Netanyahu to EU: Stop spoiling the Palestinians, Trump was right

PM tells EU leaders that PA opposition to Zionism is root of conflict, not Jerusalem or 'settlements'. 'Stop spoiling the Palestinians.'

David Rosenberg, | updated: 14:55

Binyamin Netanyahu meets with EU leaders in Brussels
Binyamin Netanyahu meets with EU leaders in Brussels

Israeli Premier Binyamin Netanyahu had some choice words for European Union leaders during a lunch meeting in Brussels on Monday.

Netanyahu, who earlier on Monday met with EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini, pushed the EU to alter its position on recognition of Israel’s capital city, Jerusalem.

The Israeli leader referenced President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital last Wednesday, saying that “it makes peace possible, because recognizing reality is the substance of peace, it's the foundation of peace.”

"There is now an effort under way to bring forward a new peace proposal by the American administration. I think we should give peace a chance. I think we should see what is presented and see if we can advance this peace," Netanyahu continued.

Mogherini, for her part, reiterated the EU’s position that it would not recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in the absences of a final status agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. EU officials, including Mogherini, criticized President Trump’s declaration, warning that it could derail plans to reboot talks between Israel and the PA, which have been moribund since 2014.

After his meeting with Mogherini, Netanyahu joined other EU leaders for a lunch meeting in Brussels.

During the gathering, Netanyahu criticized the EU for “spoiling” the PA, leading the PA to become recalcitrant, and demand unrealistic concessions from Israel.

“Stop spoiling the Palestinians, they’re spoiled and Trump told them the truth,” Netanyahu said, according to Channel 12.

“How many times did you ask [the PA] to recognize the Jewish state and to end its [anti-Israel] incitement? I’m prepared to look up the numbers,” Netanyahu continued.

Netanyahu decried claims by EU member states that Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria were an obstacle to peace.

The Prime Minister later reflected on the lunch meeting, saying that despite being largely opposed by the EU leaders in his call for recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, he “felt like a lion – I didn’t feel like I was in a lion’s den.”

“I also said that the heart of the conflict had nothing to do with the settlements. Repeating that over and over doesn’t make it true. The [Arab] opposition to Zionism preceded the settlements, and it is tied to the overall refusal to accept a Jewish state per se.”

“The settlements that the Palestinians are talking about really are Jaffa and Tel Aviv and Haifa. The time has come to stop spoiling the Palestinians.”

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