Israel condemns South Africa for re-labelling of West Bank products South African ambassador summoned over move to label items as coming from occupied Palestinian territories not settlements. A diplomatic row has been growing as Israel summoned the South African ambassador to explain his country’s decision to label products from West Bank settlements as coming from the occupied Palestinian territories.”This is in line with South Africa’s stance that recognises the 1948 borders delineated by the United Nations and does not recognise occupied territories beyond these borders as being part of the state of Israel.” In 2010 the archbishop emeritus Desmond Tutu likened the treatment of Palestinians to the injustice of racial apartheid, urging a South African opera company to cancel its tour of the Israel. Last week South Africa’s deputy foreign minister Ebrahim Ebrahim recommended against visiting Israel. “Israel is an occupier country which is oppressing Palestine, so it’s not proper for South Africans to associate with Israel,” he told City Press newspaper. “We discourage people from going there except if it has to do with the peace process.” An international boycott of South Africa in 1980s was a crucial factor in forcing the apartheid regime to eventually surrender power. Israel was one of the last countries to sign up to the campaign.

Israel condemns South Africa for re-labelling of West Bank products

South African ambassador summoned over move to label items as coming from occupied Palestinian territories not settlements

Israel labelling row with South Africa

Israel says re-labelling settlement products is ‘blatant discrimination’, but South Africa claims it conforms with its existing policy on the occupied territories. Photograph: David Levene

A diplomatic row has been growing as Israel summoned the South African ambassador to explain his country’s decision to label products from West Bank settlements as coming from the occupied Palestinian territories.

Ismail Coovadia would meet with officials at the foreign ministry, Israeli media reported.

South Africa claims the decision on labelling conforms with its existing policy on the occupied territories. “This is in line with South Africa‘s stance that recognises the 1948 borders delineated by the United Nations and does not recognise occupied territories beyond these borders as being part of the state of Israel,” said Jimmy Manyi, a government spokesman.

The trade and industry minister, Rob Davies, added that the move was not a boycott of Israeli products, but aimed at helping “South Africans who do not support Israel, but who do support the Palestinians, to identify those products”.

There was an angry response from the Israeli government, which described the move as “blatant discrimination based on national and political distinction”.

Yigal Palmor, a foreign ministry spokesman, said: “This kind of discrimination has not been imposed – and rightly so – in any other case of national, territorial or ethnic conflict. What is totally unacceptable is the use of tools which, by essence, discriminate and single out, fostering a general boycott.”

He added: “Such exclusion and discrimination bring to mind ideas of racist nature which the government of South Africa, more than any other, should have wholly rejected.”

The South African Jewish Board of Deputies said it was “outraged” by the decision to re-label goods. Zev Krengel, its president, said: “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.

“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.”

South Africa’s relations with Israel have been strained for years. In 2010 the archbishop emeritus Desmond Tutu likened the treatment of Palestinians to the injustice of racial apartheid, urging a South African opera company to cancel its tour of the Israel.

Last week South Africa’s deputy foreign minister Ebrahim Ebrahim recommended against visiting Israel. “Israel is an occupier country which is oppressing Palestine, so it’s not proper for South Africans to associate with Israel,” he told City Press newspaper. “We discourage people from going there except if it has to do with the peace process.”

An international boycott of South Africa in 1980s was a crucial factor in forcing the apartheid regime to eventually surrender power. Israel was one of the last countries to sign up to the campaign.

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About ottwf

The capitalistic and imperialistic system and its systematic aims: profit and power over others, still dominates our world and not the aims of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as 1948 agreed! After the world-economic-crisis after 1929 and the following World-War the world hat decided with agreeing the Universal Declaration of Human rights, to create a new world order; conflicts should be solved with peaceful means, not nations and their power, but the dignity of human beings around the world should be the aim of the policies and the economy, of every state and the community of states. But soon after the end of the war, when the victims and destruction were forgotten, all continued as before, with all risks, we had seen before. The split in rich an poor is getting bigger and bigger. We also overuse our global environment already, even if the big majority of mankind still lives in poverty! We are not victims, this world is men-made and be changed from men and women! It will be possible, if those, who do not want or serve (because of system-pressure) profits first, but want for themselves and everybody a life in human dignity unite and develop in a global base-democratic movement a common vision for our world, and learn, how to make this vision real. We need for it a big empowerment of many, many common men and women and their activities. Our chances are because of new communication technologies, of common languages, of the level of education and the mixture of people from different backgrounds better then ever. The occupy-movement is a good start for such a global movement. We support it and try to contribute to its success! We choose news and make comments and so try to unite people for an Occupy-Think-Tank: Its tasks: creating a news-network, self-education, working on global-reform programs and learning to organize projects for those, who are suffering. Join us, so that we can build teams for these aims for all subjects and countries as a base for the unification. We have Wan(n)Fried(en) in our name, because it means When peace and it is a modification of the name of the town our base is, in Wanfried, a small town in the middle of Germany, where we can use a former factory for our activities. Our telefon: 0049-5655-924981, mobil: 0171-9132149, email: occupy-think-tank@gmx.de
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