The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) condemned Wednesday the European Union's new guidlines to label Israeli goods from Judea, Samaria and the Golan Heights.
"European officials can insist all they want that the decision is technical, but in fact these guidelines are a political message of diplomatic pressure," ADL's CEO Jonathan A. Greenblatt said in a statement.
"The political message is counterproductive, because this step inevitably raises the perception of a boycott – whatever the technical distinctions – and therefore de facto supports the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanction (BDS) movement, a campaign to boycott all Israeli goods and delegitimize the Jewish State."
"EU officials claim it does not," Greenblatt continued, "but they have now sent a negative message about Israeli products to European consumers, who are unlikely to make the intended distinction."
"The message is also hypocritical. While the EU targets settlement goods, European ministers are leading high-level trade delegations to Iran. Will they label Iranian goods, ‘made in Iran (terrorists, executioners)’? Will the EU still allow fish from Western Sahara to be labeled, ‘product of Morocco’? No, Israel is once again being singled out and disparaged and this time, it is cloaked and justified in the language of ‘consumer protection.’"
"The true impact of these guidelines will be on EU-Israel relations, not on Israel’s economy, and today, those relations were harmed," Greenblatt argued. "If the EU wants to play a positive role in the Middle East peace process, it will pressure the Palestinian Authority to end the wave of stabbings and to end its incitement to hatred and violence."
"Correct labeling of Palestinian obstacles to peace will contribute much more than labeling Israeli wine from the Golan Heights."