Patience Runs Out: EU To Crack Down on Israeli Settlement Products

Spiegel, By Christoph Schult

Israeli settlers living in the Palestinian terroritories often deceptively give their products a “Made in Israel” label. The European Union wants to move soon to end the practice and appears to be set on a collision course with the country.

The wine section on the basement floor of the Galeria Kaufhof department store in downtown Cologne has a good assortment of wines from around the world. Above the bottles, the shelves bear little tags showing the prices and flags of the countries of origin.

One cubicle has a tag showing a blue Star of David on a white background. At first glance, one might be led to believe that the wine comes from Israel. It even says “Wine of Israel” on the label. However, it requires a good bit of geographical and historical expertise to figure out the true origin of this €14.99 ($20) bottle of wine. The label says it is a 2008 “Gamla” Cabernet Sauvignon, “Produced & Bottled by Golan Heights Winery.” The address provided is “12900 Katzrin, Israel.”

But that address isn’t in Israel. Katzrin is a settlement in the Golan Heights. Until the Six Day War of 1967, the rock plateau stretching some 60 kilometers (37 miles) belonged to Syria. The Israeli army has occupied both it and the Palestinian West Bank ever since.

The international community has never recognized Israeli sovereignty over these areas, and the Geneva Convention outlaws the establishment of settlements within occupied territories. Nevertheless, successive Israeli governments have allowed colonies to be built up within them and, today, some 650,000 Israeli settlers live in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  • I’ll believe it when I see it. Israel has too much invested in Jerusalem and the West Bank – financially and politically to withdraw voluntarily.
    With all due respect to the EU, anything they do is a fart in a whirlwind as long as America and Americans continue to support Israel monetarily. On their own, Israel could not afford a military machine capable of occupying Golan Heights and the West Bank. They might still be able to enforce their apartheid regime inside their own borders, but if their survival surrounded by angry Palestinians depended on honest negotiation, I think even Israeli Arabs would have a lot more influence.

  • From Mondoweis – Tel Aviv is today’s Sun City: Part two of an interview with Omar Barghouti

    Which companies profit off of apartheid in Israel? You’ve mentioned cosmetic companies, Caterpillar and others. Which are the worst offenders?

    I’m glad you added worst, because there are many companies involved in Israeli apartheid. Israel is entirely integrated into the world economy, and it’s a strong economy. So obviously many companies are still doing business in Israel, and it’s too early–seven years since the BDS movement started–to expect major corporate defections from Israel. But we are seeing some serious change.

    More at the link

    • Cosmetics companies and agriculture are extracting from the Dead Sea – water level dropping so badly that water-side resorts now have to build out ‘walkways’ so their guests can get to the water. Former beach areas are now just a fragile crust that has been fenced off to keep folks from falling through.
      And that’s the other reason Israel won’t give up the West Bank – water.

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