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Photo: SA Zionist Federation
Sticker distributed in SA
Photo: SA Zionist Federation
SA: Jewish group fights 'occupied territories' labels
Zionist Federation takes legal action against government's decision to label West Bank products as originating from 'occupied Palestinian territory.' Official: SA policy 'not anti-Israeli'

The South African Zionist Federation has applied to the country's Supreme Court, demanding to set aside the government's notice to label products from the West Bank as originating from "occupied Palestinian territory."

 

Federation President Avrum Krengel told Ynet that the notice is invalid, as it does not comply with South Africa's Consumer's Act.

 

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Krengel added that the Federation has requested all documents related to the ''record of decision,'' including long correspondence between the Ministry of Trade and the Open Shuhada Street organization. The head of the South African Zionist Federation claims that this correspondence will prove that the decision was taken as early as 2010. The notice proposal published in May 2012 and the procedure which followed it were merely "window dressing" designed to give the notice legitimacy, Krengel said.

 

He explains that once the application is submitted with the relevant documents the Trade and Industry Ministry will be obliged to formally respond in writing. A final ruling will be given in a few months.

 

In a festive mood Monday night, celebrating 80 years for the Mizrahi movement and with Israeli Science Minister Daniel Hershkowitz present, the SA Zionist Federation distributed stickers saying ''Proudly made in Israel.'' Israel's ambassador to South Africa, Dov Segev-Steinberg, was seen at the event carrying one of those stickers on his dash.

 

Deputy Minister for International Relations, Ebrahim Ebrahim, speaking at the Institute for International Relations Research in Johannesburg (SAIIA), emphasized Tuesday that the South African policy on the Palestinian matter (to which they are fully committed, he said) ''should not by any way be interpreted as anti-Israeli.

 

''What we oppose are policies and actions of occupation, not the existence of Israel or the right of Israeli citizens to live in peace and security,'' he added. Ebrahim Ebrahim is one of the most adamant and vocal supporters of the labeling notice and has recently said he ''discourages'' South African citizens from visiting Israel.

 

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