B’nai B’rith International Dismayed By European Court Of Justice Ruling On Labeling Israeli Products
(Washington, D.C., Nov. 12, 2019)—B’nai B’rith International President Charles O. Kaufman and CEO Daniel S. Mariaschin have issued the following statement:
B’nai B’rith International is dismayed by today’s European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruling imposing labeling guidelines on Israeli products originating beyond the pre-1967 lines.
The decision is applicable to products from the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, and comes in response to a case initiated by the Organisation juive européenne and the winery Vignoble Psagot Ltd. It specifies that labels must contain the phrase “Israeli settlement,” and that a precise, but unclassified mention of the location is insufficient.
The ruling cannot be appealed and is binding. While it is aligned with general European Union (EU) labeling guidelines, it is blind to context and future implications. Without a doubt, this new policy’s implications for EU positions on Israel will be a green light for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) supporters and the singling out of Israel for further criticism and attack.
The decision negatively impacts the peace process, seeks to undermine Israel’s legitimacy and works against purported EU support for a directly-negotiated, mutually agreeable solution between Israel and the Palestinians.
The ruling represents the consolidation of a non-binding opinion forwarded by the ECJ in 2015 that was widely viewed in EU member states as detrimental and thus disregarded.
In 2018, a large and comprehensive report by the European Union Fundamental Rights Agency showed Jews in Europe are routinely victims of the implantation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict into Europe. We are further concerned that today’s ruling will have a negative impact on European Jews, possibly exposing them to an increase in anti-Semitic attacks.
B’nai B’rith International has advocated for global Jewry and championed the cause of human rights since 1843. B’nai B’rith is recognized as a vital voice in promoting Jewish unity and continuity, a staunch defender of the State of Israel, a tireless advocate on behalf of senior citizens and a leader in disaster relief. With a presence around the world, we are the Global Voice of the Jewish Community. Visit bnaibrith.org.