A widely circulated e-mail titled, “German Government says ‘Kauft nicht bei Juden!’ (Don't buy from Jews!)”, distorts the German government’s position in the debate within the European Union on the issue of product labels for goods produced in Israeli settlements.
The email includes an article by columnist Michael Freund, which states, “for any German government to stand up and declare: ‘Don’t buy from Jews,’ even if the proposal is limited to the Jews of Judea and Samaria, is downright chilling and should send a shiver down everyone’s spine.”
Under the EU-Israel Association Agreement, preferential tariff treatment is accorded only to goods produced within the Green Line, denoting the 1967 armistice lines. Goods from Israeli settlements are not banned from the EU, but are charged a higher import tariff. The EU has often reiterated its “commitment to ensure continued, full and effective implementation of existing European Union legislation and bilateral arrangements applicable to settlement products.”
The German government’s position is “it is permissible to label products with the ‘Made in Israel’ label only if those products are manufactured within the 1967 borders.” The European Union has also stated: “The European Union continues to oppose boycotts, including boycotts of settlement products.”
ADL has expressed concern that the EU labeling initiative applies only to products from Israeli settlements and not to imports from other areas involving territorial disputes that are acknowledged by the EU.