The European Union is gearing up for another round of diplomatic and economic arm-twisting to get Israel to resume negotiations with the Palestinians.
Under consideration are “sanctions against companies that conduct business over the Green Line, support in the legal proceedings of Palestinians in the issue of settlements and also renewing the proposal to create a Palestinian state through the Security Council,” Walla news said, quoting an Israeli official who met recently with European leaders in Brussels.
The proposals are said to have broad support from EU member states, and will be pushed forward after the Israeli elections on March 17, unless Israel initiates fresh contacts with the Palestinians.
“For some of the countries there is the hope that after the elections there is a chance to renew the negotiations with the Palestinians. But now it does not seem like that will happen, and therefore they are planning to shift into a higher gear,” the official said.
Economy Minister Naftali Bennett reportedly told representatives of the EU that Israel would not undermine its own security in order to avoid sanctions, in a closed-door meeting Monday.
“To single out Israel, to twist our arms economically, in the hopes that we’ll commit suicide because financially we’ll get hit if we don’t — it’s immoral from my perspective,” Bennett told the diplomats, according to a tape of the meeting leaked to Army Radio on Tuesday. “Instead of understanding… we’re the big dam in this big river of terror.”
Bennett’s office declined to comment.