EU report: No funds to Jewish east Jerusalem

European missions in east Jerusalem and Ramallah pen report, urge EU members to cut financial ties.

View of  Jerusalem Old City, Arab man_311 (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
View of Jerusalem Old City, Arab man_311
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
A confidential European Union report urges member states to do more to cut their financial ties with Jewish neighborhoods of east Jerusalem as well as with its companies.
European missions in east Jerusalem and Ramallah penned the report, which was leaked Monday to the media, to provide information and recommendations for EU policy-making bodies, particularly the EU’s Political and Security Committee.
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It warned that Israeli “settlement activity” in east Jerusalem increasingly undermines the two-state solution.
The report called for the EU to increase its financial restrictions on Israeli activity in east Jerusalem, including proposing “appropriate EU legislation to prevent/discourage financial transactions in support of settlement activity [in east Jerusalem].”
Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor attacked the report, which he said was compiled annually without consultation with Israel.
“These reports include unfeasible recommendations,” he said. He noted that each year the EU discusses it at a technical level and then rejects the recommendations, he said.
To prevent the report from being ignored, the EU offices in Jerusalem and Ramallah try to raise its tone, he said.
“When that does not work, they leak it to the media,” Palmor said.
The office of the EU’s foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said it regretted that the report had been leaked to the media.
It noted that all EU delegations send a report about their host countries to Brussels to assist in the policy-making process.
“The EU does not recognize the Israeli annexation of east Jerusalem,” Ashton’s office said.
“If there is to be a genuine peace, a way must be found through negotiations to resolve the status of Jerusalem as a future capital of two states,” her office said.
It added that the EU has already called for Palestinian institutions to be reopened and for the Israeli government to cease its discriminatory treatment of Palestinians.
But the report noted that the EU must increase its activity against Israel’s presence in east Jerusalem.
In specific, it called on the EU to stop funding Israeli activity in east Jerusalem, including ensuring that Israeli products manufactured in Jewish areas of east Jerusalem do not benefit from preferential treatment under the EUIsrael association agreement.
Information about these products should also be given to major EU retailers, the report said.
EU citizens should be informed of the financial risks involved in buying east Jerusalem property, the report said.
Voluntary guidelines should be compiled to prevent European tour operators from supporting “settlement business” in east Jerusalem, the report stated.
It even suggested that the EU should avoid using Israeli security when high-ranking officials visit the Old City and east Jerusalem.
In addition, the report suggested that the EU should take more steps to strengthen Palestinian political and civilian life in east Jerusalem.
EU missions should host Palestinian officials when senior Europeans visit, the report said. Palestinian civic events should be held in EU facilities until Palestinian institutions are reopened, it added.
The report further suggested that the EU must take a more active role in ensuring that Palestinian rights are upheld, including ensuring that Palestinian housing is included in east Jerusalem urban master-plans.
EU officials should raise the lack of adequate emergency services for east Jerusalem Palestinians such as ambulances and fire-fighting and police services in meetings with Israeli officials, the report said.
An EU official should be present during the demolition of Palestinian homes or if there are court cases on these demolitions, the report suggested.
The EU should intervene “when Palestinians are arrested or intimidated by Israeli authorities for peaceful, cultural, social or political activities in east Jerusalem,” the report said.