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Sanctions Adopted by E.c. Body Could Cripple Israeli Exports

January 22, 1990
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A tough resolution adopted here last week by the Parliament of Europe could cripple Israel’s industrial and agricultural exports.

Accusing Israel of “contempt” for human rights in the administered territories, the European Parliament called on the 12-nation European Community to impose economic sanctions against Israel and to freeze all scientific cooperation with the Jewish state.

The resolution was adopted Jan. 17 by a nearly unanimous show of hands. It must now be approved by the E.C. Commission and the E.C. Council of Ministers.

The European Parliament is the European Community’s legislative body. The resolution was the first in its 33-year history to recommend punitive measures against Israel.

The European Common Market is Israel’s largest trading partner. Trade sanctions, therefore, could have a devastating impact on the Israeli economy.

The scientific sanctions would also strike “a painful blow” to the country’s scientific research, an Israeli source here said.

In addition to freezing “European scientific cooperation with Israel” the sanctions would cut off funds for Israeli research, in retaliation for Israel’s closure of Palestinian schools and universities in the territories.

Israeli diplomats here could not immediately estimate Europe’s financial contribution to Israeli scientific research, but all agreed it is important.

If the sanctions are imposed, Israel would be barred from participating in important European scientific research, and its own scientific and industrial research would be severely curtailed.

The resolution, a compromise text, accused Israel of violating the Geneva Conventions for the protection of human rights in territories under occupation.

It cites a recent report by Amnesty International, a private, London-based human rights organization, which alleged that Israeli soldiers indiscriminately fired live ammunition or rubber bullets at civilian demonstrators.


Israeli sources said they arc troubled by the position of Foreign Minister Jerry Collins of Ireland, the current occupant of the rotating chairmanship of the E.C.’s Council of Ministers. Collins, a prominent member of the E.C. Commission, took office on Jan. 1 and will hold it through June 30.

He has warned of sanctions “unless Israel amends its ways.”

Collins attended a closed meeting here last week with five visiting members of the Knesset and members of the European Parliament’s Israel Committee.

He told them the deputies were urging the Council of Ministers “to reflect on sanctions against Israel, because other courses have failed to stop violations of human rights.”

The Irish minister also warned that the deputies want to suspend “any form of preferential economic relations with Israel” to force it to abide by agreements it made with the E.C. to permit Palestinians to export their agricultural produce directly to the European market.

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