Opponents of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu are reveling in the opportunity to accuse the PM of green-lighting a deal that includes approval of boycotting Jewish communities built on land acquired in the 1967 war that is claimed by the Palestinians for its future state – “settlements.” They argue the PM is supporting an anti-Israel boycott. At issue is the European Union “Cross-Border Cooperation in the Mediterranean” program which funds projects of Mediterranean nations who are not EU members, specifically: Israel, Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt. The socioeconomic grants are available for all of the nations listed above, but specifically exclude Israel’s post-1967 areas: West Bank, east Jerusalem and the Golan Heights. In what many see as blatant hypocrisy, rather than protest the EU’s exclusion of part of Israel, Netanyahu and his right-wing colleagues justice minister Ayeket Shaked and deputy foreign minister Tzipi Hotovely all signed-off on the program rather than assuming their traditional posture of blasting the restrictions. Culture minister Miri Regev, objecting to the agreement, also pointed out that the designation of the Palestinian Authority with the same status as a “neighboring state” is normally enough to trigger a vehement rejection of the program and condemnation of the EU.
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