EU Labels West Bank Products


About space and place, it’s about time. What is an “Israeli product” and what is a Palestinian “product”? You can read here the EU guidelines for labeling Israeli products made over the Green Line. What some won’t appreciate on either extreme of the political divide is its recognition of the State of Israel within internationally recognized borders. A firm line is drawn between Israel and Palestine, between what’s Israel and what’s not-Israel, and between what’s Palestine and what’s not-Palestine. Politically, one is not the other.

These are the two articles that make that binary point.

#1. The European Union, in line with international law, does not recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the territories occupied by Israel since June 1967, namely the Golan Heights, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and does not consider them to be part of Israel’s territory , irrespective of their legal status under domestic Israeli law . The Union has made it clear that it will not recognize any changes to pre-1967 borders, other than those agreed by the parties to the Middle East Peace Process (MEPP) .

#9. For products from Palestine that do not originate from settlements, an indication which does not mislead about the geographical origin, while corresponding to international practice, could be ‘product from the West Bank (Palestinian product)’, ‘product from Gaza’ or ‘product from Palestine’.

Tip of the hat to the European Union.

About zjb

Zachary Braiterman is Professor of Religion in the Department of Religion at Syracuse University. His specialization is modern Jewish thought and philosophical aesthetics.
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2 Responses to EU Labels West Bank Products

  1. Michael says:

    This is of course a political choice, and it reflects a profound lack of legal understanding. There are no ” internationally recognized borders” between Israel and “Palestine”, just a cease-fire line. The 1949 armistice agreements were clear (at Arab insistence) that they were not creating permanent borders.

    It is not my personal opinion – leading scholars, like Professor Judge Stephen M. Schwebel, the former President of the International Court of Justice, share it: “The armistice agreements of 1949 expressly preserved the territorial claims of all parties and did not purport to establish definitive boundaries between them.” -

    Even Abu Mazen, the PA President, is recognizing there are no borders – after all, his latest proposal for negotiations called for “mapping out future borders” – if there would be “1967 borders”, there would be no need to map them, wouldn’t there?

    I wonder why does the EU take it upon itself to create “borders”, when it called for “agreement on final borders” in the “Road map for peace”.

    The real question is – when will the EU start labelling products from the Falklands, Gibraltar, Melilla, Northern Cyprus and countless other occupied or disputed territories?

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