The EU labelling guidelines and BDS – continuing the war against Israel by other means

Israel’s multi-front war – Via StandWithUs Twitter feed

In my earlier post on the EU’s settlements-labelling guidelines, I called it a boycott. However the EU, in reaction to criticism of its  which went into practice today, insist that it is not a boycott, but merely a technical issue, meant to assist people to “make the right choices”. (And if that doesn’t sound Orwellian I don’t know what does).

Via Honest Reporting, here is Reuters‘ story:

Two elements of the EU decision have particularly enraged Israeli officials. They see the measures as an effective boycott of Israel and say other cases of long-standing occupation, such as Morocco’s seizure of Western Sahara, are not treated in the same way.

The EU dismisses the suggestion of a boycott, pointing out that it is not telling consumers what not to buy. Those who do not want to buy Israeli settlement goods probably already avoid them, and those that support the settlements may now more actively seek out settlement produce.

But the truth is much more sinister. It turns out that this labelling initiative is indeed a boycott – or at least the prelude to one. And it is not only a preface to a boycott of the settlements, their products and their supporters, but it is the prelude to a total boycott of Israel altogether.

Gerald Steinberg of NGO Monitor expands on this in Israel Hayom in his article “the EU’s Immoral Move”: (emphases are mine):

The new product labeling guidelines published by the European Union on Wednesday will not bring down businesses in Judea and Samaria, the Golan Heights and east Jerusalem. These businesses may lose a few European customers, but the economic damage will not be significant. Britain has had such guidelines in place for several years already, with no visible economic consequences. So why did the Europeans do what they did, and why is it vital that Israel respond?

The move was a political and ideological one, part of a strategy crafted by several European officials, in collaboration with political NGOs, to impose the EU’s will on the Israeli public.

As part of its effort to dictate Israeli policies, the EU funds groups, often with one-sided political agendas, who involve themselves in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In exchange for EU funding, these groups produce “reports” and “analyses” related to human rights and international law that reflect the virulent biases of their leaders and employees. Via this funding, which is provided both directly and indirectly (through aid organizations), European governments enable the continued actions of the same BDS movement they officially oppose.

These groups, such as Christian Aid and the International Federation for Human Rights, engaged in a massive lobbying campaign to push the EU to label Israeli settlement products. This is part of a broader “stages” plan. In their eyes, the labeling of settlement products is the initial move toward a wider boycott of all entities that conduct activities in Judea and Samaria, the Golan Heights and east Jerusalem. The ultimate goal of these groups is a comprehensive boycott of Israel, regardless of its borders. 

Steinberg suggest several strategies that Israel can and must undertake in order to counter this boycott and nip it in the bud before it takes hold:

It took Israeli governments a long time to realized the EU’s strategy was mostly political, not economic, and to figure out an effective counterstrategy. As in any form of warfare, the counteroffensive must be multi-dimensional. Israel must mobilize allies in the EU — lawmakers, journalists and academics who oppose the cynical exploitation of human rights values. In the U.S., a bipartisan effort has been launched against the EU’s move, and this effort must be supported by Israel. International bodies, such as the World Trade Organization, can be used as platforms to exact a heavy price from the European officials and NGOs (including perhaps even fines on the EU) behind the immoral product labeling move.

Israel has already taken a first step and has not only condemned the move and summoned the EU Ambassador for a dressing-down, but has temporarily suspended all diplomatic dialogue  with the EU. This is nowhere near strong enough a reaction – Israel should halt entirely all diplomatic cooperation with the EU and deny them any role in “peace-making” or any other initiatives. They can’t be allowed to boycott us with one hand and hope to persuade us to give up more tangibles in exchange for a dubious peace agreement with the other.

A guest post by “The Judean People’s Front” at Israellycool echoes much of what Gerald Steinberg says, but also takes a deeper look at the people behind the labelling/boycott initiative, and – surprise! – it emanates from the BDS movement:

With the EU labeling products from Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria and boycotts already in the offing, it is important to look at where this idea came from in the first place.
It should come as no surprise that this idea comes from the BDS movement and one BDS-hole in particular: Fayyad Sbaihat, a former National Spokesman for the Palestine Solidarity Movement:

In the second article in the BDS Handbook that is distributed the BDS “activists” all over the US, Sbaihat explains exactly why BDS focuses on settlements first:

Divestment, which itself is one form of boycott against Israel and its apartheid regime, had been introduced in North America as [a] stepping stone towards a broad, comprehensive boycott of Israel… a limited demand of boycott was the necessary approachto… lay the foundation for the future comprehensive BDS call. (p. 9)

You read that correctly. The BDS movement admits to its activists that calls for a “targeted boycott of settlement products” is merely a strategic move that was necessary to “lay the foundation for the future comprehensive BDS call” against all of Israel! They don’t often say this to outsiders because this would mean they are actually advocating a boycott of the Jewish State and is not just against settlements.

