Israeli lawmaker: Israelis should ‘think twice’ before purchasing French products

Marcy Oster

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israeli lawmaker Michael Oren said Israelis should “think twice” before purchasing French products after a French government agency reiterated the requirement that products from the West Bank be marked as from “settlements.”

“France is labeling Israeli products from Judea, Samaria and the Golan. Israelis should think twice before buying French products,” Oren, of the Kulanu party, wrote in a Twitter post on Saturday night.

Two days earlier, the French Economy Ministry’s General Directorate for Competition, Consumption and Fraud Prevention said in the government’s Official Journal that it requires vendors to use the word “colonies,” French for “settlements,” to specify goods originating in Israeli settlements in the Golan Heights, the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem, which Israel captured in 1967.

The requirement, according to the ministry, is based on binding regulations adopted last year by the European Commission on labeling settlement goods.

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In a tweet responding to Oren, the European Union’s office in Israel said: “This is application of EU consumer information regulations.”

On Monday,  the newly appointed French ambassador to Israel, Helene LeGal, tweeted in response: “so you are calling for boycotting French products when in France boycotting Israel is punished by law?”

Oren, the former Israeli ambassador to the United States, serves as deputy minister for diplomacy in the Prime Minister’s Office.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry on Thursday condemned the policy.