Denmark to ban labeling West Bank products as ‘Made in Israel’, report says

Report comes after South AfricaSouth Africa says only recognizes State of Israel within borders demarcated by UN in 1948; move is in line with U.K. recommendation from 2009.

By Amira Hass and Anshel Pfeffer
Boycott - AP - May 2012

A Palestinian man throw a product from Jewish settlements in a fire in the West Bank village of Salfit, Tuesday, May 18, 2010. Photo by AP

Denmark is planning to ban labeling products from Israeli settlements in the West Bank as “Made in Israel,” the foreign minister told Danish media on Saturday. The move follows reports of similar plans announced this month by South Africa’s government.

“This is a step that clearly shows consumers that the products are produced under conditions that not only the Danish government, but also European governments, do not approve of,” Foreign Minister Villy Søvndal Søvndal told Politiken newspaper. “It will then be up to consumers whether they choose to buy the products or not.

A source in Brussels familiar with the matter told Haaretz that it is still unclear whether the move is a recommendation or a new directive.

In late 2009, the U.K. government recommended West Bank products be labeled separately.

Earlier this month, South Africa’s Minister of Trade and Industry Rob Davies said that the government is planning to ban marketing products made in Israeli settlements in the West Bank with the label, “Made in Israel.”

The move comes as a result of a year and a half of activity by Open Shuhada Street and Attorneys for Human Rights, two South African NGOs together with the Palestinian Popular Struggle coordination committee.

Davies, who is of Jewish descent, wrote in his official announcement that “consumers in South Africa should not be misled into believing that products originating in the (occupied Palestinian trritories) are products originating from Israel.” He added that “the government of South Africa recognizes the State of Israel only within the borders demarcated by the UN in 1948.”

The attempts to limit the export of settlement produce to Europe were led in the past by the European Union and the British government. In 2009, the British government, at the express instructions of former Prime Minister Gordon Brown, issued guidelines to retailers on clear labeling of produce made in settlements, differentiating it from Palestinian produce and products that were made within the Green Line. These guidelines followed Israeli refusals to label settlement products before being exported to the EU. The issue of labeling settlement produce was a major bone of contention between the British and Israeli governments at the time.

In recent years, the BDS movement has targeted companies such as Agrexco, an export cooperative that serves thousands of farmers, kibbutzim and small agricultural companies in Israel that has continued to export settlement produce.



  1. Will Jones said,

    May 19, 2012 at 20:05

    Racist tribalism is not of G-d.

  2. May 19, 2012 at 21:09


  3. Big Fish said,

    May 19, 2012 at 21:13

    And this is an obviously case of truth in labeling.

  4. May 19, 2012 at 22:07

    […] […]

  5. daibhidhdeux said,

    May 19, 2012 at 22:48

    Reblogged this on Daibhidhdeux's Blog.

  6. mick said,

    May 19, 2012 at 23:43

    is encouraging

  7. Jacob said,

    May 21, 2012 at 00:15

    How many other nations would realize that they recognized the State of Israel within the 1948 boundaries, and the all the additional lands in the West Bank remain “Occupied Territory”? Would Canada?

    A similarly absurd situation: If products made in the occupied Netherlands between 1940 and 1945 would have been labeled as “Made in Germany” – would people have fallen for that sad joke?

  8. Maurice Cabana-Proulx said,

    May 21, 2012 at 13:20

    Progress made… slowly but surely.

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