Friday, November 27, 2020

EU court rules to enforce labelling of all products made in illegal Israeli settlements

By K. Künzl - November 19, 2019
Section: [Main News]
Tags: [settlements]

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) passed a ruling to enforce that all products made in Israeli settlements and sold in the EU must be identified clearly on the label.

The ECJ’s decision details, “Foodstuffs originating in the territories occupied by the state of Israel must bear the indication of their territory of origin.”

The long-awaited court ruling stipulates that labels on products from Israeli settlements must provide an “indication of that provenance” so that consumers can make “informed choices” when they shop.

The Israeli government was quick to criticise the ruling, calling it discriminatory and vowing to “thwart its implementation”.

The US government echoed these claims, stating that they were “deeply concerned” by the EU’s initiative and that it “serves only to encourage, facilitate, and promote boycotts, divestments, and sanctions (BDS) against Israel”.

The decision came after a legal case brought about by Psagot, a settlement based winery, contested France’s application for a previous ruling on the labelling of settlement based products, ultimately deciding that the product could not identify with simply the “Made in Israel” tag.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs also commented on the EU’s decision, stating that Israel “strongly rejects” the court ruling, claiming it “serves as a tool in the political campaign against Israel”.

The EU has always been an outspoken advocate in condemning the expansion of Israeli settlements, “saying it undermines the hopes for a two-state solution by gobbling up lands claimed by the Palestinians”.

The Luxembourg based court has underlined the ruling by reiterating how Israeli settlements “give concrete expression to a policy of population transfer conducted by that state outside its territory, in violation of the rules of general international humanitarian law” and that consumers have the right to know that goods produced here are the products of that violation.

Lotte Leicht, Human Rights Watch EU director, commented in support of the ruling, stating that it is “an important step toward EU member states upholding their duty not to participate in the fiction that illegal settlements are part of Israel. European consumers are entitled to be confident that the products they purchase are not linked to serious violations of international humanitarian law.”

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