The European court of justice judicated on November 12th, 2019, that “Foodstuffs originating in the territories occupied by the state of Israel must bear the indication of their territory of origin.” The Czech-israeli Chamber of Commerce issued proclamation of disagreement with the judgement which follows:
Statement by the Czech-Israeli Mutual Chamber of Commerce on the European Court of Justice ruling concerning the obligation to label products from Judea and Samarian Area, East Jerusalem and Golan Heights
The Czech-Israeli Mutual Chamber of Commerce does not regard the ruling of the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg dated 12th November 2019 as a convincing legal, but regrettably a political decision, which in essence will significantly hamper both the businesses interests of the European Union and the Member States in the Middle East region, and indeed those of the State of Israel and of Palestinians themselves. By the virtue of interpreting consumer legislation, the decision expresses the political attitude of the EU relative to Jewish Settlements, and not the interest in consumer protection.
The relevant directive stipulates the obligation to mark the country of origin or place of make on the product. In the given case, the directive on the provision of information on food to the consumers should be interpreted so, that the information has to be stated on the products from Israeli settlements so as not to mislead the consumers.
It should be noted that this ruling has not come out of nowhere. It is obviously a direct result of a sustained and indiscriminating campaign by a movement calling for a boycott of the State of Israel, its citizens and products, which was denounced as anti-Semitist both by the German Federal Parliament and the Chamber of Deputies of the Parliament of the Czech Republic. Therefore, the impact of the ruling may not be evaluated just in economic terms, because its effects are much more serious.
As a matter of fact, it represents a continuation in the application of double standards towards the State of Israel and its citizens, which we have witnessed for a long time, and which is, contrarily to other states, repeatedly and incomparably more fiercely criticised and inappropriately sanctioned for the same practices.
In the time of an increasing race intolerance in Europe, one of the expression of which is an escalated anti-Israelism, this ruling is also an expression of misunderstanding of the Israeli-Palestinian dispute, which makes it impossible for Europe to play any role in its settlement. At the same time, it contributes to its further polarisation.
The Czech-Israeli Mutual Chamber of Commerce will welcome and actively support any initiative by the Czech Parliament or the Government that would lead to changes in the European legislation and in the attitude of EU authorities on the matter at hand.
Mr. Pavel Smutný, President of the Czech-Israeli Mutual Chamber of Commerce
Mr. Ondrej Bockay
Phone: +420 224 032 161
Czech-Israeli Mutual Chamber of Commerce