Israel's Foreign Ministry has summoned the South African ambassador for a meeting Thursday over a decision by the South African cabinet to require special labeling for goods produced by Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria. Israelis expressed outrage Wednesday in response to the news.
Calling the measure “without precedent,” the ministry noted that no such measure had ever been adopted in South Africa or in any other country. "It constitutes therefore a blatant discrimination on national and political distinction,” the ministry said in a statement issued Thursday.
"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. Such exclusion and discrimination bring to mind ideas of racist nature which the government of South Africa, more than any other, should have wholly rejected.”
The ministry is expected to meet with the ambassador later in the afternoon over the measure, which bluntly states that Judea and Samaria are not part of Israel.
“Cabinet approved that a notice, in terms of the Consumer Protection Act, 2008, be issued by the Minister of Trade and Industry requiring the labelling of goods of products emanating from Israeli occupied territories to prevent consumers being led to believe that such goods come from Israel.
"This is in line with South Africa's stance that recognises the 1948 borders delineated by the United Nations and does not recognise occupied territories beyond these borders as being part of the state of Israel,” Cabinet spokesperson Jimmy Manyi announced Wednesday in Pretoria.