Feb 14, 2011

#BDS: What is Opinion of EU Diplomats on Boycott of Israeli Products from OPT?

"On 11 January 2011 the international media reported on a confidential report by European diplomatic representatives in the Middle East indicating serious concern about Israeli occupation policy in East Jerusalem. The EU diplomats say that Israel is actively pursuing its annexation by systematically undermining the Palestinian presence in Jerusalem. This is being done, inter alia, by refusing building permits for Palestinian constructions and favouring Israeli projects. The recent demolition of the Shepherd Hotel in an Arab district, which was condemned by Catherine Ashton, is another example of this policy.

The aim of Israel’s policy is to exclusively emphasise the Jewish identity of the city. According to the EU diplomats, this makes the prospect of East Jerusalem becoming the future capital of an independent Palestinian State increasingly unlikely, endangering the chances of a sustainable peace. They advocate ‘a more active and visible implementation’ of EU policy on East Jerusalem. The EU diplomats also then call for some significant new measures. For example, the EU should ensure that no products are imported into the EU from Jewish settlements in East Jerusalem and other occupied territories. In order to raise public awareness, it is suggested that labels be used to indicate Israeli products from the occupied territories. Ministers from EU Member States visiting Jerusalem should also decline the offer of Israeli security or protocol services. Guidelines should also be issued to European tour operators that they do not do business with tourist companies that have links with pro-settler organisations. EU diplomats should, finally, be more active in monitoring the demolition of Palestinian buildings and the eviction of Palestinian families."
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