Israel condemns France for labeling goods from Judea and Samaria

Paris ordered to have Israeli products from Judea and Samaria specially labeled and marked for boycotting, in contradiction to its own court order that such boycotts are a form of incitement and hate crimes.

Israel issued a harsh condemnation of a decision by the French government that requires importers and retailers to label all Israeli goods produced in Judea and Samaria.

Paris on Thursday issued a notification stating that products made in Judea and Samaria and other areas it deems “occupied” by Israel must be marked with specific labels and not as products made in Israel, acting in accordance with the November 2015 European Commission guidelines.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry responded by issuing a condemnation of the new guidelines.

“The Government of Israel condemns the decision taken by the Government of France to implement EU Commission directives on labeling Israeli products produced over the ’67 lines. It regrets that France, which actually has a law against boycotts, is advancing measures that can be interpreted as encouraging radical elements and the movement to boycott Israel,” the statement read.

In October 2015, France’s highest appeals court ruled that the anti-Israel BDS (Boycott, Sanction, Divest) movement activities’ consist of a form of incitement and hate crimes.

The Cour de Cassation, the Supreme Court of France, said that these actions consisted of an attempt to discriminate against a particular country. The ruling is based on France’s anti-discrimination act of 1981, which forbids “discrimination, hatred or violence toward a person or group of people on grounds of their origin, their belonging or their not belonging to an ethnic group, a nation, a race or a certain religion” and threatens a penalty of  imprisonment or a fine of up to $50,000.

Jerusalem also accused Paris of using “double standards with regard to Israel,”  saying the move was “unfathomable and even disturbing” as it did not apply such sanctions against some 200 other entities involved in territorial disputes across the world, “including those right on France’s own doorstep.”

It wasn’t clear whether the directive is binding for retailers or is simply a recommendation.

By: Aryeh Savir, World Israel News