This is a blog dedicated to a personal interpretation of political news of the day. I attempt to be as knowledgeable as possible before commenting and committing my thoughts to a day's communication.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Clearly Discriminatory

"The Israeli pushback is about trying to intimidate Europeans from not going further down this path."
The Israelis want this process to move as slowly as possible, because at a minimum it's a headache, and at a maximum, ultimately, it could be devastating."
Daniel Levy, Middle East director, European Council on Foreign Relations

"[The measure to label Israeli products sold to the EU made in the West Bank is] a technical issue, not a political stance."
EU Commission vice-president Valdis Dombrovskis

"[It is] puzzling and even irritating that the EU chooses to apply a double standard concerning Israel [while other territorial disputes around the world are given different treatment]."
"[The step] raises questions [about the EU's role in the region]."
"[The EU has taken an] exceptional and discriminatory step] reflective of the international anti-Israel boycott movement."
Israeli Foreign Ministry
Israel had strongly lobbied European countries and leaders, arguing against the labelling of Israeli products [Reuters]

It's official, after long consideration and a lot of agitating propaganda from the BDS crowd in support of the 'Palestinian issue', the 28-nation bloc has voted to label products produced in Jewish settlements in the West Bank so that prospective buyers know precisely what they are committing to and in so doing labelling themselves as morally unconscionable, according to the values of the European Union and its member states.

First it was Soda Stream, the fizzy drink maker with the cachet of popularity in the make-your-own category that was targeted, hounded and led the company to haul its production out of the West Bank and into Israel proper to preserve its business in 45 countries. And while this might have given great satisfaction to the boycotters and their Palestinian partners, it's questionable just how much of a roaring success this turned out to be, given the fact that about 500 Palestinians lost employment in a Palestinian economy short on employment.
sodastream west bank
SodaStream’s Soda Club factory in the Mishor Adumim industrial zone near the Jewish settlement of Maaleh Adumim in the occupied West Bank is to be moved to Levahim in Israel. Photograph: Sebastian Scheiner/AP

That is the way the politically correct cookie crumbles. And this random decision of the responsible European Union leadership comes at the very time when Israel has been forced to cope with a wave of violence wracking the country, seeing Jewish civilians attacked by Palestinians who have been fed a pablum of victimhood and hatred since infancy, to the point that when they reach their teen years they are well prepared to sacrifice themselves for the Palestinian 'cause', as blessed martyrs.

In so doing they are assured that the Palestinian Authority will see that their families are well compensated, that the names of those committing themselves to martyrdom will not be forgotten for streets and squares will be named in their honour and their courageous acts of 'resistance' will be cited as demonstrably honourable for the edification and incitement of future waves of attacks by other Palestinian youth, impressionable and passionate about what they have been patterned to do.

That the European Union supports the boycott of products made in the West Bank -- and of course, if manufacturers have ties to manufacturing in Israel, those too will be impacted by the same labelling curse -- serves as validation to the PA that their inciting tactics have succeeded, and to the protesting knife-wielding youth that what they have embarked upon has the complete approval and admiration of Europeans, prepared to support their unrest and disaffection in this manner.

The idea, to pressure Israel so that the Palestinians will have their sovereign state, more or less overlooks the fact that it takes two to tango. The PA has refused for a year and a half to take part in negotiations directly with Israel to achieve that sovereign state. It knows what it wants and it is not prepared to negotiate on any one else's terms, since Israel is expected to make concessions to please the Palestinian Authority, which has itself no obligations to surrender anything toward conciliation and cooperation in the greater interests of achieving their goal.

"This attempt to isolate us or differentiate us from the rest of Israel won't succeed", stated Avi Roeh, chairman of the Yesha settlers' council. Pointing out that the most obvious victims of the boycott would be the 80,000 Palestinians whose jobs will be placed at risk should those businesses that give them employment in the settlements falter as a result of this new isolating trade step. That the EU can state the move represents "a technical issue, not a political stance", represents staggering hypocrisy.

And then there is the larger issue of labelling altogether. Where, for example, Morocco is viewed as the occupying power in the Western Sahara -- and the Western Sahara is not the only territorial dispute somehow being overlooked, failing to prompt demands for European labeling. Goods produced in Chinese-ruled Tibet, Indian-controlled Kashmir and northern Cyprus, which is occupied by Turkey, appear puzzlingly not to merit special labels in Europe.
"You can apply any politically expedient definition you like. But as long as the European Union applies different standards to issues, instead of a uniform standard based on international law, it will not have any credibility when its representatives speak of facilitating peace and solidarity."
"When it comes to products from Palestine and Western Sahara, there is a clear double standard in the European Union’s behavior, and it’s eroding its credibility across the board."
Erik Hagen, Norwegian geographer and activist, former chair of Western Sahara Resource Watch

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