Trending Topics:

EU stance on settlements threatens Israeli participation in bonanza called ‘Horizon 2020’

Israel/Palestine
on 24 Comments
EC Berlaymont Building Copyright EU 2010  Copy
 European Union flag (photo ADS)

Israel is cringing under the European Union’s “guideline” requirement– the demand by the EU to “recognize in writing that the West Bank settlements are not part of Israel.” And Israel is drawing red lines of its own. 

This is about a looming deadline for Horizon 2020, an ambitious €80 billion research and innovation project launched by the EU to create job growth and fuel the economy, set to begin January 2014. Israel is the only non-European country offered full partnership in the program, and Israeli officials understand not participating in the project would “cost Israel dearly“.

Talks between the EU and Israel on the technical/professional aspects of the program are set to begin on August 14th and Israeli Ministries are scurrying to formulate a unified response before those talks begin. A lot is riding on Israel convincing the EU to back off. The EU’s adoption of “legislative acts” on Horizon 2020 will take place later this year. Israeli Ministries directly participating in Horizon 2020 are the Economy and Trade Ministry, Education Ministry, and Science and Technology Ministry.

But Israeli meetings about the program have also included the National Security Council/Foreign Ministry and the Justice Ministry. This is because, according to The Jerusalem Post,  “Israel cannot sign a clause that contradicts its own policies and laws.” From the Post:

Israel annexed Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, and will not sign a clause saying those areas are not part of Israel. Furthermore, it is also not willing to sign an agreement that discriminates against Israeli entities over the Green Line.

One official said that the internal discussions are not over boycotting the Europeans “to get back at them” but over finding a formula both sides can live with.

The ministers are not in agreement. Naftali Bennett, the new Economy Minister from the Jewish Home party, wants to throw in the towel and end co-operation with the EU. Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon have gone on the offensive by ordering restrictions on representatives of the EU to access Palestine.

Haaretz reports:

Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon ordered limitations on the movement of EU representatives in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip several weeks ago. Ya’alon ordered the defense establishment to cease cooperation in the field with EU representatives. This move includes the cessation of assistance in infrastructure projects in Area C, the areas of the West Bank under full Israeli control.

Ya’alon also intends to restrict the movement of EU representatives from the Gaza Strip into Israel and back through the Erez checkpoint. Ya’alon’s actions are apparently coordinated with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Israel stands to lose by not participating in the project:

It’s anticipated the country could lose €1bn in R&D funding if the government decides not pull-out. The Israeli government is set to contribute €600m in support funds to Horizon 2020 if it participates.

And Israeli scientists are alarmed by the prospect, Haaretz says:

Israeli scientists warn that cutting ties with the European Union could cause irreparable harm to Israeli research. The researchers were reacting to Economy Ministry Naftali Bennett‘s call for the Israeli government to end all cooperation with the EU in response to new guidelines banning funding to Israeli entities with ties to West Bank settlements, East Jerusalem or the Golan Heights.

annie
About Annie Robbins

Annie Robbins is Editor at Large for Mondoweiss, a mother, a human rights activist and a ceramic artist. She lives in the SF bay area. Follow her on Twitter @anniefofani

Other posts by .


Posted In:

24 Responses

  1. talknic
    talknic
    August 7, 2013, 9:52 am

    Drip .. drip .. Israel has been so wrapped up and self convinced in its propaganda it has taken a while to wake it up.

    Wake it will though to the nightmarish situation it has created for itself and to the world’s realization that it has been one of the greatest dis-services one could imagine to Judaism and honest Jewish folk.

  2. frankier
    frankier
    August 7, 2013, 9:55 am

    “Economy Ministry Naftali Bennett’s call for the Israeli government to end all cooperation with the EU ”

    Good riddance!
    Alas, the EU and Israel (helped by the US) they will find a way to dilute the effects of the EU guideline.

  3. amigo
    amigo
    August 7, 2013, 9:59 am

    Israel annexed Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, and will not sign a clause saying those areas are not part of Israel.

    Stolen lands illegally annexed and not one state on the planet recognizes this illegal annexation.Well except the thief, Israel.

    They can refuse to sign and then the EU should just cut them off at the legs.It should be fun watching them scurrying around without a leg to stand on.

    They are not in Europe so why put up with their arrogance and law breaking.

  4. HarryLaw
    HarryLaw
    August 7, 2013, 11:08 am

    The Israelis had to defer to the European Commission when the Commission insisted that Israeli products manufactured outside the territorial boundaries of Israel as defined by article 83 of the EC-Israel Association Agreement should not be eligible for the preferential duty arrangements also as defined in protocol 4 of that agreement. It will be interesting to see [thanks to that fool Abbas] whether the Israelis can pursued the EU to hold off on any such arrangement, since it could negatively impact the ongoing “peace process” talks, alternately “finding a formula both sides can live with” has been the raison d’etre of both sides up til now, its not beyond the capabilities of those two experts at cat skinning to come up with some mealy mouthed compromise.

