Wednesday, 11 Dec 2019 - 13 of Kislev, 5780

In letter to EU parliament head, Knesset Seaker protests EU court ruling on labeling of products from the West Bank, Golan Heights

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“The court’s decision may undermine the political and economic ties between Israel and the EU and have far-reaching negative consequences for the prospects for peace between Israel and its neighbours in the Middle East.’’

JERUSALEM—The Speaker of the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, Yuli Edelstein has written a letter to European Parliament President David Sassoli protesting against the European Court’s ruling that requires EU countries to label products from the West Bank and the Golan Heights and not as ‘made in Israel’. 

In the letter, Edelstein said: “The court’s decision may undermine the political and economic ties between Israel and the EU and have far-reaching negative consequences for the prospects for peace between Israel and its neighbours in the Middle East.’’

Eldestein stressed that ‘’out of dozens of disputed areas around the world, the Tribunal decided to order products from Judea, Samaria and the Golan Heights only.’’

He added: ‘’Moreover, the court chose to ignore the deep and historic connection between the Jewish people and the entire land of Israel.’’

‘’Ignoring the fact that the territories of Judea and Samaria were not ‘occupied territory’ because they had never been part of another country. They are under legitimate Israeli control by virtue of the Balfour Declaration, the San Remo Decision and Article 80 of Chapter 12 of the UN Charter,” the Knesset Speaker concluded.

In its ruling, the European Court of Justice, said: “Foodstuffs originating in the territories occupied by the State of Israel must bear the indication of their territory of origin, accompanied, where those foodstuffs come from an Israeli settlement within that territory, by the indication of that provenance.’’

It wrote that it was necessary to label Israeli settlement goods as such “to prevent consumers from being misled as to the fact that the State of Israel is present in the territories concerned as an occupying power and not as a sovereign entity.”

Only six out of the 28 EU member states have taken an active stance in including in their legislation a differentiation between Israeli settlements and Israel: Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland and the Netherlands.

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