Congress Fights Back Against Obama’s Crusade To Label Israeli Products

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Juliegrace Brufke Capitol Hill Reporter
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Arkansas Republican Sen. [crscore]Tom Cotton[/crscore] introduced a bill Monday designed to override a regulation being enforced by the Obama administration preventing goods made in Gaza or the West Bank from being labeled “Made in Israel.”

“The United States must stand with Israel and against any action to undermine its legitimacy. The Obama administration, however, last week issued a policy directive that required the special labeling of goods produced in the disputed territories, and threatened enforcement actions against those who do not comply,” the junior senator said in a statement. “That directive plays right into the hands of those who are driving insidious efforts to boycott Israeli goods. While some say the directive merely ‎restates an old labeling rule originally drafted 20 years ago with no intention to stigmatize Israel, the truth is the rule was lightly if ever enforced and serves little purpose today.”

The guidance issued by the U.S. Customs & Border Protection in late-January say any good made in those regions marked as being made in Israel will be “subject to an enforcement action” by the agency.

“There is an effort in some quarters around the globe to delegitimize Israel. Those behind it know they are too weak politically and too wrong morally to succeed in quick and dramatic fashion,” he continued. “They instead seek to achieve their aims gradually with incremental steps like labeling rules. It’s incumbent on all those who stand with Israel therefore to remain ever vigilant.”

The regulation was put in place in 1995, according to Forward.com, but was not regularly enforced.

The bill does not yet have any cosponsors.

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Juliegrace Brufke