EU ambassador: ‘Territory beyond the Green Line is not part of Israel,’ defends settlement labeling
Deputy foreign minister heads to Europe to battle boycott and delegitimization; Opposition leader Herzog: Marking products awards a prize to terrorism.
Products produced over the pre-1967 lines are not “made in Israel” and cannot be labeled that way, European Union Ambassador to Israel Lars Faaborg-Andersen said on Tuesday.
He spoke to The Jerusalem Post in defense of the pending publication of guidelines to enable member states to place consumer labels on exports from east Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Golan Heights.
“The EU position is that we do not recognize Israeli authority beyond the Green Line. It is not part of Israel. It is not part of what we understand to be Israel’s international recognized borders,” said Faaborg-Andersen in a telephone interview.
“For that reason we cannot agree that products that come from settlements beyond the Green Line are labeled ‘made in Israel.’” Faaborg-Andersen will be one of the featured speakers at the fourth Jerusalem Post Diplomatic Conference in Jerusalem on November 18.
An Israeli diplomatic official warned on Monday that the EU settlement- abeling guidelines might be published in the coming weeks, possibly even in the next few days.
Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely was set to embark Wednesday on a trip to European capitals to wage a diplomatic war against the selective singling out of Israeli products from over the pre- 1967 lines.
“The Foreign Ministry is leading the battle against the idea of labeling,” Hotovely said, speaking outside the Barkan Industrial Park in the Samaria Region of the West Bank on Tuesday after visiting a factory where Israelis and Palestinians work together.
Her message to European officials is simple, she told the Post.
“Boycotting products from Judea and Samaria is a boycott against Israel. We do not see any difference between the industrial area of Barkan and the industrial area of Haifa,” Hotovely said. “This is a delegitimization of the state of Israel.”
She added that the country is united in opposition to the consumer labeling. Parties from both the coalition and the opposition are up in arms, she said.
An Israeli official added that labeling products doesn’t help the Palestinians and would make it more difficult to jump-start the peace process, which has been frozen since April 2014.
It doesn’t give the Palestinians any incentive to negotiate, the official said. Why should the Palestinians negotiate with Israel if they believe the international community is going to increase pressure on Israel?” the official asked.
The only path to peace is through negotiations, he said.
Israel has urged the Palestinians to resume talks without preconditions, but the Palestinian have insisted that Israel must first agree to demands such as freezing all “settlement activity” and Jewish building in east Jerusalem before they will consider negotiations.
Israel has refused to accede to such demands, maintaining
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