France Requires Labeling of Settlement Goods

The French government has published new regulations requiring labels on all products originating in “the territories occupied by Israel since June 1967.”

By Israel Today Staff |
Palestinians and Jaws work at a SodaStream factory.
Palestinians and Jaws work at a SodaStream factory. Nati Shohat/Flash90 Photo: Nati Shohat/Flash90

It states that in accordance with European Commission guidelines, the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Golan Heights are occupied territories and not considered part of the State of Israel.

Under these rules, the geographical region from where the products originated must be noted—for example, “the West Bank” or “Golan Heights.” Also, in parentheses on the packaging, it must be stated that the product comes from “an Israeli settlement.”

The restrictions were published under pressure from many European countries. In an attempt to appease the growing anti-Israel sentiment in Europe, EU Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini included this clarification in the guidelines: “The European Union does not recognize Israeli sovereignty beyond the 1967 lines, irrespective of the status of those territories in Israeli law.”

Ironically, the main victims of these measures are the 25,000 Palestinians employed by Israelis in the settlements where they produce grapes, dates, wine, poultry, honey, olive oil and Dead Sea cosmetics.

There was an angry response in Jerusalem.

“Israel denounces the French government’s decision to implement the European Commission’s guidelines for marking Israeli goods originating from beyond the ‘67 borders,” said Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon. “We regret that France, in which there’s a law against boycotts, is advancing steps that could be seen as giving a tail wind to radicals and the boycott movement against Israel. It is inexplicable and troubling that France chooses to apply a double standard when it comes to Israel, while ignoring 200 territorial conflicts taking place around the world, including those on its very own doorstep.”

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