Michael Oren Advocates Boycotting French Products

November 28, 2016

< 1 min read

Former Israeli ambassador to the UN Michael Oren has suggested that Israelis should boycott French products after France announced implementation of a labeling policy on goods from Judea, Samaria and the Golan.

In a tweet on Sunday night, the current Deputy Minister and Knesset member wrote that Israelis should “think twice” about buying French products. Stopping short of calling for an outright boycott, Oren nevertheless made clear that he considers the labeling initiative analogous to anti-Israel activities like those encouraged by the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

Oren’s tweet followed France’s decision, announced on Thursday, to put into effect guidelines issued by the European Union in November 2015 which would require manufacturers to label certain Israeli-made goods produced over the Green Line.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry responded to the announcement with a statement condemning measures that could be “interpreted as encouraging radical elements and the movement to boycott Israel.”

The EU’s original recommendation to label was slammed in Israel as hypocritical and unfair, a sentiment Israel repeated on Thursday, pointing out, “It is unfathomable and even disturbing that France has chosen to apply a double standard with regards to Israel by ignoring the other 200 territorial disputes around the world, including those right on France’s own doorstep.” Israel also argues that labeling will make it much easier for boycotters to target Israeli goods.

Israeli officials have said that France’s decision to enforce the EU guidelines, which are technically only a recommendation, is “revenge” for Israel’s strong objections to France’s plans to convene an international peace conference next month in hopes of forcibly pushing a peace framework on Israel.

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