Dutch Christian Zionists fined for loving Israel

Pieter Van Oordt has a family tradition of praying for Israel that goes back over 180 years but last week, they were fined under a new law for “mislabeling” wine made in Judea and Samaria.

Last week, the Israel Products Center (IPC) near Amsterdam was fined $2,514 for refusing to replace a label on a bottle of wine made in Israel with one stating, “Product from the West Bank (Israeli settlement)” as per legislation from the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority. The legislation is controversial with at least four Dutch political parties claiming the law is prejudicial, targeting Israeli products while ignoring labels on products from other disputed areas, including Western Sahara and Northern Cyprus.

Karel van Oordt founded the International Christians for Israel (CFI) organization and its import agency, the IPC, in 1979 to support Israel economically. Motivated by his Biblical beliefs, van Oordt wanted to help practically to return the Jews back to Israel in order to bring the Messiah. His message was specifically for his fellow Christians but had a universal element as well. Karel passed away in 2013 but his son, Pieter carried on the family tradition with his brother Roger and the organization now has branches and affiliates in more than 30 countries.

Medical Care Minister Tamara van Ark rejected the claim, saying that the policy of enforcing EU regulations on labels is being universally applied, however, the Center for Information on Documentation on Israel, a Jewish community watchdog, said Wednesday that it had no information on any action taken on country-of-origins labels on products that were not made by Israelis.

The IPC’s import agency, which brings in shipments of Israeli products to sell worldwide, has millions of dollars in revenue, importing120,000 bottles of Israeli wine every year, as well as tons of Dead Sea cosmetics and thousands of every-day goods, such as Israeli-made cleaning detergents and Israeli snacks and foods. Its best customers, most of them Protestant members of the Christians for Israel movement, share the van Oorts’ ideological and religious views of Israel, buying Israeli goods through a feeling of moral duty to help Jews return to their land.

In 2015, the European Commission passed a resolution requiring products made by Jewish-owned companies in Judea, Samaria, the Golan Heights, and sections of Jerusalem to be labeled in a manner indicating their origins. The EU inaccurately considers these sections of Israel to  be “occupied.” The van Oordts have conflicted with the government on several occasions over this law. The EU resolution has no legal impact but the Dutch government adopted the resolution into law.

“Labeling was created to ensure food safety but has become a political tool to pressure the Jewish state,” said van Oordt. “These are anti-Jewish regulations to me. They mean separating products made by Jews and Arabs.”

When the legislation was first adopted by the European Union in 2016, Pieter van Oordt wrote a letter to his thousands of loyal customers, informing them that the company would be waiving shipment costs for that month in order to stimulate sales. Van Oordt argued in his letter that the policy was prejudicial, focusing on Israel while ignoring numerous other cases of disputed territories. He accused the EU of going against the Bible by denying Israel’s Biblical right to the land and condemned the EU policy for humanitarian reasons, citing the loss of livelihood to the Jewish and Arab residents of what the EU labeled “occupied territories”.

“Regardless of the Biblical and political arguments against the decision to partition Israel in such a way, it is also inhumane. These people deserve a salary to support their families,” he wrote.

Pieter told Israel365 that he is following in the family tradition as his ancestors began praying for Israel to come into existence already in 1835.

. “Israel is God’s friend and all of the promises God made to Israel are coming true. That is how Israel came to be,” he explained.


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