Bahrain will not distinguish between Israeli good made inside any part of Israel. Whether that be in Tel Aviv, Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) or their capital Jerusalem. A clear contrast to the EU’s anti-Israel stance.
Speaking to Israeli reporters, Industry, Commerce and Tourism Minister Zayed R. Alzayani said that all goods and services offered by Israelis will be treated as products of Israel, indicating that even goods from the West Bank and the Golan will not require special labels.
“We deal with Israel and Israeli companies like we would deal with an Italian, or an Indian, or a Chinese or a German company, or a Saudi company for that matter. There are no restrictions or special treatment or special rules. We have started a new chapter with Israel,” he said.
Asked by The Times of Israel if goods from settlements in the West Bank and Golan Heights were welcome in Bahrain and can be marketed as “Products of Israel,” Alzayani responded in the affirmative.
“Without going really into details and borderlines, we would look at Israeli products — or services, because Israel has a thriving IT and innovation sector and they may not necessarily give you a physical product but IT solutions or consultancy — will be treated like Israeli,” he said.
“So we will not go into the details [but] we will recognize them as Israeli products. And all Bahraini products, hopefully, will be recognized in Israel as Bahraini products. I don’t see, frankly, a distinction on which part or which city or which region it was manufactured or sourced from.”
Well done Bahrain; now the EU needs to change its stance
This decision by Bahrain is in contrast to the European Unions rules and highlights the anti-Israel bias held by the European body. The EU singles out Israel, and only Israel, and says that products made by Israelis in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) cannot be labelled as ‘Made in Israel’.
This ruling, which was adopted in November 2019, serves as a tool in the political campaign against Israel. Its entire objective is to single out and apply a double standard against Israel. There are over 200 ongoing territorial disputes across the world, yet the ECJ has not rendered a single ruling related to the labelling of products originating from these territories. As the IHRA definition says, to treat Israel to a different standard than other countries is anti-Semitism.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Israel Katz said at the time: “The European Court of Justice’s ruling is unacceptable both morally and in principle. I intend to work with European foreign ministers to prevent the implementation of this gravely flawed policy, which contradicts Europe’s position that a resolution to the conflict must be advanced through direct and unconditional negotiations, and not through legal rulings.”
European Jewish Association chief Rabbi Menachem Margolin said such labelling was “purely discriminatory against the world’s only Jewish state.” He said the timing was “particularly galling,” as it came amid retaliatory rocket strikes from Palestinian militants following airstrikes targeting two senior Islamic Jihad leaders in Gaza and Syria.
The European Commission defended its stance. “The EU considers settlements and occupied territories illegal under international law,” commission spokeswoman Mina Andreeva said, noting that the ruling does not affect products from Israel, which has a trading relationship with the bloc. “The EU does not support any form of boycott or sanctions against Israel,” Andreeva said.
The most galling thing about this is the history of Europe when it comes to boycotts against Jews. Let’s not forget that these products being boycotted are largely the produce of Jewish farmers living in their historic homeland. There are families who will have owned their land for generations, be farming and exporting their goods throughout Europe and now they are going to be marginalised because of who they are and where they live. They are Jews living in their ancestral homeland.
The Bible is clear about the punishment for those who try to divide up the land of Israel and who mistreat the Jews. Therefore it is important that our nation stands with Israel and against the boycotts of Israel. And it is important that we do not allow this decision by the European Court of Justice to overrule Britain’s stand with Israel.
Some people have drawn comparisons to the date of this ruling. It was on 12 November 1933 when the Nazi party gained full control of the German parliament. We all know what happened after the Nazis gained control of Germany and enacted Hitler’s will against the Jewish people. The Nazis first started with boycotts against Jews.
It is therefore wonderful to see that Bahrain, an Arab nation and one that was until recently hostile with Israel is actually going above and beyond what European nations who are supposed to be friends and allies of Israel.
Let’s hope the UK government can move away from this anti-Israel stance when they break from the European Union and label all products produced in Israel as “Made in Israel”.