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La Massoneria in Israele
by reb Sunday, Feb. 23, 2003 at 9:41 PM mail:

Una loggia poco conosciuta

Diplomatic tension between the European Union and Israel has taken a turn for the worse. While the EU sharply protested the Israel Defense Forces' recent moves in the territories, Israel meanwhile has taken affront at the EU's linkage of the looming crisis with Iraq with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Foreign Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sent a letter to all 15 members of the EU at the weekend, warning them of creating any link between the Iraqi situation and the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. Such a linkage "could strengthen the danger faced by Israeli citizens and strengthen the instability in the region," as, according to Netanyahu, this could provide Saddam Hussein with an excuse to attack Israel, as he has done in the past.

Meanwhile representatives of the EU troika delivered a letter of reproach to the Foreign Ministry last week, an act known in diplomatic terms as a demarche. While opening with remarks on recognizing Israel's need for security, the letter proceeded to berate the IDF's "excessive use of force" in the territories. It complained about the wounding of Palestinians, the expropriation of land for building the separation fence and vociferously protested the still standing illegal settlements. It criticized the closing of the universities in the territories and the policy of closure.

Victor Harel of the Foreign Ministry rejected the European complaints and said that he could not recall a protest couched in such harsh language for some time. According to Harel, the demarche was a ploy by the EU in order to appease the Arab states before a possible attack on Iraq, so that the EU could claim that it was concerned about the Palestinians.continua in

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