Europe set to add warning labels on Israeli products

The European Union (EU) may soon place labels on products made in Israel’s disputed territories – a label that would not be added to any other products from around the world. Israel has said it was “surprised and even angered by the fact that the EU chooses to implement a double standard against Israel while ignoring 200 territorial disputes taking place today around the world, including within EU.” What is the future of this economic weaponry against the state of Israel?

This Israeli product labeling issue in the EU really started a few years ago. It just took this long to work its way through the courts, as the ruling was challenged then. Recently the Advocate General of the European Court of Justice recently issued a non-binding opinion arguing that EU law requires Israeli-made products to be labeled as coming from “settlements” and “Israeli colonies,” affirming the previous regulation. Economic weaponry against the state of Israel has a long history.

The origins of Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) started in 2005. Over 171 Palestinian unions and other civic groups issued a unified call for help to the international community, a call for BDS. It was a year after the separation wall had been ruled illegal by the UN, and Israel continued to violate this and countless other UN resolutions, Geneva conventions and other international laws without consequences or any sign of progress via diplomacy and political negotiations. Of course many disagree with this stance.

Is BDS working? Israel suffered decades of Arab boycott, starting at its birth in 1948. In a primary boycott, Arab states didn’t trade with Israel, making it an economic island. The legacy of the Arab boycott also left the Israeli economy adept at dealing with such boycotts. Some Israeli firms are well versed in using third-country subsidiaries to bypass boycotts. To date the BDS movement, though has made much noise, largely has not been effective.

Since the turn of the century, Antisemitism had been on the decline. But recently this is changing. According to a recent report by France’s National Human Rights Advisory Committee (CNCDH), in 2018 Antisemitic acts in France increased by more than 70% compared to the previous year. In Germany in 2018, Antisemitic crimes, which include hate speech, rose by 20%, according to government data. According to the same data, there were 62 violent Antisemitic attacks, compared to 37 in 2017. And in the UK, the Community Security Trust, a nongovernmental organization, recorded 1,652 Antisemitic incidents in 2018, including 123 involving violence. Regardless of your, our or the “correct” opinion (News Forecasters’ mandate), News Forecasters looks at what comes next?

Since about 2010 America has been going through a significant change in the political strategy of the left – Identity politics. In the past, Jews tended to be part of the political left due to their strong civil rights advocates of minority groups, potentially being a shield for Jews. American Jews tend to favor Democrat candidates, with 71% of Jewish voters choosing Democrat candidates and only 25% choosing Republicans since 1968. But a new definition of racial prejudice has been formed; prejudice plus power.

This ideology has been exported from the U.S. to much of the developed world. Jews had a high median income (Jews with $185,000 vs the $59,000 average), lose prominence as an effected minority – the shield is gone. The Muslim community rises in prominence because they tend to have lower median incomes ($42,158). Wealth is perceived to be power.

With this loss of minority protection under this new ideology means, Antisemitism will be on the rise. BDS activities and the associated political pressure that comes with this, will continue to rise against Israel. This will have geopolitical implication for Israel as well – the Middle East has historically been a region of constant conflict. What to do about this or any justifiable opinions (not your, our or the “correct” opinion) is not the purview of News Forecasters, we merely are forecasting what is likely to happen.

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