By ARI BRIGGS
Recently, the EU formally recommended that its 27 member states “prevent” Israeli activity in Judea, Samaria, the Golan Heights and east Jerusalem by means of discriminatory labeling of Israeli products from these areas – in effect, an economic boycott of Jewish communities in those regions. This recommendation is clearly immoral, on at least six grounds, and recently I had the privilege of setting these out before the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Dutch Parliament. Part of the following comments are based on a speech Caroline Glick gave at an Intelligence Squared debate in January.
First, it attempts to predetermine borders prior to negotiations. Repeated such attempts demonstrate that this approach actually discourages the Palestinians from negotiating final-status issues with Israel. The presence of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria has nothing to do with prospects for peace. We have peace agreements with Egypt and Jordan, and six agreements with the PLO (of which they were in material breach from day one).
None was contingent on the absence of Jews from any area.
Second, it violates the civil rights of Jews living in Judea and Samaria. In fact, this issue is not about peace at all, but about the abrogation of Jewish civil rights. The EU is in effect stating that Jews should not be allowed to live in these areas, just because they are Jews.
Why should Jews be allowed to live in London, Amsterdam, New York or Sydney, but not in Judea or Jerusalem? How could the Netherlands government and the Dutch people agree to such discrimination? By labeling Jewish products from these areas, they are in effect recommending that a Palestinian state must be ethnically cleansed of Jews before its people will agree to independence.
Third, it is immoral and illegal.
Israel’s national rights to these areas are very strong, at least as valid as any other claimant under international law. And this is not the first time a country has tried to disenfranchise the Jewish people from their land.
The British in 1939 with the infamous White Paper abrogated their responsibility under the Mandate of the League of Nations to encourage “close settlement by Jews on the land.”
They hoped to appease the Arabs who supported the Nazis and were running a terrorist campaign, even then, not only against the Jews, but also against the Allied Powers. In an attempt to appease them, the British in effect declared that the Jews had no rights to this area. And what did the British get for this appeasement? Egyptian King Farouk’s support for the Nazis, a revolt in Iraq, support for the Nazis in Iran and a Nazi party in Syria.
Appeasement didn’t work then, and it doesn’t work now.
Fourth, it supports terrorism. This week a disturbing report was released by the Advisory Council on International Affairs (AIV), an independent body based in the Netherlands which advises government and parliament on foreign policy.