Friday

19th Jan 2018

Report highlights EU trade with Israeli settlers

  • Anti-Ahava protest at US supermarket (Photo: Steve Rhodes)

A coalition of 22 NGOs fronted by a former EU commissioner has highlighted the scope of European trade with illegal Israeli settlements.

Its report, out on Tuesday (30 October), cited World Bank figures that EU consumers buy €230 million a year worth of products from 500,000 settlers compared to imports of less than €15 million from the 4 million Palestinians in the region.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

"By importing vastly more from settlements that are taking advantage of the occupation than from producers living under the occupation, Europe is helping entrench the discriminatory two-tier system in the West Bank," it said.

The main settler imports are dates, grapes, peppers, fresh herbs, cut flowers, avocados, citrus fruits, tomatoes, aubergines, cucumbers, potatoes, herbal tea and wine from Israeli firms such as Mehadrin, Arava Export Growers, Hadiklaim, Achdut and Adanim Tea.

Zooming in, it said Israel last year exported 12,000 tonnes of dates from the West Bank, compared to 300 tonnes sold abroad by Palestinian farmers.

In terms of manufactured goods made on Palestinian land, Israeli soft drinks firm SodaStream sells 68 percent of its output in the EU.

Keter Plastic (a maker of plastic furniture), Ahava (cosmetics), Barkan Mounts (television mounts), Ofertex (textiles), Supergum (car plastics), Tip Top Toys Star, Twitoplast (plastic accessories) and Yardeni Locks (locking mechanisms) also export to the Union.

At the same time, EU investors such as G4S (security), Alstom (railways), Veolia (transport and waste) and Heidelberg Cement are pouring money into settler bank accounts.

For his part, Hans Van den Broek - a former external relations commissioner and Dutch foreign minister, who wrote a preamble to the paper - backed 12 proposals for the EU to align its trade and foreign policy.

Apart from a code of conduct for EU consumer labels on settler goods (a work in progress in the EU institutions), the report said the bloc should ban settler imports, ban EU financial transactions with settler bodies and "discourage" EU real estate purchases and tourist trips to settler territories.

"As settlement construction has continued and accelerated ... we Europeans have failed to move from words to action," the study said.

The EU delegation to Israel gave weight to the study.

"The report represents an important contribution to the ongoing debate on this and other issues related to the Middle East peace process," it said in a statement for Israeli newspaper Haaretz.

But the spokesman of the Israeli mission to the EU, Yoel Mester, said it is another attempt to skew the picture.

"It puts an exaggerated focus on the issue of settlements while pushing aside the other issues that are just as important and make up the conflict ... it plyas into the hands of Palestinians by embracing their narrative and doesnot help to bring them back to the negotiating table, where everything, inlcuding settlements, can be discussed," he told EUobserver.

News in Brief

  1. Germany confirms attendance at air quality summit
  2. Nearly half of 'fixed' Dieselgate cars show problems
  3. YouTube, Twitter, Facebook up hate speech deletion
  4. UK mulls bridge to France
  5. German far-right float anti-asylum bill
  6. EU Parliament to investigate glyphosate-decision process
  7. 'Mutagenesis' falls outside EU's GMO rules, says EU top lawyer
  8. Decision on Polish MEP's Nazi-era slur postponed

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Solutions for Sustainable Cities: New Grants Awarded for Branding Projects
  2. Mission of China to the EUTrade Between China, Belt and Road Countries up 15%
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersOresund Inspires Other EU Border Regions to Work Together to Generate Growth
  4. Mission of China to the EUTrade Between China, Belt and Road Countries up 15%
  5. AJC Transatlantic InstituteAJC Calls on EU to Sanction Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, Expel Ambassadors
  6. Dialogue PlatformRoundtable on "Political Islam, Civil Islam and The West" 31 January
  7. ILGA EuropeFreedom of Movement and Same-Sex Couples in Romania – Case Update!
  8. EU2017EEEstonia Completes First EU Presidency, Introduced New Topics to the Agenda
  9. Bio-Based IndustriesLeading the Transition Towards a Post-Petroleum Society
  10. ACCAWelcomes the Start of the New Bulgarian Presidency
  11. Mission of China to the EUPremier Li and President Tusk Stress Importance of Ties at ASEM Summit
  12. EU2017EEVAT on Electronic Commerce: New Rules Adopted

Latest News

  1. Middle East, Messi and missing MEPs on the agenda This WEEK
  2. Instagram and Google Plus join EU anti-hate speech drive
  3. EU wants 'entrepreneurship' in education systems
  4. UK loses EU satellite centre to Spain
  5. Pay into EU budget for market access, Macron tells May
  6. Ethiopian regime to get EU migrants' names
  7. EU to lend Greece up to €7bn more next week
  8. Nato prepares to take in Macedonia