Father Gabriel Naddaf, a Greek Orthodox priest and the founder of the Israeli Christian Empowerment Council has spoken out strongly against the recent decision of the European Union to label products made by Israeli settlements in the West Bank.
Speaking on Wednesday to a symposium at the European Parliament in Brussels, which was organised by the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem (ICEJ), Father Naddaf slammed the EU’s decision to label produce from Israeli settlements in the West Bank.
“Labelling Israeli produce [from the settlements] is another betrayal of Christian values in Europe, and another weakening of the Christian spirit in Europe,” he said.
“As a Christian leader, raised in Nazareth, living among the Arab Muslims, I tell you clearly: This decision affects Muslims, Christians, Druse and all other minority citizens of Israel, not just the Jews.”
He went as far as calling the labelling decision “racist”, “anti-Semitic” and “stupid”.
Father Naddaf continued, “In the Middle East today there is only one state where Christians live in security, prosperity, where they have freedom of expression, freedom of religion and worship, where they can vote and be elected to parliament, where they have democratic rights and where their population is increasing.”
“This is the Jewish state, the State of Israel, this is what we must protect, we have to protect our freedom, protect our state, our democracy which has proven itself, and protect the Holy Land, the cradle of Christianity.”
Also speaking at the event was renowned international legal expert, Professor Avi Bell who told the audience that he believes the labelling law violates international law.
“While the interpretive notice restricts labels on Israeli products, EU law permits Taiwan and the Palestinian Authority to market products in the EU with ‘made in Taiwan’ and ‘made in Palestine’ labels that contradict EU views on sovereignty, according to which neither is an independent state,” Bell said.