Johannesburg - A government move to
re-label Palestinian products was welcomed by the Muslim Judicial
Council (MJC), the Media Review Network (MRN) and the SA Communist Party (SACP)
"[It] is welcomed as it will raise awareness that
South Africans should remain committed to regulations that promote
global justice, legal trade and the preservation of the identity of a
people," the MJC and MRN said in a joint statement.
"This will also raise consciousness of human rights violations and the illegal status of occupation forces."
Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies has announced
steps that could see products manufactured in the occupied Palestinian
territories, and sold in South Africa, labelled to indicate their place
The SACP said it supported the steps, which would allow
South African consumers to make a choice on whether they want to buy
goods produced "from the blood of the Palestinian people".
Spokesperson Malesela Maleka said it was for the boycott,
divestments and sanctions against Israel until it complied with
international law and Palestinian rights.
On Monday, the government's move raised the ire of the Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD) and the SA Zionist Federation (SAZF).
"This decision was taken... based on communications
with lobby groups that have a pronounced anti-Israel political agenda,"
said SAJBD spokesperson Charisse Zeifert, adding that Davies had
repeatedly declined to meet with its members.
The SAZF said Davies relied on the views of groups whose aims were to enforce a regime of boycotts and sanctions against Israel.
Davies defended a call for public comment on whether
products manufactured in Israeli-occupied territories should reflect
that fact on their labels.
He told reporters in Cape Town on Monday that South
African consumers had the right to make buying decisions based on