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Sahara : Did the Netherlands pass a motion on labeling goods from all territories in dispute ?

Last week, the Dutch parliament passed a non-binding motion that contradicted a new labeling policy imposed by the European Union on goods made in Israeli settlement. The motion referred to products from Western Sahara, stressing that decision against Israel is «discriminatory».

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In an unprecedented move, the Dutch parliament passed, Tuesday November 19, a non-binding motion saying that a European Union Court ruling on labeling goods produced in Israeli settlements is «discriminatory», referring to Western Sahara.

The motion, supported by 82 Dutch lawmakers out of 150 and opposed by 68 others, was submitted to protest against a European Court of Justice ruling made public on November 12, which forces Israel to label foods made in its settlements when marketed in the European Union members states.

Voted in the lower house of the Dutch parliament, the motion was submitted by Christian Union representative Joel Stephanus Voordewind. In his motion, Voordewind urged the Dutch government to «speak out against the discriminatory treatment of Israel».

Labeling goods from all territories deemed in dispute ?

The Dutch MP stressed in his motion that European Union court’s ruling on labeling products does not apply to «goods from other territories that are considered occupied, including Cyprus and Western Sahara», Jerusalem Post reports.

Furthermore, Voordewind stressed that the Netherlands must «lobby in the European Union for the ruling on Israel to be applied only if it is applied on all other occupied lands».

The Dutch motion on the European Union court labeling decision did not go unnoticed. Pro-Polisario news platform SNN, rushed into relaying the news, claiming that the Dutch parliament is mainly urging the EU to «apply the ruling against Israel on all territories» deemed occupied.

Referring to products coming from Western Sahara and marketed in the European Union members states, the platform reported that the Dutch parliament will be discussing the proposal in an upcoming session. The same news was also relayed by other pro-Polisario platforms.

However, the Dutch motion is meant to bring support for Israel rather than make the European Union apply the same labeling policy on other territories.

After the Dutch motion on Israel was submitted, Israel’s ambassador to the Netherlands Naor Gilon welcomed the step on his Twitter account. Quoted by Dutch newspaper Joods, Gilon «thanked Joel Voordewind and all the supporters of this motion».

«I hope that in case the Dutch government fails to persuade the EU to implement only if applicable to all territories in dispute, they will adopt their own recommendation and not implement a discriminatory resolution», the diplomat stressed.

It is worth mentioning that pro-Polisario reports did not refer to the fact that the motion submitted by the Dutch MP is a non-binding and symbolic one.

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