The EU Taxations and Customs Union has just published an updated list of ZIP codes in Israel, and their equivalent localities, which it sees as being in “occupied” territories, and thus do not qualify for preferential tariff treatment. Whereas up until now it included only the Golan, Judea, Samaria and parts of Jerusalem, the new list also includes localities in the no-man’s land between Israel and Jordan between 1949 and 1967.
If you look at the map (click for larger resolution), there are only 2 distinct areas where such a buffer zone existed, Jerusalem and the northern Jerusalem corridor. That area was drawn up on a map by Moshe Dayan and Abdullah el-Tell, in November 30th 1948, following ceasefire talks between the two. Two lines were drawn that day: one in red that marked the Jordanian position, and one in green (literally the “Green Line”) which marked the Israeli position. The area between the lines is that no-man’s land.
So why does a crumbly old map matter for the EU? Well, it decided that that no-man’s land, clearly inside Israel’s “Green Line”, is now illegally occupied by Israel, henceforth all those localities inside are “settlements.”
Such treatment will be refused to products for
which the proof of origin indicates that the production conferring originating
status has taken place in a locality within the territories brought under Israeli
administration since June 1967.
The audacity is mind blowing.
The idiocy doesn’t stop there. The ZIP code list does actually list ZIP codes of all the localities in those areas, be they Jewish, Druze, or Alawite (as in case of the Golan) or mixed (like Neve Shalom). Three of the ZIP codes pop out immediately: those of Modi’in-Maccabim-Reut.
The city is made up of three formerly individual communities. Maccabim and Reut, founded in the late 80’s, and Modi’in city, built in the mid 90’s until today. The city’s main attraction is it’s ideal location, midway between Tel-Aviv and Jerusalem, complete with a train station, highways, open areas, forests and a fair share of archaeology. The hitch, according to the EU, is that Maccabim is built in said no-man’s land, and so are a house or two in Reut, and a ring road of Modi’in.
When you look at it on a map, it all becomes clear:
The Yellow line defines Reut, the orange one defines Maccabim, while the rest is Modi’in. You can also see the two 1949 lines in red, and the separation barrier built unopposed along the eastern line, strengthening the notion that even the Arabs see the eastern line as the Green Line.
The EU published three ZIP codes for Modi’in-Maccabim-Reut: 71724, 71728 and 71799. The latter one is comprised of all the green streets in Maccabim-Reut. Note that it only includes streets with residential houses, and not commerce or industrial. That is the last time the EU made sense.
71728 is comprised of just the two blue streets, and only the parts with houses abutting it. The two are Begin Avenue and Queen Esther streets. So why would this ZIP be a “settlment”? I think I may have an explanation. In the world of maps and plans, GIS are taking hold of manual work and scrutiny. What might have occurred is some junior level employee intersected the no-man’s land with Begin avenue, the eastern part of it circles Reut from the south and into the “No-No” zone. and because that street is wholly in ZIP code 71728, it was included.
71724 is comprised of the red streets. Here too only streets with house entrances are included, yet none of those streets, or houses, or airspace, or anything, are intersecting any disputed part of any map. Moreover, those who defined this ZIP code as “settlement”, is the EU commission in charge of defining and regulating tax and customs, in this case, for Israeli exporters to the EU. All of these three zones are residential, and therefore excluding them from preferential tariffs is like setting an export tax on Israeli crude oil. There isn’t any.
It is just another part of the EU delegitimization of Israel, and behind the supposed bureaucracy, lies the moral bankruptcy of it. I haven’t seen any such locality exemption in Morocco or Egypt, who are on level terms in with regards to EU trade agreements, and both have long-standing territorial disputes.
It always seems as though Israel is the only country being singled out.
Update: It appears my intersect hunch is right. I’ve been going through the ZIP codes in Jerusalem, and they includes al the streets in “west” Jerusalem that cross the western line. These streets include: Karlibach (93386), Kaspi (93554), Ein-Gedi (93383) and more. Needless to say, all the neighbourhoods in “east” Jerusalem, Jewish or Arab, old city included, are in the list.
But the award for the most stupid inclusion goes to ZIP code 93471, that includes just one street, the 50 meter long Tsidkiyahu street, with 5 houses in total. A “settlement” inside Jerusalem.
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