PRETORIA – A South African opposition party is organizing two marches on Thursday to protest against the government’s latest moves against Israel.
The African Christian Democratic Party’s call to demonstrate came after Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies’s proposal a few weeks ago to label imports from Israel originating in the West Bank as “Made in Israel.”
Pro-Palestinian NGO Open Shuhada Street and Palestinian groups in South Africa had lobbied for the proposal, alleging that certain products such as cosmetics, soft drinks and technology were being falsely labeled as having been produced in Israel, when they had actually originated in “occupied Palestine.”
Last week, ACDP president Rev. Kenneth Meshoe opposed Davies’s proposal, stating that the entire notion was flawed and based on allegations that cannot be proven.
He further stated that there is no such state as occupied Palestine: “I am disputing that the Palestinian territories are not legally and officially recognized in the world.”
Meshoe then accused the South African government of being misleading and unfair toward Israel, demanding that the Jewish state be treated “like any other country.”
In response to the proposal and the continuing support it is receiving from high officials within leading party African National Congress, Meshoe will be heading this Thursday’s march in Pretoria – one of the country’s three capital cities, serving as the executive and de facto national capital – in front of the Trade and Industry Ministry.
He plans to hold another march simultaneously in Cape Town, near the seat of the parliament.
Other Christian organizations are also expected to join.
An ACDP spokesman informed The Jerusalem Post that they are still working out the exact routes of the two events.
Wendy Kahn of the South African Jewish Board of Deputies told the Post that they are finalizing a submission against the proposal, and are hoping to file it at the end of the week. South African regulations require that such a submission allow 60 days for public comment before the minister can ratify it – the beginning of July in this case.