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February 11, 2016 / 2 Adar I, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘labeling’

Austrian Minister Refuses to Meet Israeli Official in Eastern Jerusalem

Friday, December 4th, 2015

Austrian Science Minister Reinhold Mitterlehner has cancelled a meeting scheduled for next week with his Israeli counterpart in eastern Jerusalem because it is in “occupied” territory.”

Israeli Science Minister Ofir Akunis said Friday:

Either the meeting will take place in eastern Jerusalem or it won’t take place anywhere. Austria will not divide Jerusalem.

With all due respect to the Austrian minister, Jerusalem has been the united capital of Israel since 3,000 year ago…. If I were to accept his demand, it would be as if I were dividing Jerusalem, something that never will happen.

We are not going to divide Jerusalem just like Austria is not going to divide Vienna.

Akunis and Mitterlehner were to sign scientific agreements, but meeting with an Israeli official in eastern Jerusalem is contrary to the European position on Jerusalem as well as the Golan Heights, Judea and Samaria, despite a large Jewish presence in ares of Jerusalem that the West does not recognize as Israeli..

The only prominent Western official to have met Israeli officials in eastern Jerusalem is Canada’s John Baird, when he was a minister in 2013 and met with Tzipi Livni at her Justice Ministry offices. The Palestinian Authority angrily condemned Canada for the meeting.

Mitterlehner’s snub of united Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is no different from that of other European and American official who also do not meet with Israeli counterparts in areas they do not recognize.

The difference this time is the one of timing as well as the official reaction by Akunis, a strongly nationalist Likud minister. Israel is taking the offense against last month’s European Union Commission decision that prohibit the “Made in Israel” label from appearing on products made by Jews in the Golan Heights, Judea and Samaria.

The Commission now requires the labels to read “made in settlements.”

Austria is one of the countries that is accelerating moves to adopt the policy, the Austrian DerStandard reported Friday.

Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders, one of the leaders in the move to label “settlement” products, was forced to cancel a visit to Israel after the office of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who officially also is Foreign Minister, said he would not meet with the Belgian official.

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.

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.

EUROPE MARKS- ISRAEL BUYS

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

 

Wines

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

 

Miscellaneous

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

Economic Cooperation Pact between Italian Region and Samaria Defies EU Labeling

Friday, November 20th, 2015

(JNi.media) Despite the EU’s decision to label products from the settlements in Judea and Samaria, an economic cooperation agreement has been signed Wednesday between the Valtellina valley in the Sondrio province in northern Italy and the Shomron Regional Council in Samaria, Walla reported. The signing ceremony, in the city of Sondrio, at the heart of the Valley, was attended by vintners from both regions.

Valtellina is home to 180 thousand inhabitants, the Shomron Council boasts 29 Jewish towns and villages, with an estimated 25 thousand residents. The ceremony was held by Shomron Council Chairman Yossi Dagan and Province of Sondrio President Luca della Briotta. The signing of the cooperation agreement was made possible with the mediation of the Vice-Chair of the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, Dr. Fiorello Provera MEP, formerly the president of Valtellina.

“With great pleasure, We, the undersigned, Regional Directors of Valtellina and Shomron respectively, announce our agreement for bilateral relations between our two regions, which will begin immediately with the signing of this agreement,” reads the pact. “The goal of this declaration of cooperation is to promote culture, science, industry, trade, tourism, agriculture and technology between leaders in each field in ​​our communities.”

After the signing, President della Briotta said “the friendship between the region of Valtellina and Samaria has lasted a long time, and we hope that this friendship will grow stronger, and will gain ground. I am convinced that these days the world needs to cooperate, and sign covenants of peace, so that in the end we will reach a true peace.”

The vintners from both regions said they were looking forward to cooperation in technical knowledge and marketing, despite the EU Commission’s decision, which seeks to limit them, Walla reported. Dr. Provera said, “I think the EU’s decision to boycott Israeli products is a mistake and it would hurt both industry and the common people, including thousands of Palestinian families who actually make their living from working for Israelis in these plants.” He said “it’s a decision that will affect the common people, not the rich.”

Sondrio-and-Samaria-pact

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.

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.

Israel’s Pres. Rivlin Cancels State Visit to EU

Friday, November 13th, 2015

President Reuven Rivlin has canceled his long-scheduled visit to speak at a session of the European Union parliament, set for December 2, after anti-Israel labeling guidelines were published Wednesday by the EU.

The invitation, extended as far back as March of this year, included a meeting with EU officials at the body’s headquarters in Brussels.

EU Ambassador to Israel Lars Faaborg-Andersen was informed Thursday after being summoned to the foreign ministry that the trip was to be postponed. The ambassador was also told that Israel was suspending diplomatic dialogue with the EU in a number of European forums.

The President’s Residence has confirmed the trip was postponed but did not give a reason for the change.

It is believed the cancelation is part of Israel’s partial suspension of diplomatic dialogue with the European Union in the wake of its new labeling guidelines on goods produced by Jewish manufacturers in Judea and Samaria.

The new guidelines issued Wednesday ban farm goods and cosmetics produced in Judea and Samaria from bearing the label, “Made in Israel.” The European Union considers the existence of Jewish Israeli communities built in those regions following the 1967 Six Day War to be illegal under international law.

Israel vowed it would suspend bilateral dialogue with the European Union over the matter, primarily in the areas of human rights and issues affecting its relationship with the Palestinian Authority. Bilateral dialogue in areas such as education, agriculture, science and culture are expected to continue, according to Foreign Ministry spokesperson Emanuel Nachshon.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/israels-pres-rivlin-cancels-state-visit-to-eu/2015/11/13/

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