S. Africa won't label territories' goods as Israeli

Pretoria approves plan requiring special labels for Israeli products "emanating from IOTs (Israel Occupied Territories)."

By
August 22, 2012 17:46
1 minute read.
South Africans protest Israel [file]

South Africans protest Israel 370. (photo credit: reuters)

 
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The South African cabinet on Wednesday approved a plan to require special labels on products coming from the settlements so that they do not read "Made in Israel."

The government's approval comes some three months after the plan was first made public, and despite a flood of protest from South African Jews and other pro-Israel supporters in the country.

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The cabinet issued a statement saying it "approved that a notice in terms of the Consumer Protection Act, 2008 be issued by the Minister of Trade and Industry requiring the labeling of goods or products emanating from IOTs (Israel Occupied Territories) to prevent consumers being led to believe that such goods come from Israel. This is in line with South Africa’s stance that recognizes the 1948 borders delineated by the United Nations and does not recognize occupied territories beyond these borders as being part of the state of Israel."

The decision came at a cabinet meeting where the cabinet also noted the "importance" of South Africa's participation in the upcoming Non-Aligned Movement meeting in Tehran.

The UN never delineated borders in 1948, so it is not clear whether the South African government is referring to the 1947 UN Partition Plan or perhaps the 1949 Armistice Lines.

Avrom Krengel, the chairman of the South African Zionist Federation and South African Chief Rabbi Warren Goldstein, issued a statement saying the South African Jewish community was "outraged" over the cabinet’s decision.

"In acting in so cavalier a manner, government has not only bypassed the consultation process set in motion by the notice but shown itself to be completely dismissive of Jewish concerns," the statement said.

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The statement said that the Jewish community was denied "any meaningful opportunity" of explaining its position to the government.

"It is the firm belief of the Jewish communal leadership that the proposed measures are discriminatory, divisive, inconsistent with South African trade policy and seriously flawed from both an administrative and procedural point of view," the statement read. "At bottom, they are believed to be motivated not by technical trade concerns but by political bias against the State of Israel. All attempts to discuss these concerns, however, have come to nothing."

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