The announcement by the EU of the Horizon 2020 program for research and innovation with an €80billion budget has been treated with acclamation as part of its drive to create new growth and jobs in Europe.
However, although the program''s web site states specifically that it will be fully open to international participation, the EU issued guidelines that exclude participation by Israeli entities located beyond the 1967 "border". Initial requests to the EU by Israel to amend the guidelines were rejected but after weeks of telephone negotiations between Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and EU Foreign Minister Catherine Ashton a compromise agreement was reached.
On September 11, 2013 I wrote to Baroness Ashton as published in the Jerusalem Post on that date
Below is the reply dated December 17, I received from "the Head of the Division" of the European External Action Service and below that is my response.
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December 18, 2013.
To Mr. Leonello Gabrici
Head of the Division
European External Action Service
Thank you for your letter of December 17, 2013 and the information you have given about the agreement reached with Israel on November 26.
I would however very much appreciate a response to the several matters that I raised in my letter of September 11, 2013 which have not been addressed. In particular I refer to my request for an explanation of the inconsistency in the EU''s non-adherence to the basic principle of "all being equal before the law", as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Equality before the law and non-discrimination demand that similar guidelines be issued in respect of Northern Cyprus, which is illegally occupied by Turkey, Tibet occupied by China, the territorial disputes between Serbia and Kosovo and even between Britain and Spain over Gibraltar as well as the many other disputed territories around the world.
And perhaps you will kindly explain why an entity in any of the Israeli villages of Gush Etzion is discriminated against, considering that these villages were founded as long ago as 1940 on property purchased legally between 1920 and 1930. Gush Etzion was destroyed by the Arab Legion even before the outbreak of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War during which the villages were illegally occupied by Jordan. In these circumstances, what possible objection can the EU raise to the re-establishment of Gush Etzion after the illegal occupation by Jordan was terminated?
It is also highly relevant to draw attention to the fact that the Oslo accords, which have not been abrogated, don''t restrict Jewish communities in Judea, Samaria and Gaza. Rather the issue of Jewish settlements is to be addressed in the final status negotiations under Article XXXI(5) of Oslo 2. As these accords were signed by late prime minister Yitzhak Rabin for Israel and Mahmoud Abbas for the PLO in the presence of Yasser Arafat and US President Bill Clinton, it is fair to ask on what grounds the EU, by presuming to declare the 1949 armistice line as a border, has appropriated the right to override the legal agreement between the parties to determine borders in final status negotiations.
Your considered response will be appreciated and will be publicized.