Reuters have reported that Israel has asked the European Union to rethink its plans to impose sanctions on Israeli organisations based in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, a step that was seen as a transformation from the previous disapproving discourse into action and retaliatory measures.
On Thursday, the Israeli government accused the Europeans of harming Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts and said it would not sign deals with the 28-nation bloc given the planned EU move.
According to Reuters, Deputy Foreign Minister Ze’ev Elkin took a more diplomatic tack on Friday, offering to negotiate with the European Union over the guidelines, which he described as a challenge to the Jewish state’s sovereignty.
Speaking to Israel Radio, Elkin said, “We are ready to hold a creative dialogue with the Europeans. We understand their position. We reject it, we don’t like it, but it’s their right when it comes to using their money.”
Nevertheless, he added, Israel is asking the Europeans to take into consideration the legal and other problems this creates on the Israeli side. “We want to return and are ready to negotiate but if the terms are the way they are today – unprecedented and several steps beyond anything heretofore – then we won’t be able to do it.”