Europe NGO's Say Trade Boosts Israel Occupation

Groups Protest $300M in Imports From Jewish Settlements

By JTA

Published October 30, 2012.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Twenty-two European non-governmental organizations have accused the European Union of aiding Israeli settlements by trading with them.

The accusation came in a letter sent on Monday undersigned by the NGOs and by Hans van den Broek, a former European Union foreign policy chief and ex-Dutch foreign minister, AFP reported.

The E.U. currently imports $300 million of goods a year from Israeli settlements even though it views them as “illegal under international law,” according to World Bank figures.

With some four million Palestinians and 500,000 Israeli settlers living in the West Bank, this means the E.U. imports over 100 times more per settler than per Palestinian, said the report, titled “Trading Away Peace: How Europe Helps Sustain Illegal Israeli Settlements.”

Among the cosignatory NGOs are the International Federation for Human Rights, Christian Aid UK and Ireland, and Diakonia.

On Oct 25, U.N. Special Rapporteur Richard Falk called on the member nations of the General Assembly to boycott companies that do business with Israel.

In the NGO report, van den Broek wrote it was urgent to agree on “concrete measures” to contain settlement construction, which he said was the main factor blocking the resumption of the peace process.

“If Europe wants to preserve the two-state solution, it must act without delay and take the lead,” he said of the recommendations listed in the 36-page report.

Settlement goods on sale in Europe, many from the potential breadbasket Jordan Valley, include dates, grapes, citrus fruits, herbs, wines, Ahava cosmetics, plastic Keter garden chairs and SodaStream carbonated drink products popular in Sweden.

Britain and Denmark have demanded goods be labeled “West Bank – Israeli settlement produce” or “Palestinian produce” in supermarkets.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • What's it like to be Chagall's granddaughter?
  • Is pot kosher for Passover. The rabbis say no, especially for Ashkenazi Jews. And it doesn't matter if its the unofficial Pot Day of April 20.
  • A Ukrainian rabbi says he thinks the leaflets ordering Jews in restive Donetsk to 'register' were a hoax. But the disturbing story still won't die.
  • Some snacks to help you get through the second half of Passover.
  • You wouldn't think that a Soviet-Jewish immigrant would find much in common with Gabriel Garcia Marquez. But the famed novelist once helped one man find his first love. http://jd.fo/f3JiS
  • Can you relate?
  • The Forverts' "Bintel Brief" advice column ran for more than 65 years. Now it's getting a second life — as a cartoon.
  • Half of this Hillel's members believe Jesus was the Messiah.
  • Vinyl isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Israeli photographer Eilan Paz documents the most astonishing record collections from around the world:http://jd.fo/g3IyM
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • "It’s the smell that hits me first — musty, almost sweet, emanating from the green felt that cradles each piece of silver cutlery in its own place." Only one week left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • Mazel tov to Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky!
  • If it's true, it's pretty terrifying news.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.