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Dutch shop fined for omitting ‘settlement’ from West Bank wine label

Israel Products Center forced to pay $2,514 after labeling it ‘product from an Israeli village in Judea and Samaria’ instead of wording from 2015 EU regulation

Pieter van Oordt, left, with his brother Roger at the Israel Products Center in Nijkerk, the Netherlands, February 19, 2016. (Cnaan Liphshiz via JTA)
Pieter van Oordt, left, with his brother Roger at the Israel Products Center in Nijkerk, the Netherlands, February 19, 2016. (Cnaan Liphshiz via JTA)

AMSTERDAM, The Netherlands (JTA) — Dutch government inspectors fined a store for labeling wine made in an Israeli settlement as “a product from an Israeli village in Judea and Samaria.”

The Israel Products Center near Amsterdam received the $2,514 fine last week following its refusal to replace the label with one acceptable to the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority, which requires such labels read “Product from the West Bank (Israeli settlement).”

The Israel Products Center, a shop and importer run by the pro-Israel group Christians for Israel, has had legal problems over labeling since 2019. The center’s director, Pieter van Oordt, wrote in a statement that he was “shocked” by the government’s actions, which he said were discriminatory.

At least four Dutch political parties have accused the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority of singling out Israeli products and ignoring controversial labels on products from other disputed areas, including Western Sahara and Northern Cyprus.

Medical Care Minister Tamara van Ark has rejected the claim, saying last year that the policy of enforcing EU regulations on labels is being applied across the board. However, the Center for Information on Documentation on Israel, a Jewish community watchdog, said Wednesday that it had no information on any action taken on country-of-origins labels on products that were not made by Israelis.

In 2015, the European Commission adopted regulations barring the labeling of products from areas it considers occupied by Israel as made in Israel, a decision it attributed to the consumer’s right to know the origins of products.

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