Press TV has interviewed Richard Silverstein, a journalist and political commentator from Seattle, about an attempt by the Israeli regime to block an EU decision for the banning products made in the illegal Israeli settlements.
Following is a rough transcription of the interview.
Press TV: What do you think is the significance of this draft (EU) resolution? And do you think Israeli officials can sabotage or prevent it from actually being implemented?
Silverstein: I think the significance is that this is a gradual ratcheting up of pressure on the Israeli regime by its allies and the European Union. I think that Israel will… lobby against this resolution and water it down. It’s been doing this for years.
I think it will have minimal success. I think gradually Israel is going to be put more and more into a corner. I think that the occupation, settlements and all the other violations of international law are going to come home to roost. And the EU will gradually be taking a much more hostile view towards Israel. It will start with labeling products from the settlements, so that European consumers will see them labeled and won’t have to buy them in supermarkets and it will increase from there. And Israel is going to fail, in the long run, in terms of stopping this snowball rolling down the hill.
Press TV: Why do you think the EU has ratcheted up efforts in order to stop Israel from its settlement expansion policies?
Silverstein: I think that the news from Israel and from Palestine ... for the last few months with 145 or so Palestinians murdered by Israeli forces, and over 20, 24 Israelis killed in Intifada-style attacks. I think that the world is looking at this and seeing the horror that Israel is creating there. And in addition, you have a most radical right-wing government ever in the history... the ministers spouting outright racist genocidal kinds of rhetoric it’s just registering in the world public opinion in a way that it hasn’t up until now. So, there’s just no way to avoid this. And people can’t explain it or excuse it as they might have in the past.
Press TV: You talked about Israel being isolated by its allies specifically the EU, but what other effects does it have on Israel? Can it actually impose more pressure on Israel to stop its atrocities against Palestinians?
Silverstein: I think Israel will resist that to its dying breath, but I do think that what happens in the EU eventually comes over the Atlantic and hits the United States. So, while there is a lot of support for Israel in the United States, I think that will eventually peel away.
We’ve had a president now who, I’m not terribly happy with what he’s done regarding Israel-Palestine, I think, basically understands the issue and the problem better than most, I don’t know, what the next president will bring. But it really almost won’t matter who the president is, because Israel will be creating facts on the ground and the world is going to look aghast at the things that are happening there and things will continue to happen. So, eventually, I think, the United States will become a place that will add to the pressure and hopefully the United Nations will also be able to play a role in boxing Israel and putting increased pressure to change its policies.