Thursday, May 14, 2020

  • Thursday, May 14, 2020
  • Elder of Ziyon

EU High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell spoke at a press conference on Tuesday, where he fielded two questions about Israel:

Q. The Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said that on the government’s agenda should be discussions of possible annexations of parts of the West Banks. France thinks that the EU should respond with something strong and concrete, what do you think?

This is the most important item on the agenda of the next Foreign Affairs Council, which will take place next Friday afternoon. I hope that there, the European Union will present its position about a possible annexation. We already did at the beginning [of the year], when the Americans presented their so-called “peace plan”. We already did it, we will do it [again].

In the meantime, we are waiting for the new Israeli government to be in office and we will congratulate them. I will have a phone call - I hope - with the new Foreign Affairs Minister and with the information I can have from this contact I will go to the Foreign Affairs Council where we will discuss what is going to be the position of the European Union. 

Yes, there might be a worldwide pandemic, Egypt is threatening war against Ethiopia over the Renaissance Dam, Iran is threatening to throw out all remaining controls on the way to a nuclear weapon, China puts a million Muslims in concentration camps – but the most important item on the EU’s foreign affairs council is worrying about whether Israel will extend its laws over land it would have insisted on keeping in any peace treaty.

Seems like a twisted set of priorities.

Q. After this contact you will have with the Israeli Foreign Minister, is there also an option to have sanctions on the table?

My contact with the Foreign Affairs Ministers of the new recently formed Israeli government is just a normal contact to congratulate him and to offer cooperation from the side of the European Union. I do not think we are going to go into deep discussions about which are their plans and which will be our answer. This is just not the right moment.

It is just a call to congratulate him and offer cooperation and maybe we will go in some specific issues but I do not expect to engage in a deep discussion about this very specific issue.

The important thing is to go to the Council and for the Member States to present their point of view. You know that everything in [EU] foreign policy requires unanimity, especially sanctions. We are for the time being far from discussing sanctioning. But it is important for me and for the European Union foreign policy to know what is the position of the Member States with respect to the respect of international law, and how we can judge this announcement and actions, in order to clarify the position of the European Union.

But I cannot [prejudge] the result because I know that this is a very divisive issue inside the Council and [that] different Member States have different positions. We have noticed it when we discussed it a couple of months ago. I suppose that this divide is still there so it will be a very interesting Foreign Affairs Council. Maybe next Friday at the press conference I will be able to give you more details about it.

Yes, it will be an interesting meeting. But why is this the top priority of all the world’s issues nowadays?

(h/t Irene)

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

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