South Africa Wants Products From Israeli Occupied Territories Labeled As Such

-Submitted by David Drumm (Nal), Guest Blogger

The government of South Africa has approved a measure that would relabel products made in the West Bank, from “Made in Israel” to “Israeli Occupied Territories.” The South African government said the move will “prevent consumers being led to believe that such goods come from Israel.” The Israeli government responded angrily when Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon said that South Africa “remains an Apartheid state.”

Probably not a good idea to bring up Apartheid. It was Nobel Laureate Desmond Tutu who, after a visit to the Holy Land, said “it reminded me so much of what happened to us black people in South Africa.” Many in Israel are claiming that “Israel’s apartheid is worse than South Africa’s.”

Richard J. Goldstone, in an Op-Ed in the New York Times, claims that Israeli Apartheid is a myth, noting a critical distinction:

there is no intent to maintain “an institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group.”

Goldstone points out that South African Apartheid was intended to be permanent. However, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu said:

Our message is clear: We are planting here, we will stay here, we will build here, this place will be an inseparable part of the State of Israel for eternity.

The Palestinian Authority is urging the European Union to follow South Africa’s initiative and denote West Banks products with a “Occupied Palestinian Territory” label.

South African trade and industry minister Rob Davies specifically cited AHAVA cosmetic products as originating from the occupied Palestinian territories. AHAVA cosmetic products have been dropped by a Japanese distributor, a major Norwegian retail chain, and the Canadian Hudson’s Bay Company.

H/T: Juan Cole, The Nation, The Guardian, The Irish Times, Reuters, Haaretz.

14 thoughts on “South Africa Wants Products From Israeli Occupied Territories Labeled As Such”

  1. Transparency for th SA Consumer – Fab! Long overdue!Let us choose! And for those ignorant, 2nd largest population group in South African are descendents from th Khoi San and we’re proud of it!

  2. Miller beer company was acquired by a company in South Africa. How do you label that.

    Do you know how many major breweries are left in Milwaukee. One, and that one is owned by a company in South Africa.

  3. When your country is falling apart go after the Jews. You’ll get plenty of undeserved kudos and no one will look at your misdeed. I am tired of this kind of political misdirection. This man is not a credible champion for anyone’s civil rights.

  4. “Not a bad idea. The orthodox want to know those products made by the Goyim anyway, so everybody wins.”

    The products being talked about are not made by the “Goyim.” They’re made by Israeli settlers in the Occupied Territories. That’s why the Israeli government is upset by this proposal.

    However, since I think the proposed labeling is correct as a matter of international law, it makes sense to me.

  5. Rafflaw,
    Speaking of touching a nerve: The German law against Nazism display may have prompted a similar trend in other nations.

    You do know that jews were once quite domniant in the
    diamond trade?? More power to them, in which case. But your boycott might also stike them too.

  6. What is so ridiculous is that there is really nothing controversial in this label. The area is, objectively, occupied territory as stated by the UN as well as nearly every government on the planet including the US and, sometimes, the Israelis themselves.

    That SA wants to have clear labeling on imports should be lauded by everyone who wants maximum transparency for consumers. Considering the situation with GMO food labeling in California, it looks like we could learn a thing or two about this as well.

  7. Interesting topic David. South Africa touched a nerve with their response to the Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands. Good for them.

  8. This would not be without precedent. From about 1945 until 1952 products exported to the United States from Japan often had the label “Made in Occupied Japan.”

    Products with this labeling usually command a premium price, especially in the porcelain and china dinnerware markets. Who knows, maybe there is the possibility of making a little more cash on the deal.

  9. East Bank, West Bank, all around the town…..
    South Africa, West South Africa, Sudaten, sprech Deutsch, nasty history..

  10. As a nation that recognizes apartheid and the damage it causes I think it is quite appropriate that SA asks for this. Its surprising to see the vitriol the request raises.

  11. Fine. While we are at it, let’s label goods from South Africa
    “Occupied Khoikhoi Territories”

  12. If the African nations had as much pull as Israel maybe they’d get away with this….

  13. Not a bad idea. The orthodox want to know those products made by the Goyim anyway, so everybody wins.

    Reminds me of the “win win” commercial a while back, where a corporate salesman said everything was a win win.

Comments are closed.