The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Thursday, April 25, 2002  


The Council of Europe recommended today that the European Union conduct an urgent and thorough debate about the Israeli-Palestinian confict, and recommended that until the debate is completed, the E.U. suspend its economic agreement with Israel. The Council also called on the E.U. to impose an arms embargo against Israel following allegations of human rights abuses in the occupied territories.

According to a report in Ha'aretz Daily, Norway has decided to prohibit military procurement from Israeli companies. "There have been several cases of European countries canceling or suspending export permits for military components to Israel," write Gideon Alon and Amnon Barzilai. "But the Norwegian decision marks the first instance of a European country imposing a boycott on military procurement from Israel due to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict."

The French, while voicing objection to the today's findings, is suggesting the Council of Europe commission prepare a report on Israel's latest activities in the territories, with a special focus on human rights.

German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, meanwhile, today chastised Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasir Arafat and emphasized Germany's close relations with Israel.

"It's crystal clear: the German government expects clear words from the Palestinian Authority and especially from Arafat - and other Arab leaders - against terror and a return to the principle agreed at Oslo that no side can use terror as a means to reach political goals," Schroeder said, leveling direct criticism at the Palestinian leader.

Citing Germany's "special historic responsibility," Schroeder said Germany would not agree to or support embargo measures against Israel.

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