EU defends labelling goods made in Israeli settlements
BRUSSELS - Reuters
AFP photoThe European Union reinforced on Jan. 18 its position that products made in Israeli settlements must be clearly labelled in Europe, despite growing tensions with Israel over the issue, but stressed that the bloc opposes any boycott of the Jewish state.
EU foreign ministers said the guidelines on labels for farm and other products, which were unveiled in November 2015 and branded discriminatory by Israel, were there to explain EU law and did not mark a change in the European Union’s long-held opposition to Israeli settlements.
“The EU and its member States are committed to ensure continued, full and effective implementation of existing EU legislation and bilateral arrangements applicable to settlements products,” ministers said in a statement.
Ministers reiterated the EU’s position that the lands Israel has occupied since the 1967 Middle East war - including the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights - are not part of the internationally recognized borders of Israel.
As such, goods from there cannot be labelled “Made in Israel” and should be labelled as coming from settlements, which the EU considers illegal under international law.