TEL AVIV – Israel slammed France over a new regulation issued Thursday urging French businesses to label goods manufactured in West Bank settlements, saying the country, which has a law against boycotts, was singling out Israel while ignoring 200 territorial disputes around the world.
“The Government of Israel condemns the French government decision to implement European Commission directives regarding Israel products originating beyond the Green Line,” a Foreign Ministry statement read.
“We are saddened that it is France – where there is a law against boycotts – that is moving forward with these steps that could be interpreted as giving support to radical elements and to the boycott movement against Israel,” the statement read.
The French regulation mandates that simply labeling the goods “made in the West Bank” or “made in the Golan Heights” is not sufficient and may “mislead” consumers, the Associated Press reported. For that reason, the term “Israeli settlement” should be annexed to the wording in parenthesis.
Israel’s Foreign Ministry condemned France for holding the Jewish state to a double standard, whereby hundreds of territorial conflicts, including ones happening “right on its doorstep,” were ignored.
In November 2015, the European Union issued guidelines to its member states recommending that settlement products be labelled as such, prompting Israel to suspend diplomatic relations with the EU on matters relating to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
A diplomatic source in Jerusalem on Thursday slammed the decision, suggesting that Paris was still sore over its botched attempt to organize a conference aimed at resuming the moribund peace process between Israel and the Palestinians.
According to Haaretz, the source said that “those who failed to convene an international summit are turning instead to a path of product labeling.”