe will not produce 1 kg of kosher meat with all the bans on kosher slaughtering.
      The problem is that until further notice, Europe is unavoidable.

      Reply to Comment
    3. rsgengland

      It is now time to start pushing the EU to find out if they have the same fixation with Turkey and its illegal attack and occupation of North Cyprus, and China’s occupation and annexation of Tibet.
      Tens of thousands have died and been imprisoned there without a peep from the “venerable European Union” and its moralistic humbug.
      Sometimes this ‘black hole’ of morality leaves me a little perplexed.
      Although this directive is only guidance, it will be used by all and sundry as much more than that; and therein lies its danger.

      Reply to Comment
      • phil


        Glad to see you’ve finally joined the rest of the world in acknowledging the illegal occupation of the Palestinian territories and the Golan heights

        Reply to Comment
      • Ben

        Lorenzo Kamel has also show this. The EU is Israel’s best partner. And supports its army. Netanyahu has made sure to have himself photographed climbing out of a swanky new German submarine. Something like the sixth one Germany has recently given Israel. The EU provides funding that sustains the occupation and funds the PA that serves as Israel’s faithful security contractor, saving Israel enormous expense. There is a blatant double-standard, but consistently in Israel’s favor. And yet all the while the Israeli man in the street yells about how horrible, horrible those dastardly Europeans are–poor beleaguered Israel, Israel is all alone, the whole world is against us, blah blah blah. It’s kind of a farce if you ask me:

        Reply to Comment
    4. rsgenglnd

      Israels presence in Judea and Samaria {only called the West Bank after Jordan’s annexation of the area after 1948] was precipitated by threats from all the surrounding Arab countries to destroy Israel in May 1967.
      Egypt closed the Strait of Tiran to Israeli shipping and forced the Sinai UN force to leave, and then started to mobilize and mass forces in the Sinai. Syria and Jordan did the same in their areas.
      In Turkey and China’s cases, they were unprovoked military acts against sovereign countries.
      Their is no comparison between Israel and the other examples.
      Israel fought in self defense.
      The others fought for territorial gain .

      Reply to Comment
      • Average American

        Israel has been the aggressor three times in the Middle East – formation and forced ejection of people already living there in 1948, Protoclol of Sevres coordinated plan to invade Egypt under guise of “Suez Crisis” 1956, surprise attacks on Jordan and Egypt 1967. In all of these, Israel had built up its own forces heavily and was pursuing its own plans for territorial expansion and nothing less than the reformation of the entire Middle East. This is not a poor victim.

        Reply to Comment

      Israel must regard both (a) the current EU decree to sanction Israel and (b) the dishonest foundation for that decree of the ICJ decision of 2004 (c) to be not merely tactics to press Israel towards a ‘tough’ but ‘noble’ and ‘courageous’ agreement with the ‘Palestinians’. Israel must regard both the decision of the ICJ and the decree of the EU to be symbolic of a failed European Conscience that would serve up Israel for dinner to Hamas, Hezbollah, and Fatah and call it a “negotiation”. Israel must not allow itself to be a “goose” around which a “noose” is tightened, lest Israel’s “goose” be “cooked”.

      Reply to Comment
    6. Alex

      Shame on you, Noam! Quit being na Haaretz commie!

      Reply to Comment