They have nothing to say about Syria or Sudan or Somalia or anyplace else in the world where people are being massacred daily, but days after announcing that they were seeking to ban 'violent settlers,' the Jew-hating Europeans are seeking to ensure that no 'settlement products' enter their soon-to-be Islamic paradise.
Israel registered a protest with the EU last week regarding a conference scheduled for Wednesday in Brussels about the possibility of labeling goods made in the settlements.
Rafi Schutz, the Foreign Ministry’s deputy director-general for Europe, called the ambassadors of Denmark, Ireland and the EU to the ministry on November 19, in the midst of Operation Pillar of Defense, to protest the scheduled meeting, called an “informal technical workshop on settlement products and related policy issues.”
Schutz also protested by phone to a ranking official at the British Embassy.
Britain, Ireland and Denmark, as well as the EU’s foreign service, were singled out for promoting the conference along with various NGOs.
Schutz told the ambassadors that the move unfairly singled out and discriminated against Israel, because while this was not the only area in the world where there was a territorial dispute, it was the only area in the world regarding which the EU was discussing specially labeling goods.
For example, goods originating from northern Cyprus, Tibet, Kashmir, the Russian-held regions of Georgia, Armenian-held regions of Azerbaijan, and Kosovo are not specially labeled.
Schutz also said that some of the NGOs participating in the conference, such as the Irish Trocaire, were involved in the boycott and divestment movement against Israel. Meanwhile, he pointed out, some NGOs that didn’t support the labeling had not been invited to the meeting.
He also said that such a move ran contrary to the spirit of the World Trade Organization, which calls for free trade and open borders for merchandise.An ongoing survey by Northwestern University law professor Eugene Kontorovich raises suspicions that Judea and Samaria are being treated differently than anyplace else in the world where there is a territorial dispute.
Art. 49 [of the Fourth Geneva Convention] focusses on the prohibition of kicking out the inhabitants of occupied territory. Art. 49(6), however, provides that “the Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.” From the text, it would appear that it requires substantial action by the Occupying Power: it does not create a no-go zone for nationals of the occupying power who wish to migrate into the occupied territory. “Deport or transfer” is even murkier. It seems to require that the occupying power actually move the civilians in for a violation to occur (such things have been known to happen).
When one reads discussions of Israel and 49(6), the only precedents cited are various statements about 49(6) – in the context of Israel. One might conclude that Israel has been the only significant alleged violator in the post-War period. If there were no other arguable 49(6) cases, then this limitation would be natural.
Our project allows for a more dispassionate look at 49(6) by 1) using multiple independent data points; 2) not focussing on arguably the single most politically controversial situation in the world. Thus to be clear, the research project is NOT about Israel.
Indeed, instead of focussing exclusively on Israel [see Parts VI-IX of the ICRC state practice guide], we study global state practice. In particular, we examine civilian population movements into occupied territory from Morocco, Turkey, Indonesia, and several other cases, and the international legal response to these actions.
Our paper is not finished, as we hope to have a comprehensive survey. What we see so far, as described in my talk above, is that state practice in regards to these migrations fairly uniformly shows that the movement of civilians into occupied territory is not treated as “deportation or transfer” even when it is favored or generally supported by the government. Second, even for migrations directly organized by the government that may violate 49(6), international authorities have never regarded the removal of the “transferred” civilians as the appropriate remedy. On the contrary, U.N.-approved land-for-peace deals leave settlers in place, and often even let them vote on a referendum about the occupied area’s political future.One difficulty with making such research comprehensive is that unlike with Israel, where every outhouse built by Jews in the West Bank is documented and reported, civilian migrations by occupying nationals elsewhere is very poorly chronicled, at least in English sources, making it hard to determine what the facts, and thus the law is.