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Europe divides over anti-Israeli labelling laws

By David Singer - posted Wednesday, 23 December 2015


Hungary and Greece have broken ranks with the European Union in signalling they want nothing to do with the recently introduced EU labelling laws requiring Jewish products originating in Judea and Samaria (West Bank), East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights to have special labels and not be marked “made in Israel”.

These decisions follow hard on the heels of European Parliament delegation for relations with Israel chairman - Fulvio Martusciello - warning:

The decision to label products was a mistake. Europe is loud about Israel, but quiet about 200 other conflicts around the world.

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Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó announced Hungary’s decision

We do not support the decision to make a special mark on products coming from the West Bank or the Golan Heights. This step is inefficient and illogical. It would only hurt attempts to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Greece’s decision was communicated by letter from its Foreign Minister to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after a visit by Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to Israel - when extensive bilateral cooperation in economic matters, technology, science, education, trade, energy, and agriculture were concluded.

Meantime German Chancellor Angela Merkel is backing a recent German Foreign Ministry statement that the new EU labeling initiative:

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...does not deal with a stigmatized warning decal, as many have presented… What Brussels wants is, however, only a clear designation of the origin of the products.

This Foreign Ministry thinking was no doubt influenced by the illegal invasion of many hundreds of thousands of Muslim migrants into Germany and the huge economic and social problems faced by Germany in their resettlement.

Merkel has publicly opposed boycotts of Israel - which continues to receive preferential market access from Germany.

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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.

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

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