DearColleague.us

Letter

From: The Honorable Nita M. Lowey
Sent By:
Marin.Stein@mail.house.gov

Bill: H.Res. 567
Date: 12/22/2015

Cosponsor H.Res. 567, Expressing opposition to the European Commission interpretive notice regarding labeling Israeli products and goods manufactured in the West Bank and other areas, as such actions undermine efforts
to achieve a negotiated Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
Dear Colleague,
On November 11, 2015, the European Commission issued new guidelines to start labeling Israeli products imported into European Union (EU) countries that were manufactured in the West Bank and other areas. The guidelines instruct
the 28 Member–States to denote whether Israeli products were ‘made in settlements’ due to a ‘demand for clarity from consumers.’
We believe such a move to single out Israeli products only serves to encourage and prompt consumers to boycott all Israeli goods.  Not only is this counterproductive to the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and therefore harmful
to U.S. national security interests, it also contributes to the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement. Boycotts chip away at economic integration, which negatively affects Israelis and Palestinians alike. The establishment of the European
Economic Community was predicated on the notion that peace and security are achieved through trade, economic cooperation, and job creation – not boycotts and isolation. The same is true for Israelis and Palestinians.
The Israeli Foreign Ministry responded to the European Commission notice with a statement that read in part:
“Israel condemns the decision of the European Union to label Israeli goods originating over the ’67 lines. We regret that the EU chose for political reasons to take an unusual and discriminatory step drawn from the realm
of boycotts, just as Israel is facing a wave of terror directed at all citizens.  The claim that this is a technical step is a cynical, baseless claim.”
As you may know, Israel exports $13 billion worth of products to the EU annually, making the 28-member bloc Israel’s largest trading partner.  Rather than trying to extract one-sided concessions from Israel outside of direct
negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians and feeding into politically motivated acts to boycott Israel, the EU should play a constructive role to help bring the parties back to the negotiating table and to resolve their differences constructively.
We invite you to join us in cosponsoring H.RES.567, which expresses our opposition to the EU labeling decision and all other politically motivated acts of boycott, divestment from, and sanctions against Israel or Israeli-controlled
territory.
To cosponsor this resolution or if you have any questions, please contact Marin Stein with Rep. Nita Lowey (marin.stein@mail.house.gov) or Omri Rahmil with Rep. Roskam (omri.rahmil@mail.house.gov).
Sincerely,
Nita M. Lowey                       Peter J. Roskam
Member of Congress               Member of Congress
Eliot L. Engel                          Edward R. Royce                          
Member of Congress               Member of Congress                

Visit the e-Dear Colleague Service to manage your subscription to the available Issue and Party list(s).