EU MP: Labeling decision 'a mistake'

Fulvio Martuscello, an EU Parliament member, admits mistake in labeling Jewish products from Judea, Samaria, and the Golan.

Hezki Baruch,

The European Parliament delegation at the Knesset Tuesday
The European Parliament delegation at the Knesset Tuesday
Knesset Spokesperson

The European Union's decision to label Jewish products from Judea, Samaria, and the Golan Heights as such was “a mistake,” said Fulvio Martuscello, Chair of the European Parliament's Delegation for relations with Israel.

On a visit to the Knesset Tuesday, Martuscello said that “Europe speaks very loudly when it comes to Israel, but is quiet on the 200 other (territorial) disputes around the world.”

A number of EU countries, he said, were reconsidering the decision. "They are wondering if this is the most efficient way of doing things, and are considering the negative developments that this can result in."

Martuscello, from Italy, was part of a European Parliament delegation that is on a visit to Israel, and on Tuesday the MPs met with Israeli MKs and government officials. Welcoming the delegation to Israel, Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein said that Israel understood the difficulty Europe was facing in light of the terror attacks in Paris last Friday.

We send our condolences to all of Europe,” said Edelstein. “We were all deeply shocked by the attack, and we must realize that when it comes to terror, all of us must fight it resolutely, not just with protests or by identifying with the victims. Europe must act quickly. Israel unfortunately has a great deal of experience in dealing with terror, and we would be happy to share our experience.”

Discussing the EU labeling decision, Edelstein said that it “made me feel deep personal suffering. The people most likely to be hurt by this are the Palestinian workers who work in Israeli factories. If factories have to close because of this decision, that will just increase Palestinian unemployment, along with increasing desperation – and from there it is a short path to terror.”

Most other members of the EU delegation agreed with Martuscello, said MP Mariana Petir from Croatia.

“The labeling is not a requirement. Each country can decide on its own how to implement the decision” to differentiate between products made or processed on either side of the 1949 armistice lines. “We will not impose a ban on Israeli products,” she added.


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