EU envoy to Israel says labelling policy not a ‘boycott’

Lars Faaborg-Andersen EUROPA.EU PHOTO
Lars Faaborg-Andersen EUROPA.EU PHOTO

JERUSALEM — Attempts to compare the European Union’s settlement labelling guidelines to the Nazi boycott of Jewish goods and stores cheapens the memory of the Holocaust, the E.U. envoy to Israel said.

The attempt to draw parallels is a “distortion of history and a belittlement of the crimes of the Nazis and the memories of their victims,” Lars Faaborg-Andersen said Wednesday in Jerusalem at the Jerusalem Post Diplomatic Conference.

Faaborg-Andersen said there is no European boycott of products manufactured in Israel and the West Bank. “Europe is not boycotting Israel and Europe is not boycotting settlement products. Products from the settlements will continue to enter the EU market,” he said, they will just be labelled as such.

“It is simply not permissible to write ‘Made in Israel’ on products from Israeli settlements,” he said.

Under the guidelines, products manufactured in Jewish settlements in the West Bank and the Golan Heights must say so on their labels.

Following the EU’s decision, several have criticized the Union for harbouring a bias against Israel. Additionally, representatives from Hungary, Croatia, and Italy have spoken out against the guidelines. Hungarian foreign minister Péter Szijjártó, for one, called the guidelines “irrational” and said they don’t contribute to solving the Israel-Palestinian conflict.