Norway rejects BDS law to label products from Judea and Samaria

Norwegian parliament voted down a bill that would have forced imported Israeli products made in Judea and Samaria to carry separate labeling.

By World Israel News Staff

Norwegian lawmakers voted down a proposed new law that would have required separate labeling for imported Israeli products manufactured in Judea and Samaria, Israel Hayom reported Monday.

The legislation was tabled earlier this month by left-wing parties, including the governing Norwegian Labor Party, but with those groups having a minority in the 169-seat Storting, Norway’s parliament, the bill aimed at boycotting products made in areas captured by Israel in the 1967 Six Day War was voted down.

Last year, the European Court of Justice ruled that EU countries must change the label on products made in Israeli settlements to specifically identify them as such. Norway is not an EU member and is not obligated by decisions of the EU court.

Bowing to pro-Palestinian lobbyists, the EU has stated that it sees settlements as an obstacle to the two-state solution and voted in legislation that products made in Judea and Samaria could not be labeled “Made in Israel” but must have a more specific designation.

Israeli says that forcing the label change on products made over the 1948 armistice lines is discriminatory and that the EU does not subject other countries involved in land disputes to the same rules.

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During the the debate on the bill in the Norwegian parliament, members who are friendly to Israel talked about the need for cooperation against economic boycotts while acknowledging Norway’s long-standing contribution to the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

Legislators who voted against the proposal pointed out that Norway wants to help Palestinian workers, but boycotting Israeli companies in Judea and Samaria would hurt the Palestinians who make their living there.

Left-wing organizations in Norway together with the country’s largest union have been trying to get the country to boycott goods produced in Judea and Samaria. The union is still working to convince other unions in Norway and across Europe to join them.

In the most well-known case to date, SodaStream moved its production factory from Mishor Adumim near Jerusalem to the Beer Sheba area. Although the company said the decision was not connected to boycott pressure, some 800 Palestinian workers lost their jobs.