SA Minister Rejects Racially Motivated Labeling Bid (INN) ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS) By Rachel Hirshfeld 05/22/12)
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South African Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies has
rejected “with utter contempt” suggestions that there were racial
motivations for his move to prohibit Israeli goods produced in Judea
and Samaria from being sold under the label “Made in Israel.”
Davies was adamant that his department was neither seeking to promote
a boycott of Israeli goods nor to prevent the entry of such products
into South Africa. He asserted, however, that the move was aimed at
ensuring that products were correctly labeled so that South African
consumers could decide for themselves as to whether they wanted to
purchase them, the Independent Online reported.
The move would force traders to re-label certain Israeli products to
say that they originated in “occupied territory,” rather than to
read “Made in Israel” or “Product of Israel.”
“I was asked by an Israeli television station yesterday whether I was
an anti-Semite. I was accused of being a left-leaning Jew,” Davies
said. “It has given rise to all sorts of labels, which I reject with
“But it is also the case that we do not support the effective
occupation of the territory outside of the 1967 borders, and there
may be consumers in SA who would want to exercise their consumer
rights, as they have the right to do, and will have to be guided by
accurate labeling.” he stated.
Davies said his department had put out for comment the intention to
issue a notice, under Section 26 of the Consumer Protection Act,
which would require traders in SA not to incorrectly label products.
“We are not that different from many other countries in the
international community, even the EU, where our recognition of Israel
is the 1967 borders of Israel, and there is a distinction between
products which come from within those borders and products which come
from territories outside, notably the West Bank, which were
territories which fell under Israeli control after that date” he said.
“We are giving people an opportunity to comment on this. But there is
an argument we could have gone straight ahead and done it without
opening it up to any consultation,” he continued.
“Within the Middle East it is somewhere in the middle… This is not a
measure which, from the government’s point of view, is intended to be
a boycott of products coming even from occupied territories and
certainly not intended to be a boycott of Israel,” he claimed.
“It would be unfortunate if it was the case.” (IsraelNationalNews ©
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