Over at Haaretz, Barak Ravid is reporting that the consuls general of the European Union in Ramallah and East Jerusalem have called on the EU to take harsh measures against Israeli settlements in their annual Heads of Mission report.
More than just condemnations, they’ve outlined steps to isolate and punish Israel for its settlements. From the story:
Among the recommendations made in the nonbinding Heads of Mission report for 2012, which has been obtained by Haaretz, is to “prevent, discourage and raise awareness about problematic implications of financial transactions including foreign direct investments, from within the EU in support of settlement activities, infrastructure and services.”
Seven of the report’s 10 recommendations deal with imposing direct or indirect sanctions by the European Union on bodies and organizations involved in construction in the settlements. The recommendation to actively encourage European divestment from the settlements is particularly severe, compared with previous internal EU reports.
Representatives of the European Union are free to recommend sanctions against whomever they wish, however, put this in line with the EU’s highly visible unwillingness to designate Hezbollah as a terrorist organization and to cut off donations to the group’s political wing and a message becomes clear: It seems easier to lobby the EU to act against settlements in the West Bank than it is to lobby the EU to act against a group that carries out terrorist attacks against the EU’s own member states.
Sure, this is a nonbinding report, but I’d love to hear what the EU consuls general are recommending in other countries across the otherwise trouble-free Middle East.