Economics Minister and Jewish Home Chairman Naftali Bennett reprimanded EU ambassadors to Israel Monday, during a series of closed meetings at Jerusalem's King David Hotel.
"To isolate Israel and tie its hands economically, hoping we commit suicide, is immoral," Bennett is heard saying on audio recordings published on Army Radio. "Instead of understanding that we are the dam to a river of terrorism, you have supported us and helped us in tying our hands."
The meeting included Bennett and 26/28 EU ambassadors. Among the attendees: the EU ambassadors to Britain, Belgium, and Sweden; representatives from the French Embassy, both to Israel and the EU; and EU envoy to Israel Lars Faaborg-Andersen. The meeting was not atypical; the EU ambassadors periodically meet and invite guests.
Bennett's office declined to comment on the report.
"Things said in a closed room should stay there, we will not address harmful leaks," Bennett's office stated to Arutz Sheva. The embassy of the EU in Israel has not yet responded to requests for comment.
The bloc has threatened Israel multiple times to further its agenda in the Middle East, dangling unprecedented aid packages to both Jerusalem and Ramallah if a two-state solution is implemented. However, it has denied threatening Israel – or promoting the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement – on multiple occasions.
The EU has a long history of pressuring Israel over "illegal settlement activity" in Jewish-owned areas of Judea and Samaria, which was declared legal by international law in the 2012 Levy Report.
Despite this, an explosive expose by watchdog groups revealed last week that the EU is funding illegal settlement in Judea-Samaria – by assisting the Palestinian Authority (PA) and pro-Palestinian groups in illegally grabbing land from Israel's area, Area C.