7 August 2013 — Mondoweiss
Israel is cringing under the European Union’s “guideline” requirement– the demand by the EU to “recognize in writing that the West Bank settlements are not part of Israel.” And Israel is drawing red lines of its own.
This is about a looming deadline for Horizon 2020, an ambitious €80 billion research and innovation project launched by the EU to create job growth and fuel the economy, set to begin January 2014. Israel is the only non-European country offered full partnership in the program, and Israeli officials understand not participating in the project would “cost Israel dearly“.
Talks between the EU and Israel on the technical/professional aspects of the program are set to begin on August 14th and Israeli Ministries are scurrying to formulate a unified response before those talks begin. A lot is riding on Israel convincing the EU to back off. The EU’s adoption of “legislative acts” on Horizon 2020 will take place later this year. Israeli Ministries directly participating in Horizon 2020 are the Economy and Trade Ministry, Education Ministry, and Science and Technology Ministry.
But Israeli meetings about the program have also included the National Security Council/Foreign Ministry and the Justice Ministry. This is because, according toThe Jerusalem Post, “Israel cannot sign a clause that contradicts its own policies and laws.” From the Post:
The ministers are not in agreement. Naftali Bennett, the new Economy Minister from the Jewish Home party, wants to throw in the towel and end co-operation with the EU. Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon have gone on the offensive by ordering restrictions on representatives of the EU to access Palestine.
Israel stands to lose by not participating in the project:
And Israeli scientists are alarmed by the prospect, Haaretz says: