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November 12, 2019 4:56 pm

Prominent Jewish Groups Slam European Court’s Ruling Mandating the Labeling of Israeli Settlement Goods

avatar by Karys Rhea

Volunteers harvest grapes near Bat Ayin, south of Bethlehem, in the West Bank, Aug. 20, 2012. Photo: Reuters / Nir Elias.

Major Jewish organizations responded with outrage on Tuesday over the decision by the European Court of Justice to mandate the labeling of goods produced in Israeli settlements.

In its ruling, the court said labels must “prevent consumers from being misled as to the fact that the State of Israel is present in the territories concerned as an occupying power and not as a sovereign entity.”

The court referred to all the areas Israel took control of in the 1967 Six-Day War, including the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Golan Heights.

The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations issued a statement calling the European court’s ruling “profoundly repugnant,” asserting that “the singling out of Israeli products for labeling echoes some of the darkest periods in Jewish history.”

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“We hope that consumers will be wise enough to disregard it and continue to buy products from businesses that employ thousands of Palestinians every day,” the conference added.

Similarly, the American Jewish Committee Transatlantic Institute expressed concern that “labeling plays into the hands of those who seek to isolate and demonize the only Jewish state” and called on the EU to reconsider.

Brooke Goldstein, executive director of the Lawfare Project, said, “The decision to codify religious discrimination into law is embarrassing for Europe. There is no reason for products produced by Muslims and Jews in the same geographic place to be labeled differently.”

“In fact,” she added, “treating people differently because of their religion is the definition of bigotry and we know what happens when Europe goes down that track. Muslims living under Palestinian Authority rule are as much ‘settlers’ as are Jews — they are both legally allowed to settle under the same treaty, the Oslo Accords.”

Critics of the ruling also noted that despite the more than 200 disputed regions throughout the world, Israel is the only nation the EU is requiring political country of origin labeling for, indicating a double standard that, according to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition, which the EU adopted in in 2017, constitutes antisemitism.

On twitter, the pro-Israel lobby group AIPAC charged the EU court with facilitating “discriminatory boycotts against the Jewish State.”

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