Bipartisan House Resolution Calls Out EU For Labeling Israeli Products

PHOTO: REUTERS

PHOTO: REUTERS


The U.S. House of Representatives is moving in a bipartisan manner to declare that the recent decision by the EU to label products from Israeli settlements and the Golan Heights as “undermin[ing] efforts to achieve a negotiated Israeli-Palestinian peace process.”

On Thursday, Representatives Nita Lowey (D-NY), Eliot Engel (D-NY), Peter Roskam (R-IL), and Ed Royce (R-CA) introduced a resolution (H.R. 567) expressing opposition to the European Commission interpretive notice and calling upon the EU bodies to oppose any boycott, divestment, or sanctions initiatives aimed at singling out Israel.

The bipartisan resolution also reaffirms its strong support for a “negotiated solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict resulting in two states, a democratic, Jewish State of Israel and a viable, democratic, Palestinian state, living side-by-side in peace, security, and mutual recognition.”

“New European Commission guidelines to single out Israeli products manufactured in the West Bank and other areas only encourage and prompt consumers to boycott all Israeli goods,” the Congressmen said in a joint statement. “This is counterproductive to the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, harmful to U.S. national security interests, and contributes to the deeply misguided anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement. Boycotts chip away at economic integration, which negatively affects Israelis and Palestinians alike. The establishment of the European Economic Community was predicated on the notion that peace and security are achieved through trade, economic cooperation, and job creation – not boycotts and isolation. The same is true for Israelis and Palestinians.”

The European Commission adopted last month the Notice on “indication of the origin of goods from the territories occupied by Israel since June 1967.” The notice contains guidelines for labeling of products from The West Bank settlements being sold in the 28 countries part of the EU. For products from West Bank or the Golan Heights, “product from the Golan Heights (Israeli settlement)” or “product from West Bank (Israeli settlement)” need to be added in brackets.

Israeli Prime Minister called the move “an immoral decision.” He later ordered the foreign ministry to carry out “a reassessment of the involvement of EU bodies in everything that is connected to the diplomatic process with the Palestinians.”

“As Israel’s largest trading partner, the European Union should play a constructive role to help bring the parties back to the negotiating table and resolve their differences, not try to extract one-sided concessions and feed into politically-motivated acts to boycott Israel,” the Congressmen stated.

Read the full text of the resolution below:
RESOLUTION

Expressing opposition to the European Commission interpretive notice regarding labeling Israeli products and goods manufactured in the West Bank and other areas, as such actions undermine efforts to achieve a negotiated Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

Whereas the United States supports a negotiated solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict resulting in two states, a democratic, Jewish State of Israel and a viable, democratic, Palestinian state, living side-by-side in peace, security, and mutual recognition;

Whereas a true and lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians can only be established through direct negotiations regarding outstanding issues between Israel and the recognized leadership of the Palestinian people, the Palestinian Authority;

Whereas a true and lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians is in the national security interests of the United States and necessary to ensure the safety and security of Israel;

Whereas the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement has called on the European Commission to go beyond labeling guidelines and implement a ban on the import of products of Israeli companies that operate in the West Bank and other areas;

Whereas politically motivated acts of boycott, divestment from, and sanctions against Israel represent a concerted effort to extract concessions from Israel outside of direct negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians, and undermines efforts to achieve a negotiated two-state solution;

Whereas the United States has long opposed efforts to impose solutions to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict outside of direct negotiations between the two parties;

Whereas the United States has historically been at the forefront of combatting economic pressure against Israel and has enacted legislation to counter both the Arab League Boycott of Israel and the BDS movement;

Whereas one-sided actions, such as singling out Israeli products, serves to encourage and prompt consumers to boycott Israeli products and goods manufactured in the West Bank and other areas;

Whereas U.S. law (P.L. 114-26) states that the United States should discourage potential trading partners from adopting policies to limit trade or investment relations with Israel when negotiating the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with European countries;

Whereas the United States and the European Union have historically worked in coordination to bring an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict;

Whereas multiple United States State legislatures have enacted measures to confront politically motivated acts of boycott, divestment from, and sanctions against Israel including Tennessee, Indiana, Illinois, South Carolina and New York: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the House of Representatives—

Expresses opposition to the European Commission interpretive notice regarding labeling Israeli products and goods manufactured in the West Bank and other areas, as such actions undermine efforts to achieve a negotiated Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
Opposes politically motivated acts of boycott, divestment from, and sanctions against Israel or Israeli-controlled territory;

Calls upon the European Commission, the Council of the European Union, and the European Parliament to oppose any boycott, divestment, or sanctions initiatives aimed at singling out Israel, to refrain from actions counterproductive to resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and to work on bringing the parties back to the negotiating table;

Encourages European Union member states to exert prudence in the implementation of the European Union labeling guidelines;
Urges the Administration to increase the use of its voice, vote, and influence in international organizations and other appropriate international forums to actively oppose political motivated acts of boycott, divestment from, and sanctions against Israel;

Supports efforts by United States’ State legislatures to enact measures that oppose politically motivated acts of boycott, divestment from, and sanctions against Israel; and

Reaffirms its strong support for a negotiated solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict resulting in two states, a democratic, Jewish State of Israel and a viable, democratic, Palestinian state, living side-by-side in peace, security, and mutual recognition.


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