An EU decision over wine could have a big impact on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Israeli human rights workers fear that if bottle-labelling rules are modified it will ‘normalise’ Israeli settlements and signal the further erosion of the chances for a two-state solution

Bel Trew
@beltrew

A volunteer carries grapes in an Israeli settlement vineyard in the West Bank ( Nir Elias/Reuters )

A battle over wine bottle labels in the European Union’s top court seems a world away from the decades-long Israel-Palestine conflict and likely not very relevant.
But on the 12 November, the supreme court in Luxembourg is expected to make a decision which could have serious repercussions here.

At the heart of the legal battle is medium-size winery and its vineyards located atop a hill within an Israeli settlement, which is illegal under international law and built over swathes of privately-owned Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank.

Psagot winery is pulling out all the stops to cancel EU regulations imposed in 2015, that require member states to specifically label products as coming from Israeli settlements in the West Bank, rather than being made in Israel proper.

Psagot’s wealthy Israeli owner Yaakov Berg, who moved to the West Bank from Russia when he was three years old, in an interview with The Independent claimed the EU rules are discriminatory against Israel, politicised and designed to encourage a boycott of his products and so the country. This is despite the fact that neither the EU nor the United Nations recognise Israeli settlements within the West Bank as being part of Israel.

Categories: The Muslim Times

1 reply

  1. clever, so that the billionaire owner of the wine yard gets even richer, he uses volunteers to collect the grapes…

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