Belgian PM pushing for EU boycott of Israeli goods

Punishing Israel for its war against Hamas would put Belgium on the right side of history, Prime Minister Alexander De Croo argued.

By World Israel News Staff

Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo said that the country will levy trade sanctions against Israel due to the war with Hamas, and urged other European Union countries to follow suit and similarly reevaluate their economic ties with the Jewish state.

“Can we now simply continue with Israel as a trading partner? I don’t think so,” De Croo told local outlet Het Laatste Nieuws.

Despite shutting down calls from Belgium’s opposition parties to end trade with Israel just two months ago, De Croo has changed his policy due to what he claimed are “too many victims as a result of Israeli military operations.”

Punishing Israel for its war against Hamas would put Belgium on the right side of history, he argued.

If Belgium does not act against Israel, he said, “in ten years they will tell us, you watched the events from the side and did nothing.”

The time for practical steps aimed at hobbling Israel’s military campaign has come, stressing that “we cannot simply stand by and use bombastic words” to express disapproval.

“We have been working with other European countries for weeks” regarding an economic pressure campaign against Israel that is backed by multiple EU nations, he said.

De Croo said that he was aiming to see an EU-wide blanket bank on the import of Israeli dates, wine, and olive oil that originate from settlements in Judea and Samaria.

Notably, De Croo is facing an upcoming election, and many of his statements appear to be aimed at a pro-Palestinian domestic audience.

Although Belgium has been critical of Israel since the outbreak of the war, the country remains one of Israel’s largest trading partners.

Israel and Belgium are both major centers for the diamond trade, with exchanges in the sector between the countries thought to amount to billions of dollars each year.