Experts

Israel can’t afford the EU’s economic incentives

The required quid pro quo would be ruinous to security, and without security, no economy can function.

US Sec. of State Kerry hugs EU foreign policy chief Ashton
Photo by: Reuters


The European Union is offended: After offering a package of “extraordinary” economic benefits last month if Israel would only sign a final-status deal with the Palestinians, it hasn’t even received an official response. Germany, France and Britain have all reportedly informed Jerusalem of their disappointment at this silence; French Ambassador Patrick Maisonnave even did so publicly, via an op-ed in Haaretz.

Since the offer was explicitly conditioned on an Israel-Palestinian accord that almost nobody on either side considers achievable, Jerusalem probably doesn’t consider the issue high priority: Proposals that haven’t a chance of being realized rarely are. But there’s also a substantive reason for Israel’s non-response, which Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon voiced, unofficially, during a meeting with Israeli business leaders last month.



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