Davies slams anti-Semitism reports

Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies rejects reports that he is anti-Semitic.

Rob Davies. Picture: GCIS

CAPE TOWN - Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies on Monday rubbished claims that attempts to bar traders from labelling products made in occupied Palestinian territories as "made in Israel", are racially motivated.

Davies addressed the media on a notice published in the Government Gazette, indicating South Africa's plans to address what he called "incorrectly labelled" products.

The announcement sparked fears of a possible diplomatic row with Israel.

Davies said he rejects with "utter contempt" the reports that he is anti-Semitism and a left-leaning Jew.

He said the notice of intention to compel traders to not label products made in occupied territories like the West Bank as "made in Israel", was being done under Section 26 of the Consumer Protection Act.

The move follows complaints by a local non-governmental organisation on the matter.

Davies said Israel was free to comment on the notice if it had objections.

Individuals and organisations have until mid-July to air their views on the decision.

The Trade and Industry Department said the move was aimed at helping, "South Africans who do not support Israel, but who in fact do support the Palestinians, to identify those products".

The department also said the decision did not mean they were going to boycott Israel products.

Meanwhile, Israel slammed the decision. It said it would summon South Africa's ambassador in that country to explain the matter further.