22 July 2013

"The approach taken by the EU is ham-fisted and potentially counter-productive..."

From the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, 21 July 2013:
The Executive Council of Australian Jewry (ECAJ) has warmly welcomed the announcement of an agreement being reached for resuming direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

"We express our sincere hope that a just and enduring peace can be reached between Israel and the Palestinians on the basis of the principle of two States for two peoples", said ECAJ President, Dr Danny Lamm. "We note with appreciation that the Australian Government’s policy statements have consistently affirmed this principle, and have urged the parties to return to direct negotiations without preconditions," Dr Lamm said.

Dr Lamm was also highly critical of new guidelines published by the European Union concerning the eligibility of Israeli entities which operate beyond the Green Line to benefit from grants, prizes and financial instruments funded by the EU.

"It is not the place of the EU or anyone else to try to pre-empt the resolution of final status issues such as borders and settlements which the parties themselves have previously agreed can only be resolved by them in direct negotiations", Dr Lamm said.
"The approach taken by the EU is ham-fisted and potentially counter-productive. It sends out the utterly unrealistic message that only the Israelis, and not the Palestinians, will need to make painful compromises to achieve peace".