EU statement opposing U.S. Embassy move to Jerusalem blocked by “New Europe” Coalition
Hungary, the Czech Republic and Romania did not agree to the EU “consensus”, favoring their ties with Israel and President Trump.
It is being reported by Barak Ravid of Israel’s Channel 10 news that Hungary, the Czech Republic and Romania blocked a joint European Union statement criticizing the relocation of the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem.
Behind the scenes: The initiative to publish the statement was led by France and several other EU member states. Israeli officials say the goal was to present to the U.S. a common position against the move by all 28 member states, and to embarrass and isolate the Trump administration ahead of Monday’s ceremony….
According to European diplomats and Israeli officials the French and other member states wanted to publish the statement today as a statement by the EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini supported by all 28 EU members.
- But earlier today, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Romania announced they object to the statement and made it impossible to reach the consensus needed to publish it.
- A senior European diplomat told me with a lot of frustration: “The Hungarians didn’t want to poke Trump in the eye and the Czechs and the Romanians are considering to move their embassies to Jerusalem against the EU position. This is the state of the EU these days”.
Legal Insurrection readers who followed my adventures through the Balkans last summer are probably not surprised at the move. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was in Budapest, Hungary during the same week I was there, making a stark assessment about his country’s relationship with the European Union. It appears that Israel’s leaders managed to strengthen ties with Central European nations during his stay.
Additionally, while in Romania, I learned that Israel was partnering with that country to help it develop its own version of Silicon Valley, which they call “Laser Valley”. Here is a snapshot I took in Brasov, which offers a clue as to how successful the new arrangements have been.
Furthermore, the move by our Central Europeans allies prove that President Donald Trump has been actually been playing “8-dimensional chess“, as he has focused much attention on New Europe (e.g., the Romanian president’s visit to the White House, Trump’s visit to Poland, Hungarian ministers stating they prefer Trump to Obama) during the first half of his first term. This approach is now paying dividends, as it appears that Old Europe appears to be continuing its reliance on “strongly worded messages”.
Needless to say, the Palestinian Authority had its own “strongly worded message” for the block.
In a statement carried by the official Palestinian news agency Wafa, the PA said the countries’ stance was in opposition to European Union policy, United Nations resolutions, and the Geneva Convention. It said Budapest, Bucharest, and Prague would suffer consequences for their actions, in particular in their ties with the Arab and Islamic worlds.
The PA also called on other countries not to follow the US in moving its embassy to the Israeli capital and said it would take legal action against any country that does so.
The US Embassy moves to Jerusalem on May 14. I hope that New Europe’s embassies join us there shortly.
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“… it would take legal action against any country that does so.”
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