Foxman: Singling out Israel, as in labeling West Bank products, is anti-Semitism

As Germany joins other EU countries backing special designation for settler goods, ADL chief deplores unique focus on Jewish state

David Horovitz

David Horovitz is the founding editor of The Times of Israel. He is the author of "Still Life with Bombers" (2004) and "A Little Too Close to God" (2000), and co-author of "Shalom Friend: The Life and Legacy of Yitzhak Rabin" (1996). He previously edited The Jerusalem Post (2004-2011) and The Jerusalem Report (1998-2004).

Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League (Miriam Alster/Flash90/File)
Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League (Miriam Alster/Flash90/File)

New moves in the EU toward requiring products originating in West Bank settlements to be labeled as such for the European market constitute anti-Semitism, the head of the Anti-Defamation League said Sunday, since they represent “efforts at singling out Israel” when there is no outcry over so many human rights abuses elsewhere.

Speaking amid reports that the German government recently passed legislation in support of the EU labeling scheme, ADL national director Abraham Foxman said Sunday: “If the only country you want to single out is Israel, that’s anti-Semitism.”

Elaborating in an interview with The Times of Israel, Foxman said that if Israel was facing boycott or similar pressures on the basis of alleged human rights abuses along with countries such as China, Saudi Arabia and others, “then I’ll argue that Israel doesn’t belong in such a list, and if I lose the argument, I’ll say you’re misguided. But if the only country you want to label is Israel, that’s anti-Semitism.”

Foxman discounted the notion that the situation in the West Bank was unique and therefore might justify a unique response, arguing that the focus on alleged Israeli human rights abuses relating to settlements was “an excuse to single out Israel.”

Given the dismal human rights situation in so many places worldwide, “where people are being killed for who they are,” he asked, “this is the only concern? Where are the sanctions against those who kill Christians, Muslims, Copts? Where’s the outcry?”

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