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August 14, 2013 3:59 pm

Report: US Quietly Backed EU Settlement Sanctions

avatar by Zach Pontz

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A neighbourhood in Ariel, Israel.

The United States quietly supported new EU sanctions against West Bank settlements, a senior European Union official told an Israeli diplomat last week, Israeli daily Haaretz reported on Wednesday.

The European Commission published the new guidelines last month that limit its dealings with Jewish communities beyond Israel’s Green Line.

American officials have denied knowing in advance about the EU’s plans–which were made public shortly before Secretary of State John Kerry announced the resumption of Israeli negotiations with the Palestinian Authority.

During a closed-door meeting between Kerry and American Jewish leaders, Kerry reportedly said that the move hindered progress on Israeli-Palestinian talks.

However, according to Ha’aretz, senior State Department officials said that the publication of the guidelines before the restart of negotiations bolstered Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas,  making it easier for him to agree to hold talks despite Israel’s refusal to freeze settlement construction. At the same time, the move  pressured Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu into agreeing to talks for fear of Israel’s international isolation increasing were he not to do so.

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  • Ignore Kerry, and ignore the HUB of most of the antisemitism which affected the diaspora since roman times… EUROPE. Israel should pursue what the people vote for in govt has determined is her national interest. Other nations trying to tell Israel what IS in that interest are usually moronic, self serving and naive.

  • Fred

    USA is not beneath betraying a good friend. With Obama at the helm in connivance with the EU any betrayal should not be a surprise. Arab money & pressure work wonders in selling of your friends. It happened before. I have, yet, to see a slight concession from the Philistines in the wake of Israel’s largesse letting loose hundreds of murderers & giving up territory. It is a treacherous world.

  • ed

    U.S.-kerry is offering hot showers and pie and cake in that big building over there please stay in line we will be there shortly.

  • Bernard Ross

    the US is a double dealing snake.

    • gary scharlat

      Couldn’t agree more and obama is the head of the snake-
      he wants to destroy the West-U.S. and Israel-and he is moving ahead with the help of the moronic electorate.n

  • EthanP

    What a surprise. The Obama Admin stabbing Israel in the back. Who would have thought. Not!

    • james kost

      100,000 dead in syria, 3,000,000 dead in sudan,5,000,000 dead in congo, 1,000,000 young girls forced into sex slavery every year,,,, well we can’t do anything about that, so let’s boycott the jews.

    • Sonia Willats

      It’s pretty clear to me that Kerry (i.e. Obama) organised the EU stick to beat Netanyahu with – and the Jewish State.

      I agree with all, Moshe too. The more Israel agrees to cow-tow to America and the EU and their unreasonable demands, the more Israel will have to cow-tow further and further… It is completely the wrong strategy.

      PM Netanyahu needs to look to the G-d of Israel, not the nations of the world.

  • Moshe

    Real Plain Talk.

    Examine Mid-East history honestly and you will find that negative public image has increased in direct proportion to Israel’s appeasement. The more spine the Jews exhibit, the more respect they gain. This applies to Israel as a country, the Jews as a people and to the safety of every Jew world-wide.

    This is what saddens me.

    • Plain Talk

      Releasing murderers is certainly a display of weakness. Moshe, I don’t think stopping expansion can be deemed a sign of weakness. For me, that may not be the iron hand sign of strength but it is in no way a sign of weakness.

  • Ha’aretz is lying

  • Steven

    The Kabuki dancing going on is mesmerizing.

    • Stan

      This is a good point. Either a source is credible or it isn’t. People can’t damn Haaretz for lying when they disagree with it, then turn around and say they are telling the truth when they agree. It is the same way with Amnesty and HRW. I will never use them as a trusted source, as they are clearly politically motivated.



    CAN I REMIND ISRAELIS THAT THE GOD ABRAHAM, ISAAC AND JACOB [JOSEPH]IS THE LORD YOU God, YOUR REFUGE, YOUR STRENGTH. He is your ROCK and will cleave for you even when all the world abandon you. He [GOD] cannot leave you or forsake you. He is a promise keeper. He is unchangeable, yet changer of all situations to conform to His plan and purpose for His People, His Land and His Holy City. The city of David; David the “DADDY” of the ‘Son of Man’ The description Jesus usually gave to Himself while walking the streets of Nazareth. Don’t look back, remain focus on Him. GOD BLESS ISRAEL. AMEN

    • Pam Chester

      Yes yes yes
      I pray Godly Wisdom and Srength for Natayahu and all of Israel. The “apple of HIS eye!”

