Report: EU to Bypass Its Own Anti-Settlements Guidelines

PALESTINE - ISRAEL, 21 Oct 2013

Noam Sheizaf, +972 – TRANSCEND Media Service

Israeli and European officials are reportedly nearing an agreement that would allow Israeli institutions to continue operating freely in the West Bank while enjoying EU grants.

In coordination with Israeli officials, the EU is about to introduce a solution that would allow Israeli institutions — which are invested in or profit from the occupation — to enjoy EU grants, according to a report in the Israel’s Maariv newspaper (Hebrew).

The new directives will enable Israeli companies and institutions to divert money into investments in the settlements and in Jewish enterprises beyond the Green Line through subsidiaries or divisions, all while receiving EU grants through their main operational budgets. If implemented, the new mechanism would allow Israel to join the prestigious Horizon 2020 program, which should result in 300 million euros of support to Israeli scientific and academic institutions.

Last July, the EU published a Commission Notice regarding EU grants, prizes and programs in Israel and the occupied territories. The most important article stated that, “Israeli entities will be considered eligible as final recipients [of grants and prizes] if they do not operate in the territories [conquered on June 1967].” According to the guidelines, Israeli institutions that applied for EU grants would be required to declare that they do not operate beyond the Green Line (read the full guidelines here).

The guidelines are not binding for EU member-states and do not apply to individual Israeli citizens.

The Commission Notice received much attention in Israel and was perceived as the first actual step against Israel’s colonization of the West Bank to be taken by the international community .

A special ministerial panel headed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decided to reject the new guidelines and enter into negotiations with the EU seeking a mechanism that would allow Israeli entities to continue receiving grants while operating beyond the Green Line. Specifically, the talks were meant to find a way for Israel to join the Horizon 2020 program.

In recent weeks, right-wing officials predicted that Israel’s insistence would bear fruit and that both sides will be able to reach a “compromise,” which will allow Israel to operate freely in the West Bank and allow European political and bureaucratic officials to save face by not forcing them to completely abandon their decision.

According to the report in Maariv, two major changes will be entered into the guidelines: first, Israeli institutions will not be required to state that they do not operated beyond the Green Line when applying for EU grants. Instead, it will be the EU that will need to monitor and find proof that an institution is operating in the occupied territories.

Second, the institution will continue to operate freely in the settlements, as long as its headquarters is in within the Green Line. According to Maariv, the specific details of this understanding are still being debated: while the Israelis are suggesting that a company’s zip code will be enough to determine the location of its operations, the Europeans are demanding the registration of a sub-contractor that will operate beyond the Green Line.

Regardless of the final details, any alteration to the guidelines will allow private and public institutions to continue their operations in the occupied territories. In the words of an Israeli official speaking to Maariv, the changes will allow Israeli institutions “to march with [the guidelines] but not feel them.”

Related:

What’s in the new EU guidelines regarding activities beyond the Green Line?
Why the EU shouldn’t amend its new settlement guidelines
Israel responds to EU: We only accept charity on our terms

Go to Original – 972mag.org

 

Join the BDS-BOYCOTT, DIVESTMENT, SANCTIONS campaign to protest the Israeli barbaric siege of Gaza, illegal occupation of the Palestine nation’s territory, the apartheid wall, its inhuman and degrading treatment of the Palestinian people, and the more than 7,000 Palestinian men, women, elderly and children arbitrarily locked up in Israeli prisons.

DON’T BUY PRODUCTS WHOSE BARCODE STARTS WITH 729, which indicates that it is produced in Israel.    DO YOUR PART! MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

7 2 9: BOYCOTT FOR JUSTICE!

 

Share this article:


DISCLAIMER: The statements, views and opinions expressed in pieces republished here are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of TMS. In accordance with title 17 U.S.C. section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. TMS has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is TMS endorsed or sponsored by the originator. “GO TO ORIGINAL” links are provided as a convenience to our readers and allow for verification of authenticity. However, as originating pages are often updated by their originating host sites, the versions posted may not match the versions our readers view when clicking the “GO TO ORIGINAL” links. This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


Comments are closed.