Harvesting olives used for making olive oil at the "Carma" farm near Mishor Adumim, Nov. 05, 2017. (Yaniv Nadav/Flash90) (Yaniv Nadav/Flash90)
settlement produce

“Norway considers the Israeli settlements in the occupied territories to be contrary to international law.”

By Pesach Benson, United with Israel

Norway announced on Friday that it is adopting a decision by the European Union’s Court of Justice requiring that Israeli agricultural products from Judea, Samaria, the Golan Heights or eastern Jerusalem be labeled as originating from those areas.

“Foodstuffs originating in areas occupied by Israel must be marked with the area from which the product comes, and that it comes from an Israeli settlement if that is the case, especially wine, olive oil, fruit, vegetables and potatoes,” said a statement issued by the Norwegian Foreign Ministry.

“Norway considers the Israeli settlements in the occupied territories to be contrary to international law,” the statement added.

Norway is not a member of the EU and therefore not bound by the Court of Justice’s ruling, which was issued in 2019. Of the 27 EU-member states, only France and Belgium currently require the labeling of settlement products.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry denounced Norway’s new consumer guidelines.

“This decision will not contribute to the advancement of Israeli-Palestinian ties and will adversely affect bilateral relations between Israel and Norway, as well as Norway’s relevance to promoting relations between Israel and the Palestinians,” the ministry said in a statement.

Israel annexed eastern Jerusalem in 1967 and the Golan in 1981, extending Israeli law to those areas captured in Six-Day War of 1967. Most of the world does not recognize those annexations.

Meanwhile, Haaretz reported that the Biden administration is may consider reversing the Trump administration’s policies on settlements. In 2019 the U.S. stopped characterizing settlements as “contrary to international law,” and Mike Pompeo became the first Secretary of State to officially visit settlements in Judea and Samaria.

In 2021, Norway’s sovereign wealth fund divested its holdings in two companies involved in developing settlements in Judea and Samaria. Weeks later, its largest pension fund dumped shares in Israeli and international businesses it claimed “risk complicity in international law violations in occupied Palestine.”

The Oslo City Council also banned municipal purchases of settlement products in 2019.

Norway has been governed by a minority center-left coalition led by Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre since October.

Støre tweeted on Nov. 19, 2019, “The occupation of Palestinian land remains in violation of international law. To ignore the occupation deepens the injustice against Palestinians and creates new problems for Israel: A democracy cannot keep millions of its inhabitants without democratic rights.”

In May, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency ruled that wines produced in Psagot and Shiloh, in Judea and Samaria, cannot be advertised as “products of Israel” without a qualifying language about their legal status as settlements. The wording of that ruling gave supporters of Israel and BDS reasons to claim success.