2021.07.13 國際新聞導讀-美國俄羅斯對援助敘利亞難民達成協議、以色列改善對約旦關係並賣出多一倍的淡水、埃及立法通過可立即解雇與穆斯林兄弟會有牽連的公務員、土耳其總統與以色列總統通話改善雙邊關係

23:12
 
分享
 

Manage episode 297333592 series 2948782
由Player FM以及我们的用户群所搜索的蘇育平 Yuping SU — 版权由出版商所拥有,而不是Player FM,音频直接从出版商的伺服器串流. 点击订阅按钮以查看Player FM更新,或粘贴收取点链接到其他播客应用程序里。

2021.07.13 國際新聞導讀-美國俄羅斯對援助敘利亞難民達成協議、以色列改善對約旦關係並賣出多一倍的淡水、埃及立法通過可立即解雇與穆斯林兄弟會有牽連的公務員、土耳其總統與以色列總統通話改善雙邊關係

敘利亞援助機構 感覺更像是投降而不是合作 - 分析

俄羅斯利用其在聯合國安理會的影響力,即使華盛頓和莫斯科歡呼協調努力。

作者:MIKE WAGENHEIM / THE MEDIA LINE

2021 年 7 月 12 日 11:54

2020 年 2 月 24 日,在土耳其哈塔伊省土耳其村莊 Bukulmez 附近的邊境地區敘利亞一側,可以看到在敘利亞伊德利卜省 Atma 營地安置境內流離失所者的帳篷。

(圖片來源:REUTERS/UMIT BEKTAS)

廣告

“俄羅斯人用槍指著數百萬絕望的敘利亞人的頭,美國拍了拍莫斯科沒有扣動扳機的背影。”

有關 The Media Line 的更多故事,請訪問themedialine.org

這就是一名前美國國家安全委員會官員如何看待週五聯合國安理會對一項決議的投票,該決議將通過敘利亞 - 土耳其邊境的重要援助走廊保留至少六個月。

美國希望擴大進入敘利亞的援助通道數量,而俄羅斯則威脅將封鎖該通道,經過數週的緊張談判,雙方對 Bab al-Hawa(“風之門”)過境點進行了一致投票。繼續在保護敘利亞主權的旗幟下進行援助計劃,聲稱阿薩德政權有能力監督全國各地的援助交付。

每月約有 1,000 卡車人道主義援助物資通過 Bab al-Hawa。過境點原定於本週末關閉。

敘利亞總統巴沙爾·阿薩德的批評者指責他在敘利亞內戰期間將人道主義援助政治化和武器化。在前基地組織附屬組織 Hay'et Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) 和土耳其支持的反叛團體的控制下,叛軍的最後一個堡壘正在西北部的伊德利卜省開展行動,這使得 Bab al-Hawa 過境點尤為突出重大。

受過境點影響的地區居住著大約 400 萬敘利亞人,其中約 75% 的人從該國其他地區流離失所,其中 70% 的人依靠聯合國援助來滿足基本需求。

近年來,敘利亞和俄羅斯軍隊猛烈抨擊伊德利卜,尋求為政權收復該省,經常轟炸醫院、學校、市場和住宅,在敘利亞其他地區相對平靜的時期引發人道主義危機。COVID-19 大流行也加劇了伊德利卜本已嚴峻的局勢。

美國和俄羅斯共同發起了周五的決議,將其視為妥協,證明這兩個對手可以在國際安全問題上進行協調。

美國駐敘利亞大使杰弗裡·普雷斯科特 (Jeffrey Prescott) 表示:“我認為我們對美國和俄羅斯能夠在外交上共同努力達成這項協議,幫助滿足敘利亞人民嚴峻的人道主義需求感到非常高興。”聯合國在周六的簡報會上告訴記者。

“總統[喬·拜登]昨天有機會與[俄羅斯]總統[弗拉基米爾]普京交談,他們都歡迎我們的團隊為達成這一協議所做的努力,並能夠在今年繼續提供這一關鍵援助來。這顯然是美國的優先事項,我認為這是我們能夠共同努力的積極信號和積極信號,”這位美國外交官還說。

“現在,很明顯,我們與俄羅斯在許多其他問題上存在分歧,總統和普京昨天在通話中討論了其中的一些問題,正如宣讀的內容所表明的那樣。但這是一個積極的結果。這是美國和俄羅斯之間的外交努力可以實現的一個很好的例子,”普雷斯科特說。

但是,就在最近的 2020 年 1 月,有四個援助過境點進入敘利亞——一個從約旦進入南部,一個從伊拉克進入東北部,兩個從土耳其進入西北部。俄羅斯與中國一起在安理會行使否決權,將其縮減為一個過境點,並且根據最新決議中含糊不清的措辭,它可能能夠將 Bab al-Hawa 走廊的延長線提上日程。爭取在六個月內進行投票,而不是美國和其他國家認為他們通過週五的投票購買的一年。

華盛頓一直在通過自己的決議推動重新開放通往東北部的雅魯比亞過境點,但莫斯科認為這是不可能的。3 月,聯合國秘書長安東尼奧·古特雷斯 (António Guterres) 警告大會,在關閉來自伊拉克的 Yaroubiah 過境點後,人道主義局勢惡化。

“俄羅斯人和敘利亞人是這次投票的大贏家。土耳其人表現出中立。美國輸了,”這位前國家安全委員會官員說,他堅持匿名坦率地說。

土耳其已經收容了 400 萬敘利亞難民,需要確保敘利亞西北部的人道主義危機不會在其南部邊境引發大規模流離失所,同時還要對東北部的庫爾德人領導的政府施加壓力,該政府對援助表示擔憂.

安卡拉表示,聯合國的行動使東北部以庫爾德人為主的自治政府受益,它認為這是庫爾德工人黨(PKK)的延伸,庫爾德工人黨是土耳其軍方已與該組織作戰了數十年的指定恐怖組織。這可能就是為什麼莫斯科認為在 2020 年否決聯合國在 Yaroubiah 過境點的跨境行動擴展不會危及它與安卡拉的關係的原因。

“拜登政府錯誤地宣布,除了聯合國援助之外別無選擇。它實際上將辯論的控制權拱手讓給了俄羅斯人 [用他們的安理會否決權],他們現在每六個月就在這個問題上把我們和每個人都當作人質,”這位前官員說。

拜登政府將恢復跨境援助運輸作為外交政策的優先事項,更加重視與俄羅斯達成的某種協議。早在 3 月,美國國務卿安東尼·布林肯 (Antony Blinken) 首次在安理會露面,除了重新開放至少兩個從土耳其和伊拉克進入敘利亞的已關閉過境點之外,還為延長巴布·哈瓦 (Bab al-Hawa) 的任期爭取支持。美國駐聯合國大使琳達·托馬斯-格林菲爾德和副國務卿溫迪·謝爾曼最近前往土耳其,推動安卡拉提供援助。與此同時,在拜登的授意下,他和普京在 6 月日內瓦峰會期間討論了聯合國援助問題。

但俄羅斯人並不認為這個問題是嚴格的人道主義問題。他們的目標包括國際社會與阿薩德政府的關係正常化,減少或取消針對阿薩德的製裁制度,並推動全球大國幫助敘利亞在殘酷的內戰後重建。

事實上,週五通過的決議包括一項敦促國際社會支持重要基礎設施項目的條款,包括水、衛生、健康和教育項目。它呼籲聯合國成員國“鑑於 COVID-19 大流行對敘利亞的深遠社會經濟和人道主義影響,採取實際步驟解決敘利亞人民的緊迫需求”。

一些觀察家將這些所謂的早期恢復項目視為實踐中的重建工作。

在拜登政府堅持認為它會無關重建,除非有對敘利亞政治變革運動。俄羅斯人讓他們放棄了這一點。早期有消息稱,在決定對敘利亞實施任何形式的製裁救濟之前,他們(美國人)正在觀望跨境援助機制如何發揮作用。俄羅斯人基本上沒有給他們任何超出最低限度的東西。看到製裁如何繼續發展將非常有趣,”這位前國家安全委員會官員說。

“制裁的結果是,美國在聯合國論壇之外制定援助機制以將俄羅斯人排除在外,這也給美國戴上了手銬,因為非政府組織和其他組織害怕參與未經批准的努力而違反制裁。但這正是美國需要發揮創造力的地方。相反,我們只是向莫斯科揮舞白旗,”這位官員說。

在唐納德特朗普總統的管理下,華盛頓頒布了凱撒法案,以通過對他們實施經濟制裁來阻止外國實體或國家參與阿薩德的重建計劃。一些在戰爭期間與阿薩德斷絕關係的海灣國家已經重新接觸,其中一些國家,包括阿拉伯聯合酋長國和沙特阿拉伯等美國盟友,指出凱撒制裁是他們的主要原因不能為重建工作提供資金。然而,出於人道主義考慮,制裁計劃中有一些例外。

西方列強在跨境談判期間發出的唯一公開威脅來自法國駐聯合國大使尼古拉斯·德·里維埃 (Nicolas de Rivière),他在本月的新聞發布會上告訴媒體專線和其他新聞媒體,西方將切斷對敘利亞的所有援助。如果俄羅斯人關閉了 Bab al-Hawa。

“正如我反复說過的,對敘利亞的人道主義救援 92% 是由歐盟、美國、加拿大、日本提供的。這是西方的錢,沒有人應該指望這些錢會通過交叉線(由中央政府控制並跨越衝突線的援助)重新分配,這是行不通的。這是一個艱難的選擇,我們希望能夠繼續為敘利亞的人道主義救援提供資金,”大使說。

俄羅斯人認為這種威脅是一種勒索。

但莫斯科可能會在 1 月份再次掌握這些牌。安理會通過的決議對 Bab al-Hawa 任務的期限含糊不清,這需要古特雷斯在六個月內進行審查,以確定是否應再延長六個月。關於延期是否在提交審查後自動進行,或者是否需要再次投票的爭論已經開始。

