Megastore removes Golan wines, then replaces them
LAST WEEKEND, Berlin’s famous department store KaDeWe reversed a decision to remove some Israeli products — including some Golan Heights wines — from its shelves.
The U-turn followed last month’s publication of new EU guidelines on labelling products manufactured in settlements.
KaDeWe’s move to remove the products prompted a wave of online protests against the department store. In a statement, Benjamin Netanyahu connected the action to the history of the business which, in the 1920s, had been owned by a Jewish family, was boycotted by the Nazis and sold under coercion in 1933.
KaDeWe quickly cancelled its decision, apologising for acting “too quickly and insensitively” to the EU guidelines and stating that only eight products out of over 200 Israeli goods sold by the store had been temporarily moved. The furore highlights the lack of clarity on how the labelling is to be implemented. According to the EU guidelines, products originating from East Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Golan Heights should not be labelled as “produce of Israel” but carry on their labels their specific place of origin and a note saying whether they were made by Palestinians or on an “Israeli settlement”.
While officially, Israel has responded angrily to the guidelines, the main concern is not over any significant damage to Israel’s exports to the EU. The worry is that the move could fuel the incessant anti-Israel campaigning throughout the EU. “I promised Isaac we’d combine shopping with a pantomime”