World Bulletin/News Desk
Israel has negatively reacted to the Green Party’s request that products from Israeli settlements in the West Bank to labelled when imported to Germany and the EU.
The Green Party submitted a parliamentary questionnaire to the federal government in late April, seeking answers about the Merkel administration’s policies toward imports from settlements in the West Bank. In a letter dated May 13, Dr. Emily Haber – a state secretary in the German Foreign Ministry – appears to have conveyed a new and explicit position for Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government.
“The label ‘Made in Israel’ is, according to the opinion of the federal government, only allowed for products from within the borders of Israeli state territory before 1967,” stated the letter.
The proposal indicated that the labels indiscriminately read “Made in Israel” but German and European consumers have a right to know where the products were made.
The party emphasized that the proposal is concerned with the implementation of international law and the EU’s policy, not a boycott of Israeli or Jewish products.
The Israeli embassy on Wednesday called the German Green Party’s efforts to label products from the West Bank “another try to negatively single out Israel while promoting an economic boycott of it.”
In a statement to the "Welt" newspaper, foreign policy spokesman of the Christian Union parties (CDU / CSU) Parliamentary Group Phlipp Missfelder said that the motion of the Green Party harms German-Israeli relations and the party must clerarly distance themselves from it.
When asked for clarification about the Haber letter, the German Foreign Ministry explained that “products from Israeli settlements have for a long time been sold in the EU. The EU is working on joint guidelines for a correct labeling of the [product] origin in the framework of EU consumer protection law. We are not conducting a discussion about boycotts.”