Israeli Diplomats Called on Carpet in Europe

YERUSHALAYIM -

Israeli diplomats abroad were summoned by their European hosts for a formal protest of Israel’s building policy over the Green Line, according to media reports on Thursday night.

In what appeared to be a coordinated diplomatic put-down, Israeli ambassadors in Rome, Paris and London were called to meetings in which European diplomats were expected to rebuke them for last week’s announcement of tenders for 1,400 housing units in Yehudah and Shomron.

Ambassadors in Berlin and Madrid were expected to receive similar invitations.

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu responded angrily, accusing the Europen Union of “hypocrisy” in condemning construction, but not the Palestinians for incitement or terrorism.

Speaking at an annual reception for foreign journalists, Netanyahu asked rhetorically when was the last time EU countries called in the Palestinian Authority ambassadors to “complain about incitement to Israel’s destruction,” or to protest  that security officers from the Palestinian Authority were participating in terror attacks against innocent Israelis.

The prime minister stressed that the recent building announcements did not breach any commitment that Israel took upon itself when it entered the talks with the Palestinians last July. Furthermore, he said, “adding a few houses” will not change the map “an iota,” and asked if the Palestinians were planning on having an “ethnically cleansed state.”