TEL AVIV – Former Israeli ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren urged Israelis to “think twice” before buying French products in reprisal for Paris’ “shameful” decision to label Israeli goods manufactured in West Bank settlements.
“France is labeling Israeli products from Judea, Samaria, and the Golan. Israelis should think twice before buying French products,” Oren, who is Deputy Minister of Diplomacy, tweeted late Sunday night.
The new French regulation comes a year after the European Union issued guidelines to its member states recommending that settlement products be labelled as such. The French notification 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 term “Israeli settlement” should therefore be annexed to the wording in parenthesis.
The EU’s Israel delegation responded to Oren’s tweet, saying the labeling notification was an “application of EU consumer information regulations.”
Speaking to Breitbart Jerusalem, Oren slammed the EU for blatant anti-Semitism in ignoring other conflict regions.
“There are 200 territorial disputes in the world but the EU has chosen to single out Jews,” Oren said, adding that France’s decision in following the directive was “shameful.”
“Why don’t they label Turkish goods coming out of Cyprus? Or Chinese goods coming out of Tibet? The fact that [the EU] has chosen to mark Jewish products says it all,” he added.
In an apparent reference to Nazi-era Germany, Oren also said that labeling Jewish goods has a “very evil historical resonance” to it.
“Europe has a particular history of labeling Jewish goods. All of which leads me to say this is not just an anti-Israel measure, it is an anti-Semitic measure,” the former envoy said.
He added that the directive to mark Israeli goods emanating from the Golan Heights is nonsensical.
“If all that wasn’t sufficiently prejudicial, they’re also demanding that Jewish goods from the Golan Heights – where there is not a single Palestinian and neither is there a country called Syria with which we can change territory for peace – be labelled.”
“It is simply a gratuitous marking of Jewish goods,” he said.
Oren’s tweet provoked France’s ambassador-designate to Israel, Helene LeGal, to retort by asking the former ambassador whether he was “calling for boycotting French products when in France boycotting Israel is punished by law.”
In response, Oren told Breitbart Jerusalem, “Frankly if the French ambassador has a problem with that she should hang her head in shame.”
On Thursday, Israel’s Foreign Ministry condemned France for the measure.
“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.