BDS activists (file)
BDS activists (file) Wikimedia Commons

Yesha Council Director-General Shiloh Adler spoke to Arutz Sheva on Monday about a stormy debate held in the Knesset Finance Committee earlier in the day, in which leftist and Arab MKs voiced support of the EU labeling of Jewish products.

While at this stage the EU move only involves labeling Jewish products from Judea, Samaria, eastern Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, Adler warned this is only the first step of a much more harmful process.

"We need to understand that the labeling of products is a step before a boycott (in those regions), and a step before a boycott on the (entire) state of Israel," said Adler.

He noted that he returned just last week from a visit to Europe as part of a Yesha delegation, where he met with European Parliament President Martin Schulz.

"The process that is occurring in Europe is awful. Last week my wife told me, 'don't fly to Belgium, it's dangerous there.' I live in Eli, in a neighborhood 300 meters from an Arab village, but in Brussels there are armored vehicles in the streets and a lockdown."

Adler pointed out the backwardness of the EU move, noting that computers in Europe won't work without Israeli technology, and that IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot was in Europe as well last week to provide consultation to the Europeans in combating the terror threat.

"The boycott won't harm Judea-Samaria"

The Yesha head spoke about the leftist MKs who claimed Judea and Samaria are harming Israel's standing, and recalled how in the Knesset Committee he responded to them by asking what they have to say about the Golan Heights - given that the EU is taking the same exact policy towards it.

Noting the Golan Heights were annexed and made fully part of Israel in a step not even up for debate in Israel, Adler said the point indicates how the Europeans view the Golan Heights and other places in the same way that they view Judea and Samaria, and therefore the same discriminatory boycott steps threaten the entire state.

He said that during his visit to Europe, he asked Schulz why the EU is targeting Judea and Samaria instead of the entire state of Israel if they view the regions targeted by the labeling as illegal, given that Israel views the presence of Jews in those areas as legal.

Indeed the 2012 Levy Report proved that Israel's presence is legal according to international law, although despite being commissioned by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, two consecutive governments led by him have yet to adopt the findings of the report.

Addressing how Israel has responded to the labeling, Adler praised the government, noting the EU was "insulted" when Netanyahu cut diplomatic ties with it over the labeling. 

He added that EU officials claimed they are "defending" Israel, but countered, "they aren't defending," calling on them to "recognize that we (in Israel) are your buffer zone," fighting the same struggle against radical Islam.

In conclusion, Adler said the labeling won't harm Jews in Judea and Samaria.

"The boycott doesn't harm the settlements, in Eli factories tell us that it's raising their sales. There is more and more demand to establish factories in the industrial regions."

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