both parties and will make every effort, together with our partners, to ensurethat negotiations succeed. I firmly believe that a final end to this conflict is within reach. I call on all thosewho wish to see a negotiated solution to support those now engaged in talks sothat the opportunity for peace can be seized."
In that respect, the one-sided dictating of a European position to Israel is not an act of “areliable friend and ally”.There is no need to remind you that in order to represent the shared values of its member states, the EU must always endeavor to be at the forefront of international efforts toadvance a more equitable, just, and peaceful world order. Unfortunately, the latest effortof the European Commission to issue strict restrictive guidelines on cooperation withIsrael actually brings it further from those goals.The guidelines, issued this past June, plainly state that this cooperation, which may alsotake the form of grants or prizes, must not geographically extend beyond Israel's pre-1967 line. Their purpose, according to the guidelines document, is to ensure respect for EU positions like "the non-recognition by the EU of Israel's sovereignty over theterritories occupied by Israel since June 1967." Since they were issued, someinternational voices, like the European Eminent Persons Group, have issued public callsto member states to back the EU "fully applying" the guidelines.The European Commission is free to insist on how EU resources are used and where theyare invested. It can be understood that Brussels may want to make sure that EU economiccooperation with partners abroad not get mired in contentious territorial disputes. But thequestion then arises if these new restrictions in the case of Israel represent a broader policy that is being applied universally by the EU with respect to the dozens of territorialdisputes, some of which are on Europe's doorstep (fishery agreement with Morocco over the waters of Western Sahara, funds to the Turkish community in Northern Cyprus, for instance), or, put it simply, is just a discriminatory policy directed exclusively againstIsrael.Furthermore, while European policymakers remain rightfully mindful of the politicalchallenges facing President Abbas, it appears that they tend to ignore the challengesfacing Israel and its Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. European leaders appear disinclined to take into due consideration the complex and multiple strategic challengesfacing Israel, and the full track record of the Government of Israel with regards to thePalestinians, including the 2010 moratorium on settlement construction.Reflecting upon prevalent European attitudes regarding Israel and the peace process,Quartet Representative Tony Blair pointed out in 2010 that there:
“is a conscious or often unconscious resistance, sometimes bordering onrefusal, to accept Israel has a legitimate point of view. Note that I say refusal to accept Israel has a legitimate point of view. I’m not saying refusal to agreewith it. People are perfectly entitled to agree or not; but rather anunwillingness to listen to the other side, to acknowledge that Israel has a point,