30,000 Palestinians could lose their livelihoods with the new EU labeling guidelines
The BDS movement has once again shown its callous disregard for the people it claims to want to help.
On November 11, EU regulators approved guidelines to label goods from Israeli settlements to distinguish them from products made in the rest of Israel. This is ostensibly a measure to allow consumers to make an informed decision on whether or not to purchase these items. However, the initiative was not pushed by European consumer protection organizations, but anti-Israel groups spurred on by BDS (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions).
This legislation is not about European consumers or Palestinian rights; there are currently about 30,000 Palestinians employed by Israeli businesses in the territories occupied since 1967, and these jobs are being put in serious jeopardy by it, as Israeli companies look to change their operating policies.
Products from the whole of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights will be labeled, including those produced purely by Palestinians, whose export is handled by Israel. The Golan Heights is not even being contested by Palestinians; it was won from Syria, returning it to which, would impose death and destabilization on the inhabitants.
It will not bring about peace, or two states; it will only disenfranchise previously comfortable Palestinians. People who had a steady income, and something productive to do each day. Given the current wave of terrorist attacks emanating from the West Bank, the last thing it needs is more angry people.
The EU is not standing against occupation, because it is not about to label Turkish products from North Cyprus – an occupation of an EU member state, no less – or from occupied territory anywhere else in the world.
It is only standing against Israel, the only stable country in a region engulfed in utter chaos. By doing this, it condemns both Palestinians and Israelis to the same vicious cycle of bloodshed. It is Palestinians who will suffer the most, and this suffering will be preyed upon by Islamist terrorists, who are masters at manipulating desperate people into committing acts of violence.
These guidelines demonstrate a lack of neutrality on the part of the EU in relation to the Israel-Palestine conflict, so any further negotiations it takes part in could be seen as compromised. This development could also encourage the PA to eschew negotiations, thereby endangering the two-state solution.
The Palestinian people are simply being used as political pawns by anti-Israel organizations. These are the people they need to be freed from.