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Sunday, February 05, 2017 

Illinois governor warns EU against boycotting Israel

Bruce Rauner's made it clear to the EU that Illinois is against BDS:
WASHINGTON — In the wake of the UN anti-settlements resolution, the governor of Illinois warned the European Union that companies complying with boycotts of Israel or of its West Bank settlements face divestment by the governments of Illinois and other states.

Gov. Bruce Rauner, in his January 31 letter to Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council, outlines Illinois law banning state pension plans from investing in companies that boycott Israel.

“Under our law, the term ‘boycott Israel’ means ‘engaging in actions that are politically motivated and are intended to penalize, inflict economic harm on, or otherwise limit commercial relations with the state of Israel or companies based in Israel or in territories controlled by the State of Israel,’” Rauner wrote in the letter, which his office released to JTA on February 3.

“Therefore, any attempt by the European Union to direct or encourage companies (including financial institutions) within its jurisdiction, to participate in such activity, including the adoption of sanctions pursuant to the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334, may put EU firms at risk of violating Illinois law,” said the letter.
Since we're on the topic, a French businessman's pointed out that such tactics also badly affect European businesses:
“I am told by my lawyers that the UN Security Council resolution is not binding and that its legality is, at the very least, questionable. However, the resolution still calls on states to distinguish, in their relevant dealings, between the internationally-recognized territory of the State of Israel, and the disputed territories, controlled by Israel for all purposes relevant to EU commerce, since 1967.” [...]

Referring to the settlement product labeling notice issued by the European External Action Service (EEAS) in November 2015, Knafou noted that while it was not legally binding, it was “presented as interpreting binding EU law. It says that products that I import from Israel, with Israeli certificates and according with EU customs legislation, cannot be labeled as ‘Made in Israel.’ However, the notice fails to indicate exactly how these products should be labeled.”

“It is unworkable, even for our lawyers, because it is vague and its mandate is undefined,” he stated. “Moreover, it is completely inconsistent with the precedents set by various European courts, including the European Court of Justice…What does the European Union want EU businesses to do in this context? Trying to discern the EU’s intent is a costly endeavor which does not in any way protect or advance European commerce.”
Indeed, no, it most definitely does not. These labeling practices are merely done for the sake of undermining not only Israeli commerce, but also European.

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