on Tue May 15 14:13:23 2012, in response to EUEUEUEUEU Olog, posted by RockParkMan on Sat Nov 12 14:58:17 2011.
The antisemitism of the EU (and the lies) keeps getting sicker and sicker.
EU takes aim at Israeli settlement products
2012.05.15 @ 09:22BRUSSELS — EU foreign ministers have "warned" Israel that they will take a tougher approach to exports originating in illegal settlements on Palestinian land.
By Andrew Rettman
The ministers, in a statement on Monday (14 May) detailing Israel's long-term campaign to expropriate Palestinian farmers in the fertile West Bank, said: "The EU and its member states reaffirm their commitment to fully and effectively implement existing EU legislation and the bilateral arrangements applicable to settlement products."
Under current EU law, settlement products are excluded from preferential import tariffs granted in the 12-year-old EU-Israel association agreement.
Israel is obliged to indicate the originating postcode of each shipment, while member states' customs authorities cross-check the information against a list of settlement postcodes to see which tariffs apply.
According to Human Rights Watch's Jerusalem-based analyst Bill Van Esveld, Israeli authorities get around the rules by coding settlement products under the firms' corporate headquarters in Israel proper or by bundling them together with Israel-proper-origin goods. Meanwhile, the lack of clear product-origin labels makes it hard for European consumers to choose whether or not to buy the items.
"You can find white wine made in the Golan Heights in [leading] supermarkets in Belgium," Stuart Reigeluth, an activist with the Brussels-based NGO the Council for European Palestinian Relations, told EUobserver, referring to Syrian land annexed by Israel in 1981.
According to commission figures, the EU is Israel's number two import destination after the US, buying some €11.6 billion worth of Israeli goods each year. The statistics do not give a breakdown in terms of settler goods.
An EU diplomat told this website that the ministers' statement on imports "should be seen as a warning to Israel."
He noted that the "substantially tougher" language in the EU communique was prompted by acceleration in settlement activity last year, putting in danger the EU's preferred solution of a separate state for Palestinians alongside Israel.
He added that "the usual suspects" — referring to the Czech Republic, Italy and the Netherlands — were joined by Bulgaria and Romania in trying to water down the language at the last minute.
For his part, Irish foreign minister Eamon Gilmore told press after Monday's meeting in Brussels that Dublin might propose an outright import ban on settler products during its EU presidency in early 2013.
"I think we may have to look at the question of banning products from settlement areas into the EU. We have always resisted the idea of boycotts in relation to Israel. But I think a distinction has to be drawn here between Israel and the settlements," he said, according to the Irish Times.
EU ambassadors based in Ramallah have long advocated a boycott, as well as a visa ban on settler radicals, in internal EU reports. But their ideas never saw the light of day.
Monday's EU communique also reiterated EU support for Israeli security and castigated Palestinian militants for rocket attacks out of Gaza.
The Israeli foreign ministry, in a statement published the same day, said the EU criticism is "based on a partial, biased and one-sided depiction of realities on the ground." It added that "Israel is committed to the wellbeing of the Palestinian population."