State Dept Doesn't Take Position on Potential EU Labeling of Israeli Settlement Products

June 9, 2015

The State Department does not take a position on the potential European Union (EU) label rule for Israeli settlement products.

The European Union is prepared to release a new regulation that would require Israel to label all products that are made in West Bank settlements and exported to any country in the European Union.

Associated Press reporter Matt Lee asked State Department spokesperson Jeff Rathke what the position of the United States was on the EU’s proposed label rule.

"Well, it’s my understanding this is something that is still under discussion, so I would refer you to the EU and the European Commission for any details," Rathke said. "Since it remains an internal matter for the European Union, I’m not going to speculate about that while it remains under discussion internally."

"I’m not quite sure I understand that," said Lee. "So you don’t have any position on whether goods and products made/produced in settlements in the West Bank should labeled or should not be labeled as coming from there."

Rathke declined to give a position and said this is an internal matter for the EU.

"The administration’s view is that it won’t take a position on this until after it’s too late," said Lee. "I mean, isn’t it precisely during the time that something is under consideration that you would want to weigh in to have your voice heard if you have a position?"

Rathke again declined to offer an answer.

Lee asked if the administration considered the labeling of products from Israeli settlements bad like similar efforts of boycotts against Israel.

Rathke stated that the United States opposes any boycotts against Israel but refused to further comment on the Israel label issue.