Dutch Government Threatens to Fine Store Selling Wine From Hebron Labeled as Made in Israel

July 15, 2020
THE HAGUE, NETHERLANDS – MARCH 14: A flag from Zeeland province flies near the Dutch parliament building on March 14, 2017 in The Hague, Netherlands. Campaigning is continuing by all parties ahead of tomorrow’s general election in which the right-wing Party for Freedom (PVV), led by Geert Wilders, is expected to do well. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)

AMSTERDAM (JTA) — Dutch government inspectors said they would fine a store selling wine from the West Bank city of Hebron that is labeled as made in Israel.

The warning came during a July 10 inspection of the Israel Products Center, an importer and retail outfit run by the pro-Israel group Christians for Israel.

In a statement, the center said that two agents from the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority did not confiscate any products but warned that the center could face fines for violating labeling requirements. The center said it would not comply.

In 2015, the European Commission adopted regulations barring the labeling of products from areas it considers occupied by Israel as made in Israel, a decision it described as driven by a desire to give shoppers accurate information about product provenance.

The regulations are binding, but the European Commission has limited recourse against violators. The Dutch government has so far not fined anyone for labeling violations.

Dutch Chief Rabbi Binyomin Jacobs accused the ministry of pursuing a double standard.

“Why inspect Israeli products but none from China, which occupies Tibet, or goods from Morocco, which occupies Western Sahara, or Turkey (northern Cyprus), Russia (Crimea)?” Jacobs said in a statement.

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