  5. bilal a
    bilal a
    August 7, 2013, 11:19 am

    Israeli high tech is based on scientific cooperation , commercialization of foreign sourced open, or not so open, technologies:

    “Last week The Financial Times published a feature about Israel’s technology prowess. It was a piece of thinly-veiled propaganda by the paper’s correspondent Tobias Buck, yet it nonetheless underscored how many of the big shots in Israel’s technology sector were trained in Unit 8200, an electronic espionage division of the Israeli military.”

    http://electronicintifada.net/blogs/david/settler-professor-top-attraction-eu-israel-science-show

    Unit 8200 and its role: this IDF entity is responsible for Israel’s cyber-warfare capability. It developed Stuxnet and Flame along with its colleagues in the NSA, who also shared “credit.” Unit 8200 veterans have founded numerous start-ups that commercialize their military applications for security use by companies, intelligence agencies, and entire nations:

    http://www.richardsilverstein.com/2013/06/08/idf-unit-8200-cyberwar-veterans-developed-nsa-snooping-technology/

    Case study: Zend , an Israeli created company dominant in PHP Web programming, is merely a commercialization of open source software:

    http://itc.conversationsnetwork.org/shows/detail991.html

    • annie
      annie
      August 7, 2013, 12:53 pm

      it nonetheless underscored how many of the big shots in Israel’s technology sector were trained in Unit 8200, an electronic espionage division of the Israeli military.

      bilal, they depend on that access. from the last haaretz link:

      The Vice President for Research and Development of Hebrew University, Prof. Shai Arkin, believes withdrawing from the program would cause major damage to Israeli research. “The most critical aspect isn’t the money, but the cooperation,” says Arkin. “Particularly in the sciences, we must work in the global arena. The problems we are working on are relevant for the entire world. So is our industry, it’s international, and it is the engine of our economy.

      “The moment we are cut off from one of the world’s two important centers of research – Europe – our science will become regional and less relevant.” The Hebrew University is one of the six leading institutions in Europe in the number of European Research Council grants. “That’s a measure of our excellence,” said Arkin. “The moment we are cut off from cooperation with the European Union, we will no longer have access to scientific infrastructure that is outside of Israel.”

      “we will no longer have access to scientific infrastructure that is outside of Israel”

      iow, their access to insert their “electronic espionage division” into research facilities will also be curtailed.

      • seanmcbride
        seanmcbride
        August 7, 2013, 12:59 pm

        Annie,

        iow, their access to insert their “electronic espionage division” into research facilities will also be curtailed.

        Astute inference and observation.

      • dimadok
        dimadok
        August 7, 2013, 3:22 pm

        @Annie.
        “iow, their access to insert their “electronic espionage division” into research facilities will also be curtailed”- you are so filled with paranoia and hatred towards Israel, that you’re missing the point that ANY scientific cooperation may be viewed as an effective espionage. Like your beloved Iranian chemists, Lebanese engineering and Syrian biologists, but no one in sane mind is accusing them of any of that nonsense you are perpetrating here.

      • annie
        annie
        August 7, 2013, 6:45 pm

        you’re missing the point that ANY scientific cooperation may be viewed as an effective espionage.

        au contraire, you’re missing the point that sometimes scientific cooperation is used for espionage.

      • dimadok
        dimadok
        August 7, 2013, 7:28 pm

        @Annie.
        Who’s “their access’, who are they? Aliens or plotting Israelis?
        So you are speaking in general terms then? Not just about those Israeli scientist-spies, that ALL should be banned from the EU institutions?
        How about banning ALL Chinese or Russian scientists as well?
        Tin-foil hats are always provide an easier solution to paranoia and hate.

      • annie
        annie
        August 8, 2013, 11:34 am

        hi dim, thanks for providing us with an excellent example of a strawman argument. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straw_man

        this technique cannot be disguised simply by placing question marks at the end of what are effectively statements you are making. if you have a specific question for me try rephrasing without answering your own questions.

      • American
        American
        August 7, 2013, 10:19 pm

        “The moment we are cut off from one of the world’s two important centers of research – Europe – our science will become regional and less relevant.””

        That’s right, because in spite of their hype about Israel invention when you actually look at their claims on a claim by claim basis 99% of them are extendions, adaptations and *commerical applications * of research or inventions done by many others in the major countries.
        I remember several years ago when Israel claimed it had ‘invented’ electrical nodes for brain implants for the paralyzed……..when that had already been invented at the Cleveland Clinic in the US 10 years ago and was already in use.

  6. W.Jones
    W.Jones
    August 7, 2013, 1:14 pm

    The Israeli State isn’t even in Europe in the first place.

    • ivri
      ivri
      August 7, 2013, 5:45 pm

      Think global and non-geographical – in short Modern. Israel sees itself as part of the West, just happened physically to be located outside it.

  7. ivri
    ivri
    August 7, 2013, 4:26 pm

    This, indeed, is going to be a real test for both sides – economically for the (much) smaller party, Israel, and politically for the EU. It is important to notice though that the directive dos not apply to bilateral agreements between Israel and EU member states, nor does it relate to trade – in the main scientific-research programs will be affected and universities are therefore rightly worried. At the same time a great deal of hi-tech developments in Israel is done by numerous private-sector companies (and start-ups) with mainly Silicon-valley contacts.

