Israel condemns plan to label goods made in West Bank settlements

Netanyahu says labelling of products made in settlements is reminiscent of Nazi era

Palestinians look at the Jewish Hallamish settlement in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh. Photograph: Abbas Momaniabbas Momani/AFP/Getty Images

Palestinians look at the Jewish Hallamish settlement in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh. Photograph: Abbas Momaniabbas Momani/AFP/Getty Images

 

Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu condemned the European Parliament decision to label products manufactured in West Bank settlements, saying the resolution was reminiscent of the Nazi-era boycott of Jewish businesses.

Mr Netanyahu called the resolution “unjust”. “It is simply a distortion of justice and of logic and I think that it also hurts peace; it does not advance peace. The root of the conflict is not the territories, and the root of the conflict is not the settlements. We have historical memory of what happened when Europe labelled Jewish products.”

Thursday’s nonbinding resolution, which was supported by 525 delegates and opposed by 70, with 31 abstentions, called for the European Commission to take steps towards labelling Israeli products manufactured beyond the 1967 greenline border in the West Bank, east Jerusalem and the Golan Heights.

The resolution, which called on the EU to play a greater role in the Middle East diplomatic process, also said the parliament welcomed the EU’s commitment that all agreements with Israel “must unequivocally and explicitly indicate their inapplicability to the territories occupied by Israel in 1967”.

The parliament encouraged EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini to “take the lead” on “completing the work on EU-wide guidelines on the labelling of Israeli settlement produce”.

Mr Netanyahu told British prime minister David Cameron in talks in London that European leaders held Israel to a different standard than other nations, noting Turkey has not faced similar criticism over its territorial dispute with Greece.

Tourism minister Yariv Levin said the resolution was “disgraceful and anti-Semitic” and those who voted for it would carry a “moral stain”. Science minister Ofir Akunis said the vote was reminiscent of “dark chapters in recent history”.

Israel’s opposition also criticised the vote.

Earlier this year foreign ministers of 16 EU countries, including Ireland, wrote to Ms Mogherini urging her to promote the measure.