“很明顯,這個過境點已經更新了一年。決議案文明確指出,一旦聯合國秘書長發表報告,最初的六個月授權將再延長六個月。這意味著,重要的是,不需要在 1 月份進行投票,在隆冬之際,這是我們希望實現的關鍵外交成果,我們已經通過這項決議實現了這一目標。因此,我們非常有信心,聯合國將繼續使用該過境點,為明年提供緊急人道主義援助,我們對這一結果感到滿意,”普雷斯科特說。

並非如此,俄羅斯和中國駐聯合國使團表示,他們堅持認為,六個月後延長任務期限將取決於古特雷斯審查的內容,審查內容將側重於運營透明度和跨線准入的進展。

聯合國代表、大赦國際宣傳部副主任謝琳·塔德羅斯(Sherine Tadros)寫道:“這項妥協決議再次證明俄羅斯無視敘利亞人的人道主義需求,而是在玩弄數百萬人的生命和福祉的政治遊戲。”在給媒體熱線的一份聲明中。

“通過阻止一項授權將 Bab al-Hawa 的授權簡單延長 12 個月的決議草案,並阻止將重新開放敘利亞東北部迫切需要的來自伊拉克的 al-Yaroubiah 過境點的先前版本,俄羅斯和中國表現出了完全對那些依賴人道主義援助生存的人的生命的可恥無視,”塔德羅斯寫道。

“在妥協中妥協,在妥協中妥協。俄羅斯成功地降低了門檻,讓安理會成員為達成一項仍讓數百萬敘利亞人處於不確定狀態的協議感到欣慰,”塔德羅斯在投票後發推文。

Syrian Aid Res. feels more like capitulation than cooperation - analysis

Russia uses its influence in the United Nations Security Council, even as Washington and Moscow hail coordinated effort.

By MIKE WAGENHEIM / THE MEDIA LINE

JULY 12, 2021 11:54

Tents housing internally displaced people in Atma camp in Idlib Governorate of Syria are seen on the Syrian side of the border zone near the Turkish village of Bukulmez in Hatay province, Turkey, February 24, 2020.

(photo credit: REUTERS/UMIT BEKTAS)

Advertisement

“The Russians held a gun to the heads of millions of desperate Syrians, and the US patted Moscow on the back for not pulling the trigger.”

For more stories from The Media Line go to themedialine.org

That’s how a former US National Security Council official with purview over Syria views Friday’s UN Security Council vote on a resolution to preserve a vital aid corridor through the Syria-Turkey border for at least six months.

The unanimous vote on the Bab al-Hawa (“Gate of the Winds”) crossing came after weeks of intense negotiations between the US, which wants to expand the number of aid corridors into Syria, and Russia, which had threatened it would block the continuation of the aid program altogether under the banner of protecting Syrian sovereignty, claiming the Assad regime has the capacity to oversee the delivery of aid throughout the country.

Around 1,000 truckloads of humanitarian aid pass through Bab al-Hawa every month. The crossing was set to close at the end of the week.

Critics of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad accuse him of politicizing and weaponizing humanitarian aid during the Syrian Civil War. The last bastion of rebel forces, under the control of former al-Qaida affiliates Hay’et Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) and Turkish-backed rebel groups, is operating in Idlib Province in the northwest, making the Bab al-Hawa crossing particularly significant.

Skip Ad

The area impacted by the crossing is home to around four million Syrians, some 75% of which are displaced from other parts of the country, and 70% of whom rely on UN aid for basic needs.

Syrian and Russian forces have pounded Idlib in recent years seeking to reclaim the province for the regime, routinely bombing hospitals, schools, markets and homes, causing a humanitarian crisis during a period in which the rest of Syria is under a relative calm. The COVID-19 pandemic also has worsened the already dire situation in Idlib.

The US and Russia co-sponsored Friday’s resolution, holding it up as a compromise that proved the two antagonists could coordinate on matters of international security.

“I think we’re very pleased with the work that the United States and Russia were able to do diplomatically together to forge this agreement, to help meet the dire humanitarian needs of the Syrian people,” Jeffrey Prescott, deputy to the US ambassador to the UN, told reporters during a Saturday briefing.

“The President [Joe Biden] had a chance to speak to [Russian] President [Vladimir] Putin yesterday and they both welcomed the efforts by our teams to reach this agreement and to be able to provide the continuation of this critical assistance in the year to come. That’s obviously been a priority for the United States, and I think it’s a positive sign and positive signal that we were able to work together,” the American diplomat also said.

“Now, obviously, there are a whole host of other issues where we have disagreements with Russia, and the president and Putin were discussing some of those issues in their call yesterday, as the readout makes clear. But this is a positive outcome. It’s a good example of what diplomatic efforts between the United States and Russia can achieve,” said Prescott.

But, as recently as January 2020, there were four aid crossings into Syria – one from Jordan into the south, one from Iraq into the northeast and two from Turkey into the northwest. Russia, together with China, has wielded its veto power at the Security Council to whittle that down to a single crossing and, based on vague language in the latest resolution, it may be able to bring the extension of the Bab al-Hawa corridor up for a vote in six months, rather than a year that the US and others believe they bought with Friday’s vote.

Washington had been pushing for the reopening of the Yaroubiah crossing into the northeast in its own resolution, but Moscow deemed it a non-starter. In March, UN Secretary-General António Guterres warned the General Assembly that the humanitarian situation had worsened following the closure of the Yaroubiah crossing from Iraq.

“The Russians and the Syrians are the big winners of this vote. The Turks come out neutral. The US lost,” said the former National Security Council official, who insisted on anonymity to speak candidly.

Turkey is already hosting four million Syrian refugees and needs to ensure that a humanitarian crisis in northwestern Syria does not provoke mass displacement on its southern border, while also keeping pressure on the Kurdish-led government in the northeast, where it has expressed concerns regarding aid.

Ankara has suggested that UN operations have benefited the northeast’s Kurdish-dominated autonomous government, which it sees as an extension of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), a designated terrorist group that the Turkish military has battled for decades. This is likely why Moscow believed that vetoing the extension of UN cross-border operations at the Yaroubiah crossing in 2020 would not risk its relationship with Ankara.

“The Biden administration made the mistake of announcing there was no alternative to UN aid. It’s effectively ceding control of the debate to the Russians [with their Security Council veto], who now hold us and everyone hostage on this issue every six months,” the former official said.

The Biden administration made the restoration of cross-border aid shipments a foreign policy priority, placing added importance on some type of agreement with the Russians. Back in March, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken used his first appearance before the Security Council to drum up support for extending Bab al-Hawa’s mandate, in addition to the reopening of at least two of the closed crossings into Syria from Turkey and Iraq. US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield and Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman traveled to Turkey recently to push for Ankara’s assistance in aid delivery. Meanwhile, at Biden’s behest, he and Putin discussed the UN aid issue during their June summit in Geneva.

But the Russians do not see the issue as strictly a humanitarian one. Their goals include the international community normalizing relations with the Assad government, lessening or eliminating sanctions regimes in place against Assad and pushing global powers to aid in Syria’s reconstruction following its brutal civil war.

In fact, the resolution passed on Friday includes a provision urging the international community to support vital infrastructure projects, including water, sanitation, health and education projects. It appeals to UN member states to take “practical steps to address the urgent needs of the Syrian people in light of the profound socio-economic and humanitarian impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Syria.”

Some observers see these so-called early recovery projects as reconstruction efforts in practice.

The Biden administration was insistent that it would have nothing to do with reconstruction unless there was movement toward political change in Syria. The Russians got them to back down on that. There were early messages sent out that they [the Americans] were waiting to see how the cross-border aid mechanism played out before deciding on any kind of sanctions relief for Syria. The Russians essentially gave them nothing beyond the very bare minimum. It will be very interesting to see how sanctions play out going forward,” the former NSC official said.

“The sanctions have had the effect of also handcuffing the US in terms of developing an aid mechanism outside the UN forum in order to exclude the Russians, because NGOs and others are afraid of violating the sanctions by getting involved in a non-approved effort. But this is where the US needs to get creative. And instead, we’re simply waving a white flag to Moscow,” said the official.

Under the administration of President Donald Trump, Washington enacted the Caesar Act in an effort to prevent foreign entities or nations from taking part in Assad’s reconstruction plans by placing economic sanctions on them. A number of Gulf nations that had cut ties with Assad during the war have since re-engaged, and a few of them, including US allies such as the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, have pointed to the Caesar sanctions as the primary reason they cannot contribute funding to reconstruction efforts. There are carve-outs in the sanctions scheme, however, for humanitarian concerns.

The only public threat issued by Western powers during the cross-border negotiations came from French Ambassador to the UN Nicolas de Rivière, who told The Media Line and other news outlets at a news conference this month that the West would cut off all aid to Syria if the Russians closed Bab al-Hawa.

“As I said repeatedly, 92% of humanitarian relief to Syria is provided by the European Union, US, Canada, Japan. This is Western money, and nobody should expect this money to be reallocated through cross-line [aid that is controlled by the central government and funneled across conflict lines], which does not work. This is a hard choice to make, and we hope to be able to continue to finance humanitarian relief in Syria,” the ambassador said.

The Russians deemed the threat a form of blackmail.

But it is Moscow that will likely hold the cards again in January. The resolution adopted by the council is ambiguous about the duration of the Bab al-Hawa mandate, which will require a review by Guterres in six months to determine whether it should be continued for an additional six months. A debate has already started over whether the extension is automatic upon the filing of the review, or if it will be subject to another vote.

“It’s very clear this crossing has been renewed for another year. The text of the resolution makes clear that the initial six-month authorization will extend for an additional six months once the UN secretary-general issues his report. That means, importantly, there is no need for a vote in January, in the dead of winter, and that was a key diplomatic outcome that we were hoping to achieve and that we have achieved through this resolution. So, we’re very confident that this crossing will continue to be available to the UN for providing this urgent humanitarian assistance for the next year, and we’re happy with that outcome,” said Prescott.

