Merkel: Germany will never boycott Israel
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in Jerusalem Tuesday Germany will not participate in any boycott against Israel.
Merkel, in a joint news conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said that under German law it would be permissible to label products as having been produced in Israeli settlements on the West Bank, the Jerusalem Post reported.
"We do not support the demands for a boycott. This is not an option for Germany," she said. "We have certain rules of labeling and we have to adhere to those rules, but we do not believe in boycotts."
Netanyahu told her he hopes "others follow your lead." He said boycotts would create more "Palestinian intransigence" without doing anything to help the Palestinian economy.
Actress Scarlett Johansson came under fire last month for endorsing SodaStream, an Israeli factory on the West Bank. The Israeli newspaper Haaretz said Monday that it believes many Israelis check labels carefully and avoid buying products produced on the West Bank.
Merkel said she accepts that the Palestinians must recognize Israel's right to exist as a precondition for a political settlement.
Since 2005, Israel has been the target of a global effort called the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, which seeks to put pressure on Israel to pull out of its settlements in contested Palestinian areas and allow Palestinian refugees to return. The Post noted several U.S. academic organizations have recently joined the movement.
- Why BDS is no BS: could the global boycott campaign mean for Israel what it meant for South Africa?
- Israel expects Germany to lead fight against boycotts, product labeling from West Bank
- International community agrees to fund Palestinians on condition that Hamas seek peace with Israel
- Netanyahu arrives in Germany for talks with Angela Merkel
- Paul van Dyk's new album banned in Egypt, Lebanon for showing the 'unifying power of dance music'