Thursday, August 23, 2012

Israel Accuses South Africa of Apartheid

South Africa has decided that it will label products made in illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank as coming from "Israeli Occupied Territories" to ensure that consumers are provided with accurate information on the origins of the goods they buy. Such products, including Ahava Cosmetics and SodaStream that are made in settlements, have until now been labeled as "Made in Israel."

In response Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon accused South Africa of continuing to be an apartheid state
"Unfortunately it turns out the change that has begun in South Africa over the years has not brought about any basic change in the country, and it remains an apartheid state."  
"At the moment South Africa's apartheid is aimed at Israel," he added.
It makes sense Ayalon would be upset that other countries continue to insist Israel is illegally occupying the West Bank since an Israeli government-appointed commission of jurists concluded last moth that Israel’s presence in the West Bank was not occupation. But how does labeling settlement products as such mean South Africa is practicing apartheid against Israel? Is South Africa giving preferential treatment to another country exporting products that are produced illegally in occupied territories from stolen resources? 

If you are interested in organizing a consumer boycott campaign in your community targeting Ahava or SodaStream, make sure to register for our National Organizers' Conference September 21-23 at St. Louis University. There will be a workshop to give activists a chance to strategize and coordinate efforts.