EU Protests Israeli Occupation Policies - by Stephen Lendman
Protests growing over Israel's ruthless occupation policies.
On December 23, Haaretz writer Barak Ravid headlined, "EU voices protest over Israeli policies in East Jerusalem, West Bank," saying:
"A day after four European Union members of the UN Security Council strongly criticized Israel's decision to speed up construction of settlements."
"EU ambassador to Israel Andrew Standley on Thursday submitted a formal protest to the Foreign Ministry over evacuating Bedouins and tearing down Palestinians' houses in the E1 area near" Ma'aleh Adumim settlement.
Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD) Director Jeff Halper called it a major development, saying:
"The significance of this development is not only the creation of a greater Jerusalem that controls the center of the West Bank, but the emergence of Israeli Occupation territorial contiguity, that effectively eliminates the two state solution."
ICAHD's Co-Director Itay Epshtain added:
"ICAHD has long cautioned about the emergence of a greater Jerusalem linking the Judaization of East Jerusalem and displacement of Bedouins in E1, with the development of Ma'aleh Adumim, all the way to the Jordan Valley."
On December 20, Washington vetoed a Security Council resolution condemning Israel's latest settlement expansion plans. In response, all 14 other SC members rebuked America's decision.
Russia's UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin called the move "historic." Dismissing a 14 - 1 vote, Washington called the SC divided. In fact, nearly the entire world's on one side, America and Israel on the other. The same's held earlier for decades. Palestinians are denied justice.
Israel denounced EU members' criticism. A Foreign Ministry statement said they should refrain from "interfering" in Israel's "internal" affairs, and focus solely on restarting peace talks.
UK, French, German and Portugese officials said Israel's settlement expansions undermine efforts to do it. In a joint statement, they explained:
"Israel's continuing announcements to accelerate the construction of settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, including East Jerusalem, send a devastating message."
They called for halting them immediately. They also want settlers responsible for violence prosecuted. Without explicitly naming Washington, Russia's Churkin suggested America dismisses efforts to restart peace talks, saying: