Former US President Jimmy Carter has once again expressed his blatantly anti-Israel allegiances by calling on the European Union to “introduce proper labeling of goods produced on illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank.”
Carter was in Dublin together with former Irish president Mary Robinson and former Brazilian president Fernando Henrique Cardoso for talks with Irish Foreign Affairs Minister Eamon Gilmore and diplomats from some 20 European countries on revitalizing the peace process in the Middle East.
“With the Middle East peace process making no significant progress, we call on Europe to play a stronger and more independent role in revitalizing peace efforts, with a fresh approach,” Carter said, according to the European Jewish Press (EJP).
“The EU has repeatedly condemned settlement expansion in the West Bank. It could therefore introduce a clear labeling of products made in Israeli settlements, which are illegal under international law,” he added.
Ireland currently holds the rotating EU presidency until end of June.
Robinson claimed the move was not “anti- Israel,” but rather “a concrete step, supported by many of our Israeli friends, to revive the hope of a future state of Palestine and safeguard the two-state solution before it is too late,” EJP reported.
She noted that several European countries have already introduced such labeling systems.
“People throughout Europe, in their capacity as consumers, have the power to reignite hope in the Middle East,” she said. “As Israel’s largest trading partner, the EU could send a strong signal by introducing clear, EU-wide labeling guidelines.”
Irish Foreign Minister Eamon Gilmore said Ireland would strongly support a European initiative to label Israeli settlements products “to give consumers the choice of whether they want to buy them.”
In Israel, exporters have suggested adding how many Palestinian Arab workers are employed in the plants producing the goods sent to EU countries. It is a little known fact ithat Israeli manufacturers provide thousands of PA residents with the way to support their families, given the rampant unemployment in the PA.
Carter said he was “very encouraged” by the response of the European diplomats at the meeting.
“They all said they were very eager to demonstrate to the world that the 1967 borders were intact, and were almost sacred, and that any intrusion by Israel into Palestine to build settlements was illegal,” he said, according to EJP.