Interview
EU labeling 'the first stage in total boycott'

NGO Monitor researcher reveals EU move just the start of a layered plan, but Israelis can end discrimination - if they aren't indifferent.

Shimon Cohen,

(Illustration)
(Illustration)
Reuters

The research institute NGO Monitor sat down with Arutz Sheva on Wednesday to dissect the implications of the EU decision earlier in the day to label Jewish products from Judea, Samaria, eastern Jerusalem and the Golan Heights.

According to Itai Reuveni, a senior researcher at NGO Monitor's Israel Desk, the step is part of a well-planned European scheme to boycott all of Israel.

"Labeling the products is the first step," said Reuveni based on an analysis of the publications put out by those groups leading the boycott movement. He argued that the European lack of understanding that labeling is merely the first step shows either that they are naive, or that they think Israelis are naive.

Quoting the EU Ambassador to Israel who claimed the step is merely technical and not part of a general boycott, Reuveni told Arutz Sheva that "if he really means it, that contradicts the declarations of the organizations who advanced the labeling; these are organizations who receive European funding."

"Their goal is not technical labeling, but rather (it is) the first stage in a layered plan that ends with a general boycott on those who do business with Israel. To claim this is just labeling for transparency is a sin against reality. The labeling is meant to do something with it."

The researcher referenced the comments of organizations who call for a general boycott against Israel and who pressured Europe, revealing the stages in their plan, beginning with labeling products so as to boycott those coming from beyond the 1949 Armistice line, and then identifying companies with any sort of business connections over the Armistice line, followed by pulling all investments from Israel.

"They say it clearly," he remarked, noting that when he visited the European Parliament he saw on the tables of parliament members reports arguing the importance of boycotting Israel.

Why just Israel?

Reuveni pointed out that the labeling only targets Israel despite the fact that there are numerous other areas in the world with disputed territory that are not labeled or boycotted at all.

One example of the discrimination against Israel is Western Sahara, which Morocco is occupying while exporting a large amount of fish products to the EU.

Aside from Western Sahara, Reuveni brought up the example of northern Cyprus, Tibet and other locations classified as disputed territories, and where the Europeans continue business as usual with the nations in power without even raising the possibility of a boycott or labeling.

Turning his attention to Israel's official response to the discriminatory move, he said, "great efforts were made to push countries in the (European) Union not to join the labeling," but he noted that the Israeli public seems to be accepting the new labeling with a level of indifference.

Reuveni called on the Israeli public to express its anger at the EU with protests in front of the embassies of the boycotting European nations in Israel, and also to counter-boycott European products, to show that Israel is not prepared to acquiesce and accept the move.

The Europeans "are very sensitive to what the public in Israel thinks about them," said Reuveni, appraising that such protests would indeed have an affect.


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