Israel summoned European Union envoy Lars Faaborg-Andersen and announced it was suspending its dialogue with the EU over its move to label Israeli products, which hypocritically singles out the Jewish state.
Israel summoned the European Union’s (EU) ambassador to Israel on Wednesday to protest the EU’s decision to label Israeli products manufactured in Judea, Samaria and the Golan Heights, ostensibly in protest of Israel’s policies in these regions.
Lars Faaborg-Andersen, EU’s envoy to Israel, arrived at the foreign ministry on Wednesday night and heard Israel’s condemnation of the EU sanction on Israel, which Israel said was discriminating and reflected the double standard by which the EU treats Israel.
Likewise, Israel is suspending its diplomatic dialogue with the EU in protest of its move.
“During the meeting, Foreign Ministry representatives informed the ambassador that because of the recent EU decision, Israel is suspending its diplomatic dialogue with the EU in various forums in which it has meetings scheduled in the coming weeks,” the ministry stated.
The Ministry later clarified that the decision pertained mostly to Palestinian issues and the diplomatic process, but that bilateral dialogue on other issues, and specifically in the areas of science, education, culture and agriculture, would continue.
Earlier in the day, Faaborg-Andersen claimed that the EU’s decision was only “technical” and not a boycott.
“This is a small technical addition to something that has existed for a very long time, the trade facilitation between products coming from Israel proper, within its 1967 lines, and products coming from beyond the Green Line, but I want to emphasize strongly that this is not a boycott,” he told reporters.
Aviv Shiron, the Foreign Ministry’s deputy director general responsible for European relations, said that the EU move is, in fact, a boycott on Israel and a victory for anti-Israel elements.
“The EU says this is not a boycott? The BDS (Boycott, Sanction, Divest) movement is applauding today, so this may ultimately be a boycott. There is no doubt that this will serve as a tailwind for the movement, definitely in Europe,” he told Israel’s IDF Radio. “This move definitely does not advance the peace process,” he added.
Director General of Israel’s Foreign Ministry Dore Gold called the EU decision a “terrible mistake” and a discriminating policy against Israel. “There is knife terror, wild incitement by the Palestinian Authority (PA) – and what happens? They act against Israel.”
Responding to the EU’s controversial decision, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pointed out the hypocrisy in the move and said the EU should be ashamed of itself.
“The labeling of products of the Jewish state by the European Union brings back dark memories. Europe should be ashamed of itself. It took an immoral decision. Of the hundreds of territorial conflicts around the world, it chose to single out Israel and Israel alone, while it’s fighting with its back against the wall against the wave of terror. The European Union is not going to hurt the Israeli economy. It’s strong enough to weather this, but it’s the Palestinian workers in Israeli enterprises in Judea and Samaria that will be hurt. This will not advance peace; it will certainly not advance truth and justice. It’s wrong. Europe should be ashamed of itself.”
By: Max Gelber, United with Israel
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