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October 23, 2016 / 21 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘European Union’

Greece to Ignore EU’s Anti-Israel Labeling Rules

Tuesday, December 1st, 2015

The Greek government has told Israel it will disregard European Union guidelines advising member states to re-label any good manufactured in communities past the 1949 Armistice Line, also known as the “Green Line.”

The guidelines, published earlier this month, advise that anything produced in Judea and Samaria cannot be labeled “Made in Israel.”

Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias said in a letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that Athens would oppose the guidelines one day after Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras visited Jerusalem, according to a report by The Times of Israel. There was no coverage of the government’s decision in any Greek media.

Hungary declared its intention to defy the EU guidelines earlier this month, almost as soon as the directive was issued.

But since 2003, there had already been a numerical code placed on Israeli imports by the EU, in order to differentiate between products made anywhere beyond the “Green Line” and those produced within “pre-1967″ Israel, according to The Guardian British newspaper.

In response to the EU’s labeling, Netanyahu announced Sunday at the opening of the weekly government cabinet meeting that Israel would end cooperation with the EU’s role in peacemaking with the Palestinian Authority.

Earlier in the month, Israel’s Ambassador to the EU, David Walzer explained, “This for us in Israel feels like we have been singled out for quasi-sanctions using economic tools for punishment.” The EU has not applied the same guidelines to products manufactured in territories “occupied” by several other nations, including Morocco.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry indicated meanwhile that although individual relations with various European nations would continue, there would be no dialogue with the EU “until the reassessment is completed.”

Nevertheless, a European Union spokesperson insisted the entity would “continue to work on the Middle East peace process” independently.

Past activities by the EU have included generous funding and unauthorized construction of illegal homes and other structures for Arab squatters in Area C territory that is supposed to be under Israel’s complete control, in accordance with the internationally-recognized Oslo Accords.

Given that history, the mammoth rate of Arab immigration to most European member states in the EU, and the overwhelmingly negative voting history of the entity when issues involving Israel are raised at forums such as the United Nations, one might question whether independent work by the EU is really possible.

Hana Levi Julian

Best Response to EU Product Labeling: Buy Labeled Products

Tuesday, December 1st, 2015

(JNi.media) The Zionist Foundation For Israel in collaboration with My Israel have issued a list you may want to print out and stick on you fridge, or re-post to your email and Facebook friends (and all your other friends and apps): All the settlements products some poor folks in Europe aren’t able to purchase because their local supermarket obeys the Brussels’ issued directives.

And if you are an enterprising individual, we highly recommend you start an online shop dedicated to EU labeled products.

The endeavor is titled “Europe Marks- Israel Buys,” but with a little bit of effort, Europe and the US, too, could start shopping Judea and Samaria.


Food and Beverages

Abadi Bakery – Atarot Industrial park
Achiya Farm- excellent olive oil
Achva- Achdut Chalva and Candies- Barkan Industrial park
Adumim Fish- Adomin Industrial park
Alchoham- alchoholic bevreges- Barkan
Anis House of Nature, milk products- Itamar
Atlas Candies- Atarot
Barkan Candies- Barkan Industrial park
Better and Different, vegan foods- Adumim Industrial park
Etz HaSade Flour- Yitzhar
Gila’ad Spices- Elon Moreh
Givot Olam Goat Milk- Itamar
HaAretz Milk, goat milk products- Susya
HaGolan Brewery- Bazelet Beer
Harduf Eggs- Itamar Givot Olam
HaShomron Meats, Inc.- Karnei Shomron
Israeli Salts- Oz Salts, HaHaretz Salts production
Keshet Natural Drinks- Ramat HaGolan
Kfar Eggs, excellent foods- Barkan Industrial park
Lebell- bakery products- Gush Etzion
Louiza Tea- Elon Moreh
Maya- Adumim Industrial park
Meshek Tzuriel milk production- goat milk and goat milk yogurt
Michveret Negohot- excellent honey- Negohot
Netanel Spices- Barkan Industrial park
Nimrod Dairy Products- Nimrod
Openhimer Candies- Atarot Industrial park
Pomerantz Juices Inc., soft drinks- Mevo Horon
Ramat HaGolan Cheeses- Ani’am
Ramat HaGolan Milk Production, milk products- Katzrin Industrial park
Riko Empanadas, South American foods- Rimonim
Sakemach- Whole Weat- Jordan Valley
Sde Bar Foods- Nokdim
Shamir Salads- Barkan Industrial park
Sharp delicacies, sausages- Elon Moreh Industrial park
Shel Gal- pilsbury- Atarot Industrial park
Shemesh Spices- Karnei Shomron
Shimurei Motola, canned goods- Emannuel Industrial park
Super Drinks- Atarot Industrial park
Ta’aman- snacks and bevreges- Mishor Adumim
Tekoa Mushrooms- Tekoa
T’marim Organic Food- Tomer
T’vuot Bary- Israeli cakes and cupcakes
Zehavi- Yemenite delicacies


Jewelry and Cosmetics
Ahava Cosmetics- Mitzpeh Shalem
Esbei Kedem, Carmel Cosmetics- Mt. Hevron South
Hlavin- Barkan Industrial park
Olah Soaps- Dolev
Sabon BeAlma- natural soaps- K’far Tapoach
Sboneto- home made natural soap- Kokhav HaShahar
Shefa Briut- Jordan Valley



Ahava Cosmetics- Mitzpeh Shalem
Esbei Kedem, Carmel Cosmetics- Mt. Hevron South
Hlavin- Barkan Industrial park
Olah Soaps- Dolev
Sabon BeAlma- natural soaps- K’far Tapoach
Sboneto- home made natural soap- Kokhav HaShahar
Shefa Briut- Jordan Valley



Beitili Furniture- Barkan Industrial park
Falik Plastic Bags- Mevo Hama
Flatfut- Photography Products- Karnei Shomron
Frid Blankets- Ariel
Irit Prints- Adumim Industrial park
Josef Kaufman Camping- Karnei Shomron
Keter Plastics- Barkan Industrial park
Kravitz Office Supplies- Nili
Modan Bags- Shaked
Spideshe Plastic Grass- Gilgal
Sus Etz Toys- Adumim Industrial park


Brussels Reopens City Life But Maintains Highest Alert

Wednesday, November 25th, 2015

The Belgian capital has reopened for business, four days after a total shutdown in the wake of the worst terror Paris has experienced since World War II.

Since last Friday the metro, city schools, shopping centers and malls were all closed in Brussels — but on Wednesday morning, they all reopened, albeit under extremely tight security.

Some metro lines are still closed, according to the BBC, as authorities continue to search for some 10 suspects who they believe were involved in planning attacks, possibly on shopping centers.

Nevertheless, Brussels remains on its highest alert, fearing a similar attack, with hundreds of police and military personnel patrolling the streets and guarding key institutions. The Level 4 alert status is expected to remain in effect at least until next Monday, authorities told the BBC.

At least 129 people were murdered in Paris, plus another three who died of their wounds shortly after, in addition to the more than 350 who were injured in the massacre, nearly 100 in critical condition.

A number of the nearly two dozen terrorists who carried out the multi-site attack came from Belgium, although most were trained in Syria with Da’esh (ISIS), which took responsibility for the massacre.

At one suspected attacker remains at large, the focus of a European Union-wide manhunt.

Hana Levi Julian

Israel Weighs Suing EU Over Settlement Product Labeling

Thursday, November 19th, 2015

(JNi.media) The Israeli government is considering filing a lawsuit with the World Trade Organization against the European Union, in response to the latter’s decision to mark Israeli products originating in the settlements at retail chains in Europe. A senior Israeli official told Ha’aretz that the push for a suit comes from Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan and Minister of Justice Ayelet Shaked. The move is opposed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of the Economy.

Shaked and Erdan met recently to coordinate the promotion of their move in the cabinet. According to Ha’aretz, the two agreed on hiring a major international legal firm specializing in international trade to make a recommendation regarding the feasibility of a WTO suit and the chances of success.

According to Ha’aretz, senior officials in the Foreign Ministry and the Ministry of the Economy say that chances for the success of such a move against the EU are very low and may cause more harm than good. They argue the move could cause a counter-mobilization of Arab countries against Israel at the WTO, and to end up with a decision making the products from the settlements illegal according to international law, which would mean they must be seized, not only labeled. A Foreign Ministry official said the move was one of those things that you “know how to get into, but not how to get out.”

International law professors Avi Bell of Bar Ilan University and Eugene Kontorovich of Northwestern University have written a position paper urging the filing of a lawsuit against the EU, and met with Shaked and Arden. Both have argued that one of the main principles of the WTO is no discrimination between member countries. Bell and Kontorovich say the EU decided to select products from the settlements for labeling, but isn’t labeling products from other conflict areas in the world where there is an occupation or a territorial dispute, such as the Moroccan Sahara products or products from the Turkish occupied area of Cyprus.

Meanwhile, it has been reported that cosmetics company Ahava has manages to get around the labeling for the time being, arguing that although its main factory is located at Kibbutz Mitzpe Shalem in Judea, most of the raw materials come from the parts of the Dead Sea that are within 1949 Israel; also, it argues that not all its products are manufactured in that main factory.


Hezbollah Not a Terror Group, Says Russia

Monday, November 16th, 2015

Russia does not consider Hezbollah to be a terrorist organization, according to Moscow’s deputy foreign minister, Mikhail Bogdanov.

The official was quoted Sunday by the Interfax news agency as he explained that Russia maintains ties with the group.

“Some say Hezbollah is a terrorist organization,” Bogdanov said. “We maintain contacts and relations with them because we do not consider them a terrorist organization.

“They have never committed any terrorist acts on Russian soil. Hezbollah was elected by Lebanese citizens to the Lebanese parliament. There are cabinet members and ministers from Hezbollah in Lebanon. It is a legitimate sociopolitical force.”

The remarks emerged during discussions on Saturday between nations discussing which groups fighting the Syrian civil war should be defined as terrorists or not. The question arose and to which groups should be invited to negotiate for a political settlement, but differences remain between the views of Moscow and Washington.

Participants at the talks on Syria, held in Vienna, appointed Jordan as coordinator of efforts to compile a list of terrorist groups. Although both the United States and the European Union have designated Hezbollah as a terrorist organization — as has Israel — Russia does not.

The unwillingness of Russia to acknowledge Hezbollah’s terrorist status is likely to impact any international effort to address the group’s terrorist activities and attacks on Israel or anywhere else.

Hezbollah has also in the past been reportedly involved in drug sales operations that cross Israel’s northern border and elsewhere in the world as well.

Hana Levi Julian

Ya’alon Urges EU to Intensify Anti-Terror Measures

Sunday, November 15th, 2015

Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon warned Sunday that Europe must intensify its anti-terror efforts if it is to combat threats like Da’esh (ISIS).

In an interview with Galei Tzahal Army Radio, Ya’alon urged the member states in the European Union to pass laws that would “enable a more effective battle against terrorism.”

The recommendation came in the wake of the multi-site mass casualty attack in Paris carried out Friday night against France by Da’esh, which cost the lives of at least 129 people. More than 350 others were wounded, including 99 who remain in critical condition. Among the wounded are U.S. and British citizens, officials said.

“The Europeans understand that there is a threat, but they have not taken the measures they could have; for example, changing the legislation to allow listening in on potential terrorists,” Ya’alon pointed out.

“The balance between security and human rights in Europe so far has been tipped in favor of human rights,” he added, “but now there is no longer a choice. From now on, more weight must be given to the considerations of security, in order to defend democracy,” he said.

Ya’alon recommended checks at the entrances to public places, and increased passport controls throughout Europe as basic security measures for officials to put into place. He also noted that it is important to “bridge the gap in Turkey” with regard to the corridor used by Da’esh (ISIS) terrorists as they pass in and out of Syria.

The route to Europe and elsewhere in the world from ISIS-held territories runs across the Syrian border directly into Turkey, and from there onward to the rest of the world.

“We are all in the same boat when it comes to fighting terrorism and defending Western civilization,” Ya’alon said.

