There are no discussions at the EU level of banning settlement products from
Europe, EU envoy to Israel Andrew Standley said on Wednesday.
comments came in response to a Jerusalem Post question at a press briefing,
asking whether he felt that Irish Foreign Minister Eamon Gilmore’s proposal that
the EU consider banning products from the settlements was gaining any traction
inside the EU.
Standley said he did not know the details of the proposal,
and clarified that settlement products do not receive preferential tariffs
inside the EU, as do products from inside the Green Line.
South Africa’s declared intent to place special labels on products from the
settlements, Standley said that no such policy exists in the EU, although the
British have a voluntary program in place to this effect. Those types of
decisions are made at the country level, and not by the EU, he said.
2009, the British government issued an official but non-binding recommendation
urging retailers to place labels on products produced in the West Bank telling
whether they were made by Palestinians or settlers.
Denmark appears to be
following Britain’s lead, with the Foreign Ministry spokesman telling the AFP on
Wednesday that the government was “preparing a system of information based on
retailers’ voluntary participation, identifying food products coming from
The spokesman said that this step “clearly shows
consumers that these goods are produced under circumstances that a Danish
government, as well as other European governments, reject.”
Ministry spokesman said the Danish move was different from South Africa’s, which
elicited an angry Israeli response, because what the Danes were proposing was
voluntary, while the South African move would apparently be
South African Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies
published a notice in the government gazette two weeks ago saying that products
that “originate from the Occupied Palestinians Territory” must not be labeled as
made in Israel.
Jerusalem made its unhappiness with the move clear to the
South African envoy in Israel, who relayed the message back to
The step has not yet become official South African
Israel’s strong reaction to the South African move was intended,
one government official said, to get Pretoria to step away from the policy
before it became official. It also seemed intended to send a message to other
countries that such moves would be fiercely resisted by Jerusalem.