EU Court on Brink of Mandating Anti-Semitic Product Labeling

August 13, 2019
Pope Francis said recently that he was “concerned because we hear speeches that resemble those of Hitler in 1934.” He was talking about the rise of extreme nationalism and populism, which he feared could lead to the fragmentation of the European Union. The pope should be worried about any current resemblances in Europe to the Nazi past, but the pope’s praise of the European Union as an antidote is premature. Indeed, the European Union itself is on the verge of reviving the Nazis’ stigmatization of Jewish-made products on the pretext that they come from “occupied” Palestinian territories.
According to sources cited by the Washington Beacon, “The European Union is poised to mandate that Israeli products made in contested territories carry consumer warning labels,” which is seen by Jews as “an ominous warning sign that they say is reminiscent of Holocaust-era boycotts of Jewish businesses.” The Advocate General of the European Court of Justice recently issued a non-binding opinion to the effect that EU law requires the labeling of such products as coming from “settlements” and “Israeli colonies.” He analogized this situation to the European boycott of South African goods during its apartheid period. “The absence of the indication of the country of origin or place of provenance of a product originating in a territory occupied by Israel and, in any event, a settlement colony, might mislead the consumer as to the true country of origin or place of provenance of the food,” the Advocate General said, referring to food products. Israeli occupation and settlements could be “an objective factor which might affect the expectations of the reasonable consumer,” he added.
Brooke Goldstein, a human rights lawyer and executive director of the Lawfare Project who has fought the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement in various courts, remarked, “The Advocate General’s opinion said that goods produced by Muslims are to be labeled from ‘Palestine,’ and goods produced by Jews labeled as coming from ‘Israeli colonies.’ Both people are living in the same geographic location, and yet Jewish goods are being treated differently.”
Discrimination on the basis of religion is a transgression of basic human rights that violates Article 26 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
The EU Court of Justice’s 15 judge panel is expected to issue a binding ruling mirroring the Advocate General’s opinion. If it does so, the EU court would be handing the BDS movement a major win against Israeli Jews by codifying blatant discrimination against Israeli Jewish businesses.
Consider how differently the European Union treats Turkish settlements in northern Cyprus. There are currently about 115,000 Turkish settlers and 35,000 Turkish occupation troops in northern Cyprus according to the internationally recognized government of the Republic of Cyprus. Despite Turkey’s invasion and military occupation of northern Cyprus, and the forced dislocation of tens of thousands of Greek Cypriots from their homes as Turkish settlers moved in, the European Union has allocated funds to developing and restructuring the Turkish-occupied northern Cyprus’s infrastructure. Germany, Denmark, and other European Union member countries import Halloumi cheese, a major product from Cyprus that may soon receive a “Protected Designation of Origin” from the European Union covering Cyprus as a whole. There appears to be no initiative to require further labeling of Halloumi cheese produced by Turkish settlers in northern Cyprus as coming from “settlements” or “Turkish colonies.”
On April 1, 1933, a boycott of Jewish-owned businesses broke out across Germany as the SS stood in front of such businesses to inform the public that Jews were the proprietors. The word “Jude” was smeared on store windows and the Star of David image was painted on doors to serve as anti-Jewish labels. Discriminatory laws singling out Jews followed in succession, codifying Nazi anti-Semitism. The infamous Kristallnacht, the “Night of Broken Glass,” occurred on November 9, 1938, followed by the transfer of Jewish-owned businesses to so-called “Aryans.” Germany descended from there to the “Final Solution” of the Holocaust.
Germany officially professes to remember this dark time in its history with deep regret. Last May, Germany’s legislature declared the BDS movement to be “anti-Semitic” in a resolution co-sponsored by German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian-Democratic Union Party, the Social Democrats, the Green Party and the Free Democratic Party. The resolution stated that “all-encompassing calls for boycotts in their radical nature lead to the stigmatization of Israeli citizens and citizens of Jewish faith as a whole. This is unacceptable and worthy of the sharpest condemnation.”  The resolution added, “The BDS movement’s ‘Don’t Buy’ stickers on Israeli products inevitably awake associations with the Nazi slogan ‘Don’t Buy from Jews!’ and similar scrawls on facades and shop windows.”
At the same time, however, anti-Semitism is sadly on the rise in Germany as well as elsewhere in Europe. Reported cases of anti-Semitic crimes in Germany increased by nearly 20 percent last year. Attacks against German Jews have come from both right wing and Islamist extremists living in Germany. The spread of Islamist anti-Semitism in Germany has become an increasing problem in recent years as Muslim immigrants from the terrorist-prone Middle East swarmed into Germany. As the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported, for example, the annual al-Quds Day march in Berlin has become an occasion for participants to invoke anti-Semitic stereotypes linked to their gripes against the Jewish state of Israel and to call for the killing of Israelis. Last June, a witness testified during a murder trial that a Palestinian accused of killing a German man said he had done so because he thought his victim was a “rich Jew” whose people “destroyed my homeland.”
If the European Union Court of Justice follows its Advocate General’s recommendation, as expected, it will be seen as legitimizing anti-Semitism in Europe. The court will provide one more instrument of lawfare as a weapon of war for the Palestinians and their allies to use against Israeli Jews.
the article was published on Frontpage Mag

