(page 3 of 3)
In March, the Dutch government advised local supermarket chains to label any product from the territories lest customers be “misled.”
Last month, the European Commission, a body of the European Union, issued new guidelines prohibiting its organs from awarding grants or other incentives to institutions and other parties from settlements.
The EU also is pushing through new rules to ensure products from the settlements are labeled as such. Some goods already are labeled in British, Danish and Swiss supermarkets.
EU foreign policy chef Catherine Ashton said the new rules will be released sometime this year. Boycotts by major retailers, however, are very rare in Europe. One exception — a move last year by Britain’s fifth-largest chain store, the Co-operative Group, to boycott goods produced in the settlements — caused an uproar.
But Pieter van Oordt, an importer of Israeli products to Holland, says the supermarket affair ultimately may benefit Israel.
“I don’t know what made the supermarkets declare a boycott, but I think their retractions are a reaction to a strong sentiment of popular discontent and a lot of angry emails,” he said. “I expect they’ll think twice next time around.”