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Let's Stop this Latest Anti-BDS Congressional Resolution

by Josh Ruebner, Policy Director
January 7th, 2016

Oppose Attack on EU’s Labeling of Israeli Settlement Goods

Shouldn’t consumers have the right to know if that Ahava skin cream on the shelf was made from minerals plundered from occupied Palestinian land by a company in an illegal Israeli settlement?

The European Union thinks so. In November, it published modest guidelines requiring products made in Israeli settlements to be labeled as such.

But Israel’s backers on Capitol Hill think otherwise. In no less than three separate letters, dozens of Members of Congress furiously and inaccurately condemned the EU’s guidelines as an “illegal trade measure” and “de-facto boycott of Israel.” 

As if those letters weren’t enough, Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY) and five cosponsors are now pushing a Congressional resolution—H.Res.567—to officially condemn the EU’s labeling of Israeli settlement goods.

Contact your Representative today to oppose this outrageous resolution protecting Israeli settlements.

While these Members of Congress huff and puff about the EU’s decision, here’s a little secret they’d prefer you don’t know: the US adopted similar labeling guidelines more than twenty years ago!

That’s right. Since 1995, it has been illegal for Israeli settlement products to enter the US labeled as “Made in Israel.” And any Israeli settlement good trying to pass itself off to US consumers as “Made in Israel” is ineligible for duty-free entrance under the US-Israel Free Trade Agreement.

So contact your Representative today and ask him or her not to cosponsor H.Res.567. Tell your Member of Congress that you support both EU and US labeling guidelines on Israeli settlements products.

It’s great that Israeli settlement products can’t be labeled “Made in Israel” under US law, but these guidelines are hardly sufficient. We need to strengthen those guidelines to ban goods made in illegal Israeli settlements from entering the US in the first place.

This is just one of the many policy ideas we’ll be advocating for this year as part of a new, long-term campaign to #SanctionSettlements.

Read more about what Congress and the Obama administration can do to #SanctionSettlements in this recent article I wrote in The Hill. You’ll find more details there as well about US law on Israeli settlement goods and the Congressional letters opposing the EU guidelines.

Thanks for reading, commenting on and sharing this article, and don’t forget to contact your Representative today to oppose H.Res.567.


Josh Ruebner
Policy Director

PS: We’re got some exciting plans for our #SanctionSettlements campaign. Can you help us print and distribute a policy paper, hold Congressional briefings, and organize constituents to meet with their Members of Congress by making a donation today?