Shalom Life | October 25, 2014

Holland Opposes Ban on Israeli Products

Prime Minister Mark Rutte announces opposition to Israeli ban, adding they must enforce Europe's legislation on labelling settlement goods

By: Graham Sigurdson

Published: September 23rd, 2013 in News » World

Holland Opposes Ban on Israeli Products

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte has voiced his country's opposition to an import ban on Israeli products, although he added that they must enforce the European Union legislation on labelling settlement goods.

In a letter to the European Jewish Congress (EJC) a Dutch official (writing in Rutte’s name) stated "I would like to stress that the Netherlands opposes any type of import ban or the boycott of Israeli products." The letter, which was obtained by JTA, had been sent to Moshe Kantor, the president of the EJC as a response to several letters Kantor sent out to EU heads of states. In these letters, Kantor stressed that in labelling products from areas that the EU considers illegal settlements, they were being counterproductive to peace efforts between Israelis and Palestinians.

Rutte’s letter came following reports that, in July, Dutch supermarkets were boycotting settlement goods, which the supermarkets denied. In March, the Dutch government advised businesses to refrain from labelling products that originated in the Golan Heights, West Bank, and Eastern Jerusalem, as "Made in Israel." Indeed, this too came following a decision in 2012 by the EU Foreign Affairs Council to label goods from settlements that "obliges the Dutch government to fully and effectively enforce existing EU legislation," Rutte said.

As of yet, the council has yet to release any sort of practical guideline regarding the labelling of goods.

Kantor’s letter was not responded to quite so tactfully from other members of the EU. William Hague, the British Foreign Secretary replied by saying "I’m afraid that I cannot agree with your concerns about EU labelling of settlement produce. The settlements are illegal under international law, an obstacle to peace."

On September 16, Kantor took out a full-page ad in the Financial Times of London arguing against new EU guidelines that prohibited EU funding for Israeli projects in areas the European Union identifies as settlements. The ad stated that the guidelines singled out Israel alone to be criticized, and "serve to minimize the chances of lasting peace."

Jews Around the World to Take Part in the Shabbat Project Jews Around the World to Take Part in the Shabbat Project Trending‘Fury’ A Blistering Account of World War II—Sans the Holocaust ‘Fury’ A Blistering Account of World War II—Sans the Holocaust TrendingFor the First Time Ever, Women of the Wall Hold Torah Reading at the Kotel For the First Time Ever, Women of the Wall Hold Torah Reading at the Kotel Trending
 

The Ten Best Bagels in Canada

October 25, 2014 | By Caitlin Marceau
The Ten Best Bagels in Canada

Our guide to the best bagels across Canada, from Montreal to Toronto

Read More

Seinfeld Finally Joins Facebook and Instagram [VIDEO]

October 24, 2014 | By Ashley Baylen
Seinfeld Finally Joins Facebook and Instagram [VIDEO]

A hilarious video shows Michael Richards asking Seinfeld to take out Netflix and Hulu.

Read More

Seth Rogen and Megan Fox Join James Franco’s ‘Zeroville’

October 24, 2014 | By Ashley Baylen
Seth Rogen and Megan Fox Join James Franco’s ‘Zeroville’

Rogen and Fox will be co-starring alongside Will Ferrell, Danny McBride and Dave Franco

Read More

Mila Kunis Dolls Are Coming To a Store Near You

October 24, 2014 | By Ashley Baylen
Mila Kunis Dolls Are Coming To a Store Near You

Adorable dolls featuring Mila Kunis and Channing Tatum in 'Jupiter Ascending' are coming out in January

Read More

Jews Around the World to Take Part in the Shabbat Project

October 24, 2014 | By Daniel Koren
Jews Around the World to Take Part in the Shabbat Project

Jews in 460 cities across the world to take part in the inspirational Jewish initiative, including Paula Abdul and Mayim Bialik

Read More

Wix Named 'Hottest Middle Eastern Startup'

October 24, 2014 | By Viva Sarah Press
Wix Named 'Hottest Middle Eastern Startup'

Inc. magazine credits Israeli DIY website creation platform with taking a complicated task and making it enjoyable

Read More

‘Fury’ A Blistering Account of World War II—Sans the Holocaust

October 24, 2014 | By Jason Stack, JNS.org
‘Fury’ A Blistering Account of World War II—Sans the Holocaust

The Brad Pitt and Shia LaBeouf-starring film essentially omits the brunt of the Holocaust from World War II

Read More

Israeli Company Shows that Energy Does in Fact Grow on Trees

October 24, 2014 | By NoCamels Team
Israeli Company Shows that Energy Does in Fact Grow on Trees

The eTree is a solar-powered urban habitat that is constructed from metal pipes and topped with solar panels

Read More

More Headlines