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Op-ed: This is how they can now try to strangle Israel

The shameful US abstention can lead to much harm for Israel, with the next steps under review by the European Commission.

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Giulio Meotti,

BDS graffiti sign
BDS graffiti sign
Photo: Miriam Alster / Flash 90

Giulio Meotti is an Italian journalist with Il Foglio and author of the book "A New Shoah", that researched the personal stories of Israel's terror victims and of "J'Accuse: the Vatican Against Israel." His latest book, not yet translated from the Italian, is "The End of Europe: New Mosques and Abandoned Churches."

UN Resolution number 2334, which condemned as “illegal” all Jewish life in Judea and Samaria thanks to the shameful abstention of the United States, can have serious consequences for the Jewish State.

It begins at the Hague Court: any Israeli, civilian or military, involved in the “settlements”, will be liable to judgment for violating the Geneva Convention. The Israeli army, which administers areas B and C, may be indicted if demolishes the homes of terrorists, if it expropriates the land for reasons of “security”, if it plans new Israeli homes. The decision is now in the hands of the Hague prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, who has already opened an investigation about the “Israeli settlements,” believing they constitute a “war crime.” Israeli military personnel and politicians could be subject to warrants if they land in London, as occurred with Tzipi Livni.

The UN resolution is a spectacular victory for the BDS, the boycott of Israel, which already has garnered successes in Europe and is now galvanized by the vote at the UN. Companies involved in the construction of the anti-terrorism fence may be subject to lawsuits in many European countries, such as the Netherlands and England.

The resolution asks the UN Secretary General to report every three months with respect to the resolution, meaning Israel is under special surveillance. The resolution separates Israel from the land occupied by Jordan from 1948 to 1967 (including the Old City of Jerusalem), paving the way for sanctions against Israel, on the mendacious model of apartheid, treating Israel as if it is like the once racist South Africa.

A year ago the European Union approved the labeling of Israeli products beyond the Green Line, and now Israel fears a new wave of measures from Brussels. Banks, oil companies, shopping centers, high tech companies and telephone providers that operate in the so-called Territories can be subject to sanctions.

The next steps are already under review by the European Commission: Israeli banks offering mortgages to homeowners in Judea and Samaria will be exposed to repercussions; the retail chains that have stores in Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria may be excluded from the European market; manufacturers using parts made in Israeli factories will be subject to special markings; Israelis living in those communities may lose the privilege that allows today to Israeli citizens to travel to Europe without a visa; Israeli universities in the territories, such as Ariel, can be deprived of the recognition of Brussels.

The European Council on Foreign Relations, whose proposals come on the table of European legislators, has suggested to put sanction some Israeli banks. It is already happening: Deutsche Bank included the Israeli Bank Hapoalim in a list of companies about which investments raise “ethical issues”. So did the largest Danish bank, Danske Bank, while the Swedish Nordea has put under scrutiny Israeli Leumi, and Mizrahi-Tefahot. The largest Dutch pension fund, PGGM, withdrew investments from five Israeli institutions. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra'ad Zeid Al Hussein, is already working on a “black list” of companies.

It is the grand finale of 2016. The West removed the sanctions on Iran to place them on the only open society from Marrakech to Islamabad: the beautiful State of Israel.