Israel Hits Back At The European Union After Implementation Of Controversial EU Policy On Israeli Products Made In ‘Occupied Territory’

On Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu ordered the suspension of all contacts between Israeli officials and representatives of the European Union who are dealing with the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. Netanyahu’s order was a reaction to the EU decision to oblige member states to label Israeli products made in the so-called West Bank (Judea and Samaria), East-Jerusalem and the Golan Heights.

The EU decision to implement the measure at a time when Israeli society has been rocked by an explosion of Palestinian terror led to outrage among Israeli politicians across the political spectrum and the Israeli public.

The European Union claims that the Israeli presence in Judea and Samaria and on the Golan Heights is illegal under international law. By international law, the EU means UN resolutions (most of them non-binding UNGA resolutions) and its (some say deeply flawed) interpretation of Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention that was intended to prevent a repeat of what the Nazis did with the Jews in Europe when they transferred them to the Polish death camps.

Israel’s position on Judea-Samaria and the Golan Heights is that the Israeli presence in those territories is consistent with international law and was even mandated by the League of Nations in the Mandate for Palestine. The Israeli position is supported by many experts on international law, among them Professor Julius Stone, Professor Eugene Kontorovich, Professor Avraham Bell, and Jaques Gauthier.

Israel has long tried to dissuade the EU from implementing the new label policy, which it sees as discriminatory and counterproductive for the peace process because it will give a boost to the Boycott Sanctions and Divestment movement and will further complicate future negotiations with the Palestinians.

Under the new regulations, EU member states are obliged to label Israeli products that were made or packaged in Judea, Samaria, East-Jerusalem or the Golan Heights.

The regulations also require a specification whether the products were produced by Palestinians or Israelis. Some critics have compared this measure to what the Germans did to Jewish shop owners before and during World War II when they marked Jewish shops with notice boards saying “Don’t buy from Jews” (Kauft Nicht Bei Juden).

These critics say the new EU label policy is anti-Semitic because the European Union singled out Israel from all other occupying powers in the world. They point to the illegal occupation of Tibet by China and parts of Cyprus by Turkey and the fact that the EU is silent about these and other illegal occupations, whereas Israel has a legal claim on the territories mentioned above.

The Hungarian government has now decided to defy the EU and has announced that it will not comply with the new regulations.

The Hungarian ambassador in Israel, Andor Nagy, told The Times of Israel that the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs is currently examining what can be done against the EU regulations. He said that because the regulations were mandatory, the Hungarian government will have to fight with the EU Commission that approved the measures.

Péter Szijjártó, Hungary’s Minister of Trade and Foreign Affairs said earlier this month that the EU label policy “is an inefficient instrument. It is irrational and does not contribute to a solution (to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict), but causes damage.”

Szijjártó is right about the damage, thinks former Minister of Foreign Affairs Moshe Arens. But Szijjártó probably didn’t think of the damage done to the Palestinian Arabs by the new EU label policy when he made his comment.

In an op-ed for the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz, Arens pointed out that the EU policy is more damaging to the Palestinian economy than the Israeli one. Arens wrote that in the industrial zones in Judea and Samaria alone, 10,000 Palestinian Arabs find employment in Israeli companies. They earn a much better wage than Palestinian workers in the territories under PA control and enjoy social benefits provided by Israeli law, he claimed.

“The EU, now facing attacks from Islamic jihadists, has, as usual, got it all wrong, when its bureaucrats call on members to label products originating in the industrial zones of Judea and Samaria, in anticipation that such products will be boycotted by European shoppers,” Arens wrote.

If their plans prove to be effective they will hurt the Palestinians living in these territories, increase unemployment there, force Palestinians into lower-paying jobs and add to the masses making the trip to Israel each morning in search of work. In other words, such a move will lead to a net loss for the Palestinian economy. The industrial zones in Judea and Samaria contribute far more to the Palestinian economy than do the subsidies provided by the EU to the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah. Who knows how much of these subsidies go to waste there in a network of corruption?

