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Expert: EU Uproar Over 'Settlements' Snowballing

Avi Primor, a former ambassador who is now a professor at Tel Aviv University, insists that boycott movement is a worsening trend.
By Tova Dvorin
First Publish: 12/12/2013, 2:13 AM

EU's Catherine Ashton with PM Binyamin Netanyahu
EU's Catherine Ashton with PM Binyamin Netanyahu
Israel news photo: Flash 90

Avi Primor, former Ambassador of Israel to the European Union and Germany and head of European Studies at Tel-Aviv University, stated to Arutz Sheva Wednesday that the strained relationship this week between Holland and Israel may not last. 

Dutch water company Vitens cut ties with Israeli water supplier Mekorot this week, citing disagreements over its presence in Judea and Samaria. Just one day later, a Dutch member of the European Parliamentary Assembly blamed Israel for the Palestinian Authority's failure to be "a democratic partner" in peace talks. 

MK Ronen Hoffman (Yesh Atid) responded to the report by noting increasing levels of anti-Israel activity and sentiment throughout Europe. He stated that "pointing an accusing finger at Israel because the Palestinians aren't meeting their international obligations is absurd."

Primor agreed that the phenomenon of anti-Judea and Samaria activity is rampant in Europe, but stressed that EU-Israel relations are still intact.

"It's an ongoing process of boycotting companies that operate in Judea and Samaria," he stated, referring to similar moves made by Britain and Romania. "European governments do not want to exacerbate relations with Israel, but they are under the pressure of public opinion growing against Israeli 'settlement' policy." 

Primor explained that even though there are political negotiations, the Europeans are convinced that Israel has failed.

"They think we are torpedoing the negotiations by continuing construction [in Judea and Samaria]," he concluded. "The very fact that the Mekorot Water Company draws water from Judea and Samaria [is considered] 'stealing water from the Palestinian [Authority]'."