In a move that caused a stir among U.S. lawmakers and some lobby groups, the US Customs and Border Protection agency recently issued a reminder that goods produced in Israeli settlements in the West Bank or Gaza Strip should not be labeled “Made in Israel.” In rapid retaliation, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) proposed a bill to reverse the 20-year-established labeling regulation, calling it “nonsensical” and “invidious.”
Cotton appears to be taking his cue from Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) who proposed a bill objecting to the guidelines the European Union issued in November 2015 regarding labeling requirements on settlement-made products.
By so doing, the senators ignore that Israeli settlements are an illegal enterprise under international law. An occupying power is, among other things, prohibited from transferring its citizens into the territory it occupies or of displacing that population.