Dutch wine shop fined thousands of Euros for not putting the word “settlement” on a wine bottle

The Jewish News:

Dutch government inspectors fined a store for labelling wine made in an Israeli settlement as “a product from an Israeli village in Judea and Samaria.”

The Israel Products Center near Amsterdam received the $2,514 fine last week following its refusal to replace the label with one acceptable to the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority, which requires such labels read “Product from the West Bank (Israeli settlement).”

The Israel Products Center, a shop and importer run by the pro-Israel group Christians for Israel, has had legal problems over labelling since 2019. The center’s director, Pieter van Oordt, wrote in a statement that he was “shocked” by the government’s actions, which he said were discriminatory.

At least four Dutch political parties have accused the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority of singling out Israeli products and ignoring controversial labels on products from other disputed areas, including Western Sahara and Northern Cyprus.

Medical Care Minister Tamara van Ark has rejected the claim, saying last year that the policy of enforcing EU regulations on labels is being applied across the board. However, the Center for Information on Documentation on Israel, a Jewish community watchdog, said Wednesday that it had no information on any action taken on country-of-origins labels on products that were not made by Israelis. If you examine the actual EU regulations, you can see that it is political and inconsistent (autotranslated):

Since the Golan Heights and the West Bank (including East Jerusalem)  are not part of Israeli territory under international law, the statement ‘product from Israel’   is considered incorrect under the said legislation. and considered misleading.If the indication of origin is mandatory, another expression must be used, taking into account the way in which these areas are usually known.For non-settlement products from Palestine, a possible indication that is not misleading as to geographic origin and in line with international practice is’ West Bank product (Palestinian product) ‘  ‘ product from Gaza ”or “product from Palestine ”.

For products originating from settlements in the West Bank or the Golan Heights, indications limited to ‘Golan Heights product’ or ‘West Bank product’ are not sufficient. Even if the larger area or territory from which the product originates is stated, omitting the additional geographic information that the product originates from Israeli settlements would mislead the consumer as to the true origin of the product. In such cases, the expression “Israeli settlement” or equivalent should be added, for example, in parentheses. Thus expressions such as ‘Golan Heights product (Israeli settlement)’ or ‘West Bank product (Israeli settlement)’ could be used.

According to the regulations, one must be accurate in saying where the products come from. There is no nation called “Palestine” – yet Palestinian products may say that, instead of “Palestinian territories.” The areas where Jews live in the territories could be very accurately described as “Judea and Samaria,” which is what even the UN called it before Jordan’s illegal annexation of the territory. But instead, the Dutch regulations insist on a pejorative term, “Israeli  settlement,” whose only purpose is to help people boycott the products. 

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