Israel Tries to Bully Europe over Criticism of Planned 1800 Squatter Units on Palestinian Land

(By AFP)

Israel hits back at EU over settlement protest
(via AFP)

Israel called in European ambassadors in a tit-for-tat move on Friday after four EU states lodged formal protests against the rightwing government’s drive to expand settlements in the occupied West Bank. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused the…

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The original posting contained a typo, 18,000 for 1800. IC regrets the error. However, given the hundreds of thousands of Israeli squatters on the Palestinian West Bank, and the determination of the Likud government to increase their numbers dramatically, likely 18,000 will be a vast understatement.

33 Responses

    • No of course not…they must be the only occupying nation, armed with the most sophisticated weapons, unwavering support and aid from the US, and being condemned by the entire world for building illegal settlements, that keeps getting bullied by their entire neighborhood, plus the rest of the world too. Poor Israel.

  1. The EU should not be intimidated by the usual methods Israel displays when censured. Israel needs the EU more than the EU needs Israel, and if the EU does not make this stand, once again the builder of illegal settlements and land grabs, will get away scot free. The world can never depend on the AIPAC controlled US to do the right thing….it is up to Europe to stick to their guns, and keep the pressure on Israel. About time, actually. The EU is not condemning these illegal settlements on a whim, the entire world condemns it, and it goes against UN resolutions. So really, the EU is doing the right thing, and being bullied into submission, a well known ploy by Israel, should not deter them.

  2. Netanyahu asked: “The EU calls our ambassadors in because of the construction of a few houses? When did the EU call in the Palestinian ambassadors about incitement that calls for Israel’s destruction?”
    Such bizarre statements by Bibi. He refers to the thousands of settlements as “a few houses!”
    Is it okay to permanently seize the land if it is only for a FEW developments?
    He asks when the EU has complained about what the Palestinians have done. What is this? Two wrongs make a right? Has the EU recognized Palestinian ambassadors? Did Israel agree to let Palestine be given recognition in the UN?
    If Israel thinks there needs to be a security buffer, is there something that keeps Israel from setting up a Maginot line on the Israel side of the border?

    • “….is there something that keeps Israel from setting up a Maginot line on the Israel side of the border.”

      Poor example. The Maginot Line was considered as one of the greatest strategic disasters in the history of warfare.

      • Mr. Koroi is absolutely correct. The French constructed the Maginot Line in the 1930s in response to the static warfare of the First World War. In 1940, the Germans simply outflanked the Line with their blitzkrieg attacks through Belgium, the Ardennes Forest, and the Low Countries. As a result, the Maginot Line has come to symbolize an ineffective defensive setup, something no one would want to emulate.

  3. Israeli officials have not experienced half the offensive behavior that they have shown others. Defense Minister Yaalon’s offensive remarks about John Kerry and Netanyahu’s earlier studied offensive behavior when meeting with Obama are just the latest in a long history of rude, crude behavior against the United States and others.

    One particular irksome and offensive Israeli attempt to have its way with the U.S. is the pressure put on each new American president to commute Jonathon pollard’s life sentence and allow him to settle in Israel. It will be recalled that Pollard spied for Israel (and others), giving Israeli officials highly classified information while working for the Naval Intelligence Command. Israel has even granted him citizenship! Now that is really offensive, given that Pollard has shown himself to be a turncoat and spy against the United States on behalf of Israel. Pollard deserves his life sentence, and so far it looks like he will serve it, no thanks to Israel.

    The 1967 attack on the USS Liberty has been discussed in detail in earlier comments. It, too, is an example of Israeli disregard for even its closest ally. And, unfortunately, it appears that U.S. officials have been complicit with Israel in not placing blame where it belongs.

    As far as I am aware, the only high-ranking U.S. official who has shown the guts to put an Israeli in his place was James Baker III, Secretary of State under George H.W. Bush. in 1990, Baker was working with the Israelis and Palestinians for an acceptable negotiating framework. The Israelis (then under Shamir) rejected it, and then-Deputy Foreign Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was quoted as saying, “It is astonishing that a superpower like the United States…is building its policy on a foundation of distortion and lies.” Baker, in his book “The Politics of Diplomacy,” writes, “His language was unacceptable for a senior diplomat from a friendly country. I promptly banned him from the State Department.” Baker demonstrated he had cojones, something not many of our officials have shown when dealing with Israel.

  4. Jonathan Pollard will be eligible for release after serving 35 years of his life sentence – which he will likely be released if he keeps up good behavior as a prisoner.

