Israeli officials with close ties to the U.S. administration said Monday that the U.S. gave the go-ahead to several European countries to summon their Israeli ambassadors.
“The European move is essentially an American move,” one official told Ynet.com. “The Brits asked the Americans how to act.”
The UK Foreign Office issued this statement Monday: “Any decision about any other measures the UK might take will depend on the outcome of our discussions with the Israeli government and with international partners including the US and European Union.”
“The Americans and Brits believe that building in area E1 would essentially terminate the peace process,” an Israeli official explained to Ynet.com.
“The Europeans got the green light to respond with extreme measures and the US in the meantime decided not to impose economic sanctions on the Palestinians in response to their UN bid,” the official said. “The Americans decided to bolster Abu Mazen (Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas) and push for a resumption of peace talks.”
Concerns of U.S. and European backlash have been expressed in Israeli media with Shimon Schiffer writing in Tuesday’s Yediot Ahranot, “It looks like we’ll not be wrong if we’ll say that Europe acts with encouragement from Washington and in complete consent between the leaders. The White House allowed Europe to mob and punish Netanyahu and his government. It has nothing to do with Netanyahu’s behavior during the US elections. It has everything to do with the recognition by Obama administration that a way has to be found to bring Israeli-Palestinian negotiations to completion.”
Israeli political commentator and Algemeiner blogger Arik Elman told The Algemeiner in an email that “Schiffer claims that, with American consent, Europeans are going ‘to make Israeli citizens feel the price for the decisions made by their leaders’ – such as freezing Israeli companies out of European contracts, wholesale marking of products made in settlements, and the lowering of the level of diplomatic representation.”