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Emet m'Tsiyon

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Greece Opposes Labeling of Goods from Jewish Settlements

Greece has many reasons to resent the European Union, which has hardly treated Greece with brotherly and sisterly solidarity in the case of its debt crisis. In fact, the solutions to the Greek debt crisis, originating mainly in Germany at the German central bank, the Bundesbank, and adopted by the Eurozone, made Greece's debt crisis much worse than it had been before Greece turned to the Eurozone bodies for help, as we have shown in a number of previous posts.

Moreover, the Republic of Cyprus with its ethnic Greek majority that once aspired to join their island to Greece, has been occupied in part since 1974 by Turkey. That was 41 years ago. Some 200,000 Greek Cypriots were "ethnically cleansed" by  the Turkish invasion of the island, and fled to the south of the island as about 35 to 38% of the island was left occupied by Turkey. Or some would say that they were "displaced" in the euphemistic language generally used in the mainstream international press when writing about the Turkish invasion of Cyprus. Since then, the European Union to which both Greece and their brothers and sisters in Cyprus belong has had little to say in opposition to or criticism of the continued Turkish occupation. This contrasts with the constant EU criticism of Israel for allegedly "occupying" Judea and Samaria, the heart of the ancient Jewish homeland, called Ioudaia in Greek and IVDAEA (Judea) in Latin, both names pronounced about the same.

Furthermore, the international community had asssigned the Land of Israel, the former Roman province of Judea (roughly speaking), to the Jewish people as the Jewish National Home at the San Remo Conference, 1920, and the League of Nations, 1922. The Jewish National Home principle was supported by one of the leading Greek statesmen of the time, Eleftherios Venizelos.
As we know, the United Kingdom received a mandate from the League to foster development of the Jewish National Home. But the UK betrayed that commitment, most notably in the 1939 "Palestine White Paper."

Greece too was betrayed by its World War I allies, most notably France and the UK, who had promised Greece that it could take back Greek-populated territories in Anatolia, such as Smyrna and its hinterland, in return for supporting the Western Allies, the so-called Entente powers, in their war with Germany, Austria-Hungary (the Habsburg Empire) and the Ottoman Empire. The Supreme Allied Council dominated by the UK & France --two of the Principal Allied Powers-- hobbled Greece in its military operations in Anatolia so much that Ataturk's Turkish nationalists were able to defeat the Greeks after an intial Greek advantage and then drive out of Anatolia not only the Greek army but the ethnic Greek population of several million people [see "Smyrna" toward the bottom of the post] (1922). This was one of major instances of ethnic cleansing in the 20th century before WW2.

In another case of betrayal of promises, the EU claims that Judea-Samaria is "occupied" by Israel and constantly vilifies Israel's presence there. The EU also insists incorrectly that Geneva Convention IV 49:6 forbids Jews from moving into Judea-Samaria area because it is "occupied," as they allege. This racist, anti-Jewish policy has been most recently manifested in the call on EU member states to insist that products from Israeli/Jewish settlements in Judea-Samaria be labeled as such, that is, as products of an "occupied territory." This means that the EU wants to foreclose any need for Palestinian Arabs to negotiate with Israel what the future borders between Israel and a Palestinian Arab state will be. They want to force Israel to accept the PA/PLO's demands that Israel retreat to the 1949 armistice lines that were never borders, in order to have peace with the PA/PLO. And the EU wants to use the EU consumers to pressure Israel to submit, by not buying products from supposedly "illegal settlements". But no such pressure on Turkey is visible. Greece realizes that it cannot rely on the EU.

Greece set to oppose EU settlement labeling

Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias has sent a letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu informing him of Athens’s opposition to the EU guidelines on the labeling of goods produced in Israeli settlements, The Times of Israel learns.
Kotzias’s message to Netanyahu came three day after Greek PM Alexis Tsipras visited Israel on Wednesday of last week.
Other than Greece, the only countries to break ranks on the measure are Hungary, which has declared its opposition; and Germany, which has yet to say whether it will implement it.
— Raphael Ahren Times of Israel
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More on the Greek position [here]. PM Tsipras also recognizes Jerusalem as Israel's "historic capital."

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