Israel’s Foreign Ministry came out swinging Thursday after the European parliament passed a resolution that advocated a distinction between Israel and its West Bank settlements, and the labeling of settlement produce.
Lawmakers had called earlier in the day for the “differentiation between Israel and its activities in the occupied Palestinian Territory,” and encouraged EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini “to take the lead within the Commission with a view to completing the work on EU-wide guidelines on the labeling of Israeli settlement produce.”
The Foreign Ministry lashed out against the EU in a scathing response to the motion, saying, “The State of Israel takes the parliament’s decision seriously, in particular the call for labeling products. The process of labeling is discriminatory, and reeks of boycott.
“Under the guise of a technical procedure, it’s an attempt to force a diplomatic solution, instead of encouraging the Palestinians to return to negotiations,” a Foreign Ministry spokesperson said. “Europe treats Israel with sanctimonious hypocrisy, while it doesn’t raise the issue of similar solutions in Northern Cyprus and Western Sahara.”
Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu also weighed in, calling the EU parliament’s decision “unjust.”
“It is simply a distortion of justice and of logic and I think that it also hurts peace; it does not advance peace,” he said in a statement. “The root of the conflict is not the territories, and the root of the conflict is not the settlements. We have historical memory of what happened when Europe labelled Jewish products.” Read more at Times of Israel.