Labeling Israeli Settler Goods Misses the Mark

by | Jun 6, 2013 | Israel & Jewish Roots, Standing With Israel

We were informed this week of Germany’s decision to back European Union labeling of products from Israeli settlements in the West Bank so as to distinguish them from Israeli goods produced within the pre-1967 armistice lines.

The labeling has been touted by European officials as a “service” to the consumer. Apparently, the idea is to enable consumers to boycott produce from the said areas if their conscience so dictates. This assumes that products originating in the territories are somehow legally or morally tainted. Is this assumption true? Does one have to be a supporter of the settlements to view such boycotts as wrong-minded?

Advocates of the boycott put forward three main arguments for refusing to buy goods from the settlements. The first is that settlements are illegal under international law, namely Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which prohibits an occupying power from transferring its own population into occupied territory. The second is that settlement industries unfairly or unlawfully exploit the human or natural resources of the “occupied territory.” The third is that Jewish settlements in the territories are an obstacle to the implementation of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Regardless of the merits of the above propositions, none are relevant to the question of whether it is acceptable to buy goods produced in the territories.

As far as international law is concerned, while settling in occupied territory may be problematic (this is itself hotly disputed, as is the question of whether Judea and Samaria are even “occupied” in the first place), there are no prohibitions whatsoever on economic activities, such as investing in occupied territories or running a business there. Certainly there are no restrictions on providing gainful employment to the local residents. Far from being prejudicial to the people living under occupation, such activities contribute positively to the economy of the area.

What about the argument that these businesses should be boycotted because they benefit the settlers? The problem here is that the people running these enterprises or profiting from them are not necessarily settlers. The reality is that many of these businesses are owned or run by people who live inside the Green Line.

This is not surprising, since most settlements are within a 10- or 20-minute drive from major population centers in Israel proper. Moreover, these businesses frequently employ Palestinian residents of the territories who will lose their source of livelihood if their employers are forced to relocate.

As for the complaints about unfair or illegal exploitation, this is neither an inherent nor necessary feature of such enterprises. That certain businesses may be accused of such exploitation does not justify a blanket penalty aimed at everyone.

About the claim that settlements are an obstacle to peace, this too has nothing to do with the factories, farms and other businesses located in the territories. If anything, these enterprises are conducive to peace, since in addition to providing employment opportunities for Palestinians and contributing to the local economy, they provide islands of normal interaction and goodwill between Israelis and Palestinians. They also have the potential to be building blocks of a future independent Palestinian economy.

For those who want a speedy and peaceful resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian impasse, boycotting products from the few locations that actually give hope for future coexistence hardly seems the way to go.


 

Lt. Col. (Res.) David Benjamin is an Israel-based attorney specializing in international law, the law of armed conflict and counterterrorism.

For the original article, visit israelhayom.com.

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

Why God Will Sometimes Hesitate to Give Your Mountain

Why God Will Sometimes Hesitate to Give Your Mountain

Recently, I was having a discussion over coffee with a group of friends when one of them asked the question: “Can you believe how much the world has changed in what seems to be a very short time?” My answer was: “Yes. Yes, I have no problem believing how much the...

8 Reasons for You to Speak in Tongues

8 Reasons for You to Speak in Tongues

If a person were to ask, “Why speak in tongues?” couldn’t we also ask, “Why pray?” The Word of God shows a definite value in praying with an unknown tongue. Jesus tells us that “it is necessary always to pray” (Luke 18:1, MEV). Later, in speaking of prayer, Paul...

What ‘The Jetsons’ and Cindy Jacobs Prophetically Got Right

What ‘The Jetsons’ and Cindy Jacobs Prophetically Got Right

Just as the 1960s cartoon The Jetsons depicted a future full of video phones, robotics and Google-style office space, some modern-day prophets have prophesied about a future full of exposing corruption, fighting for individual freedom and shining a light on truth. One...

The Blueprints for Building a Powerful and Abundant Life for Jesus

The Blueprints for Building a Powerful and Abundant Life for Jesus

Have you ever seen blueprints? If not, blueprints are detailed drawings, containing specifications approved by the builder of a home. A blueprint fully outlines the quality of the materials needed to build a stable and trustworthy home. For a Christian, the Bible is...

9 Reasons Why God Never Tries to Prove His Existence

9 Reasons Why God Never Tries to Prove His Existence

God is self-authenticating. He never tries to prove His existence because it is already evident through the created order. Since He is the only objective being, all other living and nonliving objects emanate from His creative fiat word hence all reasoning (different...

How Prophetic Evangelism Is Impacting Change in Today’s Culture

How Prophetic Evangelism Is Impacting Change in Today’s Culture

Dr. Candice Smithyman, host of Manifest His Presence on the Charisma Podcast Network, recently interviewed apostle Stacey Campbell, founder of Shiloh Global about how prophecy can impact today’s culture. Apostle Campbell is passionate about teaching young people and...

RECENT ARTICLES

Joyce Meyer’s Daughter: ‘I Tried Until I Almost Died!’

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xc14ip0XyOw Growing up as the daughter of Dave and Joyce Meyer, Sandra McCollom knew about God’s goodness and unconditional love. “At eight years old, I remember...
Prophet: 10 Essential Guardrails for Hearing God’s Voice

Prophet: 10 Essential Guardrails for Hearing God’s Voice

In the journey of hearing God's voice today effectively and accurately, you need the practical and personal work of the Holy Spirit. Jesus clearly told his followers that those who hear His words and put them into practice are wise! "Whoever hears these sayings of...

Prophetic Vision: Three Tables Are Set

Prophetic Vision: Three Tables Are Set

Recently as I was worshipping the Lord, I went into a vision where I could see I was in a dark and very deep valley. It was nighttime, and the valley was surrounded by tall mountains. On the top of each I could see the outlines of men and instinctively knew they were...

Is He a God of Wrath or a God of Love?

Is He a God of Wrath or a God of Love?

Do you think the God of the Old Testament is a God of wrath, and the God of the New Testament is a God of love? The truth is that God is the same throughout the entire Bible. His wrath and His love are revealed in both the Old and the New Testaments. So why, then, did...

How You Can Have a Perfect Heart

How You Can Have a Perfect Heart

Your heart is the most important part of you. It’s not only a physical organ that keeps your blood pumping, but when the Bible refers to the heart, it’s talking about who you really are. Each person has an inner and an outer life. There’s the person we show to...

Pin It on Pinterest

[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]