ISRAEL - EU-Israel Dialog Must Be Renewed

Arno Froese

More than five years after the European Union promised to resume ministerial-level talks with Israel, and seven months after the body spoke of scheduling such an event, the European Union has yet to do so.

“We need to talk,” Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linus Linkevicius told The Jerusalem Post while visiting Israel.

Linkevicius was referring specifically to the absence of a meeting date for the EU-Israel Association Council—the main vehicle for joint ministerial dialogue—which has not met since 2012.

Israel has a status akin to a member-state within the EU, enjoying strong economic, educational, scientific and cultural ties. Top diplomats—including prime ministers and foreign ministers of EU member-states—are frequent visitors to Israel.

But in Brussels, on the diplomatic level, that strong relationship is often marred by the EU’s stance against Israeli actions over the pre-1967 lines, including EU opposition to settlement building and its support for illegal Palestinian construction in Area C of the West Bank.

Both Estonian Foreign Minister Sven Mikser and his Hungarian counterpart Peter Szijjarto indicated that the EU position on Israeli settlement activity was to blame for the absence of a date for a council meeting.

In December 2016, EU member states supported the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334, which condemned Israeli settlement activity.

“Let’s keep what was planned,” Linkevicius said. “Let’s have a permanent regular dialogue, which is not happening. I would like to see this dialogue happen, with the understanding that there could be some disagreements. A lot of issues should be discussed—be it settlements, be it the Iranian issue, or whatever. I would do my best to facilitate that.”, 6 September 2017

Arno's commentary

Many ask, what’s the use of dialog? Europe’s rock-solid policy toward Israel: no subdivisions (settlements) beyond the pre-1967 lines. In opposition stands Israel’s rock-solid position: to build subdivisions on land that was purchased privately or is government land. In spite of the strong opposition, Israel is enjoying non-membership EU advantages like no other country in the world. Besides, Europe is Israel’s largest trading partner.

Thus—in spite of good economic, educational, scientific, and cultural ties—the issue is still the Promised Land and, on that point, Israel stands alone. All nations of the world agree that Israel should withdraw from their territory and allow for the establishment of an Arab-Palestinian state on Israel’s soil. That is the point where God will intervene, some day in the not-too-distant future, in favor of Israel.

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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