Yair Lapid
Yair LapidFlash 90

Yesh Atid chairman MK Yair Lapid on Thursday spoke to the European Union’s (EU) foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, and sharply criticized a call by 16 EU countries to label products from Judea and Samaria.

Lapid told Mogherini that calling for a boycott of Judea and Samaria is essentially a call for a de facto boycott of Israel.

“There is no difference between products manufactured beyond the Green Line and products manufactured within the Green Line,” he said, warning that the call for a boycott is irresponsible and has the potential to wreak havoc on the Israeli economy.

“This kind of a call is a stain on the European Union and Israel should fight to prevent this dangerous process,” said the former Finance Minister.

Haaretz reported earlier Thursday that the 16 countries - including Britain, France, Spain and Italy - had sent a letter to Mogherini telling her that it was now time to press ahead with the labeling plan, which was first mooted in 2012.

The letter was signed by Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz and drafted, according to Haaretz, by his Belgian counterpart Didier Reynders who also signed it.

Sweden, Malta, Ireland, Portugal, Slovenia, Croatia, Finland, Denmark, The Netherlands and Luxembourg were the other signatories.

In response, a senior Israeli diplomat told the EU "labeling products from Judea and Samaria is a yellow badge," referencing the "Jude" stars the Nazis forced Jews to wear during the Holocaust. Thursday was Holocaust Remembrance Day in Israel.

The letter said that continued Jewish presence in Israel's Biblical heartland "threatens the prospect of a just and final peace agreement," they claimed, adding that labeling would make it clear to consumers what they were buying as endorsed by EU leaders at a summit in 2012.

Despite the EU claims, the 2012 Levy Report proved proved conclusively that the Jewish presence in Judea and Samaria is legal according to international law. Despite the report being commissioned by Binyamin Netanyahu's government, it has yet to be adopted.