The Israeli government regularly shoots itself in the foot internationally to try to look like it’s defending the illegal settlements, but rarely have they had such a stark dollar figure as with the new Horizon 2020 deal.
The EU’s Horizon 2020 research program has massive funding and a seven-year timespan that would net Israeli organizations over $1 billion in grants and prizes, far more than Israel would be asked to contribute.
The problem is that Israel is officially “outraged” at the EU for issuing guidelines on their laws regarding settlements, warning companies that they can’t have business ties with Israeli organizations that are involved in illegal settlements in occupied territory. Israel already stopped a plethora of humanitarian aid from the EU to Palestinian civilians to “retaliate,” but that was apparently insufficient.
Now Deputy Foreign Minister Zeev Elkin says Israel is ready to forgo participation in Horizon 2020 if the EU insists that the prizes can’t be granted to settlers or settlement organizations, which of course under EU law they can’t.
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