The European Union has rejected accusations made by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that it interferes in Israeli legislation, Arab48.com reported on Friday.
“The way that Israel defines itself is an internal issue,” said the EU Mission in Israel. “We respect the internal discussions.” However, it stressed that, “Democracy and equality are basic values that define our societies… We do not accept, the EU, to see these values doubted or threatened.”
According to Haaretz, the EU added, “We will never use abject language in general, and we will not use it regarding laws being discussed in the Knesset.”
On Thursday, Netanyahu ordered the Foreign Ministry to summon the EU representative to be reprimanded over alleged remarks and efforts to undermine the passing of the “Nationality Bill”, which stipulates the establishment of Jew-only towns.
“The law stinks of racism, and it discriminates against various groups, particularly Arabs, and weakens the values Israel tries to uphold,” commented EU Ambassador in Tel Aviv Emanuele Giaufret.
“It is not enough that the EU finances NGOs that strive to undermine the State of Israel and finances illegal construction [by Palestinians],” responded Netanyahu. “It is now interfering with Israeli legislation. Apparently, they do not understand that Israel is a sovereign state.”
Regarding its relations with Israeli parliamentarians, the EU Mission said that they are no different to the relations of any diplomatic mission in the world with host diplomats and politicians. It also pointed out that Netanyahu himself meets with politicians and diplomats of other countries, mainly the US, with the intention of being able to influence their policies.