Sunday, January 31, 2016

Obama Administration Orders Labeling of Israeli Goods

Memo directs ‘trade community’ to label Jewish goods

Adam Kredo

A memo issued earlier this month by the Obama administration directs the U.S. “trade community” and government partner agencies to explicitly label Israeli-made goods that have been produced in the West Bank.  The Jan. 23 directive states that it is “not acceptable” to label goods coming from Israeli companies in the West Bank and Gaza Strip as having been produced in “Israel.”

The order comes amid an effort by the European Union to label Israeli-made goods, a move the Israeli government called anti-Israel and that prominent anti-Semitism watchdog groups have condemned as among the worst incidents of anti-Semitism in 2015.  This is a shift from the administration’s previous position. A State Department spokesman told reporters in November that such labeling could be perceived as “a step on the way to a boycott” and said boycotts would be opposed by the administration.  But earlier this month, senior Obama administration officials defended the EU’s move and reaffirmed its position against “Israeli settlement activity.”...

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