Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely opened Israel’s battle against the European Union’s decision to label Jewish-made products from Judea and Samaria Tuesday, calling the EU out for “discriminating” against the Jewish state.
Earlier Tuesday senior EU officials stated to Arutz Sheva that there was “no room for negotiation” with Israel on the topic of labeling Jewish goods.
Speaking at a press conference in the Barkan Industrial Region in Samaria, where Israelis and Palestinians work side-by-side, Hotovely stated that – despite EU officials’ insistence – labeling Jewish-made products was a form of a boycott.
“Today the Foreign Minister is starting a battle against the idea of labeling,” she said. “Labeling, it’s very clear to say… it’s a clear boycotting (of) the State of Israel.”
Hotovely noted that targeting one specific region of Israel was essentially tantamount to “boycotting the State itself and creating delegitimization of the State.”
She also claimed it marked the start of a slippery slope, again despite the EU’s insistence to the contrary. “When you boycott Judea and Samaria you eventually boycott Tel Aviv.”
The outspoken deputy minister also called the EU out on its “discriminatory” stance vis-a-vis Israel
“There are over 200 territorial disputes in the world, but the European Union is singling out Israel – this is discrimination, this is a boycott,” she declared.
The “majority of Israelis” agree with her, Hotovely asserted.
She also noted that Palestinian employees in Judea and Samaria would be the first to suffer from such a boycott. Those purporting to support “coexistence” could not simultaneously target specifically those businesses which encourage Jews and Arabs to work together, she said.
“You’re not harming Israel’s economy when you do labeling, what you harm is over 10,000 Palestinian families who are going to lose their jobs.”
“Whoever wants coexistence in the Middle East” should oppose the measure, she continued. “Labeling is distancing peace.”
Hotovely then turned the incitement from the Palestinian Authority, which has helped fan the flames of the ongoing wave of terrorism buffeting Israel.
“We hear day after day strong incitement against Israelis and Jews – those are the things you need to fight! You need to fight violence, you don’t need to fight coexistence.
“Just yesterday an 80-year-old woman was stabbed in the streets of Netanya,” she said, apparently mixing up yesterday’s attacks in Rishon Letzion and Netanya, both of which targeted elderly Israelis.
“Terrorism doesn’t see a difference between the Green Line” and the rest of Israel, she noted.