[Published 5 January 2016]
The European Union (EU) has concluded an unhappy 2015 with the introduction of racist and discriminatory labelling laws for Jewish goods and products originating from Judea and Samaria (West Bank) and East Jerusalem.
EU members Hungary, Greece and the Czech Republic have rejected these laws which have also been condemned in a bipartisan resolution presented to the US Congress.
The EU’s Ambassador to Israel - Lars Faaborg-Andersen - has attempted to justify these labelling laws as being simply an expression of the EU’s longstanding view that such designated territories are not part of Israel.
He omitted to state that EU policy will never support any part of these disputed territories becoming part of the State of Israel because the EU claims that Jewish settlement there since 1967 is illegal in international law.
However there is no binding legal decision in any Court that substantiates this EU claim.
Indeed there is territory-specific legislation to the contrary - article 6 of the Mandate for Palestine and article 80 of the UN Charter - that confirms the legal right of Jews to settle in Judea and Samaria and East Jerusalem.
Jews lived in these areas for millennia prior to being driven out in 1948 by six invading Arab armies - facts which somehow appear to have escaped the EU’s notice.
Such EU policy also flies in the face of Security Council Resolution 242 calling for secure and recognised borders to be established in negotiations between Israel and her neighbours.
The EU’s anti-Israel stance no doubt encouraged the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) to reject offers by Israel in 2000/01 and 2008 to cede its claims in more than 90% of Judea and Samaria as part of any peace treaty to end the 100 years old Jewish-Arab conflict.
Why accept 90% when the EU is supporting the PLO’s demand for 100%?
The EU - in so acting - has repudiated the decisions adopted in 1922 by 23 of its current 28 members unanimously endorsing the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine - whose terms provided for:
1. Jewish self-determination in 22% of the territory of the Mandate including East Jerusalem and Judea and SamariaCyprus, Germany, Hungary, Ireland and Malta are the only current members of the EU that were not members of the League of Nations when these fateful decisions were taken.
2. Arab self-determination in the remaining 78% of the territory of the Mandate - today called Jordan.
The Jews had been short-changed by the League of Nations - which reduced the area within which the Jewish National Home was to be reconstituted to just 22% of that previously contemplated by the High Contracting Powers - Great Britain, France, Italy (all current EU members) and Japan - at the April 1920 San Remo Conference and the Treaty of Sevres signed in August of that year.
The Jews nevertheless reluctantly accepted these restrictions. The Arabs rejected them. The PLO deemed them “null and void” in 1968.
Fast forward to 2016 and the European Union continues to backtrack on these internationally binding commitments to the Jewish people made by the overwhelming majority of EU members 94 years ago.
Conditions for entry into the EU require that each applicant:
1. Be democraticThe EU does not require the PLO to meet these criteria - yet opposes any claim to the historic and biblical heartland of the Jewish people by Israel - which shares these EU fundamental values.
2. Have a free market Government together with corresponding freedoms and institutions and
3. Respect for the rule of law.
The EU should hang its collective head in shame as it drowns in this sea of inconsistencies entirely of its own making.