JPOST: Israel Allies Foundation heading to Brussels to discuss EU relations

The Israel Allies Foundation (IAF) sent a delegation of their members to Brussels in order to convene at a conference organized by the European Christian Political Movement on a number of topics involving relations between Israel and the European Union.

The specified topics of the event will focus on improving trade relations between the two-state entities and examining the two-decade-old agreement that still stands today.

The vision for the conference is to present obstacles experienced with regard to relations between Israel and the EU and discuss opportunities to evade such barriers, bot politically and economically. The delegation hopes to explain that Israel is a valuable asset to the EU, considering it is one of the few democratic "strongholds" in the Middle East.

“Unfortunately, we witness the imposition of one-sided measures against Israel by the European Union. At our conference, we will try to foster a balanced and respectful approach towards Israel,” Event Chairman and IAF European Representative Leo Van Doesburg.

The conference will include two main seminars to spotlight the issues previously mentioned above, entitled “Trade Promotion between Israel and the EU: Opportunities and Challenges,” and “Formalizing the Collaboration between the EU and Israel; The Status Quo and the Future of the EU-Israel Association Agreement.”

The IAF hopes these seminars will shed light and open new doors between Israel and EU, in an attempt so show that Israel is an important partner to the EU, and the perceived aversion towards the Jewish State to hopefully dissipate in time.“

During these times of incredible hostility towards Israel stemming from the European Union, it is important to strengthen the relationship we have with Christian parliamentarians who are long-standing supporters of Israel, while working together with them to expose the antisemitic nature of the labeling laws on Jewish goods” said Knesset Christian Allies Caucus Director Josh Reinstein.

As of early November, Israeli goods produced over the pre-1967 line must be marked as settlement products, the European Union’s top court said Tuesday in a landmark ruling that mandates such labeling in all 28 EU member states for the first time.

The ruling will codify into law labeling of settler products, which had previously been only an advisory by the EU and was left to the individual purview of its member states.“

Foodstuffs originating in territories occupied by the State of Israel must bear the indication of their territory of origin, accompanied – where those foodstuffs come from a locality or a group of localities constituting an Israeli settlement within that territory – by the indication of that provenance,” the Court of Justice of the European Union said.

It clarified that the word “settlement” would now have to be included on consumer labels for Israeli goods produced in east Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, as well as the West Bank settlements.

Antoine Briand, a press officer for the court, explained to The Jerusalem Post that the ruling is binding and that action can be taken against countries that do not comply with the ruling.

Israel opposed such labeling, warning that it abets the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement and can be used as a tool to boycott Israel.

The judicial decision strengthens the legal argument in Europe against settlements, particularly the stance that settlements exemplify “population transfer,” something that is illegal under international humanitarian law.“

The EU's labeling rules impose a standard on Israel not applied anywhere else in the world. Whatever the EU thinks about the status of the territories, this is a discriminatory barrier to trade, that violates the rules of the World Trade Organization," said Professor Eugene Kontorovich.

Tovah Lazaroff contributed to this report.

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