Hana Levi Julian

International Law Expert Kontorovich: EU Breaking EU Laws Against Product Labeling

Friday, November 13th, 2015

(JNi.media) Eugene Kontorovich, a legal scholar whose specialties include international law, on Friday published an op-ed in the NY Times that could stir up a backlash over in Brussels. Titled, “Europe Mislabels Israel,” Kontorovich’s piece rebukes the EU Commission for breaking EU laws in its zeal to attack the Jewish State.

“Diplomats in Brussels and NGOs have made clear that more coercive measures will follow,” Kontorovich writes, suggesting the EU has initiated a “process of building a legal ghetto around Israel, within which a special set of rules applies.”

“The European Union allows Morocco — which has extensive trade ties with Europe, but has occupied Western Sahara since 1975, and populated it heavily with settlers — to export products from its occupied territory labeled ‘Made in Morocco,’” Kontorovich notes, pointing out that, “when challenged, the commission formally declared that labeling such goods as ‘made in’ Morocco is not misleading, and is consistent with European trade agreements.”

But wait, there’s so much more: European courts have already examined and rejected the EU Commission’s notion about extending “consumer protection” to shoppers deciding whether or not to buy Israeli products. “Just last year, the British Supreme Court ruled, in a case involving Ahava beauty products produced in the West Bank, that ‘there was no basis for saying that the average consumer would be misled’ by a ‘Made in Israel’ label.” Just as the EU decided in the case of Moroccon product from occupied Western Sahara, so did the UK court hold that the labeling “was not deceptive as a matter of both British and European Union law,” Kontorovich states.

“The problem is not that the European Union fails to live up to its standards in some cases, like that of Morocco,” he argues, “Rather, in these other cases the union explicitly denies the existence of these standards.”

This, in Kontorovich’s opinion, “is a legal violation in its own right. The European Union’s foundational treaties require regulatory ‘consistency.’ And discrimination against trading partners represents a core violation of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade and other treaties of the World Trade Organization.”

How should the US respond to this obvious violation of the EU’s own trade laws, never mind the international trade agreements to which the EU is a signatory?

On Wednesday, Mark C. Toner, US State Department Deputy Spokesperson told reporters: “We understand the objective is to provide EU consumers correct information on the origin of products, as required by EU law. … The EU has made clear that measures are not a boycott, and the EU has also made very clear that they oppose boycotts against Israel. EU guidelines for products that are sold in EU countries are for the EU to determine.”

Not true, writes Kontorovich, who believes “the European Union labeling threatens to establish a precedent that would allow politicization of the system, undermining United States economic interests in broad and unpredictable ways. Thus it is not surprising that earlier this year, the United States passed a law opposing such European Union measures against Israel.”

Indeed, Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD) in late June introduced Amendment 20 into President Obama’s Fast Track bill, which reads:

A) IN GENERAL.—With respect to an agreement that is proposed to be entered into with the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership countries and to which section 103(b) will apply, the principal negotiating objectives of the United States regarding commercial partnerships are the following:
(i) To discourage actions by potential trading partners that directly or indirectly prejudice or otherwise discourage commercial activity solely between the United States and Israel.

(ii) To discourage politically motivated actions to boycott, divest from, or sanction Israel and to seek the elimination of politically motivated nontariff barriers on Israeli goods, services, or other commerce imposed on the State of Israel.

(iii) To seek the elimination of state-sponsored unsanctioned foreign boycotts against Israel or compliance with the Arab League Boycott of Israel by prospective trading partners.

(B) DEFINITION.—In this paragraph, the term “actions to boycott, divest from, or sanction Israel” means actions by states, non-member states of the United Nations, international organizations, or affiliated agencies of international organizations that are politically motivated and are intended to penalize or otherwise limit commercial relations specifically with Israel or persons doing business in Israel or in Israeli-controlled territories.

In reading both Kontorovich’s well founded opinion, and the Cardin amendment, it appears that the EU Commission’s ruling is actionable, both in the US and in Europe.


Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/international-law-expert-kontorovich-eu-breaking-eu-laws-against-product-labeling/2015/11/13/

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