Op-Ed via EurActiv

Beyond labeling: How Europe can save the two-state solution

The guidelines provide EU consumers with the information they need to make a conscious individual decision not to buy settlement products marketed in the EU.

Clearly, however, the EU’s labeling policy is not forceful enough to incentivize Israel to think about quitting the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT). It is far too puny to change “the cost/benefit calculations of Israelis towards the status quo”, which is what is needed, as noted in a 2015 report by the European Council on Foreign Relations.

If the EU intended to pick this row with Israel in order to advance the two-state solution, it has failed miserably. Indeed, given the mudslinging by Israel and its US allies against the European diplomats who supported this measure, the Europeans have sold themselves short: they might as well have picked the fight over something more substantial.

Europe needs to do more, and soon, if it still believes in the two-state solution. It needs to first face reality and, second, to act on that recognition vis-à-vis Israel itself.

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