Rob Hoey
Sharing my thoughts one post at a time

US warns EU about “warning labels” for Jewish-made products

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Leading U.S. lawmakers warned the European Union that if they issue a mandate requiring Jewish products made in contested areas of Israel to carry consumer warning labels, this could trigger American anti-boycott laws and effectively jeopardize our trade with Europe, where anti-Semitism is becoming increasingly prevalent.

The European Court of Justice (CJEU) is expected to issue an opinion this week on a long-running case brought forth by an Israeli winery challenging a requirement that Israeli-made products be labeled as coming from “settlements” and “Israeli colonies.”

The decision, according to the Washington Free Beacon, is expected to be issued early Tuesday and follows a recent opinion by the EU court’s advocate general stating that European law requires these Jewish-made products to be labeled. Critics compared the law to Nazi-era boycotts of Jewish products and view such requirements as a win for the anti-Semitic Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement, [aka BDS.]

Question: If the EU wants to boycott Israeli products, why aren’t they also boycotting Turkish, Venezuelan, Iranian and Jordanian products, just for starters?

Answer: Because the BDS movement is an anti-Semitic, Palestinian-led movement co-founded by Omar Baghouti, a man who calls for a one state solution and the dismantling of Israel, the only Jewish state on the planet. 

Barghouti attended Tel Aviv University but was overtly anti-Semitic. The school wanted him expelled but it never came to pass and he remained at the school where he received a  masters degree in philosophy.

Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) petitioned EU ambassador to the United States Stavros Lambrinidis to raise concerns about a possible ruling in favor of the warning labels, stating that it could create policy tension with the United States and involve us in a boycott war with the EU.

Sens. Benjamin Cardin (D-MD) and Rob Portman (R-OH) sent a similar letter to U.S. trade representative Robert Lighthizer expressing concerns that the ruling holds Israel to a standard no other country is subjected to, as mentioned above.

Rep. Juan Vargas (D-CA) also sent a letter to U.S. ambassador to the EU, Gordon Sondland. It warned that the ruling would lead to discrimination against Israel, but of course, that’s exactly the intention.

The lawmakers stated that such a ruling could trigger multiple U.S. anti-boycott laws and damage the nearly $1.3 trillion in trade between America and the EU.

“The regulation in question is problematic for a number of reasons, including because it targets specific businesses based on the ethnicity and national origin of their owners,” Menendez wrote in the  Lambrinidis letter.

“I am deeply concerned that if the CJEU decision empowers the EU to require or allow its Member States to label Israeli and Palestinian products in the manner proposed, it will allow and encourage the politicization of EU rules of origin labeling with potential adverse unintended consequences, including by opening the door to near-unlimited use of ‘ethical considerations’ in food labeling which would enable Member State protectionism and nationalism, and be unhelpful for the EU single market,” Menendez wrote.

“Additionally, it could facilitate Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) tactics and de facto boycotts and discrimination against Israel, and its products, and potentially lead to discrimination on the basis of ethnicity, religion and nationality, contrary to existing EU policies and laws against BDS campaigns, Israel boycotts and discrimination,” the letter states.

A decision mandating the labeling of Jewish goods also would be seen as an effort by the EU to interfere in Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, giving Hamas justification to continue their attacks on Israel.

“The U.S. Federal Government and many U.S. states have enacted strong anti-boycott provisions that impose severe penalties and restrictions on companies that participate in boycotts or other economic pressure campaigns against Israel,” Menendez wrote. “If the CJEU decision empowers the EU to mandate or allow Member States to implement such labels which target Israeli businesses and exports there will be serious and far-reaching implications and unintended consequences.”

So we will find out soon enough about the decision the EU is expected to make, but with the endemic problem of hatred for the Jews, don’t bet on a good outcome.

About the Author
A retired New York City psychotherapist having practiced Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, because it actually works. Relocated to Ottawa to be close to our daughter, son-in-law and our grandchildren. I blog about U.S. politics, terrorism, satire and the culture wars. Currently working on my third novel, a suspense spy thriller in the same order as Brad Thor but with more humor. My personal blog is Brain Flushings at: robhoey127.blogspot.com
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