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Israel's history trumps European Union labelling laws

By David Singer - posted Thursday, 26 November 2015


Jewish history spanning 3000 years is set to trump the European Union’s (EU) unprecedented action requiring the way goods are labelled originating from four areas of territory disputed between Arabs and Jews – the West Bank, Golan Heights, East Jerusalem and Gaza.

Similar labelling requirements have not been stipulated by the EU for products emanating from 150 other disputed territories around the world - inviting the charge of Jew-hatred against the EU for introducing this territory-specific policy smacking of double standards and blatant racial discrimination.

The aims of the new labelling requirements as set out in the European Commission’s Interpretative Notice (the Notice) – indicate they are not limited to consumer protection – as America’s State Department  falsely claims – but also extend to advancing the EU political stance adopted on these four territories following their loss to Israel by Jordan, Egypt and Syria in the 1967 Six Day War:

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There is indeed a demand for clarity from consumers, economic operators and national authorities about existing Union legislation on origin information of products from Israeli-occupied territories. The aim is also to ensure the respect of Union positions and commitments in conformity with international law on the non-recognition by the Union of Israel’s sovereignty over the territories occupied by Israel since June 1967.

Promoting the EU’s political position under the guise of introducing consumer protection labelling laws is reprehensible.

The Notice gives credence to the infamous anti-Israel BDS campaign operating in these four territories by inexplicably and unnecessarily introducing the term “Palestine” into its content:

For products from Palestine that do not originate from settlements, an indication which does not mislead about the geographical origin, while corresponding to international practice, could be 'product from the West Bank (Palestinian product)' , ‘product from Gaza’ or 'product from Palestine.

The EU sinks further into the political quicksand of the 47 years old conflict involving these territories with this bizarre footnote:

This designation [Palestine] shall not be construed as recognition of a State of Palestine and is without prejudice to the individual positions of the Member States on this issue.

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Jurgen Hardt from German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s ruling Christian Democratic Union asserts:

The decision to label products from the West Bank is not a step for consumer protection, but will lead to the creation of stigma against Israel...

Hungary’s foreign minister Péter Szijjártó, terms the Commission’s labelling requirements “irrational” - not contributing to solving the conflict but causing more problems and damage.

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About the Author

David Singer is an Australian Lawyer, a Foundation Member of the International Analyst Network and Convenor of Jordan is Palestine International - an organisation calling for sovereignty of the West Bank and Gaza to be allocated between Israel and Jordan as the two successor States to the Mandate for Palestine. Previous articles written by him can be found at www.jordanispalestine.blogspot.com.

Other articles by this Author

All articles by David Singer

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

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