The European Union may start putting warning labels on products that come from Israel's disputed territories.
While not yet official, a non-binding opinion issued by the Advocate General to the EU states that products produced in contested areas around Israel should be labeled as coming from "settlements" or "Israeli colonies" to coincide with EU law.
The Washington Free Beacon reported this as a major win for the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel. Another stipulation, if this ruling were to be made official, would be that any products made by Muslims from these contested areas around Israel would be labeled as coming from Palestine.
The Free Beacon reports,
Pro-Israel activists, as well as the Jewish businesses involved in the legal dispute, see the decision as an ominous warning sign that they say is reminiscent of Holocaust-era boycotts of Jewish businesses.
With the EU court's 15 judge panel now poised to issue its own binding judgment in the case, legal experts are warning that a potential decision mandating such labeling could pave the way for goods from any disputed territory to receive such treatment. The decision also could trigger U.S. anti-boycott laws meant to stop Israeli-made goods from being singled out for unfair treatment on the international market.
The legal dispute first began after France passed a law mandating that products made in the West Bank territory of Israel be labeled as coming from an "Israeli colony," a label not applied to any other products across the globe. Following the French decision, the Israeli Psagot winery filed a lawsuit alleging unlawful discrimination against Jewish companies. That lawsuit eventually made its way to Europe's highest court, the European Court of Justice.
The Beacon reports that it is likely that the Court of Justice will agree with the Advocate General’s opinion and require imports that come from contested areas to have special labeling. This move has been criticized by some who say the entire BDS movement is just providing cover for anti-semitism. The U.S. State Department has also criticized this saying they oppose any action that singles out Israel.