News of European Union plans to announce labeling requirements for products made in Yehudah and Shomron has elicited a strong response from some Israeli officials.
Likud MK Miki Zohar introduced a bill in the Knesset on Thursday that calls for retailers to apply warning labels to products that are manufactured in countries that are calling for a boycott of Israel.
The “label for a label” law is meant to be taken seriously. Failure to comply would subject the offender to a six-month prison sentence or a fine exceeding NIS 14,000.
“The boycott groups in Europe are cynically using terms like ‘human rights’ and the war against ‘the Israeli occupation,’” Zohar said. “But their political agenda is to boycott all of Israel and to undermine the existence of Israel as a Jewish state.”
“This is hypocrisy and a moral double standard because these groups do not boycott countries in other regions of the world that are ‘under occupation,’” he said.
The new EU guidelines are expected to be published in the coming days. Intensive Israeli diplomatic efforts at the highest levels have failed to persuade the Europeans to cancel or delay the plan.
In addition, Minister of Science Technology and Space Ofir Akunis decided to retaliate with his own boycott of a joint event with the EU envoy to Israel Lars Faaborg-Andersen to protest the labeling policy, The Jerusalem Post reported.
“The labeling initiative is a dark stain on the moral fabric of Europe which bears witness to the fact that the lessons of history have not been learned,” he said, alluding to the Holocaust.
“What began with calls to boycott Jewish businesses, continued with the marking of human beings, and afterwards with their systematic destruction,” the Likud minister said.