EU Condemns Israel Over Settlements

The European Union warned Israel of unspecified consequences Monday if it goes through with plans to build thousands of new settler homes in Jerusalem and the West Bank.

The bloc’s 27 foreign ministers said they were “deeply dismayed” by Israeli plans to expand settlements in East Jerusalem and particularly the E1 project, which would separate the West Bank from east Jerusalem, the Palestinians’ hoped-for capital, and drive a big wedge between the northern and southern flanks of the West Bank.

“The E1 plan, if implemented, would seriously undermine the prospects of a negotiated resolution of the conflict by jeopardizing the possibility of a contiguous and viable Palestinian state and of Jerusalem as the capital of two states,” said the ministers said in a joint statement. “It could also entail forced transfer of civilian populations.”

The EU views any Israeli settlements on territory occupied during the 1967 Mideast war as a breach of international law.

“The EU will closely monitor the situation and its broader implications and act accordingly,” the ministers said.

The new settlement plans have drawn widespread international condemnation, with the U.S. also urging Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to call off the plans.

The Israeli government reacted by calling the EU focus “mistaken.”

“Facts and history both prove that Jewish settlement never constituted an obstacle to peace,” said Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor. “Therefore, the EU’s focus on this issue is mistaken.”

Netanyahu also decried what he saw as a double-standard.

“We cannot accept that when Jews build homes in their ancient capital, Jerusalem, the international community has no problem finding its voice, but when Palestinian leaders openly call for the destruction of Israel, the one and only Jewish state, the world is silent,” Netanyahu said Monday.

But Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt said Europe’s political view of the Mideast had changed profoundly since Israel announced plans to build 3,000 new settler homes in the West Bank and east Jerusalem.

Bildt, speaking as ministers gathered for Monday’s meeting, said the Israeli plans had caused “extreme concern” in Europe.

“What the Israelis did on E1 has shifted opinions in Europe,” Bildt said. “I don’t think the Israelis are aware of this.”

Some advocacy groups want the EU to prohibit the sale of goods made by Israeli settlers from being labeled as made in Israel. The labeling issue may come up but was not officially on the agenda.

The 27 EU foreign ministers also considered the crisis in Syria, where activists say more than 40,000 people have died since an uprising against President Bashar Assad began in March 2011.

They were briefed by Mouaz al-Khatib, a moderate cleric who heads the new, Western-backed opposition coalition in Syria. Hard-line Islamist groups in the country have not joined the new coalition, and al-Khatib told the EU ministers about attempts to unify the Syrian opposition as the coalition seeks greater diplomatic recognition.

The EU does not itself offer formal recognition — that is left to the individual member countries — but it has said the coalition is a legitimate representative of the Syrian people.

EU ministers said they were seriously concerned about the potential use of chemical weapons in Syria.

“In a situation of chaos, it is exceedingly dangerous if these things start floating around in the region,” Bildt said.

Bildt said Syria’s chemical weapons would be discussed, as well.

“In a situation of chaos, it is exceedingly dangerous if these things start floating around in the region,” he said.

EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said many members have been urging the EU to move on bringing war crimes charges against Assad.

“We must recognize the terrible situation in Syria and the responsibility he bears for it,” Ashton said.

Syria is not a party to the International Criminal Court and the U.N. Security Council has not referred the conflict to the war crimes tribunal.

Also Monday, the foreign ministers approved the concept of an EU noncombat training mission in Mali, where the central government has lost control of the northern part of the African nation to armed Islamist groups.

The U.S. and the European Union want the Malian army and other African troops to be properly trained before they try to retake the north.

The move allows EU military planners to start preparations for the mission, which would provide instruction to the Malian military. Another council decision will be needed before the Mali mission is deployed.

Associated Press

  • Btru2u

    Rome ruled Jerusalem 2000 years ago , not the Jews.. When Jews rejected Jesus , God helped disperse them throughout the earth. Islam defeated the oppressive Roman regime ,established truth and justice and inherited the holy land which they shared with the monotheistic religions. Until the misguided and ungratefull christian crusaders came along 400 years later. Everything is well documented.

    • MaryTPresumptuous

      Yes, “everything IS well documented” .. including how Western democracies trounced the Ottoman Empire in World War I, thereby dispossessing Arab people, nations, and countries of any right to those lands.  Also well documented is how the English GAVE Arabs large swaths of land in the Middle East as implementation of its own policy for undoing colonialism there.  And in addition to it being well documented that the English also GAVE some of its Middle Eastern land to the future State of Israel, it is well documents that the Arabs were again (or was that supposed to be “again and again and again and again and again and again”?) trounced by the Israelis in military conflicts which resulted in the loss of land previously possessed by one or more Arab countries.

      Stop looking to the past to justify the present.  The present IS.  Let’s deal with what is and leave what might have been to Disney and Bollywood.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/QUHCMQH262LEGPZCMEGORVMP2I Preview

         “Stop looking to the past to justify the present. blah blah blah”

        LMFAO
        LOL
        This is after you did nothing but bark about the past!
        Can you spell H Y P O C R I T E?

