European Union flags.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Labeling settlement products is tantamount to boycotting Israel, a bi-partisan group of 36 US Senators told the European Union on Tuesday.
Led by Republican Ted Cruz of Texas and Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, they wrote a letter to EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, in which they urged the EU not to move forward on its plan to published guidelines to help member states place consumer labels on imports from Israel which were produced over the Green Line.
This includes products from east Jerusalem, the Golan Heights and the West Bank.
“We urge you not to implement this labeling policy, which appears intended to discourage Europeans from purchasing these products and promote a de facto boycott of Israel, a key ally and the only true democracy in the Middle East,” the senators wrote in a letter to EU foreign-policy chief Federica Mogherini.
They warned that such a policy could lead to a broader boycott of Israel and would only strengthen the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, which works to delegitimize Israel.“We believe strongly that these efforts are unwarranted, dangerous and damaging to the prospects of a negotiated solution to [the Israeli-Palestinian] conflict,” they said.
The senators noted that in 2015 Congress had passed the Trade Promotion Authority legislation, requiring the United States to discourage Europe from enacting any politically motivated policies that would boycott, divest from or sanction Israel.