European Parliament Head Downplays Israel Boycott Fears

Economic boycotts of Israel over its policies toward the Palestinians aren’t on the European Union agenda, European Parliament President Martin Schultz said, downplaying Israel’s concerns.

“There is no boycott,” Schultz said yesterday after receiving an honorary doctorate from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. While there is debate within the parliament over whether goods produced in West Bank settlements should have the same preferential access to EU markets as goods produced in Israel do, “in the European parliament there is for sure not a majority for a potential boycott,” he said.

Some Israeli officials, including Finance Minister Yair Lapid, expressed concern after several European companies and institutions cut ties in recent months with Israeli companies that operate in east Jerusalem and the West Bank, territories Palestinians claim for a future state.

“Boycott is a very tough word,” Schultz said, according to an e-mailed statement from the university. “To boycott means to completely block cooperation and trade between countries. We are not speaking about such a boycott.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Calev Ben-David in Jerusalem at cbendavid@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew J. Barden at barden@bloomberg.net

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