Sunday, December 22, 2013

The EU may consider sanctions on Israel if no Peace Deal with Palestinians is Reached

Could Israel face a mounting global boycott of the type that ended apartheid in South Africa if it fails to reach a peace deal with the Palestinians by this spring? 
Some liberal Israeli commentators have been sounding such warnings, and the outgoing EU envoy to the Middle East said Thursday that support in Europe for sanctioning Israel over its settlement policies could gain steam if talks collapse.
Israeli officials have been downplaying any potential repercussions, and this week the European Union dangled unprecedented incentives before Israelis and Palestinians to nudge them toward a deal. 
But Palestinian grass-roots activists and their foreign supporters say an international campaign of boycott, divestment, and sanctions against Israel is gaining momentum. 
They point to recent successes, such as a decision this week by the American Studies Association, a group representing more than 3,800 US scholars, to boycott Israeli academic institutions, though not individual Israeli colleagues.
Israeli government officials have either dismissed the boycott campaign as ineffective or portrayed it as an attempt with strong anti-Semitic overtones to delegitimize the Jewish state. 
Ron Dermer, the Israeli ambassador to the United States, denounced the boycott decision of the US scholars as a ‘‘travesty,’’ saying this week that ‘‘singling out of the Jewish state for boycott is no different than the many attempts throughout history to single out Jews and hold them to a different standard.’’
Read the full story HERE.

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