image Photo: Reuters, MFA

Israel objects to European interference

That was the message publicly declared during a visit to Jerusalem by Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani.

By Jonathan Hessen and Erin Viner

“Regrettably, we observe in the past period unacceptable attempts of European meddling in domestic Israeli matters, including in matters related to the Israel-Palestinian conflict,” Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen stated alongside his Italian counterpart, clarifying, “We will of course always accept any intention and will to provide humanitarian assistance to the Palestinians – but we will of course reject activities which will exacerbate and further enflame the conflict or meddling in internal Israeli affairs. I have no doubt that Italy, one of our greatest friends, will stand by our side on this matter.”

Pointing to the absurdity of which the primarily Western-funded Palestinian Authority (PA) continues to pay salaries and stipends to Palestinian terrorists responsible for the murder of Israelis as part of its “Pay to Slay” program, denounced by Minister Cohen asked Tajani to join his declaration that payment to terrorists is unacceptable and that the Palestinian Authority must cease these activities immediately.”

European Union Foreign Affairs and Security Police Spokesman Peter Stano made a series of contradictory statements at a press conference yesterday concerning ongoing Israeli public protests over the government’s judicial reform plans. There has never been any doubt over the “the nature of Israel as a democratic country” or “the ability of the democratic institutions in Israel to deal with the issues,” he said, underlining, “it is not our place to enter the debate, saying what’s wrong, what’s right.” He nevertheless went on to say that because the Israeli-EU partnership is “based on shared values and principles,” that “of course the independence of judiciary, rule of law, democracy are very important principles which we are watching how they are upheld.” He then went on to reiterate last week’s EU statement issued on behalf of all 27 member states condemning the latest cycle of violence between Israel and the Palestinians, and calling on “all the actors deescalate, condemn the violence, the terrorist attacks, the incitement, the expansion of illegal settlements.”

As the EU insists on attempts to involve itself in an ongoing domestic Israeli matter, the European Parliament announced its intention to hold “a debate with the High Representative of the European Union Josep Borrell, as part of which, MEPs will assess the public backlash in Israel against – what the EU defined as – the government’s plan to limit judicial independence.”

Separately, it has been revealed that the EU has been funding the leftwing Israeli Shalom Achshav NGO.

While in Jerusalem, Rome’s top diplomat expressed deep concern over the recent surge of Palestinian violence. Saying that Italy “vigorously condemns any terror attack, especially those which killed Israeli citizens,” he pledged his nation’s willingness “to advance any initiative that is required to restart dialogue” between Israel and the PA.

Both diplomats also addressed the threat meaning from Iran.

We must act here, together: The United States, Europe and Israel, to prevent Iran, in any way necessary, from attaining nuclear weapons,” said the Israeli Foreign Minister, stressing tha, “This is the time to make decisions.”

Minister Tajani, who is also Italy’s Deputy Premier, said that Rome is also “very concerned from a possibility which emerges in front of our eyes in which Iran could develop nuclear weapons.” Saying that the use of such bombs “presents significant threats to the entire world,” he revealed that during a private conversation he called on International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Rafael Grossi to whatever necessary to prevent Iran in its race to acquire them.

“When I hear statements such as ‘there is a need to wipe Israel off the geographic map,’” he added, “I reach the conclusion that attacks on Israel are truly the new form of antisemitism” since the country “is the nation state of the Jewish people.

The Islamic Republic of Iran has repeatedly threatened to annihilate the Jewish State.