Deputy Foreign Minister Ze'ev Elkin said in an interview broadcast Friday that it is time to halt all “gestures” toward the Palestinian Authority (PA), and added that Israel has “no reason to allow the Europeans to act vis-a-vis the Palestinians in all kinds of projects they are promoting.”
He was reacting to an EU directive to halt cooperation with Israeli projects in the Golan, Judea, Samaria and eastern Jerusalem.
“This is a scandalous decision, which shows that the Europeans are behaving like a bull in a china shop,” he told Arutz Sheva's Yoni Kempinski, “and that they have allowed the bureaucratic echelon to lead them without receiving instructions from the diplomatic echelon.
“The decision in its current wording goes far beyond the regular European policy,” Elkin said. “It tries not only to determine where the European money goes – which is their right, even if we do not like it – but also tries to dictate to us where the Israeli money will go in joint plans with Europe, and this most certainly is unacceptable to us.
“It also most certainly causes Palestinians to toughen their positions, because if Europeans support the Palestinians even when they are the ones refusing to negotiate, then they have no reason to return to the negotiating table with the Israelis.
“The European decision should also do something to the nationalists in the government, I think,” Elkin opined. “Until now there was a kind of tacit agreement by the right wing of Likud and Bayit Yehudi not to interfere with the prime ministers attempts to restart the diplomatic talks, even at the price of certain gestures toward the Palestinians. They always explained this to us by saying it was necesssary in order to reduce pressure on Israel.
However, he said, “If the EU is acting against us with full force anyway, this is not the time to talk about even the smallest gesture toward the Palestinians. On the contrary, this is the time to think about how the Palestinians can compensate us for the damage that is being caused us because of their campaign.”