South African Minister of Trade and Industry Rob Davies.
(photo credit: Christian Hartmann / Reuters)
PRETORIA - The South African Trade Ministry has published a second
notice concerning the labeling of Israeli products, despite working with
the Jewish community on a compromise, JTA learned on Monday.
Contrary to the more restricted proposal issued in May, the notice published October 12 in the Government Gazette refers
to all products originating from the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and
eastern Jerusalem as "requiring an importer, producer, retailer or
supplier of the Republic of South Africa to label goods that originate
from the Israeli Occupied Territory (hereinafter referred to as "IOT")
namely: East Jerusalem, Gaza and the West Bank, as goods originating
from IOT. Goods originating from IOT must not be labeled as goods
originating from Israel."
The new notice defines Israel's borders
as those recognized by the South African government. "The label 'Made
in Israel' may only be applied to goods that originate from within
Israel’s borders of 1948-1967 before they were unilaterally changed by
Israel in 1967 Six Day War," the notice reads.
The publication of
the new notice came as a surprise to the South African Jewish
Community. Two weeks ago, Wendy Kahn of the South African Jewish Board
of Deputies, together with Avrom Krengel of the Zionist Federation,
presented their case in front of the South African Parliamentary
Portfolio Committee, handling trade and industry issues. The committee
asked them both, and a representative of the pro-Palestinian Open
Shuhada Street Organization, to submit written documents to further
explain their positions.
A representative of the Trade Ministry
who took part in the meeting assured all parties that the ministry would
not take any steps to implement the notice until the submissions were
made, and until a comprehensive debate with all stakeholders was
launched, so that a compromise could be reached.
African Jewish Board of Deputies was in the process of submitting its
document on October 12, when the new notice was published.