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    Posted January 24, 2011 at 3:49 pm

    EU’s consuls propose boycott

    It was more valuable by far than the symbolic recognitions of a notional Palestinian state with its capital in East Jerusalem: it was a set of proposals by the EU’s missions in Jerusalem and Ramallah that the EU should cease to cooperate with Israel’s hold on East Jerusalem.

    These include boycotting Israeli businesses in —  and Israeli goods from —  East Jerusalem; re-opening the PLO office in E. Jerusalem, placing EU officials at Israeli demolition­s/evacuati­ons of Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem and at court hearings on these issues, EU interventi­ons at demonstrations, arrests or intimidation by Israeli authoritie­s, and…” rec­ommends that EU officials and politician­s refuse to visit Israeli government offices that are located beyond the Green Line and that they decline any Israeli security in the Old City and elsewhere in East Jerusalem.­”

    In short, the EU should start to act as if E Jerusalem is actually the capital of a Palestinian state.

    The first part of the report details construction and expansion of settlements in East Jerusalem, the infringement of human rights of Palestinian residents of the eastern part of the city, as well as inequality in education and medical services available to Palestinians. The report concludes that beyond their humanitarian significance, these conditions weaken the Palestinian hold on the city. The diplomats’ report also discusses the possibility of preventing “violent settlers in East Jerusalem” from being granted entry into EU countries. In the area of commerce, it recommends encouraging a boycott of Israeli products from East Jerusalem. 

    Nir Hasson in Haaretz comments that ” the dramatic turn in the report can be seen in the operative steps it recommends, which in fact constitute the foundations for sanctions against Israel. “

    Back in Europe, EU citizens would be advised officially of financial risk if they buy property in occupied East Jerusalem, and the EU should ensure that retailers should ensure that settlement produce be clearly labelled as to their origin.

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