MK Michael Oren with Made in Europe sticker.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Coming soon to a supermarket near you: a European Union label to warn Israeli consumers not to buy products make in European countries? Kulanu MK Michael Oren went to a supermarket on Emek Refaim Street in the capital’s German Colony neighborhood and placed blue EU stickers on crackers, cookies and beer from Spain, France and Germany to protest the pending publication of guidelines to enable EU member states to place consumer labels on exports from east Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Golan Heights.
“The EU decision to label Israeli products is anti-Semitic,” Oren said. “There are dozens of border disputes and ‘occupations’ in the world but the EU decided to single out Israel. They are not labeling products from China, India or Turkey – only Israel.”
Oren complained that the decision completely ignored the fact that six Israeli prime ministers tried to negotiate a two-state solution but the PLO rejected their offers. He said the EU had not taken into account that the Palestinian Authority is refusing to negotiate with Israel and is actively inciting to commit terrorist attacks against Jews.
The former ambassador to the US questioned why the EU would take steps that could result in hundreds of Palestinians losing their jobs. But he said the oddest decision was to label products from the Golan Heights at a time when there is no functioning Syrian government with which Israel could negotiate a peace agreement.
“Do they want us to give the Golan to ISIS?” Oren asked.
Hotovely: labeling is boycotting Israel
“Israeli consumers need to know that when they buy European products, they are supporting the EU’s anti-Semitic policies.”
Oren, a historian, noted that European anti-Semitism predates Christianity. European labeling of Jewish products in the past led to dark days for Europe, he said.
Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid will travel to Berlin on Thursday to meet with German officials and protest the marking of Israeli products, which he called a de facto boycott. Lapid will speak at an event in which legislators from 16 countries will meet to discuss how to better support Israel in their local parliaments.
The event is organized by the Israel Allies Foundation.
EU Ambassador Lars Faaborg-Andersen defended the decision on Tuesday, saying the EU does not recognize areas outside the pre-1967 lines as part of Israel, so products exported to Europe from there cannot be labeled Israeli.
Tovah Lazaroff contributed to this report.