Not so, say the Russian and Chinese missions to the UN, who insist that renewal of the mandate after six months will be conditioned on the contents of Guterres’ review, which will focus on operational transparency and progress on cross-line access.

“This compromise resolution is once again an example of Russia ignoring the humanitarian needs of Syrians, and instead playing political games with the lives and welfare of millions of people,” wrote Sherine Tadros, the UN representative and deputy director of advocacy for Amnesty International, in a statement to The Media Line.

“By blocking a draft resolution authorizing a simple 12-month extension of authorization for Bab al-Hawa, and blocking a previous version which would have reopened the al-Yaroubiah crossing from Iraq urgently needed for northeast Syria, Russia and China have displayed an utterly shameful disregard for the lives of those who are reliant on humanitarian aid to survive,” wrote Tadros.

“A compromise on a compromise on a compromise. Russia successfully lowers the bar to the point where council members pat themselves on the back for a deal that still leaves millions of Syrians in a state of uncertainty,” Tadros tweeted after the vote.

埃及現在有權解僱與恐怖主義有關聯的公務員

此舉被描述為“淨化”穆斯林兄弟會成員政府機構的重要一步。對修正案的意見不一

通過路透

2021 年 7 月 12 日 15:31

2013 年 7 月,穆斯林兄弟會成員和埃及總統穆罕默德·穆爾西的支持者在開羅的 Raba El-Adwyia 清真寺廣場展示他的照片。

(照片來源:KHALED Abdullah/文件照片/路透社)

廣告

議會消息人士稱,埃及議會周一批准了一項法律修正案,以擴大政府在未經事先紀律處分的情況下解僱涉嫌與恐怖組織有聯繫的公務員的能力。

官方媒體將此舉描述為“淨化”穆斯林兄弟會成員政府機構的重要一步,埃及將其歸類為恐怖組織。

路透社看到的法律修正案允許政府立即解僱任何名字出現在其恐怖主義名單上的員工。這包括仍在接受調查或審判的嫌疑人以及在恐怖主義案件中被定罪的嫌疑人。

該名單包括一些自由派和左派活動家。

根據法院命令加入恐怖主義名單的個人通常會受到資產凍結和旅行禁令的影響,並且有 60 天的時間對該決定提出上訴。公訴人向法庭提出請求,將個人或團體列入名單,由法庭決定。

自 1972 年以來,《無紀律解僱法》允許政府解僱任何被認為對國家安全構成威脅的公職人員。

修正案將恐怖分子名單上的存在歸類為這種威脅的“嚴重證據”,同時還允許被解僱的員工向行政法院提出上訴。

自 2013 年領導推翻穆斯林兄弟會主席穆罕默德·穆爾西 (Mohamed Mursi) 擔任陸軍總司令以來,阿卜杜勒·法塔赫·塞西 (Abdel Fattah al-Sisi) 總統一直在監督對伊斯蘭主義和自由派政治反對派的廣泛鎮壓。

一個議會委員會在一份關於法律修正案的報告中表示,它們旨在維護埃及的國家安全和打擊腐敗,並符合國家打擊恐怖主義的憲法承諾。

許多埃及人在社交媒體上對修正案表示歡迎,而其他人則表示擔心,無論是否與伊斯蘭團體有任何联系,國家都可能針對任何不支持政府的僱員。

Egypt now has right to sack civil servants with suspect links to terrorism

The move was described as a major step in a campaign to "purify" government bodies of members of the Muslim Brotherhood. Opinions on the amendment are mixed

By REUTERS

JULY 12, 2021 15:31

MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD members and supporters of Egyptian president Mohamed Mursi display his photo at Cairo’s Raba El-Adwyia mosque square, July 2013.

(photo credit: KHALED ABDULLAH/FILE PHOTO/REUTERS)

Advertisement

Egypt's parliament on Monday approved legal amendments expanding the government's ability to sack civil servants with suspected links to terrorist groups without prior disciplinary action, parliamentary sources said.

The move was described by state media as a major step in a campaign to "purify" government bodies of members of the Muslim Brotherhood, which Egypt classifies as a terrorist group.

The legal amendments seen by Reuters allow the government to immediately fire any employee whose name appears on its terrorism list. This includes suspects still under investigation or on trial as well as those convicted in terrorism cases.

The list includes some liberal and leftist activists.

Individuals added to the terrorism list by court orders are generally subjected to an asset freeze and a travel ban and have 60 days to appeal the decision. Public prosecutors submit requests in court to put people or groups on the list, and the court decides on the matter.

Since 1972, the Dismissal Without Disciplinary Action Act has allowed the government to dismiss any public employee considered a threat to state security.

The amendments classify presence on the terrorist list as "serious evidence" of such a threat, while also allowing dismissed employees to appeal before administrative courts.

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has overseen a broad crackdown on Islamist and liberal political opponents since leading the overthrow of Muslim Brotherhood President Mohamed Mursi as army chief in 2013.

A parliamentary committee said in a report on the legal amendments that they aim to preserve Egypt's national security and combat corruption, and were in line with a constitutional commitment for the state to fight terrorism.

Many Egyptians welcomed the amendments on social media, while others expressed concerns that the state could target any employee who is not pro-government regardless of any affiliation to Islamist groups.

貝內特:與約旦的關係對以色列的安全至關重要

納夫塔利·貝內特總理會見了阿卜杜拉國王。

通過LAHAV哈爾科夫

2021 年 7 月 12 日 21:26

約旦國王阿卜杜拉二世和總理納夫塔利·貝內特。

(照片來源:REUTERS/VINCENT KESSLER/文件照片和 KOBI GIDEON/GPO)

廣告

以色列總理納夫塔利·貝內特週一在以色列議會表示,與約旦的關係對以色列的安全很重要,反對派領導人本傑明·內塔尼亞胡摧毀了他們。

貝內特回應內塔尼亞胡的指責,即通過採取行動修復與安曼的關係,新政府正在間接賦予伊朗權力。

“以色列議會議員比比·內塔尼亞胡,給我解釋一下。我真的很想知道,”貝內特說,強調內塔尼亞胡的新頭銜。“你說以色列領導人有時必須為了以色列的利益與其他國家對抗。MK Bibi Netanyahu 破壞我們與約旦的關係是為了以色列的什麼利益?”

“我們正在修復這種關係,”他補充道。

貝內特說內塔尼亞胡“放棄了以色列土地的部分地區”,指的是以色列從約旦租用莫沙夫佐法爾和納哈拉伊姆的土地結束。該租約是 1994 年以色列和約旦之間和平協議的一部分,約旦去年拒絕續簽。

貝內特說,約旦位於以色列和伊朗之間,因此,“與約旦王國的良好關係是以色列的國家安全利益。”

不到兩週前,貝內特會見了約旦國王阿卜杜拉,外交部長亞伊爾·拉皮德會見了約旦國王艾曼·薩法迪。以色列同意將其向約旦出售的水量增加一倍,並允許約旦增加對巴勒斯坦權力機構的出口。

內塔尼亞胡週一早些時候表示,貝內特“不明白,當他給他水時,阿卜杜拉是在給伊朗提供天然氣”。

“不幸的是,阿卜杜拉同意通過 [約旦] 從伊朗主導的伊拉克到埃及的管道,從而賦予伊朗強大的經濟力量來發展其經濟,主要是其核計劃、征服計劃及其行動。恐怖,”他說。

內塔尼亞胡說,在貝內特的領導下,政府沒有站出來對抗伊朗,“每個人都明白這一點”。

約旦和埃及自 1980 年代以來就與伊拉克有著密切的經濟聯繫,它們是 2003 年美國入侵伊拉克後最早與伊拉克新政府建立關係的阿拉伯國家之一。

上個月,這三個國家就管道問題以及將伊拉克與約旦和埃及電網連接起來的可能性進行的會談,可能會減少伊拉克對伊朗的依賴,伊朗進口了伊拉克的大部分電力和天然氣。

內塔尼亞胡說,阿曼外交部長賽義德·巴德爾·本·哈馬德·布賽迪 (Sayyid Badr bin Hamad al-Busaidi) 發表聲明說,阿曼不會成為第三個與以色列實現關係正常化的海灣國家,這表明新政府對伊朗的軟弱。

“阿曼相信在兩國解決方案的基礎上實現公正、全面和持久和平的原則,”布賽迪週六告訴總部位於倫敦的 Asharq Al-Awsat 報。

“難怪阿曼也在朝著伊朗的方向前進,”內塔尼亞胡說,並補充說它正在取消與以色列的正常化進程。

“我提醒你,我在 2018 年與前任蘇丹進行了正式會晤,”他說。“現在,因為弱點,一切都在朝著另一個方向發展。”

今年 2 月,內塔尼亞胡還是總理時,布賽迪說阿曼“對我們目前的關係和對話水平感到滿意,這涉及適當的溝通渠道。”

今年2月,他表示阿曼將等待巴勒斯坦國的建立,然後再與以色列建立關係。

布賽迪說,阿曼重視其在中東的中立性,並與伊朗以及反對伊斯蘭共和國的國家保持聯繫。

Bennett: Ties with Jordan essential for Israel’s security

PM Naftali Bennett met with King Abdullah.

By LAHAV HARKOV

JULY 12, 2021 21:26

King of Jordan Abdullah II and Prime Minister Naftali Bennett.

(photo credit: REUTERS/VINCENT KESSLER/FILE PHOTO AND KOBI GIDEON/GPO)

Advertisement

Relations with Jordan are important to Israeli security, and opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu destroyed them, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said Monday in the Knesset.

Bennett spoke in response to an accusation by Netanyahu that by moving to repair ties with Amman, the new government is indirectly empowering Iran.

