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EU Working On Israel Boycot (Again and Again and Again…SEIG HEIL)

Denmark is fronting an EU initiative to help consumers boycott Israeli settlement products.

Its foreign ministry is funding an event in Brussels on 23 October to get EU diplomats and NGOs, such as Oxfam and Crisis Action, talking about EU-level guidelines for consumer labels on settlement goods.

The move comes after EU foreign ministers in May said they will “fully and effectively implement existing EU legislation” on the subject.

The EU says settlements are illegal. But its regular complaints about settlement expansion fall on deaf ears.

 ”The [October] workshop is designed to put the issue back on the agenda and to put action behind the words of the May conclusions … We want to make it easier for consumers to vote with their wallet,” a Danish diplomat told EUobserver.

France, Finland, Ireland and the UK (which imposed labels in British shops in 2009) back the initiative.

The French foreign ministry in a statement to the French senate last week said: “France is currently studying, together with several European partners, the possibility of publishing an [EU-level] code of conduct.”

Finnish development minister Heidi Hautala noted on her blog in June: “Would you buy products that you know are coming from Israeli settlements? Many would not.”

Swedish and British ministers Carl Bildt and Alistair Burt have also voiced support.

Meanwhile, British MEPs – Chris Davies, Jill Evans, Ian Hudghton, Linda McAvan, Edward McMillan-Scott and Graham Watson – have bombarded EU institutions with questions on the issue in recent months.

For its part, the Cypriot EU presidency is doing nothing on the dossier.

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