    Right now, Pollard has already served 28 years of that sentence and his release would be a good bargaining chip that the U.S. could play toward obtaining a final peace agreement with Israel on the Palestinian issue. As more time passes. Pollard’s value to the U.S. diminishes proportionately.

    • “Right now, Pollard has already served 28 years of that sentence and his release would be a good bargaining chip that the U.S. could play toward obtaining a final peace agreement with Israel on the Palestinian issue.”

      Israel has put pressure on the U.S. to release Pollard because of their chutzpah and the fact that they have nothing to lose by doing so. That doesn’t mean they will jeopardize their position on something as important as any final peace agreement by “bargaining” for terms of an agreement for Pollard, however. The U.S. would be foolish to even consider using Pollard as a “bargaining chip,” as the Israelis would not allow his release to interfere with their hardline position, and they would throw the fact that we even considered using Pollard as a “bargaining chip” in the negotiations right back in our face. It’s a nonstarter.

    • that’s how I am reading the tea leaves also. There’s been a soupcon of signaling from the Americans that Pollard will be released when the peace treaty is signed. Not really a ‘bargaining chip’, more like throwing in a little extra on top of the generous package the Americans have already offered.

  5. “Israel has summoned European ambassadors, accusing them of pro-Palestinian bias. The move came in apparent retaliation for the summoning of Israeli ambassadors by Britain and other European countries to criticise Israel for its plans to build more settlements in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.”
    link to bbc.co.uk
    Netanyahu has a tin ear when it comes to diplomacy. Lieberman also. Such defiance! This is what you expect from hot-headed impetuous teenagers working through their life issues, not from heads of state and foreign ministers.

    This will help take the sting out for Kerry, for which I am happy. He deserved better than what he got from the oafish Israeli government. Something more than a Nobel Peace Prize, maybe a sainthood… he’s still hanging in there!

    • a bit more light shed on the issue by the estimable Barak Ravid, diplomatic correspondent for Ha’aretz reporting on the original European calling in of Israeli ambassadors as response to new settlement tenders:
      “At Thursday’s meetings, European officials also reiterated the EU offer of an unprecedented incentive package if Israel signs a peace agreement with the Palestinians, the diplomat said. The package, which includes upgrading Israel’s status with the European Union to that of a “privileged partnership,” was unveiled a month ago, but Israel has yet to offer an official response to either the EU or any of its member states.”
      link to haaretz.com

    • He is hanging in there. We can only hope that his boss won’t let him be defeated. But then the two of them must, don’t you think, have an understanding as to taking it as far as it takes?

  6. In a 1934 letter to the League of Nations, Edmond de Rothschild stated that “the struggle to put an end to the Wandering Jew, could not have as its result, the creation of the Wandering Arab.”

  7. It is the usual tactics of Israeli government. Whenever USA tries to restart the peace talks, the intensity to build more illegal housing on illegal land increases.

    As Israel knows that it has tied America’s hands behind its back, America cannot do anything against Israel, like cutting the financial aid to Israel.

    While USA cannot cut financial Aid to Israel, it appears that while USA is trying to restart the peace talks (may be 50th time); at the same time USA financial Aid is being used to built the Illegal houses on the illegal stolen land of the Palestinians.

    So, in this light of affairs Israel is free to say anything against USA or EU countries. Why it should listen to anyone, while no one can do anything against Israel

    • All it would take is for Congress to insert a provision in the annual aid bill which empowers the President to stop the flow at any time by filing a formal finding that the Israelis have violated American law as to use of our weapons or regarding continuing espionage against us or that they work with an illegally unregistered lobby for Israel. There are many other things he could do alone, administratively.

      • But that would take a majority in Congress with the guts to face down Israel and its supporters. “All it would take…?” I think your phrase misreads the likelihood of “all it would take.”

  8. Yaalon sarcastic remark about Kerry’s efforts to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through negotiations reflects the exact view of the Israeli government: The Israeli government does not want a negotiated but prefers to continue their unilateral takeover of Palestinian land.

    Their strategy is at least since Yitzhak Shamir who said upon his electoral loss in 1992 after having served for longer than any Israeli prime minister with the exception of David Ben Gurion: “I would have carried on autonomy talks for ten years, and meanwhile, we would have reached half a million people in Judea and Samaria.” When reminded that the recent election indicated that there did not exist majority support for a Greater Land of Israel, Shamir said, “I didn’t believe there was a majority in favor of a Greater Land of Israel. But it can be attained over time. There must be a historic direction. If we drop this basis, there would be nothing to prevent the development of a Palestinian state.”

