French municipality votes to boycott ‘settlement products’

June 27, 2016  

Bondy, a municipality located near Paris, passed a motion declaring a boycott of Israeli “settlement goods” and vowing further research and labeling on other products from the Jewish state, JTA reported Monday.

The council of Bondy passed the resolution with only five objections. The vote took place on June 23, according to JTA. The mayor of the town, Sylvine Thomassin, belongs to French President Francois Hollande’s Socialist Party.

The motion follows a string of convictions against promoters of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel in France, where their actions violate anti-discrimination laws prohibiting the singling out of nations, national groups or their products.

Other recent court rulings in France have nullified pro-Palestinian motions and gestures by French municipalities, declaring their involvement in international issues beyond their legal purview.

The motion passed in Bondy, however, expresses opposition to these rulings.

“It is a legitimate civil right to be able to accept or refuse to buy merchandise according to its origin,” the motion states. “And it is a local collective entity’s duty to verify the traceability of services and products it offers its population.”

“The Municipal Council of Bondy decided to no longer buy products from Israeli settlements,” it adds. It also calls for the application of European Commission regulations introduced in November, that require separate labeling for all goods manufactured in Judea and Samria and which enter the European Union. The regulations so far are only enforced in Belgium, Britain and Denmark.

As long as the regulations are not applied in France, Bondy’s municipal council will “research prior to purchase the origin of products not clearly indicated”, the motion says.

The EU indicated in November that it intends to start labeling Jewish-made products from Judea and Samaria, and senior EU officials later stated that there was “no room for negotiation” with Israel on the topic of labeling Jewish goods. 

European officials have also insisted that labeling products from Judea and Samaria is not a form of a boycott nor is it anti-Semitic. They claim that the products must be labelled as not coming from Israel due to the EU’s longstanding policy that Judea and Samaria is “occupied territory” and is not part of Israel.

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