Monday, April 27, 2009

EU Not Ready To Upgrade Ties With Israel

Curt Here...

I saw this story posted today on the front page of the website Fulfilled Prophecy. You can find it here..

Last week the US Administration was pressuring Israel into Mid East peace negotiations and this week the EU is taking it's turn putting the squeeze on Israel. I am sure from Israel's perspective that the pressure they received from the US was unpleasant, but this week, the pressure they are receiving from the EU has a bit more bite to it.

You see, in January 2007 the European Neighborhood Policy, which is a 7 year agreement between the EU and many other Middle East countries including Israel, went into force. This agreement provides not only security to Israel but also provides many trading oppurtunities for good and services with other countries within the European Neighborhood agreement.

There was also a promise for future upgrading of ties between the EU and Israel, with a dream of someday Israel joining the EU as a member state. Of course for this to have any chance of happening Israel was required to make progress towards peace and a two state solution with the Palestinians. A two state solution would include giving up control of the Temple Mount, allowing part of Jerusalem to be the Capitol of a future country called Palestine and several other requirements.

The old Israeli government under Euhud Olmert was making pretty good progress towards this goal, but the recent Israeli elections has changed all of that. The new Israeli government headed by Benjamin Netanyahu is not very interested in this idea, and why should they be? The Palestinians have never stood by their agreements in the past, and really there is no evidence that they will in the future.

The EU of course is not happy with this latest stand by Netanyahu, and they are very quickly reminding the new Israeli leadership of the agreement Israel made in 2007.

The very interesting part about the ENP agreement is that it has a mid-term review. That's right 3 1/2 years after it has started (June 2010) the EU will formally assess whether Israel is living up to their end of the bargain. So when the EU tells Israel that they are not ready to upgrade ties with them, trust me when I say that Israel understands that this means that the whole ENP agreement is in play.

Stay Tuned


EU not ready to upgrade ties with Israel

Israel must back the creation of a Palestinian state and recommit to the Middle East peace process before the EU can deepen ties with the Jewish state, the European Commission said Thursday.

"We believe that good and trustful relations with Israel are essential in order to make our voice heard," the EU's External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner told reporters in Brussels.

"We do not believe, however, that the time is indeed ripe to go beyond the current level of relations," she added.

Late last year EU nations agreed to enhance ties with Israel but the idea has been a dead letter since the Israeli offensive in the Gaza Strip in December and January, leaving over 1,300 Palestinians dead, according to Palestinian figures.

The future of the troubled peace process has become more uncertain with the appointment of Israel's hawkish Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as he has not endorsed the idea of the creation of a Palestinian state -- a principle Israel committed to under the 2003 international Middle East peace "roadmap."

That refusal to endorse the goal of a Palestinian state has raised fears that Israel's new cabinet is on a collision course with the new US administration which has vowed to push ahead with the peace process.

Netanyahu is scrambling to shape his cabinet's policy on the Middle East peace talks ahead of a planned meeting with Obama in Washington in May.

US President Barack Obama on Tuesday invited Arab and Israeli leaders to Washington and called for "good faith" gestures from all sides, including Israel.

"Too much remains unclear at this current point in time. And we expect indeed a clear commitment from the new government to pursue the negotiations with the Palestinians," EU commissioner Ferrero-Waldner said.

"We expect a stop of all activities undermining our objective of a two-state solution," she added, citing the expansion of Israeli settlements in the Palestinian territories "which is continuing on a daily basis."

"Israel knows what we have to offer and we have shown our very good will and our commitment to reinforce our relations but we think that the ball is now in the court of Israel," she said.

Ferrero-Waldner was speaking as the commission published reports on its "neighbourhood policy" detailing ties and problems beyond its borders.

In Israel, the report said, progress on promoting democracy, the rule of law and human rights was "limited as was cooperation with the EU on a comprehensive settlement of the Israel-Palestinian conflict."

Any consideration of bilateral EU-Israel relations... must take into account overall political developments in the Middle East," the report stressed.

The now-stalled plan to upgrade ties included a multiplication of bilateral meetings including at foreign ministers' level, with the EU presidency also able to invite Israeli diplomats to EU security meetings held among ambassadors.

The EU in December also said it would consider inviting Israel to take part in the civilian missions linked to its security and defence policy.

The European Union is the biggest supplier of aid to the Palestinian territories but it has little leverage in its dealings with Israel, which is amply supported by the United States.

The Middle East impasse has hit the EU's wider "Mediterranean partnership" plans which have been stalled since the Gaza conflict.


the70thweek said...

Mike here...

that is a very interesting article. My mind quickly jumps to the rebuilding of the temple. Actually two specific questions. If we are moving toward the Abomination of Desolation, where is the temple. Or if Israel is headed toward a two state solution, won't it get even fuzzier on when the temple would be rebuilt if Israel gives up control of more of Jerusalem? It seems this may be the critical issue on determining if we are in the 70th week. But I understand that is a bold statement... what do you think? Mike

the70thweek said...

Hey Mike,

We know that at the mid point of the 70th week the AC will put a stop to grain offering and sacrifice.

Daniel 9:27

27. "And he will make a firm covenant with the many for one week, but in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering; and on the wing of abominations will come one who makes desolate, even until a complete destruction, one that is decreed, is poured out on the one who makes desolate."

Obviously, for him to put a stop to sacrifice it has to have been started.

The AC will also stand in the Holy place and claim to be God.

Mathew 24:15

15. "Therefore when you see the ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand),

2 Thess 2:4

4. who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God.

I am not convinced from reading the above scriptures that the Temple has to be constructed but rather and simply that the Holy place has to be set up (most likely with an altar) and that sacrifices will be resumed. Similar to the traveling Tabernacle from the time of Moses. Of course a Temple could be built, but just throwing that out there.

Having said all of that, I don't see Israel giving up the Temple Mount, and it could be the reason that they have a serious contintious problem with the EU in June 2010. I think the matter over the so called two state solution is the reason the EU and Israel will have a major problem at the mid point of the ENP when their individual action plan is up for review.


Anonymous said...

And not only that, Curt and Mike, but some think there is something in a treaty the AC makes allowing Israel to sacrifice. But who says this is the case. Maybe Israel takes initiative and starts the sacrificing "without EU permission", and that annoys the AC, and he puts a stop to that.