Wednesday, December 22, 2010

This Wouldn't Be Apartheid, Would It?


The European Union said on Wednesday that it had agreed with the Palestinian Authority to import fruit, vegetables, oils and fish products from Gaza and West Bank duty free for up to 10 years.

The deal affects relatively small volumes of trade. EU imports from Gaza and the West Bank were worth 6.1 million euros ($8.02 million) in 2009 and were mostly early potatoes, oils and seeds such as soya and sunflower seeds, according to EU data.

To protect EU farmers, fruit and vegetables enter the EU at a minimum import price or face duties.

"Further opening to the EU market is expected to support the development of the economy of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip through increased export performance," the EU's executive Commission, which negotiates trade on behalf of the bloc, said in a statement.

The deal aims to benefit only Palestinian products, the Commission said -- a reference to the thorny issue of farm goods from Jewish settlements in the disputed territories, which previously benefitted from EU concessions to Palestine.

"We are aware that the true origin is a potential problem, so we shall be watching that closely," said Commission spokesman Roger Waite.

So, let me get this straight, the previous 'discrimination' (which really wasn't discrimination, perhaps preferential treatement) will be corrected by a new 'discrimination' and moreover, the same land and soil will be subjected to a different relationship based on the ethnicity of the farmer growing the produce.

That wouldn't be apartheid, would it?



Ungar said...

How exactely are the import rules and duties from the territories to Israel

- if the producer is an Israeli
- if the producer does not hold Israeli citizenship

That's a question that has interested me for some time, and I am sure you are the competent person to answer it, since you live there.

YMedad said...

here's a viewpoint

Ungar said...

Sorry I did not find the answer to my question in the article you linked.

My question was:

If goods are imported from the West Bank to Israel, does Israel make a distinction whether they were produced by Israelis or other residents of the West Bank?

YMedad said...

No, except for stringent public health and hygiene issues.

Ungar said...

Thank you