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#israel Yair Lapid meets Mogherini in Brussels, urges EU action over boycotts

| January 18, 2016 | 0 Comments

Federica MogheriniBy Yossi Lempkowicz, Europe Israel Press Association (EIPA)

During a visit to Brussels, the leader of opposition Yesh Atid party Yair Lapid urged European Union leaders to encourage EU member states to unified their stance against attempts to boycott Israel.

Lapid met with EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mognerini whom he asked to push for a joint statement by the 28 Foreign Ministers which would reject the activities of the boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement.

The ministers are to meet next Monday in Brussels for their first Council meeting under the Dutch presidency.

Mogherini reportedly replied that she would take action on the issue and emphasised that she and the entire EU opposes calls to boycott Israel.

We must not leave the scene. Just as the IDF [Israel Defence Force] should reach every area which attacks Israel, so must we in the foreign arena be wherever they attack Israel, respond and try to change the situation,” Lapid declared after the meeting.

Last November, the EU issued new guidelines for labeling products from Judea, Samaria (the West Bank), eastern Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, which Israel rejected as “discriminatory” and tantamount to a boycott of Israel.

Mogherini said last week that the EU would not drop its plan to label these Israeli products entering the EU market as “Products from settlements” instead of “Products from Israel.”

Mogherini said  that the EU is “united on these technical guidelines on the indication of origin” and continued to insist the labelling plan “is in no way a boycott.”

Hungary, Greece and the Czech Republic have so far expressed their opposition to the EU labelling decision.

During his meeting with Mogherini, Lapid also expressed outrage at the “hateful manner towards Israel” expressed by Sweden’s Foreign Minister Margot Wallström, who has been condemned by Israeli leaders across the political spectrum, having called for an investigation into what she termed “extrajudicial killings” by Israeli forces of Palestinians who have launched recent knife attacks against Israelis.

At least 23 Israelis have been killed in near-daily attacks by Palestinians, mainly through stabbings and vehicle ramming, during a wave of violence which began in October.

Lapid also explained to Mogherini that “it is inconceivable that Jews in Marseille cannot walk around with a kippah, in a reference to a call by a Jewish leader in the city to refrain from wearing the kippah following attacks against Jews in the southern French port city.

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