EU Vows to Take Part in Peace Process after Being Kicked Out by Israel for BDS Labeling Policy

December 1, 2015

< 1 min read

One day after Israel announced that the EU’s involvement in the peace process is suspended, an EU spokeswoman said Monday that European officials would continue to work in the Quartet and with Arab parties to solve the conflict.

The move by Israel, announced Sunday, was made pending a “reassessment” of the EU’s decision to label products “Made in Israel” originating from Judea and Samaria, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights. The EU’s labeling policy is being widely lauded as a major win for the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

The EU’s announcement was made on the sidelines of the COP21 climate change summit in Paris, where EU Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The EU will continue to solve the Israel-Palestinian conflict because “peace in the Middle East was an issue of interest to the entire international community, as well as all Europeans,” the spokeswoman said.

According to the EU spokeswoman, the relationship between Israel and the EU “good, broad and deep.” She added that the decision to label Israeli goods is not a new policy, but rather only implemented now for the first time.

Israel will continue to have government-to-government relations with the individual EU member states but has suspended its contact with EU-body institutions.

Israel’s Ministry of Economy estimates that the new labeling policy will affect goods worth around $50 million a year, such as wine, poultry, dates, grapes, honey, olive oil and cosmetics made from Dead Sea minerals.

Each year, approximately $200-$300 million worth of good originate from areas now being singled out by the Europeans. Annually, Israel and the EU exchange around $30 billion in goods and services.

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