“Knesset member Bibi Netanyahu, explain it to me. I really wonder,” Bennett said, emphasizing Netanyahu’s new title. “You say a leader of Israel must sometimes confront other nations for Israel’s interest. What is the Israeli interest for which MK Bibi Netanyahu destroyed our relationship with Jordan?”

“We are fixing the relationship,” he added.

Bennett said Netanyahu “gave up parts of the Land of Israel,” referring to the end of Israel’s lease from Jordan of land in Moshav Tzofar and Naharayim. The lease was part of the 1994 peace agreement between Israel and Jordan, and Jordan declined to renew it last year.

Jordan is in between Israel and Iran, Bennett said, and as such, “a good relationship with the Kingdom of Jordan is a national security interest of Israel.”

Bennett met with Jordanian King Abdullah less than two weeks ago, and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid met with his Jordanian counterpart, Ayman Safadi. Israel agreed to double the amount of water it sells to Jordan and to allow Jordan to increase its exports to the Palestinian Authority.

Bennett “didn’t understand that when he gives him water, Abdullah is giving gas to Iran,” Netanyahu said earlier Monday.

“Abdullah, unfortunately, agreed to a pipeline through [Jordan] from Iraq, which is dominated by Iran, to Egypt, and thus giving Iran great economic power to develop its economy and, mainly, its nuclear program, its conquest program and its acts of terror,” he said.

Under Bennett, the government is not standing up to Iran, and “everyone understands it,” Netanyahu said.

Jordan and Egypt have had close economic ties with Iraq since the 1980s, and they were among the first Arab states to build relations with the new Iraqi government after the US invaded in 2003.

Last month’s talks between the three countries on the pipeline and the possibility of connecting Iraq to Jordanian and Egyptian power grids could reduce Iraqi dependence on Iran, which imports much of Iraq’s electricity and gas.

A statement by Omani Foreign Minister Sayyid Badr bin Hamad al-Busaidi that his country would not be the third Gulf state to normalize ties with Israel indicated the new government’s weakness against Iran, Netanyahu said.

“Oman believes in the principle of achieving a just, comprehensive and lasting peace on the basis of the two-state solution,” Busaidi told the London-based Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper on Saturday.

“It’s no wonder that Oman is also moving in Iran’s direction,” Netanyahu said, adding that it is canceling the normalization process with Israel.

“I remind you that I was in an official meeting with the previous Sultan” in 2018, he said. “Now, everything is moving in the other direction because of the weakness.”

In February, when Netanyahu was still prime minister, Busaidi said Oman was “content so far with the level of our current relations and dialogue, which involves the appropriate channels of communication.”

In February, he said Oman would wait for the establishment of a Palestinian state before forging ties with Israel.

Oman values its neutrality in the Middle East, and maintains ties with Iran as well as countries that oppose the Islamic Republic, Busaidi said.

Haredi MKs 指責聯盟為了埃爾金的利益推進立法

“他們為什麼不直接在法律中寫明所有拉比法官都將由埃爾金任命?” 要求UTJ主席MK Moshe Gafni。

作者:傑瑞米·沙龍

2021 年 7 月 12 日 20:35

廣告

週一,幾名極端正統派議員指責該聯盟專門製定立法,以幫助住房和建築部長 Ze'ev Elkin 被任命 為拉比法官遴選委員會成員

聯合托拉猶太教主席 MK Moshe Gafni 和他的黨內同事 MK Uri Maklev 在議會憲法、法律和司法委員會的委員會聽證會上發表了他們的評論,該委員會就政府立法改變拉比法官遴選委員會的組成進行了聽證。

埃爾金沒有立即回應置評請求。

埃爾金的新希望黨和 Yesh Atid 之間的聯盟協議明確指出,住房部長埃爾金, 被任命為拉比法庭任命委員會的成員。 但 2013 年通過的一項法律要求委員會中至少有一名部長和一名 MK 是女性,這給埃爾金帶來了問題,因為委員會主席必須是宗教服務部長,目前是亞米納的馬坦卡哈納。由於 Kahana 和 Elkin 都是男性,根據現行法律,Elkin 不能在委員會中佔有一席之地。上個月通過一讀的政府法案的初始版本改變了 2013 年的法律,因此該法案不是保證一名女部長和一名女 MK 在委員會中佔有一席之地,而是規定四名代表中至少有兩名來自議會和政府都是女性。

這意味著 Elkin 可以與 Kahana 一起服務,而兩位女性代表可以都是 MK。

然而,反對派譴責這一變化,首先表示這意味著極端正統黨派不能在委員會中有代表,因為他們沒有女性 MK。

此外,極右翼宗教猶太復國主義黨的 MK Avi Maoz 辯稱,85% 的以色列議會成員將受到法律歧視,因為他們將無法獲得委員會的席位。

2021 年 4 月 5 日,在新政府的以色列議會會議開幕之前,新的以色列議會成員阿維·毛茲出現在以色列議會。(圖片來源:OLIVIER FITOUSSI)

議會的一名法律顧問承認了這些問題,因此週一向議會委員會提出了新版本的立法,其中該小組的成員人數將從 11 人增加到 13 人,並包括一名任何性別的新部長.

這將使 Elkin 在委員會中佔有一席之地,以及第二位女性拉比法庭辯護人,留下男性 MK 仍然可以當選為小組成員的可能性,從而消除了以色列議會法律顧問和毛茲的擔憂。

但加夫尼、馬克列夫和其他人仍然對專為一位政治家埃爾金設計的新版立法提出質疑。

“他們為什麼不直接在法律中寫明所有拉比法官都將根據埃爾金的決定來任命,”加夫尼諷刺地問道。

“我們都明白,這裡所做的一切都是為了讓我們 [超正統 MKs] 不在委員會之外,”他補充道。

馬克列夫說,該法案是“出於政治目的而製定的個人立法,因為政府成員都想成為委員會成員,因此存在懷疑和貪婪。”

UTJ MK 繼續說:“政府不是為了國家利益行事,而是乾預政府部長之間的個人爭吵。

“這應該叫做裙帶主義法,而不是拉比法官法。”

埃爾金沒有回答為何獲得委員會職位對他來說如此重要的問題。

在委員會聽證會上發言的宗教-猶太復國主義者 Ne'emanei Torah Va'Avodah 遊說團體的宗教和國務院負責人 Tani Frank 補充說,遴選委員會的 13 名成員中有這麼多來自或由政府和聯盟任命。

弗蘭克說,需要在政府代表和議會代表之間找到“適當的平衡”。

Haredi MKs accuse coalition of advancing legislation for Elkin’s benefit

‘Why don’t they just write in the law that all the rabbinical judges will be appointed by Elkin?’ demands UTJ chairman MK Moshe Gafni.

By JEREMY SHARON

JULY 12, 2021 20:35

Several ultra-Orthodox MKs accused the coalition on Monday of formulating legislation specifically to help one individual, Housing and Construction Minister Ze’ev Elkin, get appointed to the Selection Committee for Rabbinical Judges.

United Torah Judaism chairman MK Moshe Gafni and his party colleague MK Uri Maklev made their comments during a committee hearing of the Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee in a hearing on the government’s legislation to change the composition of the Selection Committee for Rabbinical Judges.

Elkin did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The coalition agreement between Elkin’s New Hope Party and Yesh Atid states specifically that the housing minister, Elkin, be appointed as a member of the rabbinical court’s appointments committee.

But a law passed in 2013 requiring that at least one minister and one MK on the committee be women has created problems for Elkin, since the chairman of the committee must be the religious services minister, currently Matan Kahana of Yamina.

Since Kahana and Elkin are both men, Elkin cannot claim his place on the committee under the terms of the current law.

An initial version of the government bill, which passed its first reading last month, changed the 2013 law so that instead of guaranteeing one female minister and one female MK a spot on the committee, the bill stipulated that at least two of the four representatives from the Knesset and the government be women.

This meant that Elkin could serve alongside Kahana, while the two female representatives could both be MKs.

The opposition however denounced this change, saying firstly it would mean that the ultra-Orthodox parties could not have a representative on the committee since they have no female MKs.

In addition, MK Avi Maoz of the far-right Religious Zionist Party argued that 85 percent of Knesset members would be discriminated against by the law, since they would be precluded from obtaining a place on the committee.

New Knesset member Avi Maoz seen at the Knesset, ahead of the opening Knesset session of the new government, on April 05, 2021. (photo credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI)

A Knesset legal adviser acknowledged these problems, and so a new version of the legislation was proposed to the Knesset committee on Monday, in which the number of members on the panel would be increased from 11 to 13, and include one new minister of any gender.

This would allow Elkin a spot on the committee, along with a second female rabbinical courts advocate, leaving open the possibility that a male MK could still get elected to the panel, defusing the concerns of the Knesset legal adviser and Maoz.

But Gafni, Maklev and others still panned the new version of the legislation as designed specifically for one politician, Elkin.

“Why don’t they just write in the law that all the rabbinical judges will be appointed according to how Elkin decides,” asked Gafni sardonically.

“We all understand that everything being done here is so that we [ultra-Orthodox MKs] will be outside the committee,” he added.

Maklev said the bill was “personal legislation which has been created for political purposes because of suspicion and greed among members of the government members who all want to be a member of the committee.”

The UTJ MK continued, “The government is not acting in the interests of the state, but is rather intervening in personal quarrels between government ministers.

“This should be called the Cronyism Law and not the Rabbinical Judges Law.”

Elkin has not responded to questions as to why it is so important for him to obtain a position on the committee.

Tani Frank, head of the religion and state department of the religious-Zionist Ne’emanei Torah Va’Avodah lobbying group who spoke during the committee hearing, added that it was problematic that so many of the 13 members of the selection committee come from or be appointed by the government and the coalition.

Frank said that an “appropriate balance” needed to be found between representatives of the government and the Knesset.

