8 thoughts on “U.S. Customs Regulations: All Settlement Products to Be Labeled “Made in West Bank” – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. If the stuff was produced in Israel or in the West Bank, it can’t be called “Riesling” anyway. It has to come from Alsace.

  2. Would;d there be a means to distinguish products from the settlements from those of the (still) Palestinian part of the West Bank? I understand that the original intention of this legislation in the ’90s was to help the Palestinian economy. That should;d still be a worthwhile aim. And when more c countries recognise a Palestinian state the labelling could be modified in accordance with this. Btw, apparently France is considering recognising the Palestinian State if efforts to take the parties back to the negotiation table fail:

    “Mr Fabius has previously called for an international support group comprising Arab states, the European Union and UN Security Council members that would essentially force the two sides to compromise.
    Paris would begin preparing in the “coming weeks” an international conference bringing together the parties and their main partners, American, European and Arab, he said.
    If this last attempt at finding a solution hits a wall, “well … in this case, we need to face our responsibilities by recognising the Palestinian state”, he said.
    A French diplomatic source said the aim was to launch the conference before the summer and that it would not be accompanied by a UN Security Council resolution, which would inevitably fail.”

    The Age, Australia 1/30/16

    Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/world/france-to-recognise-palestinian-state-unless-deadlock-with-israel-broken-20160129-gmhjpy.html#ixzz3yjBYBPm4
    Follow us: @theage on Twitter | theageAustralia on Facebook

  3. Perhaps I’ m really dense, but this article makes no sense to me. Nobody can seriously hail the recent REMINDER by the Customs Office of a provision dating back to 1995 as ‘ Obama’s ‘taking a leap’ against the illegal settlements. The law has
    been there all along, only .. . . it just was not enforced. Duh.

    What I find especially hilarious is the fact that, after signing into law a provision passed by Congress last year outlawing American firms’ participation in foreign countries boycotts against’ products of Israel’, he shortly thereafter announced that this provision runs counter to US’ policy, as it conflates Israel with the occupied territories. WTF!? Why did he sign it then? It’s even funnier to read on that ‘this provision will not be enforced during his administration’. Well, that certainly is comforting, Except his administration hasn’t much longer to go.
    So, where is the big leap? I don’t get it.

    Something else has gotten my attention this week, very much related to this topic. In a January 26 op-ed in the NYT
    titled : ‘When “Made in Israel” is a human rights abuse’, the author, Eyal Press, claims that a new provision, added to a larger piece of legislation (known as Customs Bill) which has passed the House and will likely pass the Senate, will extend the current law against boycotting products of Israel to include products from ‘Israel-controlled territories’. Also known as settlements. If this is true – and Obama signs it into law – it will be illegal to boycott ALL products originating from the region, and labelling them ‘made in Israel’ or ‘made in the West Bank” is irrelevant. Don’t you know, many Israeli ‘industrial zones’ (about 1,000) ARE in the WB!

  4. In line with the letter by Italian expatriate: a similar prohibition is now in force in France. This is no coincidence. The US and France probably have the strongest pro-Israel lobbies outside Israel:

    The Australian political economist Evan Jones wrote a revealing article on that in Counterpunch last year. As far as BDS is concerned the article notes:

    “In February 2010, Sarkozy’s Justice Minister Michèle Alliot-Marie issued a directive criminalizing those calling for a boycott of Israeli products. The formal reason given was that such a boycott militates against the freedom of commerce. The directive imposes a jail sentence and a heavy fine, and the Justice Minister instructed prosecutors that it is to be vigorously applied. Even the magistrature has criticized the directive, noting that its claimed dependence on a 2004 anti-discrimination law is inadmissible, and that it involves ‘a juridical assault of rare violence’ against a historic means of combating crimes of state. The directive remains in force under the Hollande Presidency.”


    The judicial apparatus has acted on that. And BDS has a now been criminalised there.

