President Rivlin cancels EU visit over labeling decision

Following decision to label products from West Bank settlements, Golan Heights and East Jerusalem, Israeli President cancels visit to Brussels

images

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin has canceled his scheduled visit to the European Union Parliament in Brussels for December 2 following a decision made by the EU Commission to label products from Israeli settlements and Golan Heights.

The EU decision will label products from the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Golan Heights. Products from Gaza will also be labeled.

According to the “Interpretative Notice on the indication of origin of goods from the territories occupied by Israel since June 1967”, “The European Union, in line with international law, does not recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the territories occupied by Israel since June 1967, namely the Golan Heights, Gaza Strip, and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and does not consider them to be part of Israel’s territory, irrespective of their legal status under domestic Israeli law.”

The document claims there is a “demand for clarity from consumers” and that “the aim is also to ensure the respect of Union positions and commitments in conformity with international law on the non-recognition by the Union of Israel’s sovereignty over the territories occupied by Israel since June 1967” and because labeling “‘product from Israel’ is considered to be incorrect and misleading in the sense of the referenced legislation.”

Prime Minister Netanyahu stated on the labeling decision, “The European Union has decided to label only Israel, and we are not prepared to accept the fact that Europe is labeling the side that is being attacked by terrorism…. The Israeli economy is strong and will withstand this. Those who will be hurt will be those Palestinians who work in Israeli factories.”