The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has condemned a European Union court decision that requires labeling of Israeli products from Judea/Samaria.
The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) will require Israeli-made products to be labeled as coming from “settlements” and “Israeli colonies.”
“Goods produced by Muslims are to be labeled from ‘Palestine,’ and goods produced by Jews labeled as coming from ‘Israeli colonies,’” said Brooke Goldstein, a human rights lawyer and executive director of the Lawfare Project. “Both people are living in the same geographic location, and yet Jewish goods are being treated differently.”
The decision is being celebrated by radical supporters of the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement (BDS). The BDS movement is designed to inflict economic damage on Israel and its citizens.
Many have called the new EU ruling an ominous warning sign reminiscent of Holocaust-era boycotts of Jewish businesses.
The court case occurred after France passed a law mandating that products made in the West Bank of Israel be labeled as coming from an “Israeli colony.” France requires no such label be applied to any other products from anywhere in the world.
In a joint statement, ZOA National President Morton A. Klein and Chairman Mark Levenson said, “The ZOA condemns this disgraceful CJEU ruling, which entrenches discrimination against Israel, fortifies the BDS campaign, even in the act of stating that it is not supporting BDS, and amounts to a pernicious, politicized double standard aimed at delegitimizing Israel and its lawful claim to the territory of Judea/Samaria.”
The Israeli winery Psagot filed a lawsuit claiming unlawful discrimination against Jewish companies, and the EU high court has ruled in favor of the discriminatory French law.
“We are not the Israeli government,” said Yaakov Berg, CEO of the Psagot winery. “Psagot winery is not responsible for Israeli government policy. But because we are Jewish owners of a winery in a beautiful and hotly contested land, we are being targeted and punished. And we are being punished precisely because we are Jews living in Judea where we have every right to be, as do the Palestinian Arabs and Druze and the Christians.”
In their joint statement, ZOA’s Klein and Levenson said, “These territories were part of the area earmarked for Jewish settlement as long ago as the 1920 San Remo settlement, incorporated in the subsequent League of Nations Mandate for Palestine, and never subsequently superseded or rescinded by any binding international agreement.”
“This ruling is clearly and deeply politicized and has nothing to do with advancing or improving food safety or consumer protection,” added Klein and Levenson. “There is no reason for products produced by Muslims and Jews in the same geographic place to be labeled differently. In fact, treating people differently because of their religion is the very definition of discrimination.”
On Twitter, commenters shared their view of the new law prior to the court ruling.
“This is a ‘warning label’ to warn you against buying items made by a Jewish company as not every company in Israel is Jewish so they’re making a further distinction to help you discriminate,” said Kyle James.
Despite only representing one percent of the population in France, Jews are targeted by 40% of racially or religiously motivated violent acts.
On April 4, 2017, retired kindergarten professor Dr. Sarah Halimi, an Orthodox Jew, was murdered and thrown off her Paris balcony by Mali-born Kobili Traoré, who shouted “Allahu akbar” as he beat her to death. The murder opened the public conversation in France about the failure of the press to report on violent anti-Semitism in France, and the failure of the government to stop it.
Jews have been fleeing France because of the rise in anti-Semitic violence and the government’s refusal to take countermeasures.
Last week, it was revealed the French government made an agreement after the 1982 Paris massacre in which six people were murdered and 22 injured at a kosher restaurant, that the terrorists would not be pursued in exchange for a promise to stop attacks on French soil.
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