‘By banning goods that originate in Israeli settlements, Europe would help support the differentiation between Israel per se and settlements in the occupied territories,” they wrote.
By World Israel News Staff
A letter signed by 13 prominent Israelis says that the European Court of Justice’s decision to mark goods produced from Judea and Samaria as ‘settlement products’ is not strict enough.
“We believe that accurate labeling of settlement products is an important step but is insufficient. We call upon the European Union to ban the import of Israeli settlement goods,” they wrote in a letter published by the Guardian on Friday.
“Israeli settlements are the leading cause of human rights violations against Palestinians, and settlement expansion is destroying the possibility of a two-state solution. By banning goods that originate in Israeli settlements, Europe would help support the differentiation between Israel per se and settlements in the occupied territories,” they wrote.
Among the signatories was Avraham Burg, a former speaker of the Knesset and former head of the Jewish Agency.
“Europe continues to support the occupation financially by allowing trade with Israeli settlements, which are illegal under international law. It should be clear that continuing to sell goods that support the erosion of democracy in Israel and the denying of rights to Palestinians is unacceptable,” they added.
Their call to ban settlement products entirely echoes what PLO Secretary-General Saeb Erekat said last Wednesday.
“Our demand is not only for the correct labeling reflecting the certificate of origin of products coming from illegal colonial settlements, but for the banning of those products from international markets,” he said.
The European Court of Justice ruled on Tuesday that E.U. countries must specifically identify imported products that are made in Israeli communities located in territory captured in the 1967 war.
“Foodstuffs originating in territories occupied by the State of Israel must bear the indication of their territory of origin, accompanied, where those foodstuffs come from a locality or a group of localities constituting an Israeli settlement within that territory, by the indication of that provenance,” the court said.
The letter was signed by:
Ilan Baruch, a former Israeli ambassador to South Africa
Eli Barnavi, a former Israeli ambassador to France
Michael Ben-Yair, a former attorney general of Israel
Erella Hadar, a former Israeli ambassador to the Czech Republic
David Harel, a 2004 Israel Prize recipient
Yehoshua Kolodny, a 2010 Israel Prize recipient
Miki Kratsman, a 2011 EMET Prize Laureate
Alex Levac, a 2005 Israel Prize recipient
Alon Liel, a former Israeli ambassador to Turkey
Mossi Raz a former member of the Knesset
David Shulman, a 2016 Israel Prize recipient
Zeev Sternhell, a 2008 Israel Prize recipient