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  • We’ve All Seen This Coming

    Posted by James R. Rummel on October 14th, 2004 (All posts by )

    A news item on the Reuters wire service reports on a 10 year projection prepared by the Israeli Foreign Ministry. It seems that they think there’s a very real possibility that the European Union will impose sanctions on Israel because of the ongoing Palestinian problem. Proponents of sanctions have been quick to compare the proposed sanctions to similar actions that were imposed on South Africa due to Apartheid.

    To be frank, I’ve always been mildly surprised that the EU hasn’t gotten around to some sort of sanctions already. Most of the support that the Palestinians rely on to keep their terrorist war going comes from Europe, and hate crimes against Jews seem to be on the rise in some European countries. Added to this is the constant criticism of Israel’s actions against suspected terrorists while there’s a ringing silence when it comes to any Palestinian violence.

    I’d have to say that, unless Palestinian society destroys itself after the security barrier is completed through civil war, things are unlikely to change. European opinion is always going to be weighted against Israel, and sanctions appear to be inevitable when the EU finally gets it’s act together and produces a unified foreign policy.

     

    11 Responses to “We’ve All Seen This Coming”

    1. Jonathan Says:

      I suspect there’s also a protectionist angle here.

    2. Ginny Says:

      Well, I don’t see a protectionist angle to the Presbyterian USA decision to avoid the taint to its increasingly small pittance of funds from any business doing business in Israel. Surely this is nihilism (whether a choice against or for – what would it be for, a suicide bombing of a bat mitzvah?). This is a culture of death and it squats in its looming darkness at the center of the church as well as along the Gaza strip.
      And it does not bode well for the future.

      This is from someone who actually had “come back” to the church, dragged by my daughter, and loving the beauty of the music and admiring the generousity and faith of old members, who ignore, I suspect, the national policies. And, the great irony, my daughter was welcomed by the lovely child of a mixed marriage – services on Friday and church on Sunday.

    3. Ralf Goergens Says:

      Not to worry folks.

      Some European countries were talking about sanctions against Israel in the past, but Germany always vetoed that, and will continue to do so in the future.

      And James: Only a tiny, extremist majority in Germany is doing, or even supporting such attacks as described in the CNN article you linked to (the bombing that injured some Jews was perpetrated by immigrants, not Germans). That has absolutely nothing to do with German policy, or for that matter the overwhelming majority pof Germans.

    4. Ralf Goergens Says:

      For that matter, the European Union and Israel have a free-trade agreement. That means that Israeli goods can be imported toll-free. That excludes goods made in the settlements outside Israel, though:

      http://www.fruitnet.com/cgi-bin/news.pl?news.REF=682

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/3539706.stm

    5. j.scott barnard Says:

      Israel should unilaterally impose sanctions on Europe. F*** ’em. –s

    6. Sylvain Galineau Says:

      I am often surprised it hasn’t happened yet; or that a major populist has not overtly campaigned for it – to my limited knowledge – since there would be ample popular support for it.

      I was told by an otherwise normal Irish person once that Europe should go to war in Israel if that’s what it tools to stop the “Palestinian slaughter”. At the time, I assumed te Guinness factor was involved since we were, of course, in a pub (back when they were still foggy and smoky…sigh).

      But you’d be surprised how many people generally agree with such sentiments.

      This is one case where EU regulation and treaties – see Ralf’s links – might actually dampen the enthusiasm of many for self-righteous and highly misguided politicized knee-jerkism.

    7. Jonathan Says:

      Ralf, good point about the free-trade agreement.

      Perhaps Europeans should think twice before sanctioning other countries for occupying territory, however. For example, what if non-Europeans decided to boycott products made in parts of Ukraine that were once in Poland? And I don’t see Germany imposing sanctions on the U.S. because it occupied part of Mexico, etc., etc.

    8. Ralf Goergens Says:

      Jonathan,

      Israel isn’t really sanctioned, just a tariff collected for goods made in the settlements outside the green line. THat doesn’t affect goods made inside the green line.

      Well, it would be unpractical for European countries to sanction each other for occupying territories. There isn’t a shred of land that hasn’t belonged to anyone else at some point.

    9. Ralf Goergens Says:

      And I don’t support the practice myself, for that matter.

    10. John J. Coupal Says:

      The sanctions imposed on South Africa were established by the United Nations, I believe. That was when the UN was an effective organization.

      Of what economic, or otherwise, significance would sanctions imposed by the EU be?

    11. Brett J. Taylor Says:

      This sounds like internal Israeli fear-mongering politics. ‘The EU will impose sanctions on us unless we withdraw from Gaza as per Sharon’s plan.’
      Take it with a grain of salt.