貝內特:以色列對黎巴嫩危機“保持警惕”

“黎巴嫩正處於崩潰的邊緣,就像伊朗接管的每個國家一樣,”貝內特警告說。

作者:拉哈夫·哈科夫安娜·阿羅海姆

2021 年 7 月 11 日 20:30

2021 年 7 月 5 日,人們看到總理納夫塔利·貝內特在以色列議會發表講話。

(圖片來源:MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/耶路撒冷郵報)

廣告

以色列總理納夫塔利·貝內特週日表示,以色列正在監測黎巴嫩危機,以確保危機不會蔓延到邊境。

“黎巴嫩正處於崩潰的邊緣,就像伊朗接管的每個國家一樣,”他在內閣會議開幕時說。“黎巴嫩公民正在為伊朗接管該國付出沉重代價。”

他補充說,以色列正在“密切關注局勢……我們將繼續保持警惕”。

以色列國防軍和以色列警察阻止企圖從黎巴嫩走私武器進入以色列上週五,這貝內特評為“這樣的例子很多。”

安全部隊在跨越黎巴嫩和以色列戈蘭邊界的阿拉維派阿拉伯村莊 Ghajar 拘留了擁有 43 支手槍的嫌疑人。以色列國防軍錶示,正在進行調查以確定真主黨是否參與其中。

今年以來,以色列國防軍和警方至少阻止了五次來自黎巴嫩的重大毒品和武器走私企圖。

以色列國防軍上週表示,真主黨高級官員哈吉哈利勒哈布正在黎巴嫩和以色列邊境經營毒品和武器走私團伙。

上週,國防部長本尼·甘茨向聯合國駐黎巴嫩臨時部隊提交了一份建議,要求以色列在黎巴嫩經濟和人道主義危機不斷惡化的情況下向黎巴嫩人民提供人道主義援助。

聯合國兒童緊急基金會報告稱,77% 的黎巴嫩家庭無法購買食物,基本藥物已經​​用完,電力和天然氣短缺已經司空見慣。世界銀行表示,黎巴嫩的局勢是自 1850 年代以來世界上最嚴重的金融危機之一。

“作為一個以色列人、一個猶太人和一個人,看到人們在黎巴嫩街頭挨餓的畫面,我的心痛,”甘茨上週在推特上寫道。“以色列過去曾向黎巴嫩提供援助,即使在今天,我們也準備採取行動並鼓勵其他國家向黎巴嫩伸出援助之手,使其再次繁榮並擺脫危機狀態。”

黎巴嫩預計將拒絕提供幫助,就像去年在貝魯特發生爆炸導致數十人死亡並且以色列提供人道主義和醫療援助後所做的那樣。

Jerusalem Post

Israel News

Bennett: Israel ‘on alert’ over Lebanon crisis

“Lebanon is on the verge of collapse, like every country that Iran takes over," Bennett warned.

By LAHAV HARKOV, ANNA AHRONHEIM

JULY 11, 2021 20:30

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett is seen speaking at the Knesset, on July 5, 2021.

(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

Advertisement

Israel is monitoring the crisis in Lebanon to ensure it does not spill over the border, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said Sunday.

“Lebanon is on the verge of collapse, like every country that Iran takes over,” he said at the opening of the cabinet meeting. “The citizens of Lebanon are paying a heavy price for the Iranian takeover of the country.”

Israel is “watching the situation closely… and we will continue to be on alert,” he added.

The IDF and Israel Police prevented an attempt to smuggle weapons from Lebanon into Israel last Friday, which Bennett cited as “one of many examples.”

Security forces detained suspects who had 43 pistols in their possession at Ghajar, the Alawite-Arab village astride the border between Lebanon and the Israeli Golan. An investigation was underway to determine whether Hezbollah was involved, the IDF said.

The IDF and the police have stopped at least five major drug- and weapons-smuggling attempts from Lebanon this year.

Senior Hezbollah official Hajj Khalil Harb was operating a drug- and weapons-smuggling ring across the Lebanon-Israel border, the IDF said last week.

Defense Minister Benny Gantz last week sent the UN Interim Force in Lebanon a proposal for Israel to send humanitarian aid to the Lebanese people amid the country’s worsening economic and humanitarian crisis.

Seventy-seven percent of Lebanese households are unable to buy food, essential drugs have run out, and electricity and gas shortages have become commonplace, the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund reported. The World Bank has said the situation in Lebanon is one of the world’s worst financial crises since the 1850s.

“As an Israeli, as a Jew and as a human being, my heart aches seeing the images of people going hungry on the streets of Lebanon,” Gantz tweeted last week. “Israel has offered assistance to Lebanon in the past, and even today we are ready to act and to encourage other countries to extend a helping hand to Lebanon so that it will once again flourish and emerge from its state of crisis.”

Lebanon is expected to refuse the help, as it did last year after an explosion in Beirut killed dozens of people and Israel offered humanitarian and medical aid.

可能出現解凍跡象,土耳其的埃爾多安與以色列新總統會談

在多年的緊張關係之後,艾薩克·赫爾佐格和土耳其總統承諾儘管存在分歧,但仍將保持“接觸和持續對話”

艾米斯皮羅今天,晚上 11:59

土耳其總統雷傑普·塔伊普·埃爾多安(左)和總統艾薩克·赫爾佐格(右)。(美聯社)

艾薩克·赫爾佐格總統週一晚上與土耳其總統雷傑普·塔伊普·埃爾多安進行了交談,兩國領導人在經歷了十多年的緊張關係後,進行了罕見的直接溝通。

據總統辦公室稱,埃爾多安祝賀赫爾佐格上周宣誓就任總統。

“總統在通話中強調,以色列和土耳其之間的關係對中東的安全和穩定非常重要,”根據以色列對通話的宣讀,“兩國之間的合作潛力巨大。在許多領域,特別是能源、旅遊和技術領域。”

宣讀文件還指出,赫爾佐格和埃爾多安強調“儘管存在意見分歧,但保持接觸和持續對話的重要性,目標是為解決以巴衝突採取積極步驟,這也將有助於改善以色列和土耳其的關係。”

土耳其對呼籲的宣讀在很大程度上反映了以色列的宣讀,儘管它指出埃爾多安呼籲“在聯合國決議框架內通過兩國、持久和全面的解決方案解決以巴衝突”。

時事通訊電子郵件地址得到它

據瓦拉新聞報導,兩位領導人的談話持續了約40分鐘,赫爾佐格提前將通話通知了納夫塔利·貝內特總理和外長亞伊爾·拉皮德。

十多年來,以色列和土耳其的關係一直不穩定,過去幾年關係明顯惡化。但是,儘管埃爾多安公開抨擊以色列,但安卡拉繼續與這個猶太國家保持開放的關係,包括在旅遊和貿易方面。

土耳其總統雷傑普·塔伊普·埃爾多安於 2017 年 12 月 13 日在伊斯坦布爾舉行的伊斯蘭合作組織特別峰會上與巴勒斯坦民族權力機構主席馬哈茂德·阿巴斯握手。 (Yasin Bulbul / Pool Photo via AP)

最近幾個月,土耳其出現了轉變的跡象,埃爾多安表示,儘管他們有很多意見分歧,但“我們的內心希望我們能夠將我們與(以色列)的關係提升到更好的水平。”

大部分緊張局勢與加沙和土耳其支持統治加沙地帶的巴勒斯坦哈馬斯恐怖組織有關。

在 2018 年與加沙邊界發生致命衝突之後——在美國駐耶路撒冷大使館奉獻的那一天——土耳其召回了其駐以色列大使,並將以色列特使驅逐到安卡拉。在 2010 年馬爾馬拉船隊事件引發外交關係中斷 6 年之後,兩國僅在不到兩年前交換了大使,在該事件中,9 名土耳其活動人士在與以色列國防軍的衝突中喪生,當時一艘試圖破壞加沙海上封鎖。

今年5月,在以色列和哈馬斯在加沙進行的為期11天的衝突中,埃爾多安指責以色列對巴勒斯坦人實施“恐怖主義”,並稱以色列人“是殺人犯,以至於他們殺害五六歲的兒童。他們只有吸血才能滿足。” 他的言論引起了美國國務院的譴責,稱這些言論是反猶太主義的。

週末,埃爾多安在伊斯坦布爾接待了巴勒斯坦民族權力機構主席馬哈茂德·阿巴斯。據報導,埃爾多安在會晤期間表示,土耳其不會對“以色列對巴勒斯坦人的壓迫”保持沉默。

埃爾多安與前總理本雅明內塔尼亞胡的關係特別棘手,兩人經常公開指責對方是恐怖分子或種族滅絕殺手。赫爾佐格的前任魯文·里夫林曾是內塔尼亞胡的利庫德集團成員,儘管他在很大程度上是禮儀性角色的任期以政治溫和為標誌。

據報導,土耳其最近幾個月一直在考慮任命一位新的駐以色列大使,但尚未採取正式行動。

分析人士推測,埃爾多安希望討好美國新總統喬拜登,拜登對土耳其採取了比前任更嚴厲的態度,並且會贊成安卡拉對以色列採取更溫和的語氣。

In possible sign of thaw, Turkey’s Erdogan talks with new Israeli president

Isaac Herzog and Turkish president pledge to maintain contact ‘and ongoing dialogue’ despite differences, after years of strained ties

By AMY SPIROToday, 11:59 pm

·

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (left) and President Isaac Herzog (right). (AP)

President Isaac Herzog spoke Monday evening with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in a rare direct communication between leaders of the two countries after over a decade of fraught relations.

Erdogan congratulated Herzog on being sworn into his new role as president last week, according to the President’s Office.

“The presidents emphasized in their call that the ties between Israel and Turkey are of great importance to the security and the stability of the Middle East,” according to the Israeli readout of the call, “and there is great potential for cooperation between the countries in many fields, in particular the areas of energy, tourism and technology.”

