Mega­s­tore re­moves Golan wines, then re­places them

The Jewish Chronicle - - WORLD NEWS - BY ANSHEL PF­EF­FER

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”

JAMES WHIT­WORTH

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