“The EU would do better to encourage European shoppers to purchase products originating in the industrial zones,“ Arens concluded.

The European Union, however, is sure that it has chosen the right path and expects that all member states will comply with the new legislation. The EU has even stated that it will ensure compliance if needed by way of infringement proceedings.

The Israeli announcement about the suspension of the contacts with EU officials about the peace process is seen as posturing by the EU and has not impressed the EU member states thus far.

The EU remains convinced that it just took an important step that will ultimately bring the realization of the so-called two-state solution.

WATCH Israeli Family Celabrating Wedding Two Weeks After Father And Son Were Murdered

On November 13th, an Arab terrorist murdered Rabbi Ya’akov Litman and his 18-year-old son, Netanel, on Route 60 near the village of Otniel, south of Hebron in Judea (Israel). The Rabbi and his son were shot at in a drive-by shooting and died shortly afterwards after they were denied medical aid by the crew of a passing Palestinian Red Crescent ambulance.

Less than two weeks after this horrific murder, Litman’s daughter, Sarah Techiyah, married Ariel Beigel in Jerusalem in a very emotional ceremony that was attended by thousands of Israelis and by Sarah Netanyahu, the wife of the Israeli prime minister.

The wedding was originally scheduled for the 16th of November but was postponed due to the seven-day mourning period (called Shiva). The Litman family had invited ‘multitudes’ to the wedding to avenge the murder of their beloved father and brother by bringing joy to the bride and the groom. According to Jewish tradition, rejoicing with a new couple during a wedding is a very important mitzvah (commandment).

Among the guests were American Jews and a Canadian rabbi who came to the wedding with eleven members of his congregation. He told the members of his congregation in Canada that “instead of mourning, the Jewish people will dance. Instead of crying, the Jewish people will sing. Instead of fear, the Jewish people will have courage. And like Sarah Litman, showing us and leading us with her example, we will go from distress to relief, from darkness to light, from subjugation to redemption.”

Singing and dancing they did–and not only did the invited guests do so.

Thousands of Israelis who came to the wedding and were not able to enter the crowded wedding hall danced outside, singing “Am Yisrael Chai”, meaning the people of Israel will live.

You can watch that here:

In the wedding hall, the guests danced and rejoiced on the music of a Hassidic band and singer Avraham Fried, who made an unscheduled performance for the newlywed couple.

Litman’s youngest son, Dvir, told Israeli media about his mixed emotions during the wedding:

“We are feeling our pain, but at the same time we must be happy in the joy of Sarah-Tehiya. Our pain is big, and on the same evening in which I will say kaddish (prayer for the deceased) for my father in the evening prayer, I will also sing ‘Boi kallah’ (‘come forward, O bride’ ) for my sister.”

“We are showing that no one can defeat the Nation of Israel and that we will remain strong no matter what happens to us. We would have been happy to have a happy wedding, a wedding without anything to bother us, but God wanted it differently, but we do not break. We will rejoice today, despite the sorrow and pain, without father and without Netanel, and they will look at us from above and take part from there.”

Sarah Techiyah and her groom had posted a public invitation on social media in which they cited a verse from the book of Micha:

“Do not rejoice over me, my enemy, for I have fallen, but I have gotten up” (Micah 7:8).

EXCLUSIVE: Western Journalism Reports Live From Israel’s New War Zone In Gush Etzion

The Gush Etzion region south of Jerusalem has been hit extremely hard by the current terror war by Palestinian Arabs. Tzomet HaGush, the main junction on road 60 that connects Jerusalem with Hebron, has been the scene of numerous knife attacks and the nearby Jewish village of Alon Svut witnessed several vehicular attacks and a kidnapping that took the lives of three Jewish boys last year.

Only last week, three people were murdered by a Palestinian Arab terrorist in the area. The terrorist first shot at five Israeli cars and later rammed his car into an Israeli vehicle close to Alon Svut. An 18-year-old American yeshiva student was among those killed in the horrific attack.

