he Anti-Defamation League (ADL) called on the EU to offer a more balanced view of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton concluded her tour of the Middle East Thursday.
Ahead of her final meeting in Ramallah with Palestinian Authority (PA) Premier Salam Fayyad, ADL National Director Abraham H. Foxman called on Ashton to "clearly and publicly say to the Palestinian Authority that its intransigence is unacceptable and that this type of conduct will not lead to a resolution of the conflict."
The EU has consistently criticised Israel for pursuing its settlement enlargement policy, which Europe claims is in violation of international law which only recognises Israel’s sovereignty over its 1967 borders, whilst also calling for both sides to return to the negotiating table in the hopes of achieving a viable two state solution.
"The European Union consistently ignores the Palestinian refusal to resume direct negotiations with Israel without preconditions," said Foxman.
"Considering the EU’s emphasis on the need for negotiations to put an end the conflict, we would hope that the EU would clearly and publicly say to the Palestinian Authority that its intransigence is unacceptable and that this type of conduct will not lead to a resolution of the conflict."
Highlighting the EU’s criticism of Israeli settlement expansion, culminating in a statement by Ashton last Friday expressing her "deep regret" at Israel's approval of plans to extend Gilo in Jerusalem, Foxman reiterated Israel’s insistence that it lays legitimate claim to Jerusalem in its entirety as Israel’s "eternal capital."
"Since the start of the peace process," ADL maintained, "successive governments, including the current one, have maintained that construction of housing in any part of Jerusalem does not contradict the Israeli commitment to a negotiated resolution of all the core issues."
Whilst Netanyahu's government has called on the Palestinian Authority to resume direct talks without preconditions, President Mahmoud Abbas has continued to insist that it would only re-enter into talks should Israel about its settlement policy.
In a letter to Ashton, Foxman wrote: "We must ask, why has the European Union not publicly called on the Palestinian Authority to drop its pre-conditions and return to negotiations? Respectfully, we urge you to forcefully and publicly criticize Palestinian intransigence."