(CNSNews.com) – Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) characterized the European Union’s (EU) new trade rule towards Israel as an anti-Semitic boycott attempt during a speech Thursday at the Republican Jewish Coalition 2016 Presidential Candidates Forum.
“Consider the European Union’s recent approval of a new trade rule that requires special labeling of products produced in what the EU now considers Israeli-occupied territories, the goal of which is to encourage Europeans to boycott goods from Israel,” said Rubio.
“The rule applies to no other country in the world. Not to Russia, who invaded Georgia and Ukraine, not to China, which occupies Tibet. The EU is singling out only Israel," he noted.
“Let’s take a step back and realize what this means. Discriminatory laws that apply only to Jews are now being written into European law for the first time in more than half a century.
“I believe we need a president who is not afraid to call this out for what it is: This is anti-Semitism,” Rubio stated.
Earlier in his speech, the Republican presidential candidate also criticized the Obama administration’s lack of support towards Israel.
"Instead of standing up to those who single out Israel, the Obama administration takes the path of least resistance. It throws up its hands and says, in essence, 'not our problem'.
"Consider this: just weeks ago, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas began a speech to a UN body by asking: 'For how long will the occupation of our land last? After 67 years, how long?'
"As we all know, 67 years ago was 1948, the year of Israel's creation," Rubio pointed out. "And so the man who was supposed to be Israel's partner for peace has just said that all of Israel is illegitimate and that the Jewish state is an occupation of someone else's land.
"Now, this is not unusual rhetoric for a Palestinian leader," Rubio continued. "But what matters is that it should have provoked a harsh condemnation from the United States.
"But our current president said nothing. By his silence, our government emboldened those who seek Israel's destruction and made ourselves a bystander to a poisonous lie.
“Similarly, over the last three months of Palestinian terror attacks, our administration has refused over and over again to do anything more than call on both sides for restraint," Rubio said.
"As if there were no difference between aggression and self-defense."