The European Commission has halted a proposal to allow Israel access to potentially sensitive data on European Union citizens following concerns expressed by the Irish Government.There are some technical issues around Israel's data protection but there is a little more to it than that:
The concerns arose following the use of forged Irish passports in the murder of a Hamas operative, allegedly by Israeli agents.
In a surprise move this morning, the Commission said they would withdraw the application to effectively recognise Israel's data protection standards as being on a par with those enjoyed in the EU.
According to a spokesman for the Department of Justice, the European Commission acknowledged the concerns expressed by an Irish official about the reliability of the Israeli data protection regime.
the Irish Government had raised concerns in the context of the fraudulent misuse of information on Irish passport holders for an extra judicial killing in Dubai and had articulated its anger about that on a number of occasions.So good news and bad really. That one of the economically weaker member states of the EU is standing up to Israel is a good thing but a clear majority of member states want those racist war criminals to get their hands on personal information about EU citizens. This will presumably help Israel harass anyone from the EU area who wants to assist the Palestinians in any way, be it campaigning, human rights information gathering or feeding or educating Palestinians. But there's respite because Ireland is digging in...for now.
The objection, he said, was a further manifestation of this anger and protest at what had transpired in relation to, what was in essence, the stealing of data from legitimate Irish passports.
Mr Martin added, however, that he has made it consistently clear that Ireland wants good relations with Israel.
But over the past 18-24 months, he said, a series of events had happened which had put a strain on that.