A Financial Times editorial observes: “The status of the settlements is clear in international law even if Israel chooses to ignore this and expand its colonisation of Palestinian land, while ostensibly negotiating on the creation of a Palestinian state.
“Last year the EU adopted rules prohibiting grants to entities operating in illegal settlements. Yet the EU still let Israel into Horizon 2020 – the only non-member state in this €80bn research and development programme – making Israeli tech high flyers eligible for European public money provided it is not spent in the settlements . . .”
It later notes, however, that European pension funds are already starting to pull their investments in Israeli banks with branches in the settlements and continues:
”It is disingenuous to romanticise settlement enterprises”, listing features of the occupation, which:
- imprisons thousands of the Palestinians’ young men,
- gives their land and water to settlers,
- demolishes their houses and
- partitions the remaining territory with scores of checkpoints and segregated roads.
Politicians and corporations should heed international law
Catherine Thick from Newcastle upon Tyne responded by appreciating this: “timely reminder of the necessity, be it by politicians or corporations, to heed international law”, continuing:
“The US, as a rule, places more emphasis on Israeli demands than it does on Palestinian rights. May US secretary of state John Kerry, in his laudable determination to broker a peace accord, bear in mind that since the Camp David Accords were brokered in 1978, the US has used its veto power 42 times on behalf of Israel; that includes, in February 2011, a resolution condemning Israeli settlement expansion that had the support of 14 members of the UN Security Council”.
The FT editorial ends: “There are almost no basic foundations for an economy. The way to create Palestinian jobs is to end the occupation and let Palestinians build those foundations – not to build “bridges to peace” on other people’s land without their permission”.