Legislators from the European region in the Israel Allies network met in Prague for a policy summit discussing the labeling regulations and boycott movements proposed by the European Union (EU) against Israeli products and businesses.
Israel Allies Caucuses in the EU and the UK have already taken a stand against the labeling laws and in the case of the Netherlands, even passed a resolution against them. The new summit focused on strengthening and expanding the reactions towards this discriminatory policy.
Each of the attending legislators serve as Chairmen or members of the parliamentary Israel Allies Caucus in their country and have a faith-based connection with Israel. Ten countries were represented, including the Czech Republic, Portugal, Hungary, the UK, and Spain, among others. Speakers at the event include Member of Knesset Sharren Haskel (National Unity), Israel Allies Foundation (IAF) President Josh Reinstein, Lawfare Project Executive Director Brooke Goldstein, and Thinc. Director Andrew Tucker.
Chairman of the European Parliament Israel Allies Caucus Bert-Jan Ruissen highlighted the discriminatory nature of the regulations.
“The EU should withdraw the Interpretative Notice where goods from Jerusalem, Golan Heights, Judea, and Samaria are requested to be separately labeled to highlight that the products come from those areas. In my opinion, the Interpretative Notice is discriminative and based on anti-Zionist assumptions. Overall, the European Council policy on the status of 'the occupied territories,' the 'pre-1967 borders,' and settlements should change.”
The Knesset Christian Allies Caucus (KCAC) serves as a sister-caucus to the parliamentary Israel Allies Caucuses around the world. Co-Chair of the KCAC, MK Sharren Haskel will participate in the conference in order to convey Israel’s appreciation for the efforts of Christian politicians to combat antisemitism and encourage them in their efforts.
“After three years of not leaving Israel, I will travel to Prague together with my infant twins because their future is at risk of suffering from ever-increasing antisemitism. It is our Christian allies who are standing at the front lines of the boycott campaigns against Israel, serving as crucial voices of reason against these discriminatory policies,” said Haskel.
IAF Europe Executive Director Leo van Doesburg added, “Governments in Europe should firmly reject the EU labeling regulations for goods from the disputed areas. These rules are targeting areas belonging to the Jewish State and are focused on products from Jews living there, this is an assault on Israel’s sovereignty and has an antisemitic character.”
IAF President Dr. Josh Reinstein said, “Labeling products exclusively from the one and only Jewish State violates the internationally-accepted IHRA definition of anti-Semitism. Our allies are mobilized and prepared to fight against these racist regulations that single out Israel."
Following the conference, an official celebration is slated to be held in the Czech Senate in honor of Jerusalem Day in the presence of the Mayor of Prague Bohuslav Svoboda and Israeli Ambassador H.E Anna Azari. At the event, the IAF Europe parliamentarians will present a resolution to the Senate highlighting the importance of Jerusalem as the indivisible capital of the State of Israel and urging European countries to move their embassies there.
Chair of the Czech Republic Israel Allies Caucus Miloslav Janulik said, “This year's commemoration of Jerusalem Day is particularly significant because of its direct link to the Israel Allies Foundation Europe European Policy Summit. It will articulate not only the strategic importance of our relations with Israel but also our stance towards its capital, Jerusalem. I believe that this year, when the State of Israel is celebrating its 75th anniversary, we will see the Czech House of Representatives adopt a resolution calling on the Czech government to move our embassy to Jerusalem.”