        • Hannibal

          So true… Now that the West Bank is settled by Jews and looking more like Swiss cheese and knowing that it will never be a viable country the EU is blessing us with virtual sympathy. Israel will never agree to a just settlement.
          There are two forks at the road:
          1. All out war
          2. Forget Palestine

  • Btru2u

    Rome ruled Jerusalem 2000 years ago , not the Jews.. When Jews rejected Jesus , God helped disperse them throughout the earth. Islam defeated the oppressive Roman regime ,established truth and justice and inherited the holy land which they shared with the monotheistic religions. Until the misguided and ungratefull christian crusaders came along 400 years later. Everything is well documented.

  • Btru2u

    Rome ruled Jerusalem 2000 years ago , not the Jews.. When Jews rejected Jesus , God helped disperse them throughout the earth. Islam defeated the oppressive Roman regime ,established truth and justice and inherited the holy land which they shared with the monotheistic religions. Until the misguided and ungratefull christian crusaders came along 400 years later. Everything is well documented.

    • MaryTPresumptuous

      Yes, “everything IS well documented” .. including how Western democracies trounced the Ottoman Empire in World War I, thereby dispossessing Arab people, nations, and countries of any right to those lands.  Also well documented is how the English GAVE Arabs large swaths of land in the Middle East as implementation of its own policy for undoing colonialism there.  And in addition to it being well documented that the English also GAVE some of its Middle Eastern land to the future State of Israel, it is well documents that the Arabs were again (or was that supposed to be “again and again and again and again and again and again”?) trounced by the Israelis in military conflicts which resulted in the loss of land previously possessed by one or more Arab countries.

      Stop looking to the past to justify the present.  The present IS.  Let’s deal with what is and leave what might have been to Disney and Bollywood.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/QUHCMQH262LEGPZCMEGORVMP2I Preview

         “Stop looking to the past to justify the present. blah blah blah”

        LMFAO
        LOL
        This is after you did nothing but bark about the past!
        Can you spell H Y P O C R I T E?

        • Hannibal

          So true… Now that the West Bank is settled by Jews and looking more like Swiss cheese and knowing that it will never be a viable country the EU is blessing us with virtual sympathy. Israel will never agree to a just settlement.
          There are two forks at the road:
          1. All out war
          2. Forget Palestine

  • Btru2u

    The caliphate was thriving for a thousand plus three hundred years, The western democratic capitalist system is all but dead , and will be buried in the dustin of history. Israel rules like Nazis ruled, or like pharoah ruled. Their ideology is Might is right,  Now even with all their might, they are FINSHED, because the ideology that lasts is that RIGHT IS MIGHT.

  • Btru2u

    The caliphate was thriving for a thousand plus three hundred years, The western democratic capitalist system is all but dead , and will be buried in the dustin of history. Israel rules like Nazis ruled, or like pharoah ruled. Their ideology is Might is right,  Now even with all their might, they are FINSHED, because the ideology that lasts is that RIGHT IS MIGHT.

  • Btru2u

    ELITES WANT TO MAKE GAZANS OF US ALL…Gaza is a window on our coming dystopia. The growing divide between the world’s elite and its miserable masses of humanity is maintained through spiraling violence. Many impoverished regions of the world, which have fallen off the economic cliff, are beginning to resemble Gaza, where 1.6 million Palestinians live in the planet’s largest internment camp. These sacrifice zones, filled with seas of pitifully poor people trapped in squalid slums or mud-walled villages, are increasingly hemmed in by electronic fences, monitored by surveillance cameras and drones and surrounded by border guards or military units that shoot to kill. These nightmarish dystopias extend from sub-Saharan Africa to Pakistan to China. They are places where targeted assassinations are carried out, where brutal military assaults are pressed against peoples left defenseless, without an army, navy or air force. All attempts at resistance, however ineffective, are met with the indiscriminate slaughter that characterizes modern industrial warfare.

  • Btru2u

    ELITES WANT TO MAKE GAZANS OF US ALL…Gaza is a window on our coming dystopia. The growing divide between the world’s elite and its miserable masses of humanity is maintained through spiraling violence. Many impoverished regions of the world, which have fallen off the economic cliff, are beginning to resemble Gaza, where 1.6 million Palestinians live in the planet’s largest internment camp. These sacrifice zones, filled with seas of pitifully poor people trapped in squalid slums or mud-walled villages, are increasingly hemmed in by electronic fences, monitored by surveillance cameras and drones and surrounded by border guards or military units that shoot to kill. These nightmarish dystopias extend from sub-Saharan Africa to Pakistan to China. They are places where targeted assassinations are carried out, where brutal military assaults are pressed against peoples left defenseless, without an army, navy or air force. All attempts at resistance, however ineffective, are met with the indiscriminate slaughter that characterizes modern industrial warfare.

  • Rich

    Israel will never be defeated, and all you and those like you are doing is just insuring that the middle east will always be at war. Give it up already, because the jews are going nowhere, they are the true and original inhabitants of the holy land and they will never ever be forced out again. Those who bless Israel are blessed, and those who curse Israqel are cursed forever.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rich.modler Rich Modler

    Israel will never be defeated, and all you and those like you are doing is just insuring that the middle east will always be at war. Give it up already, because the jews are going nowhere, they are the true and original inhabitants of the holy land and they will never ever be forced out again. Those who bless Israel are blessed, and those who curse Israqel are cursed forever.