Thursday, May 24, 2012
South Africa demands goods made in West Bank settlements not be labeled made in Israel
If the South African decision is implemented it will be the first country to force companies to inform consumers which goods were produced in the settlements. Denmark however is considering a similar step and other EU countries could follow.
Moves by countries to follow suit could strain relations with Israel. However the economic damage would not be that great for Israel since less than 2 per cent of Israeli exports are from the settlements. However it could hurt the economy of the settlements.
Experts claim that it is mislabeling and against international law to list exports made in settlements regarded internationally as not part of Israel as made in Israel. Of course Israel claims they are quite legal and also that they are at present part of Israel.
Neve Gordon an Israeli political scientist and author said:"Israel's placing of a label 'made in Israel' on products made in the West Bank is fraud,""The South African decision would force Israel to expose its lie."
The South African decision was announced in a release by the Trade Minister indicating that merchants would be required "not to incorrectly label products that originate from the Occupied Palestinian Territory as products of Israel."
Of course settlers were furious and the Israeli foreign ministry said it would call in the South African ambassador to protest the action. For much more see this article.