The French government published regulations on Thursday requiring importers and retailers to label all products originating from Judea, Samaria, the Golan, and East Jerusalem. The regulations apply to the “occupied territories”, but include East Jerusalem and the Golan, which were annexed and are officially part of Israel. It is still unclear whether the regulations are legally binding or are just suggested guidelines.
The regulations state explicitly that those areas are not Israeli, saying, “”The Golan Heights, eastern Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria are occupied territories and are not considered part of Israel. Therefore, in order to avoid misleading consumers, please mark products from those places and make it clear where they came from – and refrain from indicating they were made in Israel.”
It is interesting to note that while claiming the regions are not part of Israel, the regulations refer to them by their Biblical names. Judah was one of Jacob’s sons named in the Bible, and the region named after him is his eternal inheritance. The name ‘Samaria’ is derived from the ancient city of Samaria, the capital of the Kingdom of Israel. In the Bible, Golan is mentioned as a city of refuge located in Bashan.
Jerusalem is, of course, the holiest city to the Jews, mentioned no less than 669 times in the Bible, and established as King David’s capital city and the site of both Jewish Temples.