(JNS.org) The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) blasted the European Union (EU) for foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton’s recent comment that Israel’s plans to build 800 new housing units in the Jerusalem Jewish neighborhood of Gilo “threaten to make a two-state solution impossible.” Ashton did not place any blame on the Palestinians.
“The European Union consistently ignores the Palestinian refusal to resume direct negotiations with Israel without preconditions,” Abraham H. Foxman, ADL national director, wrote in a letter to Ashton. “Considering the EU’s emphasis on the need for negotiations to put an end the conflict, we would hope that the EU would clearly and publicly say to the Palestinian Authority that its intransigence is unacceptable and that this type of conduct will not lead to a resolution of the conflict.”
Gilo is located beyond the 1949 Green Line in the southern portion of eastern Jerusalem, and was land won by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War. Some 40,000 Jews live there. Ashton said Oct. 19 she “deeply regrets” Israel’s plans to construct new housing there. In response, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu affirmed Israel would not “impose any restrictions on housing projects in our capital.”
Foxman’s letter to Ashton noted that Israeli government policy does not distinguish between different parts of Jerusalem because it is Israel’s undivided capital. Ashton, however, had called Gilo a “settlement” that is “illegal under international law.”