Kantor Criticizes E.U. For Labeling Plans, Lack Of Action Against Hezbollah

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European Jewish Congress President Moshe Kantor has compared the EU’s moves to label goods from Israeli companies operating in West Bank settlements to the EU’s failure to put Hezbollah on its list of terrorist organizations. In a letter sent to the leaders of the 27 European Union member states Kantor said the European Union “appears to be singling out one disputed territory of the world for special treatment” whereas it had “no similar policies for the other tens of territories that are the subject of international disputes.”

He added that “the timing of the labeling issue is inauspicious as it is diverting energies that could be better placed supporting positive moves towards restarting direct negotiations between the parties.” Kantor said the EU’s stance was seen as “one-sided and biased” and only served “to negatively affect this positive momentum and increase ill-faith and bad feeling between the parties.”

Kantor wrote in his letter that while the labeling of goods originating over the ‘Green Line’ was problematic, it was made worse by the comparative lack of traction on the issue of adding Hezbollah to the EU list of terrorist organizations. He said that “while there is a consensus and movement on the labeling issue, there appears to be little movement on the goal of proscribing Hezbollah as a terrorist organization within the European Union.” He called Hezbollah “an organization with a proven and indisputable record of murder and terrorism in Europe and around the world” that “is allowed to act freely, recruit and raise funds unimpeded on the European continent.”

The Jewish leader applauded EU foreign policy chief, Baroness Catherine Ashton, who put her full support behind the diplomatic efforts of US Secretary of State John Kerry. Kantor met with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem on Wednesday to discuss these matters