European foreign ministers ahead of EU meeting 311 (R).
(photo credit: REUTERS/Thierry Roge)
WASHINGTON – The State Department declined to issue a rebuke of the European
Union for its new regulations barring member nations from cooperating with
Israeli organizations and businesses operating in east Jerusalem, the West Bank
and the Golan Heights.
The US instead reinforced its position on
settlement building in the territories.
“The US position on settlements
is clear and has not changed,” a State Department spokesman told The Jerusalem
, referring questions on the details of the decision to European
“We do not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli
An expert at the Brookings Institution suggested in
an interview that, given the nature of exchanges between the US and the EU, it
was likely the Obama administration was given notice of the policy
B’nai B’rith International expressed “outrage” in a statement to
“These guidelines clearly display the longstanding EU double
standard and obsession with Israel to the point of outright discrimination,”
president Allan J. Jacobs said.
“Syria’s civil war and Iran’s march
toward nuclear weapons do not get the same attention as Israel.”
American Jewish Committee issued a similar rebuke.
“The key to achieving
a two-state solution – which, again, we wholeheartedly support – is by
encouraging direct Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, not taking steps now to
penalize one party, in this case Israel, while emboldening the other,” said
David Harris, executive director of the AJC.