Zionist Union MK Hilik Bar at the European Parliament.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
The European Union’s decision to label products from the West Bank, Golan Heights and Jerusalem is harming the chances for peace, MK Hilik Bar (Zionist Union) said in the European Parliament on Thursday.
Bar was invited to present his peace plan to members of the European Parliament, but he took the opportunity to discuss the labeling decision that was made a day prior to the event.
“When you label products, you are labeling yourselves as less relevant to solving the conflict, as an unfair broker.
Don’t be pro-Palestinian and don’t be pro-Israel. Be pro-solution,” Bar said.
The Zionist Union legislator told the MEPs they should promote trust-building steps that will increase cooperation between Israel and the Palestinians – whereas labeling does the opposite.
“You are losing the Israeli public, which thinks that you don’t understand the reality in which they live,” he explained.
“Most of the Israeli public is like me and you and favors two states. Steps like [labeling] distances them instead of bringing them close.”
Bar described cooperation between the Gilboa Local Council and the Jenin Governorate in the Palestinian Authority in health, tourism and industrial projects, including a joint 300-hectare industrial park currently under construction with the potential to employ 15,000 Palestinians.
“You want to label products? Label this industrial park and encourage Europeans to buy more products from there, products that are the fruits of cooperation. It’s true, the economic cooperation between Jenin and Gilboa did not solve the conflict or bring an agreement about borders, but it is a step in the right direction,” he said.
“Be against boycotts and for promoting cooperation,” Bar implored the MEPs.