Euro symbol near European flags 311.
(photo credit: REUTERS/Francois Lenoir)
Boycotting settlement products is not a sanction the European Union is
considering to demonstrate its displeasure with Israel’s recent decision to
construct 3,000 new housing units over the Green Line and push forward planning
in E1, the EU’s delegation in Tel Aviv clarified Thursday.
A spokesman at
the EU delegation was responding to an article in Ma’ariv, which said EU
ministers scheduled to meet Monday regarding Israel’s recently announced
settlement plans were considering “accelerating, in a full and effective
measure, the implementation of legislation on labeling and boycotting settlement
“Boycotts are not on the agenda,” a spokesman at the EU
Embassy said. “The EU continues to oppose boycotts, including boycotts of
The official said the EU adhered to a general
policy of opposing boycotts, except in extreme situations such as Iran and
Syria. Generally, the spokesman said, there has to be action at the level of the
UN Security Council before the EU places boycotts on countries.
EU boycott of settlement products is not on the agenda, there is likely to be
discussion about speeding up the process of labeling products from the
Even before Israel’s decision on settlement construction
last Friday in response to the Palestinians’ successful UN bid, the EU held a
meeting in Brussels last month to discuss the matter of labels, with
representatives of Britain, Ireland, Denmark and some NGOs attending.
meeting was described afterward as a “reality check” for the NGOs, some of which
had been hoping that the EU would take up the mantle of boycott and divestment
from Israel – something the EU officials made clear was not in the
It also emerged from the meeting that the entire labeling issue at
the EU level was extremely complex, crossing various ministerial jurisdictions
and requiring different regulations for different types of
Rather than the EU taking any unified action on the matter,
certain individual countries – such as Denmark – are likely to implement the
measure on their own.
Since 2010, Britain has had an advisory for
merchants to label products coming from the settlements, and the Tesco
supermarket chain labels produce such as dates from Jordan Valley settlements as
“Product of West Bank/Israeli settlement produce.” Agricultural products from
Palestinian villages are labeled as “Product of West Bank/Palestinian produce.”