Additional Articles

Eastern Europe less affected by the coronavirus pandemic

One of the lessons so far from the coronavirus pandemic in Europe is that the eastern half of the continent is less affected than the western half.  
The combined death toll to date across more than a dozen eastern countries is less than the number of fatalities on any given recent day in Italy. The highest numbers of infections are in the Czech Republic and Poland, with around 4,500 cases in each country, still a fraction of the numbers in most western European countries.
Partly this could be down to lockdown measures introduced at an early stage in the outbreak. The Czech Republic imposed a strict lockdown three weeks ago, while at the same time Poland cancelled almost all flights in and out of the country. Polish authorities were also quick to close bars, restaurants, cinemas and schools. Police vehicles with mounted loudspeakers blare recorded messages urging people to stay at home.
‘’As far as I know there are no Jews among the people who died from the coronavirus in Poland,’’ said Edward Odener, a leading member of the TSKŻ Board, the Social and Cultural Association of Jews in Poland, in a zoom conversation with the European Jewish Association. ,
TSKZ is the most important organization representing the interests of the Jewish community of the country, with 16 branches and nearly 2,000 active members, out of some 5000 affiliated Jews in the country.
TSKŻ aims to organize and to promote cultural events and Jewish art exhibitions, to consolidate and preserve the cultural heritage of Polish Jews, the Jewish culture among Jews and Poles, Yiddish language courses and publishing projects. It is is very active to preserve the memory of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising and of the Shoah.
‘’Most of the elderly Jewish people prefer to rely on their relatives if they need help during this period and are quite reluctant to ask for outside help,’’ Odoner explained.
The Synagogues have volunteers to deliver basic packages of kosher products and matsot for Pessach to the homes of those who will request it. However, there are not so many requests and Odoner presumes that they have other concerns than to keep a strictly kosher Pessach holiday.
In the country, there is no shortage of masks since they started to produce them in Poland.  ‘’Everyone can buy online any quantity of masks, also reusable ones, at an affordable price and they got it the day after their order.
Poles are for the last three weeks in strict lockdown, and Poland closed its borders for non Polish citizens and for non permanent residents since three weeks, Odoner said as he explained the fact that the country was able to contain the coronavirus.
Odoner noted that he didn’t recorded any antisemitic incident blaming the Jews for the crisis like it happened in other countries in Europe.
The article was published on the EJP

Chelsea Football Club receives prestigious Jewish award for leading the way on combatting antisemitism

European Jewish Association’s King David Award gives recognition for “fearlessly and unambiguously taking the lead on the issue”, urge other clubs to follow Chelsea’s lead.
‘’Since our Club Owner Roman Abramovich initiated our ‘Say No To Antisemitism’ campaign in January 2018, we have been committed to working with Jewish organisations nationally and internationally to help stamp out antisemitism from our societies. We will continue to use our global platforms at Chelsea to say no to antisemitism and keep up the fight against this and all other forms of discrimination,”said Bruce Buck, Chairman of Chelsea FC who received the award on behalf of his club at Stamford bridge.

