EU divided on planned anti-Israel resolution
EU foreign ministers were trying to resolve last-minute differences Monday before voting on a resolution that distinguishes between Israel-proper and the territories it captured during the 1967 Six Day War.
According to officials and diplomatic sources, some countries consider the language of the resolution too critical of the Jewish state.
The resolution, being promoted by Sweden and Ireland, would stipulate that all agreements between Israel and the EU would not apply to any areas over the 1949 Armistice Lines.
“Some countries have said they would like to see some changes. We will listen to them but it is obviously desirable that the council be able to approve the conclusions,” French state secretary for European Affairs Harlem Desir said as he went into the meeting of ministers.
Desir, representing French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, said Greece and several other countries want changes to the well-established EU positions.
The EU has held for many years that a final agreement on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict must be based on a two-state solution, and considers Israeli communities over the 1949 Armistice Lines illegal and a threat to peace.
Reaffirming that position would not represent a a radical departure for the 28-nation EU, which believes the whole peace process is in jeopardy and needs to be revived as a matter of urgency.
Diplomatic sources told AFP the real problem arises from an EU decision last year to label Jewish goods imported from Judea-Samaria and the Golan Heights, rather than as “Made in Israel.”
Israel reacted sharply to the hostile move and suspended diplomatic contacts with the EU on the Middle East peace process.
Over the weekend, the Haaretz daily reported the Israeli government was trying to prevent EU foreign ministers from approving the text which would distinguish between Israel-proper and Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria.
Haaretz cited senior Israeli officials as saying the wording of the text had become increasingly harsh ahead of the meeting.
EU diplomatic sources said the text was approved by officials on Friday but that it had been sent back to be changed over the weekend.
The sources said on Monday that a new text was being circulated, but gave no details of any changes made.