The Simon Wiesenthal Center has called on the World Trade Organization to condemn the EU “Earthquake” directive, that came into effect today, to place controversial trade and funding restrictions on Israel.
In a letter, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre’s Director for InternationalÂ Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, called on WTO Director GeneralÂ Pascal Lamy, “to condemn theÂ European Union for these discriminatory and anti free-trade measures against one of your member-states. Our Center urges the WTO to pressÂ Brussels to announce their cancellation forthwith.”
Samuels said this “is another building block of an EUÂ discriminatory policy against the State of Israel.”
Two weeks ago, the EU issued the directive which wasÂ disclosed to the left-leaning Haaretz newspaper this week, requiring all 28 European member states to ban all funding, collaboration, scholarships, research grants and awards to Israeli entities in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The rule also requires that any future agreements signed with Israel must include a clause stating that the settlements are not part of the sovereign State of Israel and therefore are not part of said agreement.Â The directive goes into effect in 2014.
Samuels said “the EU’s policy to Israel destroys povertyÂ reduction, welfare and development of Israelis and Palestinians employedÂ in industries targeted. It undermines peaceful resolution byÂ discouraging Palestinians from returning to the negotiating table soÂ diligently promoted by United State’s Secretary of State John Kerry inÂ the past few weeks. Indeed, it discredits the role of the EU as a memberÂ of the Quartet, which was established for the fostering of that peaceÂ process.”
He added: “Above all, it encourages the international Boycott,Â Divestment, and Sanctions movement designed to de-legitimize the State ofÂ Israel. These guidelines and other measures singling out the JewishÂ State are redolent of the 1930â€²s Nazi boycott of the Jews throughout theÂ Reich under the slogan ‘Kaufen Nicht bei Juden’ (buy not from Jews)Â which was the prelude to the Holocaust.
Samuels called on Lamy to direct the WTO to do its job, and defend free trade for all nations, including Israel, a WTO member country.
“The World Trade Organisation, of whichÂ Israel is a member state and, to which the EU is linked through theÂ European Economic Area (the EU and the 3 EFTA countries) has establishedÂ Rules of Trade between Nations and Co-operation with other InternationalÂ Organizations…as the International Organisation, whose primary purposeÂ is to open trade for the benefit of all.”
The WTO Mission Statement says its “founding andÂ guiding principles remain the pursuit of open borders…non-discriminatory treatment by and among members…(to)Â encourage and contribute to sustainable development, raise people’sÂ welfare, reduce poverty and foster peace and stability … The WTOÂ stands for lowering trade barriers…(to) end measures such as importÂ bans and quotas that restrict quantities selectively.”
Samuels argued that “such treatment of the territories in questionÂ violate UN Security Council resolutions 242 and 338, by which they areÂ recognized as disputed, resulting from an armed conflict that, in 1948,Â left armistice lines and, in 1967, cease-fire lines between Israel andÂ Jordan subject to negotiation for a peace agreement to end theÂ Arab-Israeli conflict.”
The letter suggested that “were these provisions to have simplyÂ designated anonymous ‘occupied territories’, this might have left theÂ matter open to definition as to …read more
Source: The Algemeiner