  9. They are the same as the Ex apartheid government of South Africa . Ask any South African , in fact any Southern African .
    The only difference is that they still have USA government support .

  10. Shahid, the foreign policy issue for the Americans is complicated. The US has its own interests in the Middle East, some of which are not compatible with Israeli interests. One of the permanent US interests is the continuing existence and security of Israel — and I think it says a lot for the US that it continues to honor this in spite of the perversity of its often ungrateful and sometimes treacherous ally. Another permanent US interest is to forge peaceable treaties between Israel and her neighbors, including Palestine, because it is in the interests of the United States to have good relationships with the other ME states. That’s where the rub comes in.

    The US will always support Israel, no matter what, so its up to the Europeans to put the pressure on, which they are doing. If the ‘peace process’ goes down this time, the Europeans have a set of economic and diplomatic sanctions all ready to roll out. Some sanctions have already started. It is being an interesting story to follow, especially in its implications for the Israel lobby in the US, which I think will end up being diminished.

    • Very interesting. I agree that we Americans will in fact continue to support Israel once there are fundamental adjustments made , but I’m clear that we have no national obligation to do so, none. Neither moral nor based on contract. The Israelis need to get it straight that our support is terminable at will unilaterally, and until that time it will be based on respectful behavior and her willingness to take direction.

      She needs to understand that her interests are both different and subsidiary to ours and that if she does not honor them we will bid her adieu. It is a compelling American national interest that we get the relationship under control, that is, under OUR control, not hers.

      Israel will neither be supported on her terms as is the case now, nor without firmly enforced concessions so far as our national interests are concerned. The present situation is a pathetic humiliation of a great nation and we must put an end to her overreaching.

      • “Israel will neither be supported on her terms as is the case now, nor without firmly enforced concessions so far as our national interests are concerned. The present situation is a pathetic humiliation of a great nation and we must put an end to her overreaching.”

        Far easier said than done, given the pathetic, obsequious behavior of our leadership (both parties) toward the Israelis and their cat’s paws in the U.S. for the last 47 years.

        • “Far easier said than done…”

          You’ve used the cliche so I’ll just say that we probably differ on that. That it is not easily said is my point.

          Speech, more particularly the failure of protections for political speech, is at the heart of it. But it has effects in our system which one might not normally connect with it. More of that below.

          It is the chilling and even worse the distortion of political speech with resultant institutional and legal paralysis which American Zionists have been able to create on behalf of a foreign country in disregard of their fundamental conflicts of interest. (Yes, we must use that term. Nothing about it is “anti-Semitic”.)

          They have succeeded in exempting themselves from following law and custom and instead follow Israeli interests without such burdens. And their tactics are brutal. They are clothed with impunity before our political system and the law through fear and thus intimidation.

          Examples of the damage done are the disastrous failure of FARA, the even-handed bribery/financial intimidation of our political class regardless of party and the inability to enforce our espionage laws when Israel is involved. There is a lot more which is less visible, all of it done on behalf foreigners at the expense of Americans. (And no, saying that is not anti-Semitic either.”)

          Simply put the Israel Lobby uses a form of slash and burn politics implemented by a tiny minority OF a tiny minority which we haven’t seen the likes of in our entire history. The damage has been immense, including but not limited to our having sent armies to the Middle East partially in an effort to bolster Israel’s strategic position there as a de facto alternative to settling with the Palestinians.

          We need to free political speech in this country so that both the electorate and our political class are out from under the boot of this little minority. We need to enforce the law in the very face of it. And unfortunately it is not easily said.

  11. Don’t worry Stephen Harper[who?] arrived today, Israels new best friend. He will stick up for anything Israel does.

  12. Stephan Harper makes a state visit to Israel to further lick the boots of it’s terrorist head of state! This seems to be his way of seeking the approval of A.I.P.A.C. to further his political ends.

  13. It is only since Stephan Harper achieved his majority government that his true colours have been revealed. Removing the government subsidy for political parties, and putting it back in the hands of the corporate interests where it belongs according to him!!
    Canada has no need to double or triple the production from the tar sands. Doubling the size of the Trans-Mountain pipeline is one thing. The pipeline to Kitimat is something else. The disaster to the B.C. salmon is of no consideration to Ottawa. Just like the disaster to the Grand Banks was not.

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