16 EU Ministers Endorse ‘Made in the West Bank’ Label for Israeli Products
JNS.org – Sixteen European Union (EU) foreign ministers have signed a letter calling on the EU’s foreign policy chief to label Israeli products made beyond the 1949 armistice line as “Made in the West Bank.”
In the letter to EU Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini, the foreign ministers said that the proposal would help consumers from being “misled by false information.”
“European consumers must indeed have confidence in knowing the origin of goods they are purchasing,” the ministers wrote. “Green Line Israel and Palestinian producers will benefit from this.”
The initiative was led by Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders and was supported by ministers from the UK, France, Spain, Denmark, Ireland, Croatia, Malta, the Netherlands, Sweden, Portugal, Slovenia, Italy, Luxembourg, Finland and Austria.
EU ministers from a number of strong Israeli allies, mainly in Eastern Europe—including Germany, Poland, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Greece, Hungary, Cypress, Romania—did not sign the letter.
The letter cites a previous one advocating the same labeling measure that was sent to Mogherini’s predecessor, Catherine Ashton, in 2013. At the time, US Secretary of State John Kerry urged Ashton to put the initiative on hold while he pursued peace talks between the Israelis and Palestinians.