Israeli opposition leader Isaac Herzog called on the EU to adopt a more balanced stance regarding Israel and the PA and expressed deep concern about the West’s nuclear negotiations with Iran.
Member of Knesset Isaac Herzog, leader of the Opposition, met with European Union (EU) High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini on Thursday and expressed disappointment in Europe’s decisions with regard to Israel.
“Israel is disappointed with some of the European leadership, which almost automatically stands with the Arabs and casts blame for the deadlock in the diplomatic negotiations on Israel,” Herzog said.
Herzog is “convinced that a more balanced stance on your part would result in Israel being more willing to listen.”
Just last week, Mogherini received a letter from a group of former European political leaders calling for an “urgent reassessment” of EU policy on diplomatic negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. The letter insisted that Israel “be held to account for its actions in the ‘occupied territories’” and that the EU take an even harsher stance against Israel.
Herzog reiterated Israel’s commitment to achieving a peace deal with the Palestinian Authority (PA), but he stressed that it would not be achieved at any cost. A final deal, he continued, would be achieved “only through direct negotiations. Israel’s safety and security are first and foremost…. Any attempt to achieve an agreement not based on these principles will not only fail, but will destabilize the region.”
Referring to Hezbollah’s threat to Israel, Herzog recalled that UN resolution 1701, intended to resolve the 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict, was a failure and “not worth the paper it was signed on.”
“Through international mediation, there are 100,000 rockets aimed at Israel, which were supposed to have been stopped by you [the Europeans]. Through Iranian sponsorship, Gaza is rehabilitating only its rockets and tunnels and not the civilian infrastructure.”
Regarding negotiations between the world powers and Iran on its nuclear program, Herzog told Mogherini that Israel is deeply worried about the outcome and expressed hope that the negotiating nations “will succeed in achieving an agreement that will eliminate an unbearable threat to Israel, the Middle East and the entire world.”
Mogherini responded that the EU was well aware of the fact that peace and security are inseparable.
The EU foreign policy chief, who came to the region in an attempt to jump-start the diplomatic process, is scheduled to meet with Palestinian leaders in Ramallah.
By: Max Gelber, United with Israel
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