Two months after the European Union mandated that all products made in the post-1967 areas of Israel be labeled as being from “Occupied Territories,” Globes Israel Business News reports that the United States has now issued an order to its Customs agents requiring them to enforce a law that has been on the books since 1995 that requires goods produced in the West Bank to be labeled as such, and not "Made in Israel."
A heads-up came from Dan Shapiro, the U.S. ambassador to Israel who criticized Israel’s settlements and West Bank policy, saying,
“Too many attacks on Palestinians lack a vigorous investigation or response by Israeli authorities, too much vigilantism goes unchecked and at times there seem to be two standards of adherence to the rule of law: one for Israelis and another for Palestinians.”
It was followed by this order from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency on Saturday, January 25th, instructing importers in the US that products made in the territories “shall be marked as ‘West Bank,’ ‘Gaza,’ or ‘Gaza Strip’… and shall not contain the words ‘Israel,’ ‘Made in Israel,’ ‘Occupied Territories-Israel’ or words of similar meaning."
These events set the tone for a chiding at the United Nations on Tuesday, January 26th, by Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, who called Israel’s towns and villages of the West Bank “provocative acts.” The Secretary-General doubted Israel’s commitment to peace and blamed Israel for the spate of terror attacks on its citizens, saying, “As oppressed peoples have demonstrated throughout the ages, it is human nature to react to occupation, which often serves as a potent incubator of hate and extremism,”
The same day, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power said that the U.S. “strongly opposes” settlement activity, and that it is “fundamentally incompatible with the two-state solution and raises legitimate questions about Israel’s long-term intentions.”
Morton Klein, the President of the Zionist Organization of America, said, “This administration has given a pass to Abbas to continue inciting terror, covers up Palestinian calls for eliminating Israel, and puts the blame squarely on the Jewish nation as it helps validate illegal boycotts of Israel.” He continued,
“In his final year in office, the president is making his moves early to put Israel under immense pressure, as Obama shockingly ignores the total lack of commitment of, and the bloodshed welcomed by, the Palestinian leaders, that is being committed by the average citizens running amok and killing Jews."
The U.S. Customs directional was in response to complaints by Palestinians and human rights NGOs that the 1995 law was not being enforced.