The court decision “mandates religious discrimination, treating Jewish-owned and Muslim-owned businesses differently,” said The Lawfare Project.
By World Israel News Staff and AP
The European Union’s top court ruled Tuesday that E.U. countries must specifically identify imported products that are made in Israeli communities located in territory captured in the 1967 war, when the Jewish State had been surrounded by Arab armies amassing forces at its borders.
The European Court of Justice (ECJ) said that “foodstuffs originating in the territories occupied by the State of Israel must bear the indication of their territory of origin.”
The Luxembourg-based court said that when products come from an Israeli locality in such territory, their labeling must provide an “indication of that provenance” so that consumers can make “informed choices” when they shop.
Israel says the labeling is unfair and discriminatory and that other countries involved in disputes over land are not similarly sanctioned.
The E.U. wants any product made in these disputed areas to be easily identifiable to shoppers and insists that they should not carry the generic “Made in Israel” tag.
The Palestinians claim that Judea and Samaria, as well as eastern Jerusalem, should be part of their future state.
Today, nearly 700,000 Israelis live in the two areas, almost 10 percent of the country’s Jewish population.
The ECJ, in its ruling, argued that Israeli communities in these areas “give concrete expression to a policy of population transfer conducted by that State outside its territory, in violation of the rules of general international humanitarian law.”
It said any failure to identify the point of origin of produce meant that “consumers have no way of knowing, in the absence of any information capable of enlightening them in that respect, that a foodstuff comes from a locality or a set of localities constituting a settlement established in one of those territories in breach of the rules of international humanitarian law.”
Human Rights Watch welcomed the ruling.
The Lawfare Project condemned it, accusing the ECJ of issuing a decision that “mandates religious discrimination, treating Jewish-owned and Muslim-owned businesses differently even if they operate in the same geographic location.
“It also opens up a Pandora’s box of unintended consequences, allowing anyone to sue to add labeling requirements based on subjective ‘ethical considerations,'” says the Project, which refers to itself as the legal arm of the international Jewish community.