Holland recommends special labels for ‘settlement’ products

THE HAGUE (JTA) — The Dutch government has advised business owners to refrain from labeling products from the Golan Heights, West Bank and eastern Jerusalem as made in Israel.

In a circular written by the Dutch Foreign Ministry and published on Wednesday on the website of the Ministry of Economic Affairs, stores are advised but not required to replace “Made in Israel” labels with a label reading “Product from Israeli settlement (West Bank/Golan Height /East Jerusalem).”

This applies to products that require a label, such as fresh vegetables, fruit, wine, honey, olive oil, fish, beef, poultry, eggs and cosmetics products, the notice said. The recommendation is in line with guidelines published in 2012 after a meeting by EU foreign ministers that said that "the European Union and its members are obligated to fully and effectively implement existing EU legislation and agreements with Israel regarding products from the settlements."

The notice also said that labeling products from areas beyond the Green Line (the West Bank) as made in Israel would be “misleading,” as international law does not recognize those areas as being part of Israel.

The governments of Ireland, Denmark and the U.K. have also stated their support for labeling settlements products.

Israel annexed eastern Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, both areas captured in the 1967 Six-Day War, and does not consider those areas settlements. The final status of the West Bank, also captured during the ’67 war, has yet to be determined.

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