Senior contributing editor to The Jerusalem Post Caroline B. Glick accused the European Union on Wednesday of waging a secret trade war against Israel.
Glick, speaking at The Jerusalem Post Diplomatic Conference in the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in Jerusalem, outlined a series of steps she recommends Israel take to counter the “discrimination” of the recent EU decision to label products produced in West Bank settlements.
“Today we are in the middle of Europe’s trade war against Israel,” she said. “It’s never acknowledged, it’s hidden by lies about international law, lies about consumer protection and lies about human rights.”
But, Glick added, “the war itself is a breach of international law, it doesn’t protect consumers and it harms human rights.”
Jerusalem Post Diplomatic Conference: Speech by Caroline B. Glick
The EU’s recent decision in regard to settlement products is “illegal under international law.
Under the WTO [World Trade Organization] treaties it is illegal to introduce technical barriers to trade among trading nations.”
The EU, she said, should either leave the WTO or apply this policy equally to other places in “the same legal situation” as Israel. For example, she said, it should insist that products produced in Western Sahara are labeled as “Moroccan settlement products made in Western Sahara.”
The policies of the EU, Glick argued, are designed “to discriminate against the Jewish state, in order to weaken and harm it.” Its approach to Israel, she said, is based on “prejudice, not facts.”
Glick outlined a series of steps she recommends the Israeli government take in reaction to the European Union, including suing the body in the WTO tribunal, not providing automatic visas to personnel in European consuls-general in Jerusalem and ending the approval of the mandate of the Temporary International Presence in Hebron.
She also said Jerusalem’s initial response – to temporarily suspend diplomatic dialogue with the EU over the Palestinian issue – should be made permanent, until the decision is reversed.
“This isn’t the first time we’ve been singled out for unique treatment by the Europeans and it won’t be the last one,” she said. “They don’t think that we deserve to be treated the same way as every other country in the world, let alone every other liberal democracy.”
In fact, Glick added, since the Palestinians have called the recent EU move insufficient and the Israelis denounced it as discriminatory, “there’s no way that by taking these actions the Europeans are promoting the cause of peace. To the contrary, they’re harming it.”