The International Christian Embassy Jerusalem (ICEJ) held a symposium at the European Union Parliament in Brussels on Wednesday to address the recent EU decision to label Israeli goods made in Judea and Samaria, the Golan Heights, and eastern Jerusalem.
Titled “The Economic Wall of the EU Labeling Move,” the symposium was hosted by MEP Hannu Takkula and MEP Bas Belder and also included renowned international legal expert, Prof. Avi Bell; Greek Orthodox priest and founder of the Israeli Christian Empowerment Council, Father Gabriel Naddaf; and the Chief Rabbi of the Netherlands, Binyomin Jacobs.
Last month, the EU introduced guidelines requiring member states to stop carrying the “Made in Israel” label for products made in Jewish communities situated beyond the 1967 lines.
Prof. Bell told the audience that he believes the labeling law violates international law.
“While the interpretive notice restricts labels on Israeli products, EU law permits Taiwan and the Palestinian Authority to market products in the EU with ‘made in Taiwan’ and ‘made in Palestine’ labels that contradict EU views on sovereignty, according to which neither is an independent state,” Bell said.
Father Naddaf said the labeling move will also hurt Christians, Muslims, and other minorities in Israel.
“As a Christian leader, raised in Nazereth, living among the Arab Muslims, I tell you clearly: this decision affects Muslims, Christians, Druze, and all other minority citizens of Israel, not just the Jews. This labeling of Israeli products is a further betrayal of Christian values in Europe, and it further weakens the Christian spirit in Europe,” Naddaf said.
Naddaf added that the move to label Israeli goods is “a racist, anti-Semitic decision.”
Headquartered in Jerusalem, ICEJ represents millions of Christian supporters of Israel and reaches some 140 countries with branches in more than 80 nations.