The Zionist Union party on Thursday evening sharply condemned the European Parliament's decision to label products from the Golan Heights, Judea and Samaria (Shomron) as "settlement products", saying it was not a way to force Israel and the Palestinian Authority back to the negotiating table.
“The labeling which was decided today is fundamentally unacceptable. The Zionist Union condemns the move and calls on the leaders of countries in Europe to declare that they do not support such labeling,” the party said.
“The Zionist Union supports a return to the negotiating table, but causing harm to Israeli citizens and its economy is not the way to do it,” it added.
The European Parliament passed a non-binding resolution Thursday calling on the European Union to differentiate "between Israel and its activities in the occupied Palestinian Territory" and to ensure “that all agreements between the EU and Israel must unequivocally and explicitly indicate their inapplicability to the territories occupied by Israel in 1967.”
The resolution, which passed by 525 votes to 70, with 31 abstentions, calls on EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini “to take the lead within the Commission with a view to completing the work on EU-wide guidelines on the labeling of Israeli settlement produce.”
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu also denounced the decision earlier, stating that the move only hinders efforts for Middle East peace.
"This is unjust," he stated. "It is simply a distortion of justice and of logic and I think that it also hurts peace; it does not advance peace."
"The root of the conflict is not the territories, and the root of the conflict is not the settlements," he warned. "We have historical memory of what happened when Europe labelled Jewish products."
Oded Revivi, Head of the Efrat Local Council, commented on the decision as well, saying it proves that the EU “does not understand the coexistence” between Jews and Arabs in Judea and Samaria.
"It's too bad,” he added, that EU “representatives who take care to regularly visit the Palestinian side, do not bother to visit the Jewish communities.” If they did so, he explained, “they would discover that there are tens of thousands of Palestinians working in Jewish factories, where they get good salaries and full social benefits.”