JERUSALEM, Israel -- Israel found itself in the crosshairs once again Tuesday with the European Union's latest directive barring member states from interacting with Israelis living outside the 1948 armistice lines, the Israeli daily Haaretz reported.
According to the report, the law, effective Friday, requires the E.U.'s 28 member nations to cut "all funding, cooperation, the granting of scholarships, research grants and prizes" with Israelis living outside the 1948 armistice lines, which includes about a half a million Jews who live in east Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the Golan Heights.
The directive further requires the inclusion of a clause in any agreement with Israel stating that all land beyond the 1948 lines does not belong to the Jewish state.
Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Zeev Elkin told Army Radio the E.U.'s latest move strengthens the Palestinian Authority's refusal to negotiate an agreement with Israel. He called the decision "very worrisome" and one that would adversely affect future agreements between Israel and the EU.
"It's a very worrisome initiative launched at a bad time," Elkin said, "because it only reinforces the Palestinians' refusal to restart negotiations."
Some say that Europe, where more than six million Jews were systematically murdered during the Nazi reign of terror, remains at its very core anti-Semitic.
At a conference last May on global anti-Semitism, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said today's anti-Israel talk is simply anti-Semitism repackaged. He has repeatedly said Israel will not return to the "indefensible" armistice lines, nor will its capital be divided again as it was under Jordanian occupation.
Among other demands, the Palestinian Authority says there will be no reconciliation with Israel without re-dividing Jerusalem.
Many Jews and Christians who look to the Bible believe what it says in Gen. 12:3: "I will bless those who bless you and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed."
They say, in the coming years, some will stand unflinchingly by Israel; others will continue to blame the Jewish state for everything from stalled peace talks to the world's economic woes.