EU adopts anti-boycott stance in official commercial policy

(JTA) – In a reaction to attempts in Europe to boycott Israel, the European Union’s report on commercial competition for the first time included a rejection of such initiatives.

The reference to boycotts, which does not name Israel specifically, was introduced earlier this year into the draft of the Report on Competition Policy for 2016 by a pro-Israel European Parliament lawmaker from Italy Fulvio Martusciello, JTA learned Wednesday. [Read more…]


EU says Israel’s new settlements law leads to ‘one-state reality of unequal rights’

(JTA) – The European Union’s foreign policy chief said Israel’s new legislation on settlements was illegal and would “entrench a one-state reality of unequal rights.”

The statement Tuesday by Federica Mogherini, the high representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs, came a day after the Knesset passed the so-called outpost bill, which retroactively legalizes thousands of West Bank settlement homes built on land owned by Palestinians. [Read more…]


EU must adopt definition for anti-Semitism, European Jewish Congress head says

(JTA) – The absence of a European Union (EU) definition for anti-Semitism is an “absurd” situation that needs correcting, which also would honour Holocaust victims, the president of the European Jewish Congress (EJC) told European lawmakers.

During his address Wednesday at the European Parliament ahead of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, EJC President Moshe Kantor referenced the 2013 removal from the website of the EU’s anti-racism agency of a “working definition” of anti-Semitism. Pro-Palestinian activists opposed it because it also mentioned the demonization of Israel as an example of the phenomenon. [Read more…]


Britain prevents EU council’s adoption of Paris peace conference statement

(JTA) – Britain prevented the European Union Foreign Affairs Council from adopting the closing statement from the Paris peace conference.

Britain’s action, reported by Haaretz citing European and Israeli diplomats, comes a day after Britain refused to sign the closing statement at the peace conference in Paris. Britain had sent a low-level diplomat to the conference as an observer to indicate its displeasure with the proceedings. [Read more…]


France warns vendors to apply stricter labels to settlement goods

(JTA) – A French government anti-fraud agency demanded vendors use stricter labelling of Israeli settlement goods stating this provenance in addition to the area where products were manufactured.

The demand, which an Israeli foreign ministry spokesperson said give “tail wind to radical actors and the boycott movement against Israel,” was published Thursday in the French government’s Official Journal. [Read more…]


European Parliament lifts Le Pen immunity over incitement against Jews

(JTA) – The European Parliament lifted the immunity of French far-right politician Jean-Marie Le Pen over charges of inciting racial hatred against Jews.

The legal affairs committee of the European Parliament stressed that parliamentary immunity “does not allow for slandering, libelling, inciting hatred or pronouncing statements attacking a person’s honour” before voting on Tuesday in favor of lifting Le Pen’s immunity. [Read more…]


EU roadmap for relations with Iran ignores its anti-Semitism, terrorism

(JTA) – The European Parliament is set to vote on a roadmap for relations with Iran that critics charge sidesteps Tehran’s endorsement of anti-Semitism, terrorism and calls to destroy Israel.

Compiled by Richard Howitt, a member of the European Union (EU)’s legislative arm for Britain’s Labour Party and a close ally of party leader Jeremy Corbyn, the draft report on “EU strategy towards Iran after the nuclear agreement” is scheduled to be voted on Thursday by the Committee on Foreign Affairs in Brussels. [Read more…]


Post-Brexit, more British Jews reportedly requesting naturalization in Portugal

(JTA) – One of Portugal’s Jewish communities said it was observing an increase in requests for naturalization by British Jews following the United Kingdom’s vote to leave the European Union (EU).

About 300 British Jews who are descendants of Portuguese Sephardic Jews requested Portuguese nationality from the Porto Jewish Community, compared to five before the June 23 vote for a British exit, or Brexit, the community told the EFE news agency Monday. [Read more…]


EU likely to reject call to limit trade with Israeli settlements

(JTA) – The European Union will likely ignore recommendations from its own diplomats in Jerusalem to toughen its call to halt trade in products from Israeli settlements.

The Heads of Mission Committee’s recommendations were to more strictly enforce the labelling of produce grown in settlements and to expand EU guidelines on not recognizing the settlements as part of Israel, according to The Guardian. [Read more…]