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Passion Islam I January 2010 LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS I 11
UK issues advice on labeling
West Bank products
The British government British advice “is a surrender to
says that produce from the Palestinian organizations,
the West Bank may not will lead to another radicalization
be labeled as “produce of within Palestinian positions, and
Israel,” because the area is will harm, at a critical moment, the
not within the internationally Israeli and international efforts
recognized boundaries of to renew the peace process
the state. Such products are on the basis of understandings
now labeled “produce of the between the two sides.”
West Bank.” Some campaigners in
The advice drew an Britain welcomed DEFRA’s
angry response from Israel’s position. “We support the right
Foreign Ministry, which said of consumers to know the origin
Friday that it would promote of the products they purchase,”
further radicalization of said Barbara Stocking, chief
Palestinians. executive of the Oxfam aid
The Department of
Britain regards Israeli settlements
charity. “Trade with Israeli
Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
on the West Bank as illegal, but it also
settlements which are illegal under
said traders and retailers could, at
opposes boycotts of Israeli products,
international law contributes to their
their option, add the additional label
DEFRA said.
economic viability and serves to
of “Israeli settlement produce” or
Since 2005, an agreement between
legitimize them. It is also clear from
“Palestinian produce.”
Israel and the European Union
our development work in West Bank
The department issued the advice
excludes produce from the West Bank
communities that settlements have
saying it was responding to requests
from a preferential tariff rate.
led to the denial of rights and create
from retailers, consumer groups and Shahar Arieli, assistant spokesman poverty for many Palestinians.”
others for greater clarity in labeling. of the Israeli Foreign Ministry, said the
UK ex-spy chief denies
Iraq dossier manipulation
Britain’s Iraq Inquiry has heard until after the Iraq invasion, when by the previous Hutton and Butler
evidence from former intelligence it became apparent that something inquiries.
chief Sir John Scarlett who maintained was wrong…In the end it turned out British media have questioned
information about Iraq’s weapons that the information was not credible, whether a committee selected by the
were not ‘intentionally’ manipulated to it had originated from an émigré taxi government could act as independent,
meet the government’s demands. driver on the Iraqi-Jordanian border, amid criticism for lack of tangible proof
He dismissed speculation that he who had remembered an overheard in the official’s defenses and its refusal
had been under pressure to “firm up” conversation in the back of his cab to reinvestigate serious accusation
the September 2002 dossier which a full two years earlier,” Holloway’s over the government’s now-notorious
contained the claim Iraq could use report read. pre-war dossiers.
weapons of mass destruction (WMD) The inquiry, led by a five-member The notorious dossier has
within 45 minutes of Saddam’s order. committee of former advisors and civil been linked to sudden death and
Scarlett’s appearance at the inquiry, servants selected by Downing Street, possible murder of former UN Iraq
a Commons Defense Committee did not question the ex-spy chief on weapons inspector Dr. David Kelly,
member and Conservative lawmaker, Holloway’s claims, saying it would not whose identity as a BBC source in a
Adam Holloway, published a report deal with the claim unless it was later documentary claiming the government
alleging that the source of the fateful deemed “relevant” in the inquiry. exaggerated the report as a pretext
45-minute claim was in fact an émigré Opening the session, the chairman for the 2003 war was revealed days
taxi driver. of the inquiry, Sir John Chilcot, said before his so-called ‘suicide.’
“The provenance of this information his committee was not interested in
was never questioned in detail reopening issues already dealt with
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