Following decisions from the South African government and Switzerland’s largest supermarket chain to distinguish between products made in the occupied territories from those west of the green line, the Associated Press reports on the "Made in Israel" label.
Asked to explain the "Made in Israel" label for products made outside Israeli territory, Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor reached for an unorthodox defense, arguing that it is not intended as a geographical indication.
"My point is not the sovereignty over the West Bank, but who is the authority that has supervised the product," Palmor told The Associated Press. "Since the products of the settlements are made under Israeli regulations and standards, they are 'made in Israel.'"
He said there were other cases of contestable labeling, including by the Palestinians who label products from parts of the West Bank governed by the Palestinian Authority as "Made in Palestine." There is formally no state of Palestine, he noted.
The Palestinians have long called for a boycott of goods made in Israeli settlements and even have lit bonfires to destroy them.
"We are calling for boycotting the Israeli products simply because the Israelis shouldn't benefit from occupying our land and our people," said boycott activist Murad Sudani, who heads the Palestinian Writers Union . .
Yigal Dilmoni, a settler leader, said the criticism is unfair. "All the communities in Judea and Samaria are part of the state of Israel," he said, using the biblical terms for the West Bank. "So of course these products are made in Israel."