The readout also stated that Herzog and Erdogan stressed “the great importance of maintaining contact and ongoing dialogue despite the differences of opinion, with the goal of making positive steps toward a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which will also contribute to the improvement of Israeli-Turkish relations.”

The Turkish readout of the call largely mirrored that of Israel, though it noted Erdogan’s call for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to be “settled through a two-state, lasting and comprehensive solution within the framework of UN resolutions.”

According to Walla News, the conversation between the two leaders lasted for about 40 minutes, and Herzog notified Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid of the call ahead of time.

For more than a decade, Israel and Turkey have maintained fractious relations, and ties have significantly deteriorated over the past few years. But despite Erdogan’s public diatribes against Israel, Ankara has continued to maintain open ties with the Jewish state, including on tourism and trade.

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan shakes hands with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas at the Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s Extraordinary Summit in Istanbul, December 13, 2017. (Yasin Bulbul/ Pool Photo via AP)

Recent months have seen signals of a shift from Turkey, with Erdogan stating that despite their many differences of opinion, “our heart desires that we can move our relations with [Israel] to a better point.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Much of the tensions relate to Gaza and Turkey’s backing for the Palestinian Hamas terror group which rules the Strip.

After deadly clashes on the border with Gaza in 2018 — on the day the US embassy in Jerusalem was dedicated — Turkey recalled its ambassador to Israel and expelled the Israeli envoy to Ankara. The countries had only exchanged ambassadors less than two years earlier, following a six-year break in diplomatic relations spurred by the 2010 Mavi Marmara flotilla incident, in which nine Turkish activists were killed during clashes with the IDF while aboard a ship attempting to break the maritime blockade of Gaza.

During the 11-day conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza in May, Erdogan accused Israel of “terrorism” against the Palestinians and said Israelis “are murderers, to the point that they kill children who are five or six years old. They only are satisfied by sucking their blood.” His remarks drew a condemnation from the US State Department, which called the comments antisemitic.

Over the weekend, Erdogan hosted Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Istanbul. During their meeting, Erdogan reportedly said Turkey will not remain silent against “the Israeli oppression of Palestinians.”

Erdogan had a particularly prickly relationship with former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, with the two regularly accusing each other publicly of being terrorists or genocidal killers. Reuven Rivlin, Herzog’s predecessor, had been a member of Netanyahu’s Likud party, though his term in the largely ceremonial role was marked by political moderation.

Turkey has reportedly been weighing appointing a new ambassador to Israel in recent months, although no official move has been made.

Analysts have speculated that Erdogan is looking to curry favor with new US President Joe Biden, who has taken a harsher approach to Turkey than his predecessor, and would view with favor Ankara adopting a more moderate tone on Israel.

強調新聯盟的自由主義價值觀,拉皮德希望恢復與歐盟的關係

標誌著從內塔尼亞胡培養維謝格拉德集團的轉變,同時似乎冷落“舊歐洲”,外交部長支持兩國解決方案並尋求與布魯塞爾保持同步

通過拉扎爾·伯曼 今天,晚上 7:59

外交部長亞伊爾·拉皮德 (Yair Lapid) 於 2021 年 7 月 12 日在布魯塞爾會見了 26 位歐盟外長。(歐盟)

外交部長亞伊爾·拉皮德 (Yair Lapid) 支持與巴勒斯坦人的兩國解決方案,並在周一向歐盟高級外交官發表的講話中指出了歐洲和以色列的共同民主價值觀,尋求在十多年的緊張關係後開啟與歐盟的新篇章。

“以色列與歐盟有著共同的利益——但更重要的是,我們有著共同的價值觀:人權、LGBTQI+社區權利、對民主基本要素的承諾:新聞自由、司法獨立、強大的公民社會、自由宗教,”拉皮德週一告訴外交事務委員會。“我們致力於共同應對氣候危機、國際恐怖主義、種族主義和極端主義。”

這些評論似乎旨在標誌著與以色列前任政府的決裂,當時的以色列總理本傑明·內塔尼亞胡曾與歐盟內的中東歐集團結盟——該地區被唐納德·拉姆斯菲爾德稱為“新歐洲”——由被統治的國家領導。強人和右翼民粹主義者反對布魯塞爾的一些更自由的政策。

多年來,內塔尼亞胡將所謂的維謝格拉德集團培養為親以色列的堡壘,反對在布魯塞爾和西歐推動耶路撒冷視為反以色列路線的企圖。與此同時,與歐盟其他國家的關係也受到了影響。

2014 年 11 月 7 日,時任以色列總理本傑明·內塔尼亞胡在耶路撒冷與歐盟外交政策負責人費代麗卡·莫蓋里尼舉行聯合新聞發布會。 (Amit Shabi/POOL/FLASH90)

“'舊歐洲'的人們對內塔尼亞胡依靠維謝格拉德集團阻止歐洲委員會對以色列做出決定的政策感到惱火,”耶路撒冷戰略與安全研究所的伊曼紐爾·納文解釋說。“事實上,他確實非常成功地使用分而治之的策略,真正阻止了旨在譴責的決定,例如,將美國大使館轉移到耶路撒冷和特朗普計劃。”

維謝格拉德集團由波蘭、匈牙利、捷克共和國和斯洛伐克組成。

匈牙利制定了拒絕泛歐後民族主義的民族主義外交政策,在內塔尼亞胡政府期間一再表明它非常願意為以色列出局。在以色列和哈馬斯 5 月的衝突期間,它是唯一一個否決歐盟外交部長聲明的歐盟國家,該聲明呼籲在“不可接受的”平民傷亡中立即停火。

Mitvim 以色列-歐洲關係項目主任 Maya Sion-Tzidkiyahu 解釋說,西歐國家特別關注歐洲強烈民族主義的興起。內塔尼亞胡以他對歐洲的態度強調了這個特別敏感的地方。

廣告

“這就像在歐盟的眼睛裡插一根手指,”Sion-Tzidkiyahu 說。

一個新的開始

作為等待中的外交部長和總理,拉皮德一直尋求與歐洲主要國家和歐盟本身重新建立關係,歐盟本身是以色列最大的貿易夥伴和重要的戰略盟友。

週一,他用英語開始講話,要求“一個新的開始”。

歐盟外交政策負責人何塞普·博雷爾早些時候表達了他自己在新道路上建立關係的願望,稱拉皮德的訪問“是一個重新開始的機會,從我們雙邊關係的角度來看,重新開始與以色列的關係,但也關於中東局勢。”

博雷爾稱兩國關係“相當惡化”。

拉皮德在講話中還談到了以色列的安全關切,承認他對以色列政策的對話和批評持開放態度。儘管如此,他還是要求他的對話者意識到“這次對話將考慮到我的家受到攻擊”,這與前任政府的語言相呼應。

廣告

與內塔尼亞胡和在他手下任職的外交部長不同,拉皮德全力支持巴勒斯坦建國,儘管他承認為此做出的努力沒有取得進展,以色列只會同意與一個真正尋求終結的民主巴勒斯坦國和平相處到衝突。

“我支持兩國解決方案已不是什麼秘密,”他說。“很遺憾,目前沒有這方面的計劃。”

“但是,我們都需要記住一件事。如果最終有一個巴勒斯坦國,它一定是一個愛好和平的民主國家。我們不能被要求參與對我們的生活造成另一種威脅,”他說。

拉皮德呼籲採取措施改善巴勒斯坦人的生活,並表示他支持任何促進巴勒斯坦經濟發展的措施。

談到加沙,拉皮德說,哈馬斯將加沙居民當作“人肉盾牌”,同時將他們扣為人質。

“這並不能免除我們始終努力將無辜平民傷亡降到最低的責任,”他說。“孩子不應該死在成年人的戰爭中。”

他強調了伊朗的威脅,稱其是世界上最大的恐怖主義輸出國,也是一個從未放棄獲得核武器目標的國家。

拉皮德還闡述了真主黨等伊朗代理人組織對以色列構成的威脅。

除了為雙邊協議創造動力之外,拉皮德還試圖向歐盟部長們解釋他組建的以色列新政府代表什麼。

廣告

他說,由前定居者領導人納夫塔利·貝內特 (Naftali Bennett) 領導並加入極左團體的新政府抹去了以色列傳統的右左框架。

“關鍵信息是,不同意見的人可以進行對話和合作,而無需訴諸零和遊戲。這是新的,但它也是對自由民主的核心根源的回歸:做出人們可能不同意的決定,而不去恨那些我們不同意的人。”

前駐歐盟大使、特拉維夫國家安全研究所高級研究員奧德·埃蘭 (Oded Eran) 指出,多樣化的角色可能有助於以色列修補關係。

前以色列駐約旦大使奧德·埃蘭。(INSS)

“以色列不僅組建了一個新政府,而且還組建了一個新的政治聯盟,”他說。“這可能是改善以色列與歐盟關係的一個機會,”他解釋說。

玻璃天花板

拉皮德從加比·阿什肯納茲手中接過了外交部,加比·阿什肯納茲是一位曾在政治上與耶什·阿蒂德結盟的前將軍,直到藍白軍團加入內塔尼亞胡政府,他也隨之而來。

德系猶太人為改善與歐洲的關係付出了巨大努力,並在他 13 個月的任期內受到了好評。但這還不足以克服對內塔尼亞胡的挫敗感。

“他有一個玻璃天花板,”Sion-Tzidkiyahu 解釋說,“那個玻璃天花板就是內塔尼亞胡。”

2021 年 11 馬赫,時任外交部長加比·阿什肯納茲和捷克總理安德烈·巴比斯在捷克共和國駐耶路撒冷外交辦公室開幕時剪彩。(拉扎爾·伯曼)

“他們不願意讓德系猶太人——儘管他採取了積極的態度,並且與他保持著良好的關係——他們不願意給他舉行協會理事會會議。”

以色列於 1995 年簽署了一項確定其與歐盟關係並於 2000 年批准的結盟協定,其中規定雙方每年在結盟理事會舉行一次會議,討論共同關心的問題。雙方上一次會面是在 2012 年,當時阿維格多·利伯曼 (Avigdor Liberman) 擔任外交部長。