During Tuesday evening  Chelsea vs Juventus Champions League game at Stamford bridge, a delegation from the European Jewish Association presented the Association’s prestigious King David Award for 2021 to Bruce Buck, Chairman of the Chelsea Football Club.
The recognition comes as a result of Chelsea’s ‘’Say No to Antisemitism’’ campaign, funded by club owner Roman Abramovich, which was launched in 2018 to raise awareness of and educate players, staff, fans and the wider community about antisemitism. The long-term initiative forms part of the club’s on-going inclusion work, through the Chelsea Foundation’s Building Bridges campaign.
“We are honoured to be the latest recipients of the European Jewish Association’s King David Award,’’ said Bruce Buck who received the award on behalf of his club. ‘’Since our Club Owner Roman Abramovich initiated our ‘Say No To Antisemitism’ campaign in January 2018, we have been committed to working with Jewish organisations nationally and internationally to help stamp out antisemitism from our societies. We will continue to use our global platforms at Chelsea to say no to antisemitism and keep up the fight against this and all other forms of discrimination,” he added.
Rabbi Menachem Margolin, Chairman of the European Jewish Association said of the award, “Sport brings out the best in people, but sadly it can also bring out the worst. And some of the worst examples of antisemitism often manifest themselves on the football terraces, and in stadia around the world. Chelsea was, of course, no exception to this rule. Except, that unlike others, they decided to do something about it.’’
“It is truly inspiring to see not only the significant investment made in this effort, but the genuine commitment to listen, to act and to make a difference. From the ground up, from grassroots initiatives to a website visited by millions, Chelsea Football Club has led the way, a shining light and example not just for other football clubs to follow, but for everyone,’’ he said.
He added, ‘’Presenting them with this award, on behalf of the many communities across Europe that we represent is the least we can do to recognise this movement for change that they have started, this ultimate force for good that gives hope to Jews everywhere that the lessons of the Holocaust will never be forgotten, and that antisemitism will be called out wherever it manifests itself.’’
Rabbi Binyomin Jacobs, Chief Rabbi in the Netherlands and chairman of the EJA committee on combatting antisemitism, ‘’ underlined that ‘’the Chelsea model is one to be replicated everywhere, and we will let governments and organisations know about the great and important work you are doing here. King david is a Jewish hero.  Chelsea are now heroes to the Jewish community.’’
Lebanese businessman Abdallah Chatila, a recipient of the 2020 King David Award who made headlines worldwide when he bought 600,000 Euro worth of Nazi Memorabilia at an auction and donated it to Jewish organisations as an act of registering his disgust at the auction, and who since has supported many initiatives that combat antisemitism, added:
“Antisemitism targets Jews but infects society as a whole. Ignorance, hatred and xenophobia have no place in a world where borders are increasingly meaningless, where values are universal and where different identities are to be cherished. I am proud to be here tonight at Chelsea, to be a continuing link in a chain of those committed to combatting antisemitism. Chelsea Football Club have a huge reach. They could have opted for an easier route. Instead they decided to tackle the issue head-on. It is inspiring to see. And for others to follow and emulate.”
https://ejpress.org/chelsea-football-club-receives-prestigious-jewish-award-for-leading-the-way-on-combatting-antisemitism/

EJA chair, Rabbi Menachem Margolin words on the Holocaust Remembrance Day 2019 in Israel.

https://www.facebook.com/ejassociation/videos/2298590107072328/

Nechama Rivlin - ת.נ.צ.ב.ה

The European Jewish Association expresses its heartfelt condolences to Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin on the passing of his beloved wife Nechama. Like the President himself, Nechama represented a respected and unifying force for good in Israel, her patience, steady hand, compassion and love for her country was evident and exerted a huge and positive influence on her husband. It was a symbiotic patriotism that demonstrated the best of Israel.

We send him our love and thoughts at this difficult time.

ת.נ.צ.ב.ה

 

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