    Some French intellectuals are organising against it and have openly defied this prohibition. They are confident that the European Court of Human Rights will annul it. They came with this statement:

    “On October 20, 2015, through two decisions, the Cour de Cassation [the highest appeals court in France] declared that the call to boycott Israeli products is illegal, and confirmed the severe sentence that had been imposed on several activists of the BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions) movement. To this end, the court made use of an article on the law of the press that refers to the misdemeanor of “provocation to discrimination, to hatred or to violence against an individual or a group of people by virtue of their origin or their belonging to a specific ethnic group, nation, race, or religion.”
    This decision is not merely surprising; it is scandalous. The law in question was intended to protect an individual or a group of people who are victims of discrimination by virtue or their origin or their belonging or not belonging to an ethnic group, nation, race, or religion. It was by no means intended to protect the policies of a State against civic criticism, when that criticism takes the form of a boycott of goods. On many occasions, organizations around the world have called for a boycott of Burma, Russia, China, or Mexico, and this clause was never invoked.
    Despite the insistence of the Ministry of Justice, most of the French jurisdictions that have been called upon to rule on this question in recent years have refused to consider the call to boycott Israeli goods to be a criminal offense.
    With the decision of the Court of Cassation, France has become the only democracy in the world to impose such a prohibition. The situation is that much more paradoxical in a country that for a year has not stopped insisting on its devotion to freedom of expression, and it’s more than likely that the European Court of Human Rights will annul this judgment. Even the Court of Cassation has to take responsibility for its decisions and to respect universal principles, which notably include freedom of expression.
    The BDS movement was created in the context of a failure of the international community, which was unable to put an end to settlements and to protect Palestinians from the daily abuses at the hands of the army and Israeli settlers. The boycott movement has been meeting with growing success around the world, as the only non-violent means to put pressure on Israel. It allows all those who wish to find a peaceful expression of their solidarity and to protest against Israel’s favored treatment on the part of the international community, in spite of its constant violations of international law. This is why we are calling to support and strengthen the BDS movement and to boycott Israeli goods.
    Ahmed Abbes, Directeur de recherche au CNRS, Paris
    Sihame Assbague, activist
    Etienne Balibar, Professeur émérite, Université de Paris-Ouest Nanterre
    Saïd Bouamama, sociologist
    Rony Brauman, medical doctor, essayist
    Sonia Dayan, Professeure émérite, l’Université Paris Diderot-Paris7
    Christine Delphy, sociologist, cofounder of Nouvelles Questions Féministes
    Alain Gresh, journalist
    Nacira Guénif, sociologist, Université Paris 8
    Christian Salmon, author
    Azzedine Taïbi, Mayor of Stains
    Marie-Christine Vergiat, member of European Parliament 

  5. Did anyone mention: [1] Israeli products (especuially wine) from the Syrian Zholan? (my quaint realization iof what I have read to be the Syrian pronunciation of the place-name); [2] Palestinian products from WBiOEJ&G (or more likely from WBiOEJ alone).

    Thus, [a] Made in Israel, [2] Made by Israelis in occupied Golan Heights; [c] Made by Israelis in occupied Palestine; [d] made by Palestinians in occupied Palestine.

    If the sole label for WBiOEJ is “Made in West Bank” then we will not jknow who made it.

  6. Richard or anybody else – does anyone know why the US Customs neglected to include the Golan (esp wine) as far as the labelling restrictions, whereas the EU is very clear about the Golan being included in the restrictions?

    Yair Lapid was whining about ‘even the Golan’ being included in the EU restrictions a few weeks ago…

    Is this an oversight or is something else going on?

    Is someone in the US is trying to help Israeli skate on the Golan?

    Anybody know or know how to find out so this CAN BE CORRECTED?

    The Israelis noticed (in mainstream print) that the US Customs DID NOT include the Golan as soon as the report hit the Israeli print…

    It’s a very important point to my mind

    1. Here’s the difference in the EU vs US Customs language:

      ‘Under the guidelines, products made in settlements in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, lands captured by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War, would be marked differently from goods made in Israel and will have to carry the word “settlement” on the label’


      US Customs:
      The purpose of this message is to provide guidance to the trade community regarding the country
      of origin marking requirements for goods that are manufactured in the West Bank.

      Per Treasury Decisions 95-25 and 97-16 (see attachments), unless excepted by statute (19 U.S.C. §1304) or regulation (19 C.F.R. §134), goods produced in the West Bank or Gaza Strip shall be marked as originating from ‘‘West Bank,’’ ‘‘Gaza,’’ ‘‘Gaza Strip,’’ ‘‘West Bank/Gaza,’’ ‘‘West Bank/Gaza Strip,’’ ‘‘West Bank and Gaza,’’ or ‘‘West Bank and Gaza Strip.’’ It is not acceptable to mark the aforementioned goods with the words ‘‘Israel,’’ ‘‘Made in Israel,’’ ‘‘Occupied Territories-Israel,’’ or any variation thereof.

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