|Wed Nov 11, 2015 7:09 pm Seventy Years After the Holocaust, Why Is Europe Again Labeling Jews? - By Michael Freund
|Seventy Years After the Holocaust, Why Is Europe Again Labeling Jews?
By Michael Freund
November 10, 2015
For the past several weeks, hardly a day has gone by without a barrage of Palestinian terror attacks against innocent Israelis.
Fueled by ceaseless incitement orchestrated by senior Palestinian officials, terrorists have taken up knives, guns and stones in an effort to terrify and intimidate the Jewish state and instill fear among its residents.
This is a clear-cut case of good versus evil, of a democratic society under siege by barbaric forces who attack men, women and children simply because they are Jews.
In the face of this violent onslaught, the nations of Europe should have been rallying around Israel and showing their support, as the only democracy in the Middle East confronts a new wave of hatred and hurt.
But rather than backing the Jewish state, the European Union has shamefully decided to stand with the terrorists by turning up diplomatic pressure on Jerusalem.
Indeed, in the coming weeks, the European Commission will reportedly publish guidelines aimed at singling out Jewish-owned businesses in Judea and Samaria by requiring that they bear special labels of origin.
Needless to say, goods made by Palestinian-run plants in the territories would not similarly be branded.
If that's not discrimination, what is?
The hypocrisy behind the European decision is all the more apparent when one considers that no such campaigns are being contemplated for other "disputed territories."
Hence, there is no European demand to label Chinese products made in Tibet, Russian items manufactured in Chechnya or Spanish goods from Catalonia. It seems that only when matters involve Jews do European liberals insist on such measures.
This is not merely duplicity; it is anti-Semitic bigotry, pure and simple.
And in the case of Europe, such a position is nothing less than morally obscene.
We all remember what happened when Jews were singled out in Europe in the 1930s, and how the labeling of Jewish businesses quickly devolved into discrimination, delegitimization and, ultimately, destruction.
Has the E.U. failed to learn the lessons of recent history? Just 70 years after the end of the Holocaust, can they really be so insensitive and obtuse?
Moreover, by moving forward with such a dubious plan at a time when Palestinian terrorism against Israel continues unabated, Europe is essentially providing encouragement to those who perpetrate violence.
Consider the following. As of this writing, according to the latest statistics compiled by the IDF, there have been a total of 61 stabbings, seven shootings and eight car-ramming attacks carried out by Palestinian terrorists since October 1.
As a result, 11 Israelis have been murdered and 153 injured, including 18 people who were seriously wounded.
The aim of the terrorists is first and foremost to kill and maim Jews. But they also seek to compel Israel to make dangerous concessions and forgo control over Judea and Samaria.
The European labeling program plays directly into the terrorists' hands by advancing their objective, and the message it sends to the Palestinians is crystal clear. Instead of punishing them for resorting to violence, it actually serves to encourage further assaults.
In fact, the issue of European labeling of Israeli products from Judea and Samaria is so blatantly unfair that it has succeeded in uniting various parties from across the Israeli political spectrum.
Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely of the Likud strongly denounced the plan, saying that, "Our concern is that once you put a label on Judea and Samaria, you put a label on Israel."
"We see it as a boycott of Israel for all intents and purposes," she said, adding that, "we view it as a slippery slope. It's simply a sweeping disqualification of Israel."
And MK Michael Oren of the Kulanu party, who previously served as Israeli ambassador to Washington, was even blunter, asserting that "The EU decision to label Israeli products is anti-Semitic."
"There are dozens of border disputes and 'occupations' in the world, but the EU decided to single out Israel," he noted, adding, "They are not labeling products from China, India or Turkey — only Israel."
Even Israeli opposition leader Isaac Herzog of the Zionist Union came out sharply against the European proposal, arguing that it "won't contribute to the end of the conflict and will only inflict serious economic harm on tens of thousands of Palestinians whose work in factories in Judea and Samaria enables them to support their families."
The European plan to label Israeli products from Judea and Samaria cannot be allowed to stand, and we must all raise our voices in protest against this repugnant scheme.
In 1945, the Jewish people crawled out of the ovens of Europe and succeeded in returning to our ancestral homeland.
No human power, and certainly not Europe, has the right to tell Jews where they can or cannot live. Especially in the Land of Israel.
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