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Jewish groups call on Biden to stop settlement goods being labelled 'made in Israel'

Secretary of Homeland Security nominee Alejandro Mayorkas speaks after being introduced by President-elect Joe Biden as he introduces key foreign policy and national security nominees and appointments at the Queen Theatre on 24 November 2020 in Wilmington, Delaware. [Mark Makela/Getty Images]
Secretary of Homeland Security nominee Alejandro Mayorkas speaks after being introduced by President-elect Joe Biden as he introduces key foreign policy and national security nominees and appointments at the Queen Theatre on 24 November 2020 in Wilmington, Delaware. [Mark Makela/Getty Images]

Six progressive Jewish American organisations have called on the administration of US President Joe Biden to revoke a directive from his predecessor that all exports from illegal Israeli settlements built on Palestinian occupied lands be labelled as "made in Israel".

"We believe the [policy] is inconsistent with current US policy on the status of the occupied territories, requires inaccurate and misleading labelling on the origin of products, and is harmful to essential interests of Israelis and Palestinians alike," the organisations said in a joint letter sent on Tuesday to Homeland Security Secretary, Alejandro Mayorkas.

Weeks before leaving office, Donald Trump directed the Department of Homeland Security to adopt new labels for products made in 'Area C' of the occupied West Bank that is under full Israeli military and administrative control and forms 60 per cent of the disputed region and hosts illegal Israeli settlements in violation of international law.

The body is set to enforce a 23 March deadline for companies to label products from the area as "Made in Israel"; including goods made by Palestinians.

"We are US pro-Israel organisations writing to urge the Department of Homeland Security to review and revoke the previous administration's December 23, 2020 General Notice on "Country of Origin Marking of Products from the West Bank and Gaza" (the "General Notice") published by US Customs and Border Protection," the letter said.

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"We believe the General Notice is inconsistent with current US policy on the status of the occupied territories, requires inaccurate and misleading labelling on the origin of products, and is harmful to essential interests of Israelis and Palestinians alike," it added.

The letter was signed by Ameinu, Americans for Peace Now, J Street. New Israel Fund Partners for Progressive Israel and the Rabbinic Call for Human Rights.

"We therefore urge the Department of Homeland Security to review and revoke the General Notice, and to duly enforce the longstanding customs guidance requiring such goods to be labelled accurately," the letter concluded.

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