Germany Says ‘Occupied Territories’ Not Part of Israel
JNS.org – Following European businesses’ recent demand of Jordan Valley farmers that their products be labeled “manufactured in territories occupied by the Israeli government” before being exported to Europe, Germany has reiterated the requirement for labeling Israeli settlement products.
David Elhayani, the head of the Jordan Valley Regional Council, reached out to German Ambassador to Israel Clemens von Goetze regarding widespread opposition to the demand.
Von Goetze responded over the weekend, saying that Germany is acting in accordance with the legal decision made by all European Union countries, which states that the “occupied territories” are not part of Israel. This means that produce from the territories cannot be treated with the same rules as produce from within Israel, including using the “Made in Israel” label.
Von Goetze stressed that Germany opposes any efforts to boycott Israel, and that the decision to enforce product labeling would not limit the amount of produce imported from Israel and the territories. Elhayani responded, “The ambassador’s answer does not correspond with the reality on the ground. He chose to evade the responsibility of looking into the situation and verifying that the German market has not changed with respect to Jordan Valley produce.”
Member of Knesset Nava Boker (Likud), who is leading the struggle for the Jordan Valley farmers, said, “Judea and Samaria are not occupied territories. I will continue to follow up and to ensure that private German initiatives do not harm the relationship between Israel and Germany.”