An Advocate General of the European Union’s supreme court has declared that EU law requires Israeli-made products to be labeled as coming from “settlements” and “Israeli colonies.”
An advocate general of European Court of Justice is a “neutral legal advisor to the court” that helps the court make decisions. With the EU court’s 15 judge panel on the brink of issuing its own binding judgment in the case, the advocate general’s non-binding opinion may shape the court’s decision.
“The Advocate General’s opinion said that goods produced by Muslims are to be labeled from ‘Palestine,’ and goods produced by Jews labeled as coming from ‘Israeli colonies,’” said Brooke Goldstein, a human rights lawyer and executive director of the Lawfare Project said. “Both people are living in the same geographic location, and yet Jewish goods are being treated differently.”
The decision is being celebrated by radical supporters of the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement (BDS). The BDS movement is designed to inflict economic damage on Israel and its citizens.
Many have called the new EU opinion an ominous warning sign reminiscent of Holocaust-era boycotts of Jewish businesses.
The court case occurred after France passed a law mandating that products made in the West Bank of Israel be labeled as coming from an “Israeli colony.” France requires no such label be applied to any other products from anywhere in the world.
The Israeli winery Psagot filed a lawsuit claiming unlawful discrimination against Jewish companies, and the suit is now being heard in the EU high court.
“We are not the Israeli government,” said Yaakov Berg, CEO of the Psagot winery. “Psagot winery is not responsible for Israeli government policy. But because we are Jewish owners of a winery in a beautiful and hotly contested land, we are being targeted and punished. And we are being punished precisely because we are Jews living in Judea where we have every right to be, as do the Palestinian Arabs and Druze and the Christians.”
On Twitter, commenters shared their view of the new law.
“This is a ‘warning label’ to warn you against buying items made by a Jewish company as not every company in Israel is Jewish so they’re making a further distinction to help you discriminate,” said Kyle James.
Despite only representing one percent of the population in France, Jews are targeted by 40% of racially or religiously motivated violent acts.
On April 4, 2017, retired kindergarten professor Dr. Sarah Halimi, an Orthodox Jew, was murdered and thrown off her Paris balcony by Mali-born Kobili Traoré, who shouted “Allahu akbar” as he beat her to death. The murder opened the public conversation in France about the failure of the press to report on violent anti-Semitism in France, and the failure of the government to stop it.
Jews have been fleeing France because of the rise in anti-Semitic violence and the government’s refusal to take counter measures.
Last week, it was revealed the French government made an agreement after the 1982 Paris massacre in which six people were murdered and 22 injured at a kosher restaurant, that the terrorists would not be pursued in exchange for a promise to stop attacks on French soil.