The heads of the bipartisan Congressional Israel
Allies Caucus have written European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton
a letter expressing “deep concern” over the EU’s intention to ban funding to Israeli institutions in the West Bank and
east Jerusalem, and urging the EU
to revisit the decision.
"We are writing to express our deep concern over the European Union’s intention to issue new guidelines restricting European interaction with Israeli entities beyond the 1967 lines. We strongly believe this move is counterproductive to sincere American efforts to restart peace talks between the Israelis and Palestinians," wrote the co-chairmen of the caucus, Eliot Engel (NY-16), Doug Lamborn (CO-05), Trent Franks, (AZ-08), and Brad Sherman (CA-30).
"The new guidelines will only serve as a disincentive for the Palestinian
Authority to engage in serious final status negotiations. It is our belief that a sustainable framework for peace can only be decided through direct negotiations between Israeli and Palestinian leadership. Like you, we want to achieve a peaceful, negotiated, solution to this conflict. But, the cause of peace is not advanced by the EU placing blame for lack of progress solely on Israel’s shoulders. This is simply not the case," the letter read.
"We encourage you to reconsider the publication of these guidelines and hope to work with you to seek an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict."
The controversial EU move, which has been widely condemned by Israeli leaders across the political spectrum and welcomed by the Palestinians, bolsters Palestinians claims to these territories. It also came just days before the EU is expected to decide whether to list Hezbollah
as a terror organization. The EU issues dozens of grants, totaling millions of euros, to Israeli universities, companies and researchers each year.
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