by the Forward

Israel Launches Secret Talks With Europe on Settlement Labeling

Israel and the European Union are engaging in secret talks on repairing their relationship following the European Union’s decision to label products made in Israeli settlements.

According to a report in Haaretz, Helga Schmid, a senior adviser to E.U. chief diplomat Federica Mogherini, came to Israel last week for a secret meeting with Dore Gold, director-general of Israel’s Foreign Ministry. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also met with Mogherini three weeks ago at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

The talks follow a deterioration in European-Israeli relations. In November, the E.U. adopted long-discussed guidelines to label products made in Israeli West Bank settlements. The E.U. has also decided that its agreements with Israel do not apply to the West Bank, Golan Heights or eastern Jerusalem.

In response to the labeling decision, Israel froze all E.U. involvement in Israeli-Palestinian dialogue. These negotiations would restore that involvement in exchange for a friendlier European attitude toward Israel, according to an Israeli official.

“We told them that the decisions of the EU’s council of foreign ministers and the decision on the labeling of [settlement] products were unilateral and in fact adopted the Palestinian narrative. That’s no way to conduct a respectful dialogue,” the unnamed Israeli official told Haaretz.

This story "Israel Launches Secret Talks With Europe on Settlement Labeling" was written by JTA.


Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

Israel Launches Secret Talks With Europe on Settlement Labeling

Thank you!

This article has been sent!