Supermarket labels for Israeli food

Stickers could read 'Israeli settlement produce' , but move is not a boycott, says Foreign Office

Britain has acted to increase pressure on Israel over its West Bank settlements by advising UK supermarkets on how to distinguish between foods from the settlements and Palestinian-manufactured goods.

The government's move falls short of a legal requirement but is bound to increase the prospects of a consumer boycott of products from those territories. Israeli officials and settler leaders were tonight highly critical of the decision.

Until now, food has been simply labelled "Produce of the West Bank", but the new, voluntary guidance issued by the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), says labels could give more precise information, like "Israeli settlement produce" or "Palestinian produce".

Nearly 500,000 Jewish settlers live in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, which were conquered in the 1967 war. The British government and the EU have repeatedly said Israel's settlement project is an "obstacle to peace" in the Middle East.

EU law already requires a distinction to be made between goods originating in Israel and those from the occupied territories, though pro-Palestinian campaigners say this is not always observed.

Separately, Defra said that traders would be committing an offence if they did declare produce from the occupied territories as "Produce of Israel". More:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009...li-settlements