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EU pushes to label settlement products

January 30, 2014 at 1:49 pm

The European Union (EU) have drafted a decision, that was endorsed by 27 countries, to put a commercial label on the products of Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, instead of the ‘made in Israel’ label which is currently being used.

The Maariv Israeli newspaper revealed that the EU countries have threatened the Jewish state to support Palestinian efforts to join international bodies – in particular the International Criminal Court in The Hague – in case the U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s efforts to resume the peace process due to Israel’s continued construction of settlements, including those in Jerusalem, should fail.

The Israeli newspaper added that through their diplomats, central countries in the European Union recently conveyed this message to senior officials in Tel Aviv. According to the sources the Hebrew newspaper relied on, the European threat was the result of a feeling amongst EU countries about the recent steps taken by the Israeli government; specifically that launching plans to build hundreds of settlement units in the settlement neighborhoods of Gilo and Ramot in East Jerusalem affect the prospects of resuming the peace process and undermine the efforts of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.

The same sources said that the Europeans have made it clear to the decision-makers in Tel Aviv that the continuation of this policy affects EU support for Israel. They threatened that Europe will strengthen its efforts to label the products produced in the settlements, also warning Tel Aviv that the Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) may implement his warning to resume the Palestinian campaign to join the United Nations as an independent state.

The newspaper Haaretz has quoted identical European and Israeli diplomatic sources saying that the EU decided to postpone the adoption of a law for marking the Israeli settlements products in the occupied West Bank. The law was designed to distinguish their products from the other Israeli products, and facilitate the boycott. The newspaper stressed that the delay came after a great pressure exerted by the U.S. administration on the European Union.

Danish Foreign Minister Willy Sundul has drafted rules and regulations that oblige the marketing networks in the countries of the European Union to mark the Israeli settlements products using special labels. The initiative has gained the support of France, Britain and a group of other European Union countries, which made decision-makers in Tel Aviv angry.

The resolution that was approved by 27 foreign ministers in the EU stressed that the EU and its member states are committed to the full and successful implementation of the agreements that were concluded with Israel regarding the Israeli settlements’ products in the occupied West Bank.