Open Shuhada Street are proud to announce that the Archbishop Desmond Tutu has signed onto our petition!
In a mail today, the Archbishop commended the petition and asked that we publicise his signing of it.
We urge all supporters of Open Shuhada Street and Palestinian and Israeli rights, to share this exciting news as well as share our petition as much as possible.
It is essential that we reach our target to provide Minister Davies a strong platform of public support.
ARCHBISHOP DESMOND TUTU SUPPORTS DTI’S NOTICE TO ENFORCE CORRECT LABELING OF ISRAELI SETTLEMENT PRODUCTS
29 June 2012
For immediate release
Archbishop Desmond Tutu has leant his support to Trade and Industry Minister, Dr. Rob Davies’ notice of intention to enforce correct labeling of products that are made in the illegal Israeli settlements that enter South Africa.
On Friday 29 June 2012, Archbishop Desmond Tutu signed onto Open Shuhada Street’s petition: Stop Israel’s Labeling Lies!, which
calls on people, particularly South Africans, to support the Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr. Rob Davies’ notice of intention
to enforce correct labeling of products made in the illegal Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) that enter South Africa. This notice is a significant step forward for finding a peaceful resolution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
Currently, products that are made by Israeli businesses in the settlements in OPT are labeled as “Made in Israel”. This is against humanitarian and trade law and violates consumer’s rights to information and make informed choices as to whether they wish to lend economic support to the settlements, violence and human rights abuses against Palestinians. South Africa, in accordance with international law, only recognises Israel within the borders of the 1949 Armistice Agreements (the Green Line). The Occupied Palestinian Territories are not legal Israeli territory.
Denmark and Switzerland are considering similar action to South Africa. Organisations such as COSATU and Kairos have come out in support of the DTI’s notice. Numerous prominent Israelis have also supported correct product labeling such as Neve Gordon (writer and academic), Alon Liel (former Israeli Ambassador to South Africa), Avraham Burg (former Knesset speaker and former chairman of the World Zionist Federation), Gideon Levy (journalist) and Akiva Eldar (journalist and author).
Correct product labeling will force Israel to distinguish between products made in Israel proper and those made in the settlements in the OPT and thus reinforce the importance of the Green Line. The Green Line is the boundary that demarcates Israel proper from Palestinian Territories (which are currently occupied by Israel)
On Thursday, 28 June 2012, the ACDP, IFP and SA Zionist Federation hosted a protest march called “Africans for Israel”, where it was alleged that there is no legal basis for the Minister’s notice. A basic understanding of both international and South African law will confirm that the notice does indeed have legal basis, which includes UN Security Council resolutions, the Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice, The Hague Regulations and the Fourth Geneva Convetion. The Israeli Supreme Court also views Israel as a belligerent state.