Ban import of Israeli settlement goods | Letter

Israeli settlements are the leading cause of human rights violations against Palestinians, and settlement expansion is destroying the possibility of a two-state solution, say signatories including Prof David Harel

We, concerned citizens of Israel, welcome the recent ruling of the European court of justice, which in confirming that Israeli settlement products cannot be labelled as originating in the State of Israel, reaffirmed the illegality of settlements and the importance of international law (Report, 12 November).

We believe that accurate labelling of settlement products is an important step but is insufficient. We call upon the European Union to ban the import of Israeli settlement goods.

Israeli settlements are the leading cause of human rights violations against Palestinians, and settlement expansion is destroying the possibility of a two-state solution. By banning goods that originate in Israeli settlements, Europe would help support the differentiation between Israel per se and settlements in the occupied territories.

We believe that the occupation is morally corrosive, strategically shortsighted, and thoroughly detrimental to peace. The international community has taken insufficient action in addressing this reality. Europe continues to support the occupation financially by allowing trade with Israeli settlements, which are illegal under international law. It should be clear that continuing to sell goods that support the erosion of democracy in Israel and the denying of rights to Palestinians is unacceptable.

As Israelis who care about the future of our country, we ask the European Union to ban the import of settlement goods in order to support a just future for Israelis and Palestinians alike.
Ilan Baruch Former Israeli ambassador to South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, and Zimbabwe
Prof Eli Barnavi Former Israeli ambassador to France
Prof Michael Ben-Yair Former attorney general of Israel
Avraham Burg Former speaker of Knesset and head of the Jewish Agency
Erella Hadar Former Israeli ambassador to the Czech Republic
Prof David Harel Vice-president of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, Israel Prize recipient (2004)
Prof Yehoshua Kolodny Israel Prize recipient (2010)
Miki Kratsman EMET Prize Laureate (2011)
Alex Levac Israel Prize recipient (2005)
Dr Alon Liel Former ambassador to South Africa and Turkey
Mossi Raz Former member of Knesset
Prof David Shulman Israel Prize recipient (2016)
Prof Zeev Sternhell Israel Prize recipient (2008)

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