- January 11, 2011
European diplomats recommend punitive action against Israel
European diplomats in Jerusalem have filed a report recommending that the EU takes punitive measures against Israel and recognize east Jerusalem as a capital for the Palestinians.
The diplomats, mostly general consuls to Jerusalem, after assessing the situation in the eastern part of the holy city called developments in the last few years "negative" in light of continued Jewish settlement activity, Palestinian home demolitions and evictions, and inequality in educational and medical services provided to the Palestinian makeup of the city.
The document says that the government’s cooperation with such groups as the Elad settlement association in archaeological excavations in the Silwan district is conclusive evidence that Israel is backing settlement activity in east Jerusalem.
The European diplomats recommended that EU politicians boycott Israeli ministries beyond the Green Line and products from east Jerusalem and other settlements as well as blacklist "violent settlers" in European countries.
In a similar development, the EU consuls are proposing that international observers be assigned to monitor Israeli demolition operations targeting Palestinian-owned structures in east Jerusalem.
High-profile Israeli politicians have stated that Israel will not allow European observers to monitor demolitions in east Jerusalem.
The move came in the wake of the demolition of the Palestinian-owned Shepherd Hotel in Sheikh Jarrah.
After Israel conquered and annexed East Jerusalem in 1967, a government agency, the Custodian of Absentee Property, took possession of the building. In the mid-1980s, it was sold to a corporation owned by American millionaire Irving Moskowitz, the financial angel of far-right Israeli groups intent on settling Jews in Palestinian neighborhoods inside and encircling the Old City.