S. Africa to enforce special labeling of settlement products (YNetNews.Com -Yedioth Internet) Elior Levy Latest Update: 05.19.12, 20:14)
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Trade and Industry Ministry announces intention to ban marking
products from settlements with ´made in Israel´ label. Jerusalem to
summon S. African ambassador over ´racist´ decision
The South Africa Trade and Industry Ministry announced Saturday that
the government intends to ban local importers from selling products
from West Bank settlements with a label indicating that they were
made in Israel.
The decision came after a one year-long campaign launched by
Palestinian organizations and South African human rights groups.
While South Africa is not banning the sale of products from
settlements, the decision will oblige merchants to apply a special
label noting that the product originates from beyond the Green Line.
If the decision is implemented, South Africa will become the first
country to specially mark products from the Jewish settlements.
Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies issued a notice saying the new
directive would ensure that South African importers do not
to "incorrectly label products that originate from the Occupied
Palestinian Territory as products of Israel."
The notice also said that the government of South Africa recognizes
the State of Israel only within the borders delineated by the United
Nations in 1948.
The minister added that he received many complaint letters over soft
drinks and tech companies, as well as Dead Sea cosmetics company
Ahava, which distribute their products in South Africa as if they
originate from Israel, "whereas they originate from the occupied
The official notice, signed by the minister on May 1, calls on the
public to send in their responses to the decision, which is scheduled
to take effect on July 1.
´Jewish radicals leading campaign´
The decision stirred controversy in Jerusalem, officials saying that
South Africa´s ambassador to Israel will be summoned to the Foreign
Ministry on Sunday for clarification.
The officials called the decision "racist," saying "it´s a shame that
South Africa, which suffered from racism for years, is the one
leading this gambit."
The officials added that the decision specifically targets Israel ,
and has not been issued against any other state, which proves that it
is a politically-motivated move that can have detrimental
consequences on Israeli exports as a whole.
Yesha Council chairman Dani Dayan also responded to the announcment,
telling Ynet that it is not surprising the decision was made by Trade
and Industry Minister Rob Davies, who he called "a radical leftist
"This proves once again that Jews from the radical Left proudly lead
the propaganda campaign against the State of Israel. The same goes
for J Street in the United States and Goldstone in South Africa. We
will prevail," he added.
Meanwhile, the Palestinian Authority welcomed the decision, saying
that it is a first step in the right direction.
Head of the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee Mohammed Khatib
and a resident of the village of Bilin said the decision "stems from
the recognition that the Palestinians were wronged by the occupation
and the settlements, and that the de-facto annexation of our land is
On Friday, Denmark´s Foreign Minister Willy Sondal said he is looking
into allowing supermarkets to apply special labels to products made
in the West Bank.
In an interview with a local paper, Sondal said he wants to give
consumers the option to decide which products to purchase. "This move
shows consumers that the products are made under conditions that are
not only approved by the Danish government, but also by European
governments," he said. Attila Somfalvi contributed to this report
(Copyright 2012 © Yedioth Internet 05/19/12)
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