Quarterly Updates for (16 Nov 2017 — 15 Feb 2018)

Days after Trump’s 12/6 recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, Netanyahu left Israel for Europe where he was scheduled to meet with Macron and EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini. “I will not accept a double standard from them,” he told reporters. “I hear voices condemning Trump [over Jerusalem] but not for rocket fire [from Gaza into Israel]. I will not accept this hypocrisy.” Netanyahu met with the French president (12/10) and the high representative of the EU for foreign affairs and security policy (12/11) before returning home. Later in December, the Knesset voted to join the EU’s Cross-Border Cooperation in the Mediterranean (ENI CBC MED), which provides tens of millions of euros to publicprivate economic development projects in Mediterranean Basin countries not in the EU (Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, and Palestine, as well as certain Syrian “nonstate” actors). However, as the multilateral agreement contains a provision that excludes Israeli settlements in the West Bank, in effect Israel had agreed to a boycott of settlements, Haaretz reported on 12/31/2017. Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev (Likud) later claimed that she was misled and that she would have blocked the measure had she known.

In a related development, the Danish parliament voted (1/26) in favor of a resolution strengthening government guidelines for public-private investment in projects in the oPt and excluding Israel’s settlements from any future bilateral agreements. The thirteen extant Danish-Israeli agreements were also subject to renegotiation to bring them in line with this new policy. The vote, which overwhelmingly passed with the support of all parties except the far-right Danish People’s Party, came a month after Foreign Minister Anders Samuelsen announced new, tougher restrictions on Danish support for Palestinian NGOs, following a months-long Israeli diplomatic campaign against Danish funding for Palestinian NGOs.