Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) President Morton A. Klein and ZOA Chair Mark Levenson, Esq. released the following statement:
The ZOA strongly supports the bill introduced today by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) to prevent the Biden Administration from requiring changes to the country of origin marking of products from the “West Bank and Gaza,” which would impact goods made in Judea and Samaria. Upon passage of this bill, no funds would be available to implement any change in the labeling policy. Businesses in Israel make no distinction about the origin of components for exports, so in addition to wrongly using the name “West Bank” to label some goods produced in Israel, an inefficient and cumbersome process would have to be introduced that would be a burden on Israeli businesses. The bill is co-sponsored by Rick Scott (R-FL), John Boozman (R-AR), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Bill Hagerty (R-TN) and Ted Cruz (R-TX).
President Trump changed the (generally ignored) old policy implemented by President Obama with an executive order to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection on December 23, 2020. It has been suspected that President Biden might undo this executive order, as he has so many others promulgated by President Trump, and this bill would prevent any such move.
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said:
“We thank Senator Cotton for taking the lead on this issue. Israel is the moral and historic and legal authority of Judea/Samaria under international law. Jews come from Judea. These historic Jewish areas are home to over 500,000 Jewish Israeli citizens. It is thus necessary and proper to label products made in these areas as ‘Products of Israel.'”
ZOA Director of Government Relations Dan Pollak said:
“Extreme anti-Israel, antisemitic groups have been using their influence with the Biden administration to push for a change in the Trump policy, and there is no reason to introduce a strain in the U.S.-Israel trade relationship. The so-called ‘West Bank’ is only a geographical label used to de-Judaize ancient Jewish territory. It is inaccurate to use the term West Bank today for any purpose.”
ZOA urges Senators from both parties to co-sponsor the bill and hopes it will quickly become law.