-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.