以色列於 2013 年取消了理事會,當時歐盟發布新規定激怒以色列, 根據該規定 ,任何在綠線以外運營或有聯繫的以色列機構都不能獲得歐盟的資金或與歐盟有任何合作。

耶路撒冷回應稱, 在歐盟“澄清”其新規定之前,不會與歐盟簽署任何進一步的協議。在對所謂的指導方針的激烈爭論之後,那一年沒有舉行協會理事會。

歐盟與以色列的關係在 2015 年 11 月再次受到打擊,當時歐盟指示其成員國在 1967 年之前生產的某些以色列商品貼上標籤。以色列官員感到憤怒,並在反猶太主義的指責中發誓要限制雙邊關係。

在隨後的幾年裡,是歐洲方面阻止了會議的舉行。納文說,多年來,並不是歐盟作為一個機構來支持理事會,而是個別國家,尤其是法國。

法國總統埃馬紐埃爾·馬克龍(中)於 2019 年 1 月 22 日在耶路撒冷會見藍白人 MK Benny Gantz(右)和 Yesh Atid MK Yair Lapid。(Elad Malka)

Sion-Tzidkiyahu 強調說,協會理事會不是以色列必須證明它應得的獎品,而是每年都要舉行的長期法律協議。

“如果歐盟與各種存在衝突、佔領土地的非民主國家舉行聯合委員會,那麼與以色列的聯合委員會就沒有理由不舉行,”她強調說。

陷入困境的雙邊協議

雙方可以就推進雙邊關係的其他方式達成一致。2005 年,兩黨商定了一項所謂的行動計劃,這是一項重要的雙邊協議,旨在“逐步將以色列納入歐洲的政策和計劃”。

2008 年,歐盟和以色列同意升級行動計劃,但由於幾個月後以色列在加沙對哈馬斯的鑄鉛行動爆發——以及關於定居點建築的持續爭論—— 布魯塞爾凍結了這些談判

2009 年 1 月 6 日,在“鑄鉛行動”高峰期,以色列-加沙邊境上的一名步兵。 (Nati Shohat/ Flash90)

2005 年的行動計劃雖然嚴重過時,但在今年剩餘時間內仍然有效。

有跡象表明,法國正在軟化對以色列的政策。

在法國,總統制定外交政策方針,但通常被稱為奧賽碼頭的外交部也是一個有影響力的參與者。法國外交部長讓-伊夫·勒德里昂在其任期內對以色列尤其持批評態度。

Navon 表示,法國外交部一直支持阻止以色列加入 Horizo​​n Europe,這是一個 2021 年至 2027 年的歐洲研究和創新框架。

法國總統埃馬紐埃爾·馬克龍 (Emmanuel Macron) 與拉皮德 (Lapid) 有著親密的個人關係,這可能會帶來新的方法。

文化部長 Chili Tropper 上週在戛納會見了法國外長 Roselyne Bachelot,討論以色列加入創意歐洲計劃。以色列加入“創意歐洲”將使其能夠獲得數百萬歐元用於藝術和文化倡議。

文化和體育部長 Chili Tropper,2021 年 2 月 23 日在耶路撒冷可汗劇院。 (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

以色列和歐盟也可以在與歐盟簽署深入而全面的自由貿易區協議方面取得進展,這將使以色列在特定領域進入歐洲市場,並為在以色列的歐洲投資者創造一個舒適的監管環境。目前格魯吉亞、摩爾多瓦和烏克蘭是DCFTA國家,歐盟正在與突尼斯和摩洛哥進行談判。

以色列與歐盟的貿易關係仍然依賴於已有數十年曆史的結盟協定的製定。

雙方還可以努力簽署夥伴關係優先協議,這將確定未來3至5年的關係優先事項。

沒有幻想

埃蘭解釋說,歐洲並不存在全面和平進程可能的幻想。“他們明白,巴勒斯坦人的政治領導層無法就解決以巴衝突做出決定。”

“歐洲人理解這個政府的局限性,”Sion-Tzidkiyhau 說,“它不穩定。他們可以按多少是有限的。他們不想讓它分崩離析,然後比比可以回來。”

然而,他們將推動建立信任措施。

2021 年 6 月 15 日,在加沙城,工人們清除了被空襲摧毀的建築物的瓦礫。(美聯社照片/Adel Hana)

“歐盟將準備好尋找一種新的範式,並且不會放棄兩國解決方案的戰略目標,”埃蘭解釋說。

納文說,拉皮德應該在他的私人會談中要求改變歐盟的做法,以換取歐洲優先事項的進展。

“我確實認為他應該利用這個機會向'舊歐洲',尤其是法國,在聯合國投票方面發出一個非常明確的信息,”他說。“過去幾年,法國一直在所有國際組織中系統地投票反對以色列,無論是人權理事會還是安全理事會、聯合國教科文組織,等等。”

法國仍計劃參加在南非舉行的德班 IV 會議,英國、荷蘭、奧地利和匈牙利等歐洲國家都在迴避該會議,因為他們擔心會議會帶有反猶太主義色彩。

即使在不久的將來沒有簽署任何協議,拉皮德訪問的事實也迫使以色列政府各部委深入考慮與歐盟的關係以及應該優先考慮的事項。歐盟也被要求審查其與以色列的關係。

說明:聯合國安理會成員與來訪的德國外交部長海科·馬斯於 2020 年 2 月 26 日在聯合國總部召開關於核不擴散條約的會議。(美聯社照片/ Bebeto Matthews)

“我們與歐盟之間的關係是雙贏的,”Sion-Tzidkiyahu 強調說。

北約、埃及等

拉皮德週一還會見了北約秘書長延斯·斯托爾滕貝格,然後與他的幾位歐洲同行進行了一系列雙邊會談。

拉皮德表示希望深化與北約的關係,並準備在情報、網絡、反恐、氣候變化、海上安全、導彈防禦和民用應急管理方面支持該聯盟。

他還邀請斯托爾滕貝格訪問以色列。

北大西洋公約組織是美國、加拿大和 28 個歐洲國家的軍事聯盟,成立於 1949 年。

在與斯托爾滕貝格進行了長達一小時的會談後,拉皮德分別與德國外交部長海科·馬斯、法國外交部長讓·伊夫·勒德里昂、荷蘭外長西格麗德·卡格分別進行了 15 分鐘的會談,然後結束了與捷克共和國最高外交官雅庫布·庫爾哈內克的會晤。

外交部長亞伊爾·拉皮德於 2021 年 7 月 12 日在布魯塞爾會見北約秘書長延斯·斯托爾滕貝格。(北約)

週日晚上,拉皮德在外交事務委員會會議期間會見了埃及外長薩梅赫·舒克里。

在長達一個小時的會談中,兩位外交官討論了以巴關係,舒克里強調需要啟動和平談判,打破雙方之間的僵局。

以色列新外長還接受了埃及官方媒體的採訪。近年來,以色列高級官員在與該政權有關聯的媒體上沒有接受采訪,這表明開羅願意將以色列的官方立場直接向埃及公眾展示。

Stressing new coalition’s liberal values, Lapid looks to revive ties with EU

Marking shift from Netanyahu cultivating Visegrad bloc while seemingly snubbing ‘old Europe,’ foreign minister backs two-state solution and seeks to get back in sync with Brussels

By LAZAR BERMAN Today, 7:59 pm

Foreign Minister Yair Lapid meets with 26 EU foreign ministers in Brussels, July 12, 2021. (European Union)

Foreign Minister Yair Lapid backed a two-state solution with the Palestinians and noted Europe’s and Israel’s shared democratic values in an address to top European Union diplomats Monday, seeking to open a new chapter with the bloc after over a decade of strained ties.

“Israel has shared interests with the EU — but more than that, we have shared values: human rights, LGBTQI+ community rights, a commitment to the basic elements of democracy: a free press, an independent judiciary, a strong civil society, freedom of religion,” Lapid told the Foreign Affairs Council on Monday. “We are committed to fighting together the climate crisis, international terrorism, racism, and extremism.”

The comments appeared designed to mark a break with Israel’s previous administration, which under then-prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu had aligned itself with a Central-Eastern European bloc within the EU — an area dubbed “new Europe” by Donald Rumsfeld — led by countries ruled by strongmen and right-wing populists and which opposed some of Brussels more liberal policies.

Netanyahu for years cultivated the so-called Visegrad Group as a pro-Israel bulwark against attempts to push what Jerusalem views as an anti-Israel line in Brussels and western Europe. At the same time, ties with the rest of the EU suffered.

“People in ‘old Europe’ were annoyed at Netanyahu’s policy of relying on the Visegrad Group to block decisions from the Council of Europe on Israel,” explained Emmanuel Navon of the Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security. “The fact of the matter is he was really quite successful at using the divide-and-rule tactic that really blocked decisions that were meant to condemn, for example, the transfer of the US embassy to Jerusalem and the Trump plan.”

The Visegrad Group is made up of Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia.

Hungary, which has carved out a nationalist foreign policy that rejects what it sees as pan-European post-nationalism, showed repeatedly during the Netanyahu administration that it was more than willing to go out on a limb for Israel. It was the sole European Union country to veto a statement from EU foreign ministers during the May conflict between Israel and Hamas that called for an immediate ceasefire among “unacceptable” civilian casualties.

Then-prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban (L) hold a Rubik’s Cube at the Hungary-Israel Business Forum in Budapest, Hungary, on July 19, 2017. (Haim Zach/GPO/Flash90)

Western European nations are especially concerned about the rise of robust nationalism in Europe, explained Maya Sion-Tzidkiyahu, director of the program on Israel – Europe relations at Mitvim. Netanyahu pressed on that especially sensitive spot with his approach to Europe.

“It’s like sticking a finger in the eye of the EU,” said Sion-Tzidkiyahu.

