S. Africa denies BDS threats delaying approval of Israeli-made device


(JTA) — The South African Department of Health reportedly is delaying approval of an Israeli-made circumcision device after political pressure from anti-Israel trade unions.

Prepex, a nonsurgical circumcising device developed in Israel, was approved last year by the World Health Organization. Studies show it reduces the likelihood of contracting the virus that causes AIDS by nearly 60 percent.

The boycott of the device began in 2013 by the Congress of South African Trade Unions, or Cosatu, and the African National Congress, both supporters of the Boycott, Divestment and  Sanctions campaign against Israel.

Cosatu has threatened to tell its members, many of them nurses, to refuse to use the device, Business Day Live reported.

The Department of Health denied that the delay was due to pressure from anti-Israel groups.

Sizwe Pamla, spokesman for the National Education Health and Allied Workers Union, told Business Day Live on Sunday that the union would not allow any Israeli product to be used in the public health system.

“We have told the African National Congress and the government that our position is clear and unambiguous when it comes to Israel: We boycott everything and every product that comes from that pariah and apartheid state,” Pamla said.

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