Why Is the EU Stigmatizing Israel?

(Politico) David Walzer - Many Israelis look in utter astonishment at EU plans to compel European importers and retailers to brand Israeli products from the settlements with newly minted, Israel-specific consumer labeling. And it seems these labels would apply only to Israel, not to other countries or territories embroiled in territorial disputes. Israel is an ally for Europe in the Middle East. We share the same humanist aspirations for our countries. But the labeling of Israeli products will not contribute to advancing the Middle East peace process. We are being told the economic impact of such labeling should be small. But it stings that we are being singled out for special treatment. This is a political step with the distinctly political message that Israel is to be blamed and punished for the stagnation of the peace process. In Israel it is hard to explain how this could conceivably help kick-start peace talks. Nor does it appear to be a timely message. The Middle East is ablaze, with wars raging in Syria, Iraq, Libya and Yemen. And in these times the EU sees fit to slap quasi-sanctions on Israel, the only state in the region whose constitution embraces and defends Europe's own values. The writer is Israel's Ambassador to the EU and NATO.

2015-11-05 00:00:00

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