A fresh start

As foreign minister and prime minister in waiting, Lapid has sought to reset ties with major European countries and the EU itself, Israel’s largest trading partner and an important strategic ally.

He opened his remarks in English on Monday by asking for “a new start.”

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell earlier expressed his own desire to set ties on a new path, calling Lapid’s visit “an opportunity for a fresh start, for restarting the relationship with Israel from the point of view of our bilateral relations, but also about the situation in the Middle East.”

Borrell called the relations “quite deteriorated.”

In his speech, Lapid also addressed Israel’s security concerns, acknowledging that he is open to dialogue and critique of Israeli policies. Still, he demanded that his interlocutors be aware that “this dialogue will take into account that my home is under attack,” echoing language of the previous administration.

ADVERTISEMENT

Unlike Netanyahu and foreign ministers who served under him, Lapid gave full-throated backing to Palestinian statehood, though he admitted that efforts toward that end were not advancing and that Israel would only agree to make peace with a democratic Palestinian state that truly seeks an end to the conflict.

“It is no secret that I support a two-state solution” he said. “Unfortunately, there is no current plan for this.”

“However, there is one thing we all need to remember. If there is eventually a Palestinian state, it must be a peace-loving democracy. We cannot be asked to take part in the building of another threat to our lives,” he said.

Lapid called for steps to improve the lives of the Palestinians, and said that he was for any steps that advance the Palestinian economy.

Turning to Gaza, Lapid said that Hamas uses Gaza’s residents as a “human shield” while holding them hostage.

“This does not relieve us of our responsibility to always try to minimize casualties amongst innocent civilians,” he said. “Children shouldn’t die in adults’ wars.”

He stressed the Iran threat, calling it the world’s number one exporter of terrorism and a country that has never given up its goal of acquiring nuclear weapons.

Lapid also laid out the threat that Iranian proxy groups like Hezbollah pose to Israel.

In addition to creating momentum on bilateral agreements, Lapid also sought to explain to EU ministers what the new Israeli government, which he put together, represents.

ADVERTISEMENT

He said that the new government, led by former settler leader Naftali Bennett and joined by groups on the far left, erases the traditional right-left framework in Israel.

“The key message is that different people, with different opinions, can have a dialogue and work together without resorting to a zero-sum game. It is new, but it is also a return to the core roots of liberal democracies: making decisions that one can disagree with, without hating those with whom we disagree.”

Oded Eran, past ambassador to the EU and senior research fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv noted that the diverse cast of characters may help Israel patch up ties.

Former Israeli ambassador to Jordan Oded Eran. (INSS)

“Israel has formed not only a new government, but a new political coalition,” he said. “It may be an opening to improved relations between Israel and the EU,” he explained.

The glass ceiling

Lapid took over the Foreign Ministry from Gabi Ashkenazi, a former general who had been allied with Yesh Atid politically, until Blue and White joined Netanyahu’s government and he went along with it.

Ashkenazi put significant effort into improving ties with Europe, and was well-received there during his 13-month tenure. But it was not enough to overcome frustration with Netanyahu.

“He had a glass ceiling,” explained Sion-Tzidkiyahu, “and that glass ceiling was Netanyahu.”

Then-foreign minister Gabi Ashkenazi and Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis cut the ribbon at the opening of the Czech Republic’s diplomatic office in Jerusalem, Mach 11, 2021. (Lazar Berman)

“They were not willing to give Ashkenazi — in spite of his positive approach, and the good relations they had with him — they were not willing to give him an Association Council meeting.”

Israel signed an Association Agreement that defined its relationship with the EU in 1995 and ratified it in 2000, which stipulates that the two sides meet once a year in an Association Council to discuss matters of mutual concern. The last time the sides met was in 2012, when Avigdor Liberman was foreign minister.

Israel canceled the Council in 2013, when the EU angered Israel by issuing new regulations according to which no Israeli body that operates or has links beyond the Green Line can receive EU funding or have any cooperation with the EU.

Jerusalem replied by vowing not to sign any further agreements with the European Union until the EU “clarifies” its new regulations. In the wake of the heated arguments over the so-called guidelines, no Association Council was held that year.

EU-Israel relations took another hit in November 2015, when the union instructed its member states to label certain Israeli goods made outside the pre-1967 lines. Israeli officials fumed and, amid accusations of anti-Semitism, vowed to curtail bilateral ties.

In subsequent years, it was the European side that prevented the meetings from taking place. It was not the EU as an institution holding up Councils over the years, said Navon, but instead individual states, especially France.

French President Emmanuel Macron (C) meets with Blue and White MK Benny Gantz (R) and Yesh Atid MK Yair Lapid in Jerusalem, on January 22, 2019. (Elad Malka)

The Association Council is not a prize that Israel must show it deserves, emphasized Sion-Tzidkiyahu, but is a long-standing legal agreement to meet every year.

“If the EU holds association councils with all sorts of undemocratic states that have conflicts, that occupy land, there’s no reason that the Association Council with Israel shouldn’t take place,” she stressed.

Bogged-down bilateral agreements

The sides can agree on other ways to advance the bilateral relationship. In 2005, the two parties agreed upon a so-called Action Plan, an important bilateral agreement that sought to “gradually integrate Israel into European policies and programs.”

In 2008, the EU and Israel agreed to upgrade the Action Plan, but due to the break out of Israel’s Operation Cast Lead against Hamas in Gaza a few months later — and ongoing arguments over settlement buildings — Brussels froze these negotiations.

An infantry soldier on the Israel-Gaza border at the height of Operation Cast Lead, January 6, 2009. (Nati Shohat/ Flash90)

The 2005 action plan, though badly outdated, is in effect for the remainder of the year.

There are signs that France is softening its policy toward Israel.

In France, the president sets the course of foreign policy, but the foreign ministry, often referred to as the Quai d’Orsay, is also an influential player. France’s Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian has been especially critical of Israel during his tenure.

The French Foreign Ministry has been behind the effort to block Israel from joining Horizon Europe, the European research and innovation framework from 2021-2027, said Navon.

French President Emmanuel Macron has a warm personal relationship with Lapid, which could result in a new approach.

Culture Minister Chili Tropper met with his French counterpart Roselyne Bachelot in Cannes last week to discuss Israel joining the Creative Europe program. Israel’s ascension to Creative Europe would allow it to access millions of Euros for art and cultural initiatives.

Culture and Sports Minister Chili Tropper, at the Khan Theatre in Jerusalem on February 23, 2021. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Israel and the EU can also make progress toward signing a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area agreement with the EU, which would give Israel access to the European market in specific sectors, and would create a comfortable regulatory environment for European investors in Israel. Currently Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine are DCFTA states, and the EU is negotiating with Tunisia and Morocco.

Israel’s trade relationship with the EU still relies on the formulation in the decades-old Association Agreement.

The two sides can also work toward signing Partnership Priorities agreement, which will set the priorities in the ties for the next 3 to 5 years.

No illusions

There is no illusion in Europe that a full-fledged peace process is possible, Eran explained. “They understand that the political leadership among the Palestinians is not in the position to take decisions concerning the solution of the Israeli Palestinian conflict.”

“Europeans understand the limits of this government,” said Sion-Tzidkiyhau, “that it is not stable. There’s a limit to how much they can press. They don’t want it to fall apart, then Bibi can come back.”

They will push for confidence-building measures, however.

Workers remove the rubble of a building destroyed by an airstrike in Gaza City, June 15, 2021. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)

“The EU will be ready to look at a new paradigm, and is not abandoning the strategic goal of a two-state solution,” Eran explained.

Lapid should demand changes in the EU approach in his private talks, said Navon, in exchange for progress on European priorities.

“I do think he should use this opportunity to send a very clear message to ‘old Europe,’ especially to France, on voting at the UN,” he said. “France for the past few years has been systematically voting against Israel at all international organizations, whether it’s the Human Rights Council or the Security Council, UNESCO, you name it.”

France is still planning to attend the Durban IV conference in South Africa, which European countries like the UK, the Netherlands, Austria, and Hungary are avoiding over concerns that it will be marked by antisemitism.

Even if no agreements are signed in the near future, the very fact of Lapid’s visit forces ministries across Israel’s government to deeply consider the relationship with the EU and what priorities should be. The EU is also made to examine its ties with Israel.

Illustrative: Members of the United Nations Security Council, with visiting German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, convene a meeting on the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, February 26, 2020, at UN headquarters. (AP Photo/ Bebeto Matthews)

“The relations between us and the EU is a win-win,” emphasized Sion-Tzidkiyahu.

NATO, Egypt, and more

Lapid also met with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg on Monday, before a series of bilateral talks with several of his European counterparts.

Lapid expressed his desire to deepen ties with NATO, and his readiness to support the alliance in intelligence, cyber, counter-terrorism, climate change, maritime security, missile defense, and civilian emergency management.

He also invited Stoltenberg to visit Israel.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization is a military alliance of the US, Canada, and 28 European nations that was founded in 1949.

After the hour-long talk with Stoltenberg, Lapid spent 15 minutes each with German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, French Foreign Minister Jean Yves Le-Drian, Dutch Foreign Minister Sigrid Kaag, before finishing his meetings with the Czech Republic’s top diplomat, Jakub Kulhanek.

Foreign Minister Yair Lapid meets with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in Brussels, July 12, 2021. (NATO)

On Sunday evening, Lapid met with his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry, on the sidelines of the Foreign Affairs Council meeting.

During the hour-long talk, the two diplomats discussed Israel-Palestinian relations, with Shoukry stressing the need to launch peace negotiations and break the impasse between the sides.

The new Israeli foreign minister also gave an interview to an official Egyptian media outlet. An interview by a senior Israeli official in an outlet affiliated with the regime has not occurred in recent years, and indicates an openness by Cairo to having official Israeli positions presented directly to the Egyptian public.

398集单集