Jewish Board comments on labelling of West Bank products
The nature of the General Notice issued by Minister of Trade and Industry Dr Rob Davies on the labelling of products originating from the West Bank has unfortunately politicised a technical trade issue.
This decision was taken by the Minister based on his communications with lobby groups that have a pronounced anti-Israel political agenda. He has repeatedly declined to meet with the SA Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD) in this regard.
The question of products originating from disputed territories is a technically complicated one. In addressing it, the SAJBD urges the South African government not to prejudge the issue. We believe that in line with the consultative ethos of South Africa it is regrettable that the Minister has decided to gazette this issue without broad consultation.
South Africa should not adopt a policy that is discriminatory and inconsistent with how it deals with similar questions relating to products imported from other parts of the world, as would seem to be the case now.
The SAJBD, like the SA Government and the ANC, supports a negotiated settlement that will see a two state solution with Israelis and Palestinians living side-by-side. Minister Rob Davies actions on this are not helpful in achieving this goal.
Statement issued by Mary Kluk, South African Jewish Board of Deputies, May 21 2012
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