On Sunday this tragedy was followed by a new deadly stabbing attack at Tzomet HaGush that took the life of the 21-year-old Jewish woman Hadar Buchris who studied at a Midrasha in the nearby village of Bat Ayin.

Since then, the area has been turned into a war-zone. Hundreds of IDF soldiers are guarding bus stops, hitch-hiking posts, parking lots, roads and shopping centers. At bus stops and hitch-hiking posts giant concrete blocks are placed between the road and the sidewalks to prevent vehicular attacks.

On the Tzomet HaGush junction, a new fence has been erected that aims to keep Arabs away from Jewish travelers. It didn’t prevent the murder of Hadar Buchris, however.

Soldiers are now checking Palestinian cars at temporary checkpoints at the entrances of the junction and the IDF conducts searches in nearby Palestinian villages during the night.

Even during the Second Intifada a situation like this never existed in Gush Etzion (Bloc of Etzion).

At the time, Palestinian Arabs only had a very limited access to the main roads in Judea and Samaria. The IDF had closed off many Palestinian villages. It proved to be a measure that contributed significantly to the security of Israelis traveling through the region.

Until now the IDF has refrained from reinstalling this type of measures but the pressure to do so from residents and community leaders is increasing.

On Sunday, residents of Gush Etzion held a vigil for Hadar Buchris and a demonstration at Tzomet HaGush during which they demanded a ban on Palestinian traffic on road 60 and other roads in the area. The roads are still open to Palestinian traffic, but Arab workers from nearby Palestinian villages and towns are not allowed into the Jewish communities in Gush Etzion anymore, Israel Radio Reshet Beth reported on Monday.

The measure illustrates the severity of the situation. Gush Etzion has always been an area where a relatively high level of co-existence between Jews and Arabs existed. For example, Shlomo Riskin – the chief rabbi of Efrat the largest town in the region – promoted co-existence between Jews and Arabs for a long time. He ran several co-existence projects aimed at the youth in Efrat and the Arab villages until the Second Intifada killed the project.

Even now there are places like the local garage and the Rami Levy supermarket in the commercial center of Tzomet HaGush where Arabs from Hebron and Bethlehem are working together with Jews from the Gush Etzion communities.

In general, however, the mood in the Jewish communities of the Etzion Bloc has changed under influence of the current string of attacks and the horrific murders of the three young Jewish boys that were kidnapped by a Hamas terror gang in the summer of 2014. Many Jews in Gush Etzion have come to realize that the idea of real co-existence with the Arabs was a pipe dream. Some of them say that Arabs have nothing more to do in Gush Etzion and that Israel must step up the war on Palestinian terror.

It is no coincidence that the Arab terrorists have singled out Gush Etzion for the most horrific attacks in the current terror war. The roughly 70,000 Jews living in the area succeeded in building some of Israel’s finest cities and villages. The Gush residents improved the quality of life in their communities under often difficult circumstances and have turned Gush Etzion into a modern-day Zionist success story.

Ten years after the end of the Second Intifada the place is growing and blossoming. A mall with a modern supermarket has been built adjacent to Tzomet HaGush and will be expanded soon, several restaurants and coffee shops have been opened and even a first class winery now operates in the area.

The goal of the terrorists is to destroy the fabric of life in Gush Etzion and to turn the place in a warzone. Until now they have not succeeded in their goal but, when I visited the area again this week I noticed that the terrorists are succeeding in disrupting life in the region.

Even the most popular restaurant in the area – Gavne near the Bat Ayin community at the outskirts of Gush Etzion- has now been closed. A message at the entrance of the restaurant notifies customers that the establishment has been closed indefinitely “due to the security situation.”

Emek HaBracha, a winery near Tzomet HaGush that also houses a diary restaurant, seemed to be business as usual when I visited. The restaurant was full of guests and everything seemed quiet until the barman suddenly grabbed his pistol and started running towards the junction after receiving a security update.

The man, who turned out to be a volunteer medic with Magen David Adom (Israeli Red Cross), returned after a couple of minutes and notified the customers that they could relax. Arabs had only thrown rocks at an Israeli car, he said.

