Thursday, 25 April 2013 - 08:26
Settlement Products Sold in The Netherlands
More than thirty Dutch companies do business with Israeli companies based in the occupied Palestinian areas. This was disclosed in a report, which was made public on Wednesday, and which was investigated by peace and help organizations Cordaid, ICCO and IKV Pax Christi. According to the investigation, 18 Israeli companies located in the occupied areas sell their products to our country. The products are mainly fruits but also include wine, cosmetics and cut flowers. Some companies, like C1000, Jumbo and Kring Apotheken, sell the products in their stores under the label ‘Made in Israel’. This is a very sensitive subject in the House. The EU decided last year that Israeli products from the settlements in the occupied areas may not be sold under the label ‘Made in Israel’. When the Dutch government was studying how to implement this EU rule, part of the House was upset. At that time the SGP spoke about the 'bashing of Israel' and the ChristenUnie called it an 'unholy plan'. PVV, which receives a lot of donations from the Jewish community in the US, was naturally also upset about the plans of the government. Minister Frans Timmermans explained that the settlements were not part of Israel and so they may not use that label. He added it was a matter of consumer protection and not at all about a boycott. The four organizations, which ordered the investigation, asked the Dutch companies to no longer sell products from the settlements. They emphasized that they were not against products from Israel. “Making right labels is a good start, but in the end we should cut all the connections with these settlements,” according to the organizations. According to international law, these settlements are illegal. Last year, Israel exported goods in the value of 2.3 billion dollar to the Netherlands, according to the report. This makes the Netherlands the third biggest export partner of Israel within the EU.