But this is exactly what the BDS movement is all about. It isn’t about settlements or occupied territory, it is about Israel itself.

The post goes on to describe in detail how Sbaihat is an out-and-out antisemite, and concludes:

BDS Leader Fayyad Sbaihat, who literally wrote the book on BDS, not only admits that boycotts of settlements is just a strategy to warm people up to full blown boycotts of Israel, but he openly associates with unabashed Jew-haters like Shabazz and Muhammad and supports their views.

So the next time someone tries to tell you boycotts of the settlements are different than boycotts of Israel itself or that these new measures by the EU have no connection to anti-Semitism, you can tell them the truth and show them these for quick reference:

Here is PM Binyamin Netanyahu’s reaction to the EU’s labelling/boycott intiative:


And here are some reactions to the EU boycott from Twitte:

Hamas BDS

Interestingly, there was a nice #BDSFail in Munich of all places! :

And similarly to Kulanu MK Michael Oren’s labelling of EU goods in a supermarket, another Israeli supermarket has removed all European goods from its shelves:

The note reads: “Fairy brand products were taken off the shelf.” Alas, Fairy is made by Procter & Gamble in the UK, which plans to ignore the ban.

The supermarket, which made a big announcement: “Starting today, 11.11.15, all our products are blue and white,” is running a special, 20% off on all the products from Judea and Samaria. And while they were at it, they also pulled the Baracke Tahini brand, made by the Rushdie Food Industries Corporation from the Israeli Arab city of Umm al-Fahm, replacing it with the Har Bracha Tahini.

Umm al-Fahm, which has been part of the State of Israel since 1948, was one of the Arab enclaves that saw rioting and Molotov cocktail throwing over the past couple of months.

The supermarket owner is not religious, and does not live in Judea or Samaria. The initiative to remove the EU products came from an employee, who heard on the news about the EU Commission’s decision to label settlement goods and started to take down European products off the shelves. The owner asked him what he was doing and he explained, and so, in response, the owner ordered him to proceed with the removal of all the offending products.

Good for him! Though I would hope that as time goes on and more details are known, we might get to hear which – if any – EU states object to the labelling, and then their goods should not be boycotted.  See the picture caption above for example.

Given the hypocrisy and the proximity to the anniversary of Kristallnacht, it was obvious  people would make comparisons with the Nazi boycott of the Jews in the 1930s:

But more than that – let us not forget what else happened exactly 40 years ago this week. The UN passed its infamous Resolution 3379 defining Zionism as Racism:

Exactly 37 years after the infamous Kristallnacht anti-Jewish riots in Germany, which occurred on the evening of November 9, 1938, and marked the beginning of the Holocaust, the United Nations (UN) passed an anti-Semitic resolution against the Jewish state, affirming that Zionism is racism.The vote concluded with 72 in favor, 35 against and 32 abstentions.

Then-US Ambassador to the UN Daniel Patrick Moynihan stated, following the passing of the resolution: “The United States rises to declare before the General Assembly of the United Nations, and before the world, that it does not acknowledge, it will not abide by, it will never acquiesce in this infamous act…The lie is that Zionism is a form of racism. The overwhelmingly clear truth is that it is not.”

Israeli Ambassador to the UN Chaim Herzog lambastes the General Assembly on Resolution 3379 in 1975

In his remarks to the UN, then-Israeli Ambassador to the UN Chaim Herzog noted that the passing of the resolution coincided with the 37th anniversary of Kristallnacht (the Night of the Crystals).

Chaim Herzog addressed the UN in one of his most brilliant and evocative speeches – which fell on mostly deaf ears:

This was the night in 1938 when Hitler’s Nazi storm-troopers launched a coordinated attack on the Jewish community in Germany, burned the synagogues in all its cities and made bonfires in the streets of the Holy Books and the Scrolls of the Holy Law and Bible. It was the night when Jewish homes were attacked and heads of families taken away, many of them never to return. It was the night when the windows of all Jewish businesses and stores were smashed, covering the streets in the cities of Germany with a film of broken glass which dissolved into the millions of crystals which gave that night its name. It was the night which led eventually to the crematoria and the gas chambers, Auschwitz, Birkenau, Dachau, Buchenwald, Theresienstadt and others. It was the night which led to the most terrifying holocaust in the history of man,” Herzog stated.

“It is indeed befitting…that this debate, conceived in the desire to deflect the Middle East from its moves towards peace and born of a deep pervading feeling of anti-Semitism, should take place on the anniversary of this day,” he continued. “It is indeed befitting, Mr. President, that the United Nations, which began its life as an anti-Nazi alliance, should 30 years later find itself on its way to becoming the world center of anti-Semitism. Hitler would have felt at home on a number of occasions during the past year, listening to the proceedings in this forum, and above all to the proceedings during the debate on Zionism.”