  • Ed Kohl

    And no demand that Abbas end incitement?

  • Salomon

    That´s Obama doctrine: Appease the “bad guys” (Muslim Brotherhood and “palestinians”), stick on the friendly nations…especially the Jews…

  • Plain Talk

    I have said it before and I will say it at every opportunity I can.

    The policy of settlement expansion in the disputed territories is probably the most counter productive thing Israel does especially in terms of public image. It adds tremendous negative sentiment and gives the Israel haters and bashers nuclear firepower in their campaign of hate.

    I don’t see the benefit at all outside of garnering votes from the religious right. Horrendous policy and one that disgusts me greatly and saddens me greatly

    • Bernard Ross

      i think you are completely clueless and proceed like a robotic believer in garbage. It is a libel that Jewish settlement in the west bank is illegal. Furthermore, the US and EU nations are actually legally obligated under international law to “encourage jewish immigration to Palestine and facilitate the close settlement of the Jewish people thereon”. San Remo, LON Mandate trust, UN Charter art 80. the area referred to was palestine after the illegal donation of 80% to the foreign hashemite tribe and included all area west of the Jordan river. The rights of the Jewish people have not expired, been rescinded, ore replaced by any superior document. Stop chatting foolish rubbish. The europeans have been libelers, swindlers,torturers and slaughterers of the jews for 2000 years. Israel has always been under despicable pressure by US and EU because of their needs to please the arabs. Your opinion is based on nothing regarding law or history but is rather the parroting of lies repeated enough to garner the appearance of truth. You are an insult.

      • Plain Talk

        You don’t read and you don’t listen. I never said it was illegal. What I said is that it is by far the biggest failure in public relations imaginable. And with all your hot air, it truly happens to be.
        By the way, it is legal to bet your whole wallet on a pair of deuces in the game of poker but it certainly is one of the stupidest things one can do.
        So again, I never said it was illegal.

        • Nortal

          I see where you’re coming from. But those who know the facts understand that the moment Israel agrees to freeze “settlements”, the concession will be taken for granted and the next demand will pop up.
          I’m not saying there isn’t logic in what you say. But people like you (and me) also urged Israel to sign the Oslo Accords, to get out of Lebanon, to leave Gaza… I was among those people. But what was the result of those concessions? Israel is in a less comfortable position than she was in 1993. It has brought in the PLO in order to make peace — and got terrorism, calls for boycott & trouble at UN. It has evacuated Gaza (including “the settlements”) and got rockets… Now they are asked to release terrorists that murdered civilians just for the “pleasure” of sitting with Abbas at the negotiations table. And none of those gestures even improved Israel’s PR. You can’t ignore all that when you ask Israel to make the next “goodwill gesture”.

          • Plain Talk

            Finally, a very lucid response to what I have been saying.
            Nortal, Israel does not have to put announce a freeze, it just has to cease giving permits. In other words, there are many ways to get the mission accomplished without showing a sign of weakness.
            Frankly and surprisingly, you are right about me when it came to Oslo but I was not in favor of the Gaza return. Burn me once, your bad …. burn me twice, my bad!
            Hey I can remember my dad talking about the impossibility of a peace deal between Begin and Sadat but guess what? As we all know, it happened and lasted for decades. So I never give up the hope.
            Anyway, thank you for your input and have a good one.

    • Sonia Willats

      PlainTalk. Bernard Ross is right and not being nasty. You can get information e.g. from the Jerusalem Post on the actual facts. When Palestine was decreed Britain, overnight, cut off a huge section of what was given TO THE JEWS and gave this to the Arabs in Palestine. That became Jordan. So the WHOLE of the “Westbank” – was part of Israel – except that Jordan and most surrounding countries then declared war on the fledgling Jewish state overnight (Yes, the state of holocaust and persecution-survivors) and they had to fight, yet again, to survive. The “Westbank” hangs over from armistice lines set after this war. Once a believed all this liberal garbage too. IT IS IGNORANCE. Read the facts and then talk. THANK YOU, BERNARD.