When I was in law school, I applied for to myriad law firms for a job. I had good grades (and ultimately ended up with offers from prestigious law firms), but what remains in my memory forever is a rejection letter I got from one rather insignificant law firm:
Dear Ms [Bookworm]:
Thank you for your inquiry about a position at our firm. There are many reasons why we cannot hire you.
Many of my classmates agreed that this won the award for rejection letter of the year.
I am beginning to suspect that someone at the European Union must have gotten a glimpse of that letter. It’s certainly one way to explain the EU’s response when two scholars, one Israeli and one American, wrote to the EU foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, asking why it was honoring agreements with Morocco that included extra-national territory it had occupied since 1975, while refusing to honor any dealings with Israel that include “occupied” territory:
Many Israelis have long felt that the European Union is biased against them. Two legal scholars – a former Israeli ambassador and an American Jewish international law professor — think they’ve found the perfect case to prove the claim: A new fishing deal, signed between the Europeans and Morocco, which applies beyond Morocco’s internationally recognized borders, taking in the territory of Western Sahara, even though Morocco invaded that area in 1975 and has occupied ever since.
The two scholars are now challenging EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton to explain why the agreement, in not excluding Morocco’s occupied territory, doesn’t prove that the EU is holding Israel to a double standard.
The EU insists that any agreement it signs with Israel explicitly exclude the settlements in the “occupied” West Bank, the scholars noted in a letter sent last month to Ashton’s Brussels office. So why don’t the same constraints apply in the case of Morocco? This blatant inconsistency shows “an official double-standard practiced by the EU,” Professor Eugene Kontorovich of Northwestern University and Israeli ex-ambassador to Canada Alan Baker charged.
The EU’s response, written by one of Ashton’s minions, is identical in spirit to that long-ago rejection letter I once received:
The EU’s response, authored on Ashton’s behalf by the managing director of the union’s external action service’s Middle East and Southern Neighborhood department, Hugues Mingarelli, read: “With regards to the allegation of using double standards for Israel and Morocco, our analysis is that the two cases are different and cannot be compared.” No further explanation was given.
That is precisely the kind of rejection letter that comes from a bureaucratic entity that cannot bring itself to state the obvious: “With regards to the allegation of using double standards for Israel and Morocco, the answer is simple: we are both antisemitic and terrified of Muslims. Thank you for your inquiry.”