EU sources: Drive to label Israeli settlement products unstoppable

PNN / Bethlehem /

The move in Europe to label products from settlements in the occupied West Bank is unstoppable, European sources told The Marker on Monday, adding that this was a message European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini brought with her during her visit to Israel 10 days ago.

The plan would require supermarkets and other retailers to label products made in West Bank and Golan Heights settlements as well as in East Jerusalem differently from those originating in Israel. Israeli officials believe the measures are meant to pressure Israel into resuming talks with Palestine or at least to deter massive construction in settlements, Haaretz reports.

Sources in the Prime Minister’s Office said that Mogherini made no such remarks to Netanyahu during her visit, only reiterating calls for a two-state solution in a pre-meeting statement and proposing talks on the borders of the settlements.

But a week before the visit, the foreign ministers of 16 of the EU’s 28 member states urged her in a letter to advance the labeling moves. They said the legislative process, which was initiated over two years ago and halted, should be revived out of fairness to European consumers, who are entitled to know where the products they buy come from, writes Haaretz.

This year a EU directive was issued not to recognize Israeli veterinary supervision from occupied areas. The European sources said the practical effect of the ban had been on Ramat Hagolan Dairies in the Golan Heights.