The incident showed how Palestinian terror has become the ‘new normal’ in daily life, not only in Gush Etzion but in large parts of Israel.

Watch: Palestinian Arab Terrorists Step Up Their Assault On Israeli Society

Palestinian Arab terrorists stepped up their assault on Israeli society over the weekend.

On Saturday, Israeli security forces foiled a stabbing attack in Hebron near the Tombs of the Patriarchs (Ma’arat HaMachpela). An Arab woman armed with a knife tried to stab officers at a police station. The alert cops spotted the woman just in time and managed to arrest her. When they conducted a body search, they found a large kitchen knife.

A couple of hours later, an 18-year-old Palestinian Arab from the Hebron area stabbed four Israeli Jews in the southern city of Kiryat Gat. A 13-year-old girl was stabbed in her upper body as well as two elderly women and a 51-year-old man. All of them were treated in a hospital and were listed in moderate condition.

The Arab terrorist succeeded in fleeing the scene and was only arrested after an evening-long manhunt. He had been brought to Kiryat Gat from the Hebron area by two accomplices.

A short while later, IDF soldiers spotted a Palestinian Arab near the Oranit bus station on Highway 5 who behaved violently. They shot and killed the man after he failed to heed their warnings.

The IDF, meanwhile, closed down a radio station in Hebron that broadcast inciting programs in which Arabs were encouraged to murder Jews. The IDF unit responsible for the civil administration of Judea and Samaria announced that the Al Khalil radio station broadcast “inciting songs against Israel and encourages terror attacks and the murder of Israeli citizens.”

The civil administration (COGAT) added that these songs make up the lion’s share of the station’s broadcasts. Hebron is at the center of the current Arab terror war against Israel. Most terrorists who carried out stabbings and vehicular attacks against Israeli citizens over the last two months came from this area.

On Sunday, Palestinian Arabs staged several new attacks against Israeli citizens.

An Arab taxi driver tried to run over a group of Jews near Kfar Adumim on the Jerusalem-Dead Sea Highway. When that failed, he got out of his car and tried to stab a Jewish driver. The assailant was shot dead by an armed civilian.

A couple of hours before this attack, an Arab Palestinian girl tried to stab Jewish women near a hitch-hiking post at the Samaria junction on the road to Nablus (Shechem). The female terrorist was spotted by an Israeli driver who immediately decided to neutralize her with his car.

“I was at the hitchhiking stop picking up passengers, when all of a sudden I saw a big woman chasing after another woman wielding a knife. I veered to the right and ran into her,” the driver told Israeli media. The terrorist was killed on the spot.

The Palestinian Authority later accused Israel of planting knives near the bodies of terrorists who were killed in stabbing attacks. The PA gave as an example the attack near Nablus by the female terrorist, and said she was the “victim of daily crimes and organized terrorism carried out by the occupation.” The father of the female terrorist, however, told Palestinian media that his daughter had planned the attack because she wanted to die as a “martyr.”

On Sunday evening, a new deadly Palestinian terror attack occurred at the Gush Etzion junction (Tzomet HaGush) on Highway 60 from Jerusalem to Hebron, close to the spot where a terrorist killed two Israeli Jews and a Palestinian Arab last week.

A young Israeli woman was on her way to the bus stop at Tzomet HaGush when she was stabbed in her face and neck by an Arab terrorist. Her attacker was shot and killed by IDF soldiers who guarded the bus stop but could not prevent the deadly stabbing.

Hadar Buchris, the 21-year-old Jewish victim from Safed in north Israel, died of her wounds shortly after she arrived at the Shaare Zedek Hospital in Jerusalem.

The murderous attack led to demonstrations by Jewish residents of Gush Etzion, a large bloc of Jewish villages near Jerusalem. They demanded a curfew on Palestinian villages and towns in the area and no access to Highway 60 for Palestinian traffic. Similar measures were taken during the Second Intifada that raged from 2000 until 2005.

The attack in Gush Etzion was followed by rocket fire from Gaza later Sunday night. Two rockets landed in an open area in the Eshkol Regional Council near the Gaza border; there were no reports of damage or injuries.

