Daily Israel Report

Europeans to Vote on Israeli Medical Imports

Europeans are to vote on whether to allow Israeli medical imports this week, or continue to support the Palestine Solidarity Campaign lobby.
By Chana Ya'ar
First Publish: 10/21/2012, 4:36 PM

Medicines (file)
Medicines (file)
Israel news photo: Flash 90

Europeans are to vote this week on whether to allow Israeli medical imports, or continue to support the Palestine Solidarity Campaign lobby. 

The vote by the European Parliament in Strasbourg is on the Agreement on Conformity Assessment and Acceptance  (ACAA) of industrial products between Israel and the EU. If approved, Israel will export to Europe thousands of euros' worth of life-saving medications at a much lower price, due to the ability of generic pharmaceutical firm Teva to produce them.

Israelis already reap those benefits at their local clinics and in hospitals around the country, where medical tourism is becoming increasingly attractive to international patients as medical costs rise around the world.

The EU and Israel actually completed talks on the ACAA in 2009, but a final signature on the agreement was held off due to lobbying by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC).

"It is disappointing for me as a Labor Party member to see that the European Parliamentary Labor Party (EPLP) and the Socialists and Democrats group (S&D) will vote against it,” wrote Tal Ofer in an op-ed published the October 19 online edition of the New York-based Algemeiner Journal.

A UK member of the European Jewish Parliament, Ofer noted that the EPLP “makes a political linkage to the claims of Arabs against Israel. This linkage is wrong and shows that sadly some politicians are more interested in political posturing than in the well-being and interests of their citizens.” He expressed his disappointment in seeing European politicians participating in the BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) campaign against Israel.

"The BDS has more of an anti-Israel agenda than a real will to help Palestinians,” he added, “and it definitely ignores the need for Europeans to have better access to new drugs and whether European governments will save hundreds of millions of euros.”