  8. piotr
    piotr
    August 7, 2013, 6:16 pm

    Scientific cooperation is not the most important here, but the escalation by thwarting EU projects in West Bank and Gaza. In the fullness of time there will be another session of Eurocrats and “they will have to do something”. It is not in DNA of the current GoI to avoid inflammatory reactions, so it can slowly escalate.

    • dimadok
      dimadok
      August 7, 2013, 7:31 pm

      @piotr
      So you would like to see EU to continue getting full cooperation with Israel government, simultaneously denying its capital city and citizens of the same cooperative schemes?
      You can’t have it both- you know, since we are those “evooooiilll” occupants and we need to be appeased. Same as in Syria… Or no?

  9. American
    American
    August 7, 2013, 11:41 pm

    This is what I have pointed out about Israel time and again—not just because I plain disapprove of Israel but because business facts are business facts and the facts and the numbers don’t lie.
    The prowess of Israel, the brilliance of Jewish or Israeli tech minds have been hyped beyond all reality by Israel PR and self promotion.
    Israel is a “dispensable nation”…..it offers no special brillant people or talent not available elsewhere in the world….iow, the bottom line is Israel is ‘not critical’ to any business or sector on the globe. 70% of the so called start up nation came from elsewhere and will go elsewhere if Israel continues to flame out on it’s own delusions of it’s importance in the world.
    I have also noted with some satisfaction the Indian ascent which is a story in itself which began when Israel wanted to woo India as ally for Israel ,so in return for that Israel showed them the ropes of how to lobby in Washington which opened the doors for India and Indian ingress into the US business sector as well as US help with their nuclear programs. Now India has taken huge chunks of Israel like their generic drug business and damond cutting business away from them.
    So….mirror, mirror on the wall who’s really the smartest of them all?….it’s not Israel. Vanity is not a good substitute for smart…and as far as I know there is no market demand for vanity.

    http://www.haaretz.com/business/business-opinion/.premium-1.529285

    Silicon Valley isn’t waiting around for Startup Nation
    Israel is a wonderful source of innovation, creativity and development. But it needs to get over itself.
    By Oded Hermoni | Jun. 13, 2013 | 12:57 PM

    Israelis tend to view their startup sector as a sacred cow, but if anybody’s big in Silicon Valley, it’s India.
    ….

    Intel is the largest Israeli high-tech employer. It is responsible for 10% of Israeli industrial export and 20% of high-tech export. And it is being taken for granted, as is the expectation that it will continue to work in Israel and invest in building new plants.
    ….

    Feeling secure in the multinationals’ affection, they feel free to fixate on the imploding IDB conglomerate and to bewail the losses they suspect they’ll suffer. But they forget that the multinationals doing R&D in Israel affect their financial future just as much. Without them, they’d wish IDB was their worst problem.

    ..

    Anyone familiar with the hi-tech scene in Silicon Valley knows that in terms of numbers, Israel is still a minnow. The great technology companies aren’t waiting for Israelis to do them a favor and come work for them. ….the largest “foreign group” in Silicon Valley isn’t Israeli expats, it’s Indians. Almost 44% of the startups in Silicon Valley have at least one non-American born founder.

    Among startups founded by immigrants to America, 33% were started by Indians, up from 7% in 2005, according to the Kauffman Foundation of Entrepreneurship. How many were founded by ex-Israelis? ….3.5%.

    “Indians have founded more such companies than immigrants born in the next top seven immigrant-founder-sending countries combined,” reported the Kauffman Foundation.

    • annie
      annie
      August 8, 2013, 11:27 am

      american, could you please not post whole articles here from haaretz or any publication. it’s against fair use. it requires a mod to edit them. the alternative is to delete them. in the future if they do not pass moderation please re send them edited. thanks.

      • American
        American
        August 8, 2013, 11:47 am

        @ annie

        actually it wasnt the ‘whole’ article…….just half in excerpts but I failed to say excerpts.
        but I will refrain from posting

      • annie
        annie
        August 8, 2013, 12:11 pm

        i didn’t mean you should refrain from posting, just try to apply fair use for current news articles, which is generally 3 paragraphs or sometimes longer for a long article. but 6 or more paragraphs is generally too much.

      • American
        American
        August 8, 2013, 1:26 pm

        @ annie

        I meant refraining from posting ‘articles’…..not refraining from posting in general.
        Takes up too much time and space anyway.

  10. just
    just
    August 8, 2013, 5:24 pm

    I hope that the EU stands strong. More sunlight, please– it’s the disinfectant needed for justice for the Palestinians to begin.

  11. Misterioso
    Misterioso
    August 9, 2013, 7:00 pm

    For the record:

    “Israel annexed Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, and will not sign a clause saying those areas are not part of Israel.”

    Reality:
    Israel’s 1980 annexation of East Jerusalem was unanimously rejected by the UNSC in Resolutions 476 and 478.

    Israel’s 1981 annexation of Syria’s Golan Heights was unanimously declared “null and void” by the UNSC in Resolution 497.

Leave a Reply