Israeli Embassy gifts illegal settlement goods to US
This year, the Israeli Embassy in the U.S. decided to send out holiday gifts comprised entirely of products made in the illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank and Golan Heights.
Ambassador Ron Dermer tweeted last Monday that the goal of the gifts is to “help combat BDS” (the Boycott, Divest, and Sanctions movement) along with a picture of the gift-wrapped boxes and a more detailed letter.
“Once, Jews were singled out and held to a different standard than other people. Today, the Jewish state is singled out and held to a different standard than other countries,” the letter stated, relating the BDS movement to anti-semitism.
Dermer also cites the recent decision by the European Union to require products made in the illegal settlements to be labeled differently than products produced in Israel proper.
“Of the over 200 territorial disputes around the world, Europe decided that only these Jewish-made products deserved to be labeled,” he stated.
An EU fact sheet on the policy denies that anti-semitism played a role in its decision.
Additionally, this past July prompted by a specific provision of the Trade Promotion Authority Legislation, State Department spokesman John Kirby stated that although the US government does not support BDS, “conflating Israel and ‘Israeli-controlled territories,’ […] runs counter to longstanding U.S. policy towards the occupied territories, including with regard to settlement activity,” and would not “pursue policies or activities that would legitimize them.”
The Israeli Embassy has not responded to Palestine in America inquiries.