EU threatens sanctions
Secret EU Document Reveals Israel Sanctions Policy

EU has distributed document to member-states outlining punishments against Israel for 'red lines' - like Jerusalem construction.

Tags: EU Sanctions EEAS
Ari Yashar ,

EU's Federica Mogherini, Mahmoud Abbas
EU's Federica Mogherini, Mahmoud Abbas
STR/Flash 90

The European Union (EU) has sent a secret document to its 28 member states detailing sanctions to be taken against Israel, if it takes moves the EU feels compromises the creation of an Arab state of 'Palestine' inside Israel.

The paper, drafted by the European External Action Service (EEAS), was distributed to European diplomats who were told not to show it to Israel yet, according to Haaretz. Israeli diplomats in Europe became aware of the document and reported on it to the Foreign Ministry.

Some of the "red lines" which the EU would react to by punishing Israel with the sanctions include construction in the E1 area between Jerusalem and Ma'ale Adumim, as well as in Jerusalem neighborhoods over the 1949 Armistice line. According to the EU, such moves would prevent a division of Jerusalem by which it would be the capital of both Israel and "Palestine."

Sanctions under discussion in the document reportedly include marking products from Judea and Samaria in EU supermarkets to facilitate boycotts, limiting cooperation with Israel, and even limiting the free-trade agreement with Israel.

"There is big frustration in Europe and zero tolerance for settlement activity. This paper is part of the internal brainstorming being done in Brussels these days, about what can be done to keep the two-state solution alive," a European diplomat revealed.

According to the diplomat and his colleagues, the document contains "sticks and carrots" to foist Europe's political vision on Israel - they acknowledged it mostly contains "sticks."

EU policy up to this point has put the development of ties with Israel as contingent upon the "peace process." The caveat of the new document is that the EU will now take negative steps such as sanctions and restrictions in ties in response to actions it views as being against that process.

"This paper is an uncooked dish and the process is only beginning, but it is slowly continuing," warned a senior European diplomat.

Officials speaking to Haaretz revealed the document was drafted by Christian Berger of Austria, the director for Middle East of the EEAS. Berger was behind EU sanctions last July as well.

The talk of EU sanctions comes two weeks after human rights groups and political parties in Europe demanded that the EU threaten to suspend the Association Agreement with Israel, which is the central treaty between the two sides. They called for the threat so as to force Israel to give a report on its actions fighting the Hamas terror group in Operation Protective Edge.

At the time Federica Mogherini, the EU's new foreign affairs chief, was in Israel where she called to divide the Israeli capital of Jerusalem.

European officials last month revealed they are weighing various punitive actions against Israel, such as a travel ban on Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria with any criminal record, as well as moves to subvert the trade agreement.

The various moves against Israel come as anti-Semitism has been shown to be skyrocketing in Europe, with research revealing exponential increases in anti-Semitic acts and speech particularly around the recent Gaza operation.