Has anything changed in the intervening 40 years? Not at all. If anything things have become much worse for Israel and the civilized world. If, as Herzog said then that the UN had been ‘Dragged to its Lowest Point of Discredit’, what would he say now with brutal regimes like Saudi Arabia, Iran and others at the heads of human rights committees, UNESCO and other forums?

The BDS campaign and the European labelling initiative are but a continuation of the Zionism is Racism resolution, which itself was a continuation of the genocidal war against the Jews by other means.

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6 Responses to The EU labelling guidelines and BDS – continuing the war against Israel by other means

  1. Reality says:

    I sincerely open that the law labeling made in EU countries passes quickly here,with every store, supermarket or business being fined for not labeling.Think how many jobs this will create,aside from our own products being sold.
    I have to say I was extremely surprised and impressed that for once the EU ambassador was called in for a dressing down,and that Israeli diplomatic groups walked out of their forums.I think those sitting in the meetings got a shock.It’s disgusting that they can say”it’s for our own good”.
    As an aside ,however,tonite on Israel t.v. when being interviewed by a reporter regarding our new head of police,one of the interviewees stated that he’s a criminal as he used to live in a “settlement.”I was enraged!How can our own heads of committees make these outrageous statements? It just fuels all the BDS anti Semitic groups.

  2. ShimonZ says:

    I think it might be best to look at the problem from a universal perspective. For generations, we have been unpopular among the people of Europe. And if they were not actively persecuting us, they were usually more than willing to cooperate with those who did. We are famous for our exclusivity, and frown at intermarriage or cultural integration with other peoples. Any Jew in the world is welcome to join us, and the Gentile usually feels rejected. We don’t even try to convert them to Judaism. Our wine is not kosher if it has been handled by a non Jew, and often, even those who sell us neutral goods have to hire some Rabbi to okay the product as kosher, before we Jews will buy it. And of course, the Palestinians who live under our control are dissatisfied with their lot, and even if they didn’t lie, they could point out to a certain inequality in their position here, in the Jewish state. So if the righteous people of Europe decide not to buy our products in order to teach us morality, I say, let them. Better not to argue with them. Let us provide for out own needs, until they have need for us again. Let us be self sufficient, and not ask for any favors.

    • anneinpt says:

      I agree with you in principle Shimon, and it is a lovely thought that we would be able to be self-sufficient. In practice however this is very difficult. If this labelling descends into an outright boycott how many Israeli businesses will go bust? We live in a globalized economy, and we are too small to just make products for ourselves. It might – might – work with our agriculture, but with our other products, If we don’t sell our products abroad we won’t benefit from economies of scale and we won’t be able to afford to keep producing those products.

      Of course I’m talking about a worst-case scenario, but in today’s climate I don’t discount any possibility.

      Then again the Euros are too hypocritical to boycott the really good stuff coming out of Israel – the medical advances, the life-saving equipment and the technological ingenuity.

    • anneinpt says:

      I’ve just been reading the Times of Israel and came across this encouraging article, which explains how the Jordan Valley farmers don’t care about the labelling. It’s been going on for 8 years now!! I had no idea it had been going on for so long. So they abandoned Europe and simply found themselves new customers: Russia and the Asian market.

      Let the Euros go hungry.

  3. DP-PT says:

    You beat me to it with your last link! I was going to say that there are many markets out there in India, Japan, China, Russia etc, who simply don’t give a damn about this issue and have much to lose if a boycott precedent is established. We must remember two things: (1) Europe is a financial basket case, toast, and it is only a matter of time till the whole edifice collapses. Schengen (open borders) has already collapsed and as Greece, Spain, Portugal, Italy and France are bankrupt and just being kept afloat artificially it will all end very badly (for them!) soon. So it is a Good Thing that Israel moves its markets to greener pastures. (2) Europe is undergoing a massive and accelerated process of Islamification. Even ignoring the tsunami wave of immigration that they are undergoing right now, which their PC policies prevent from taking any effective action against, I noticed last night that for example the Norwegian national football team had 2 players with Arabic surnames. Norway!!!. And this is repeated all over Europe. These players grew up in Europe so the “infiltration” is entrenched at least 10 years already. An Arabic/Islamic Europe is already a fact, and there is no way that cordial relations between them and us are likely to continue much longer. So we have to disassociate from them and seek allies and partners elsewhere. The only satisfaction to be gained from all this is seeing some Divine retribution at work here. Christian Europe rid itself of its Jews, and is now being submerged by Muslims. Measure for Measure!

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