New York, NY, June 27, 2014 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today sharply criticized the recent directives issued by a number of European governments which seek to dissuade their citizens from conducting business with Israeli companies in the West Bank, calling the measures a “new extreme” and noting that the timing is “out of step” with the situation on the ground.
During the past week, the governments of Spain, Italy, Germany, France and the United Kingdom have each issued warnings to their citizens about the risks involved for companies engaging in economic activity in West Bank settlements, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, including violations of international law and human rights.
“At a period when Israel is confronting heightened threats from Hamas and other terrorist elements, the search for the abducted Israeli teens, ongoing rocket fire from Gaza, and intensifying regional instability, it is disappointing that European governments have once again unduly honed in on settlements,” said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. “Not only is the timing of this action out of step with the recent security developments, but the suggestion that conducting business with private West Bank-based Israeli companies could violate human rights takes the European position on settlements to a new extreme.”
Not surprisingly, the European directive focuses solely on Israel, and makes no mention of the Palestinian Authority-Hamas unity government, which contributed to the collapse of recent peace talks with Israel; nor does the directive mention Hamas’ culpability for the three missing Israeli teens and the rocket fire.
‘To be seen as a constructive party in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, European states must cease their unfair practice of focusing solely on Israel’s settlement activity,” said Mr. Foxman. “The Palestinian Authority should be held responsible for its own obstructionist actions, including its direct affiliation with terrorist groups like Hamas.”