On Monday morning local time, a new vehicular attack was reported near Shavei Shomron in Samaria. A Palestinian Arab hit an Israeli man with his car and fled the scene. A few hours earlier, two Palestinian Arab girls stabbed Jewish visitors of the central market in Jerusalem, Mehane Yehuda. The two girls attacked Jews with scissors and hit a 70-year-old Arab from Bethlehem in his upper body. One of the female terrorists was shot dead by the Israeli security forces, and the other was moderately wounded.

The whole attack was recorded on video by a CCTV camera:

On Monday afternoon, Israeli soldiers shot dead a knife wielding Arab near the Hatmar Shomron Junction in Samaria.

This incident was immediately followed by a new terrorist attack on road 443 from Jerusalem to Modi’in. An 18-year-old Israeli teenager was stabbed to death near a gas station, and a 22-year-old Jewish woman was moderately wounded in the attack. The Arab terrorist was immediately shot dead by IDF soldiers.

The Israeli cabinet decided to increase security measures throughout Samaria and Judea. Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu announced that roadblocks will return to the streets of the region, and more troops will be transferred to combat the increase in lone-wolf attacks.

Here’s what Netanyahu said during the weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday:

“We implement roadblocks, arrests and closures and reinforcing troops. We’ve done the same in Jerusalem when most of the attacks issued from there,” he said. “We’re facing terrorism of lone-wolves with kitchen knives, incited by social media. It’s hard to hermetically prevent a knifer from getting to this place or another.”

US Pilots Bombed ISIS Oil Tankers, Were Forced To Do Shocking Thing 45 Minutes Before

On June 23rd, 2015, the Human Rights Council of the United Nations issued a controversial report. The report was titled, “Human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories.” In it are a summary of the findings by the UN that investigated whether war crimes took place in the recent Israeli/Palestinian conflict.

On page 180, the report concluded, “In relation to this latest round of violence, which resulted in an unprecedented number of casualties, the commission was able to gather substantial information pointing to serious violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law by Israel and by Palestinian armed groups. In some cases, these violations may amount to war crimes.”

And with that statement the UN put forth the notion that Israel, or any country for that matter even the U.S., could be guilty of war crimes even in cases of self-defense. Hamas has frequently released thousands of unguided missiles into Israel, and Hamas uses civilians as human shields when Israel responds in order to increase collateral damage and make Israel look cruel in the eyes of the international community.

Fear that the U.S. could also be accused of war crimes may be driving the new bombing tactics that the U.S. military and President Obama are using. Western Journalism has recently detailed the frustration that military pilots are experiencing while flying missions for Obama. As many as 75% of the sorties were called off because their request to drop ordinance was denied because of possible collateral damage. It has been reported that Obama has said that he “zero” civilian casualities in all sorties flown by U.S. pilots.

So, in response to Mr. Obama’s demands, presumably in fear of being accused of war crimes, the military in Central Command is going to great lengths to prevent collateral damage. They’re now dropping Arabic leaflets, 45 minutes in advance of the targeting of ISIS oil tankers. The leaflets warn the supposedly innocent civilian truckers that their tanker has been targeted to be destroyed by coalition fighters. The leaflets read, “Get out of your trucks now, and run away from them. Warning: airstrikes are coming. Oil trucks will be destroyed. Get away from your oil trucks immediately. Do not risk your life.” The U.S. position is that these drivers of oil tankers are simply civilian workers who are not associated with ISIS and whose lives should be protected.

Furthermore, the pilots are even being asked to conduct low-altitude flybys to give the drivers a visual warning that their tankers are being targeted. Is appears that it may only be a matter of time before ISIS gets their hands on anti-aircraft weaponry that will bring down U.S. pilots and aircraft while they’re trying to fulfill their commander in chief’s wishes to forewarn ISIS oil rig drivers with leaflets and low-altitude flybys. ISIS now has 45 minutes to gear up.

Do you think Obama is trying to cover his assets by warning the drivers?