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Thursday, August 23, 2012 

South African government's call for labeling Israeli products from "settlements" is similar to racism

The government of South Africa is going ahead with a plan to force products made in Judea/Samaria as "made in settlements":
Israel said Wednesday that a South African decision to mandate special labels on products coming from settlements is exclusion and discrimination that “brings to mind ideas of a racist nature which the government of South Africa, more than any other, should have wholly rejected.”

The harsh statement issued by the Foreign Ministry followed the South African cabinet’s decision to approve a plan to require labels on products coming from the settlements so that they do not read “Made in Israel.”

The South African government’s approval came about three months after the plan was first broached by Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies, and despite a flood of protests from South African Jews and other pro-Israel supporters in the country.

The Foreign Ministry statement said the measure adopted was unprecedented and constituted “blatant discrimination based on national and political distinction. This kind of discrimination has not been imposed – and rightly so – in any other case of national, territorial or ethnic conflict. Israel and South Africa have political differences, and that is legitimate. What is totally unacceptable is the use of tools which, by essence, discriminate and single out, fostering a general boycott.” The Foreign Ministry will summon the South African ambassador Thursday to register its displeasure.
The foreign ministry's made a protest to their government, and it's worth noting what took place in South Africa and what Maaleh Adumim's mayor says:
Presently, Ayalon said, South Africa's apartheid is directed at Israel, as well as against striking miners in South Africa itself.

Referring to the South Africa police's shooting to death of 34 striking miners last week, Ayalon said that "instead of taking a decision to mark Israeli products, it would have been better had the South African government taken a courageous decision in regards to the 34 innocent miners who only wanted to improve their work conditions."

Meanwhile, Ma'ale Adumim Mayor Benny Kashriel, whose city is 10 minutes outside of Jerusalem beyond the Green Line, sent Coovadia and South African Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane a letter saying Pretoria's policy will ultimately harm Palestinians earning their living in Israeli factories.

According to the letter, more than 2,500 Palestinians are employed by factories in the Mishor Adumim Industrial park which falls under his jurisdiction.

Those factories provide the Palestinian employees with "a respectable income, and we are on good neighborly terms with them," he said. "Any damage to these companies will cause their closure and dismissal of the Palestinian workers."

Kashriel also warned that such a move may spark a counter boycott of Palestinian products, something that could cause "economic damage to trade in Palestinian cites."

Kashriel urged the South African government to postpone and reconsider its decision, saying it will "cause irreversible damage both to the population in Ma'ale Adumim in general, and to the Palestinians in particular."
So on the one hand, they're willing to tolerate the police shooting miners just for being on strike, and on the other hand, they're willing to cause financial harm to the very community they supposedly want to help. Funny how they won't consider that.

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About me

  • I'm Avi Green
  • From Jerusalem, Israel
  • I was born in Pennsylvania in 1974, and moved to Israel in 1983. I also enjoyed reading a lot of comics when I was young, the first being Fantastic Four. I maintain a strong belief in the public's right to knowledge and accuracy in facts. I like to think of myself as a conservative-style version of Clark Kent. I don't expect to be perfect at the job, but I do my best.
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