Thursday, November 19, 2015

Germany’s ruling party pans EU labeling guidelines

November 12, 2015:

Christian Democratic Union says ‘stigmatization and boycott’ not conducive to dialogue between Israel and Palestinians

Germany's
              Christian Democratic Union's foreign policy spokesman
              Jurgen Hardt speaks at a party convention on November 15,
              2010. ( CC BY-SA Wikimedia commons)

Germany's Christian Democratic Union's foreign policy spokesman Jurgen Hardt speaks at a party convention on November 15, 2010. ( CC BY-SA Wikimedia commons)

Germany’s ruling party, the Christian Democratic Union, warned Thursday of the “danger” of the European Union’s new labelling guidelines for Israel, which identifies products made in settlements beyond the 1967 borders....

The regulations adopted Wednesday require separate labelling for Israeli products sold in the European Union when they are either packaged or produced in the West Bank, East Jerusalem or the Golan Heights. It also requires labels on such products specify whether they were produced by Israelis or Palestinians.

The EU mission to Israel claimed the labelling was designed to afford clarity for consumers and not to serve as a political move, though Israel rejects the claim and says the action is discriminatory and designed to pressure it on settlement building.

Two Palestinian woman pack dates at a packing
                  plant on November 11, 2015 in the Jordan Valley region
                  of the West Bank. Under new EU labeling guidelines, if
                  these dates are exported to the EU they will need to
                  be labeled as "products from the West Bank
                  (Israeli settlement)." (Melanie Lidman/Times of
                  Israel)
Two Palestinian woman pack dates at a packing plant on November 11, 2015 in the Jordan Valley region of the West Bank. Under new EU labelling guidelines, if these dates are exported to the EU they will need to be labelled as “products from the West Bank (Israeli settlement).” (Melanie Lidman/Times of Israel)

Hardt added that the Christian Democratic Union “considers that stigmatization and boycott are not probate to facilitate the dialogue between Israel and the Palestinians.” ... He also said that since “Germany is a friend of Israel,” labelling will have little impact on trade.

The American Jewish Committee office in Berlin praised Hardt for his stance, which he also expressed in the German media.
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