Daily Israel Report

Netanyahu: EU Boycott Undermines Peace

The EU boycott of Israeli entities beyond the 1949 Armistice Line will negatively affect peace, PM tells Germany's Foreign Minister.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 8/13/2013, 4:12 AM

Netanyahu and Westerwelle
Netanyahu and Westerwelle
Flash 90

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said on Monday that the European Union’s new guidelines which boycott Israeli entities that operate from beyond the 1949 Armistice Line will do nothing to help achieve peace but, in fact, will negatively affect the chances for peace.

Netanyahu made the comments during a meeting with German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle. The meeting was held at the Prime Minister’s residence in Jerusalem, as Netanyahu is still recovering from his emergency hernia operation.

"Welcome to Jerusalem. You’re a friend; Chancellor Merkel is a friend; and Germany is a friend of Israel,” Netanyahu told Westerwelle. “We both want the same thing – to achieve peace. We’re committed to peace and we’re working for peace.”

He added, “I have to say, on a sad note, that I think Europe, the European guidelines by the EU have actually undermined peace. They’ve hardened Palestinian positions, they seek an unrealistic end that everybody knows is not going to happen, and I think they stand in the way of reaching a solution which will only be reached by negotiations by the parties, and not by an external dictate. I think this is something that you know very well, and I look forward to discussing with you how, bilaterally and other ways, we can advance peace together."

On Sunday, Westerwelle met with Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, who told him that the EU is not the body to determine issues relating to Israel’s borders.

Livni warned against making the "linkage between Israel, the EU and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict", referring to the new EU guidelines.

"The future borders of Israel and the future borders of the Palestinian state will be discussed in the negotiations room between Israel and the Palestinians and not as an EU decision, as we saw in the guidelines," she stressed.

"The EU should wait to see what's going to happen with the outcome of the negotiations," said Livni.

President Shimon Peres also told Westerwelle that the EU should put its proposed boycott of Israeli businesses in Judea and Samaria on hold in order to help the diplomatic process.

Netanyahu clarified last week that Israel will not sign any contracts with Europe so long as its boycott of Judea, Samaria, eastern Jerusalem and even the Golan Heights - as per the new guidelines - continues.