Israel slams 'racist' SA label decision

2012-08-23 15:15
A group of over 100 people protested at Parliament against a proposal by Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies to label goods originating from Israel as made in Occupied Palestinian territories. (AP)

A group of over 100 people protested at Parliament against a proposal by Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies to label goods originating from Israel as made in Occupied Palestinian territories. (AP)

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Cape Town - Israel's deputy foreign minister has hit out at South Africa after a Cabinet decision to label products from settlements in the West Bank as coming from "Occupied Palestinian Territory".

The Jerusalem Post reported on Thursday that Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon took a stab back at South Africa, saying the decision was racist, and referring to the recent violence at Lonmin's Marikana platinum mine where striking mineworkers were shot dead by police.

"At the moment South Africa's apartheid is aimed at Israel, and against miners within South Africa itself," Ayalon said.

"Instead of deciding to label Israeli products, South Africa should have acted courageously towards the 34 innocent miners that were just asking for an improvement in working conditions."

The Israeli foreign ministry said on Wednesday that the South African decision "brings to mind ideas of a racist nature which the government of South Africa, more than any other, should have wholly rejected".

It added that the measure 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".

Meanwhile, South Africa's ambassador to Israel Ismail Coovadia was summoned to the foreign ministry on Thursday to explain the decision.
 

Read more on:    palestine  |  sa  |  israel  |  trade
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