Wednesday, December 23, 2015
The EU's Anti-Israel Labeling Scheme Is Starting To Fall Apart
As I predicted, the EU's new diktat 'yellow starring' goods made or grown in Judea, Samaria, East Jerusalem and the Golan has suffered serious backlash.
Today, the Czech Republic joined Hungary, Germany and Greece in formally voicing criticism of the EU's diktat. Since the labeling procedure, size and format is not specified, there's little doubt in my mind that it will either be ignored or at best marginally complied with in these countries. The same is true of countries like non EU members Switzerland, Bulgaria,Albania (the last two have reasonably close ties to Israel)and the other Balkan states. EU countries like Poland, Romania, and Cyprus are unlikely to go along with it either for the same reason.
What all these countries have in common with the exception of Germany (and of course, Bulgaria and Albania) are small or non-existent Muslim populations they have no need to appease. Germany of course has historical reasons for feeling particularly uneasy about something like this, while warm relations between Bulgaria, Albania and the Jews are longstanding.
While EU foreign policy czar Federica Mogherini might claim that this move by the EU is merely "technical guidelines on the indication of origin, which is in no way a boycott," most Europeans know better, and so does Ms. Mogherini.
There are literally over a hundred territorial disputes in the world, some involving countries like India and China, some even involving EU members. But Israel and Israel alone is being singled out for this treatment. And the real meaning is quite clear. This is the EU picking sides in this struggle between Israel and the Arabs whom call themselves 'Palestinians' and they've chosen to side with the Arabs. These 'guidelines' are essentially the opening shots in an attempt by the EU to make economic war on Israel and to force Israel back to indefensible borders.
It will fail for a number of reasons.
Israel imports far more from the EU than it exports, and only a small percentage of the $14 billion trade between Israel and the EU is impacted by these new guidelines. A counter boycott of EU goods by Israel and its supporters worldwide would affect the EU a lot more than it would hurt Israel since almost nothing Israel imports from the EU is anything it can't produce domestically or obtain elsewhere.
For that matter, the EU has been threatening this for quite some time, and most Israeli producers whom grow any items with a shelf life in the areas mentioned cut back on imports to the EU along time ago. They're exporting to Russia, India, East Asia, Australia, Canada, the US, non-EU Europe, the Caucasus and yes, even the Arab world after repackaging. Expect that strategy to be mirrored in Europe, where a lot of countries will simply wink and ignore the labeling diktat.
The EU choosing to side with their murderous welfare recipients in Gaza and Mahmoud Abbas's little reichlet instead of a vibrant western democracy like Israel makes little sense considering the problems the EU already had to deal with.
This isn't going to end well for them.