Bahrain: Goods from Israeli Settlements Will Be Designated “Made In Israel”

Bahraini Commerce and Tourism Minister Zayed bin Rashid Al Zayani announced on December 3 that all goods imported from Israeli settlements in the West Bank will be labeled as “Made In Israel.”

The Jerusalem Post reported that Al Zayani said, “Israeli products or services… will be treated like Israeli.” He also said, “We will treat Israel and Israeli companies like we do Italian or German or Saudi companies, for that matter. Israelis are welcome as any other international company in Bahrain.”

George Mason University Law Professor Eugene Kontorovich tweeted, “Arab countries treating Jewish products without the discriminatory, invented standards used by the [European Union], which must be feeling ‘increasingly isolated’ in its anti-Jewish labelling rules.”

International human rights lawyer Arsen Ostrovksy also tweeted that the development is “the #BDSFail of 2020.” Israel has argued that labeling goods as being from Israeli settlements in the West Bank as opposed to just being “Made in Israel” could be “used as a tool to boycott Israel,” according to the Post.

On the other hand, The Institute for Middle East Understanding, a pro-Palestinian nonprofit, tweeted that the move indicates “implicit approval of the illegal occupation of Palestine.”

However, Jerusalem Post Senior Contributing Editor and Diplomatic Correspondent Lahav Harkov, who co-authored the Post report, noted that on December 2, “Bahrain voted in favor of a UN resolution that said the exact opposite.” According to the Post, the resolution urged nations “to distinguish, in their relevant dealings, between the territory of the State of Israel and the territories occupied since 1967” and to stop aid from going toward Israel’s “illegal settlement activities.”

In November, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that goods imported from Area C of the West Bank, which is under Israeli control, will labeled as “Made In Israel,” whereas areas of the West Bank under jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority will be labeled as being from the West Bank. The Simon Wiesenthal Center tweeted at the time that Pompeo “dealt [a] blow to BDSers #UN and #EU by declaring US will label products from West Bank as made in #Israel!”


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