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Brussels - Belgium Advises Retailers To Label Products From Israeli Settlements

Published on: July 29, 2014 02:52 PM
By: Reuters
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FILE - Former Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, throws a package into a fire set to burn products from Jewish settlements, in the west Bank of Salfit Tuesday, Jan 5, 2010. (AP Photo/Nasser Ishtayeh)Brussels - Belgium advised retailers on Tuesday to clearly label the origin of products made in Israeli settlements that are in occupied territories where Palestinians seek statehood.

The non-binding recommendation has nothing to do with escalating conflict between Israel and Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip, the Belgian Economics Ministry said, noting that Britain and Denmark already had similar labelling in place.

“It’s a non-binding advice to state on labels that products originating from occupied territories come from there,” a ministry spokeswoman said. “We don’t see this as a sanction against Israel, but EU rules stipulate that consumers have to be informed of the origins of products.”

The ministry planned to send a letter to retail federations on Tuesday recommending the use of such labels. Belgian retail federation Comeos and the Israeli Embassy in Brussels said they would not comment before the letter was issued.

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Israel has been critical of any move to label produce from Jewish settlements clearly or distinguish them from goods produced by Palestinians, arguing that the distinction is part of a larger effort to impose a Palestinian state on Israel.

The labels Belgium has in mind would mainly apply to fruit and vegetables grown in Jewish settlements in the Jordan Valley of the West Bank. But they could include products such as sparkling water made by SodaStream and cosmetics by Ahava which both have production facilities in the West Bank.

Palestinians have limited self-rule in areas of the West Bank not taken up by Israeli settlements.

Palestinians want to establish a state in the West Bank and Gaza with East Jerusalem as their capital, but the latest round of U.S.-brokered peace talks collapsed in April. Palestinians fear the settlements, which the European Union views as illegal and an obstacle to peace, will deny them a viable country.

Israel took the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem in a 1967 war. It later annexed East Jerusalem in a move not recognized internationally. More than 500,000 Jews now live in settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem alongside some 3 million Palestinians. Israel withdrew from the tiny Gaza Strip in 2005. 



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Read Comments (8)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Jul 29, 2014 at 03:48 PM Anonymous Says:

TIme to start boycotting Belgian chocolates and diamonds.

2

 Jul 29, 2014 at 04:51 PM Sociologist Says:

I think all products made in Israel (or by Jewish owned/controlled corporations) should have a yellow star on them.

3

 Jul 29, 2014 at 04:55 PM shvigger Says:

Reply to #1  
Anonymous Says:

TIme to start boycotting Belgian chocolates and diamonds.

Fine, I'll stop buying my diamonds from Belgium. I suggest this Belgian hechsher be enclosed in a yellow star.

4

 Jul 29, 2014 at 05:49 PM Phineas Says:

Just send the produce to the US. We will buy all of it

5

 Jul 29, 2014 at 09:24 PM belgian citizen Says:

Belgium is being overrun by Arabs. The muslims will take over the country and overthrow the Belgian government if they don't wake up and see the light. same for France and London.
We should boycott Belgian chocolates and other products. The diamond industry is quite dead in Antwerp, being controlled by Indians. Sad state of affairs.

6

 Jul 29, 2014 at 10:44 PM PaulinSaudi Says:

There is nothing wrong with giving people information about what they are buying.

7

 Jul 30, 2014 at 03:03 AM Lobolshi Says:

Reply to #2  
Sociologist Says:

I think all products made in Israel (or by Jewish owned/controlled corporations) should have a yellow star on them.

I think you should have a yellow star shoved down your throat.

8

 Jul 30, 2014 at 10:38 AM ShmutzVesh Says:

Idiots, most of the workers in these factories are Palestinians. They are hurting their own people, But hey, they are used to it anyway.

9

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