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Friday, February 26, 2010

EU court: Products manufactured by Israelis in Judea and Samaria aren't Israeli

Europe's highest court has ruled that products manufactured by Jewish-owned companies in Judea and Samaria are not 'made in Israel' and are therefore not entitled to the benefits of the free trade agreement between Israel and the European Union. The ruling was rendered as an advisory opinion in a case posed by an appeals court in Hamburg, Germany. The case involved Brita GmbH, which was importing sparkling water and fruit syrups from Soda Club Ltd., an Israeli company located in Mishor Adumim, which is next to Maaleh Adumim, a few minutes east of Jerusalem.
The court said the EU deal with Israel "applies to the territory of the State of Israel" and the Palestinian one to "the territories of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip."

Each of those two association agreements has its own territorial scope," it said, adding Israeli goods made in the West Bank cannot enjoy duty-free access to the vast EU market.

A source in the Foreign Ministry told Army Radio that the EU ruling "surprised no one," adding that "Israel regrets a decision which authorizes the persecution of Israeli products made in Judea and Samaria and a constitution of the European political campaign against the settlements."

But it is likely to stir Israel, whose military maintains control over the area, its Israeli settlements and Israeli companies there.

The latter can benefit from cheaper labor in the West Bank.

Many of the settlements there use Palestinian workers, who earn less than their counterparts in Israel.

But since Palestinians are largely barred from working in Israel and have few job opportunities in the Palestinian-controlled areas of the West Bank, jobs in settlement factories are sought after.
Jobs in 'settlement factories' also pay much better than jobs in 'Palestinian' factories, which means that if Israeli companies leave the industrial zones in Judea and Samaria, it's the 'Palestinians' who work for them who will once again lose out.

The Arabs seem to love cutting off their respective noses to spite their faces. One has to wonder why.


At 1:13 AM, Blogger Akiva said...

Does this mean according to the EU products produced in the Shomron/Yehuda should be labeled Palestine, and therefore be eligible to be re-exported from the EU to Arab and Islamic countries? Sounds like the EU just formalized the legality of Israel mislabeling to beat the Arab boycott.


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