L’ONU intraprende un primo passo concreto affinché Israele sia ritenuto responsabile per le violazioni dei diritti umani dei palestinesi

Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, Alto Commissario dell’ONU per i Diritti Umani, stringe la mano ai delegati prima dell’apertura della trentaseiesima sessione del Consiglio dei Diritti Umani, nella sede europea delle Nazioni Unite. Grazie a: Laurent Gillieron/AP

 

L’ONU intraprende un primo passo concreto affinché Israele sia ritenuta responsabile per le violazioni dei diritti umani dei palestinesi

 

27 settembre 2017 — Informazioni pubblicate oggi dai media hanno rivelato che l’Alto Commissario dell’ONU per i Diritti Umani due settimane fa ha iniziato a inviare lettere a 150 aziende in Israele e nel mondo, avvertendole che potrebbero essere aggiunte a una banca dati delle aziende complici che fanno affari nelle colonie illegali israeliane basate nella Cisgiordania palestinese occupata, compresa Gerusalemme Est.

Le lettere hanno ricordato a queste aziende che le loro attività nelle e con le colonie illegali israeliane sono in violazione di “diritto internazionale e contrarie alle risoluzioni dell’ONU”. Inoltre hanno chiesto che queste aziende rispondano con chiarimenti riguardo a tali attività.

Secondo funzionari israeliani di alto livello, alcune delle aziende hanno già risposto all’Alto Commissario dell’ONU per i Diritti Umani dicendo che non rinnoveranno i loro contratti o non ne firmeranno di nuovi in Israele. “Questo potrebbe trasformarsi in una valanga”, ha detto con preoccupazione un funzionario israeliano.

Delle 150 aziende, circa 30 sono ditte americane e un certo numero sono di nazioni che includono la Germania, la Corea del sud e la Norvegia. La metà restante sono aziende israeliane, compreso il gigante farmaceutico Teva, l’azienda telefonica nazionale Bezeq, l’azienda di autobus Egged, l’azienda idrica nazionale Mekorot, le due maggiori banche del paese Hapoalim e Leumi, la grande azienda militare e tecnologica Elbit Systems, Coca-Cola, Africa-Israel, IDB e Netafim.

Le aziende americane che hanno ricevuto le lettere includono Caterpillar, Priceline.com, TripAdvisor e Airbnb.

A quanto riferito, l’amministrazione Trump sta cercando di impedire la pubblicazione della lista.

 

Omar Barghouti, co-fondatore del movimento BDS, ha commentato:

Dopo decenni di deprivazione dei palestinesi e di occupazione militare e apartheid da parte di Israele, le Nazioni Unite hanno intrapreso un primo passo concreto e pratico per assicurare che Israele sia ritenuta responsabile per le sue continue violazioni dei diritti umani dei palestinesi. I palestinesi accolgono calorosamente questo passo.

Speriamo che il Consiglio per i Diritti Umani dell’ONU sia inflessibile e pubblichi la sua lista completa delle aziende che operano illegalmente nelle, o con, le colonie israeliane sulla terra palestinese rubata, e che elaborerà questa lista come richiesto dal Consiglio per i Diritti Umani dell’ONU nel marzo 2016.

Può essere troppo ambizioso aspettarsi che questa misura coraggiosa dell’ONU concernente la responsabilità possa “fare scendere dal piedistallo” Israele, come il leader anti-apartheid sudafricano, arcivescovo Desmond Tutu ha richiesto una volta. Ma se attuata correttamente, questa banca dati dell’ONU sulle aziende che sono complici in alcune delle violazioni di diritti umani da parte di Israele può presagire l’inizio della fine dell’impunità criminale di Israele.

 

Il Comitato Nazionale BDS palestinese (BNC) è la più grande coalizione della società civile palestinese. Guida e sostiene il movimento globale di Boicottaggio, Divestimento e Sanzioni. Visitate il nostro sito Internet e seguiteci su Facebook e Twitter @BDSmovement.

 

thanks to:  Comitato Nazionale BDS palestinese (BNC)  

Traduzione di BDS Italia

 

 

Advertisements

UN takes first concrete step to hold Israel accountable for violating Palestinian human rights

Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, shakes hand with delegates before the opening of the 36th session of the Human Rights Council, at the European headquarters of the United Nations. Credit: Laurent Gillieron/AP

September 27, 2017  — Today’s media reports revealed that the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights began sending letters two weeks ago to 150 companies in Israel and around the globe, warning them that they could be added to a database of complicit companies doing business in illegal Israeli settlements based in the occupied Palestinian West Bank, including East Jerusalem.

The letters reminded these companies that their operations in and with illegal Israeli settlements are in violation of “international law and in opposition of UN resolutions.” They also requested that these companies respond with clarifications about such operations.

According to senior Israeli officials, some of the companies have already responded to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights by saying they won’t renew their contracts or sign new ones in Israel. “This could turn into a snowball,” worried an Israeli official.

Of the 150 companies, some 30 are American firms, and a number are from nations including Germany, South Korea and Norway. The remaining half are Israeli companies, including pharmaceutical giant Teva, the national phone company Bezeq, bus company Egged, the national water company Mekorot, the county’s two biggest banks Hapoalim and Leumi, the large military and technology company Elbit Systems, Coca-Cola, Africa-Israel, IDB and Netafim.

American companies that received letters include Caterpillar, Priceline.com, TripAdvisor and Airbnb.

The Trump administration is reportedly trying to prevent the list’s publication.

Omar Barghouti, co-founder of the BDS movement, commented:

After decades of Palestinian dispossession and Israeli military occupation and apartheid, the United Nations has taken its first concrete, practical step to secure accountability for ongoing Israeli violations of Palestinian human rights. Palestinians warmly welcome this step.

We hope the UN Human Rights Council will stand firm and publish its full list of companies illegally operating in or with Israeli settlements on stolen Palestinian land, and will develop this list as called for by the UN Human Rights Council in March 2016.

It may be too ambitious to expect this courageous UN accountability measure to effectively take Israel “off the pedestal,” as South African anti-apartheid leader Archbishop Desmond Tutu once called for. But if implemented properly, this UN database of companies that are complicit in some of Israel’s human rights violations may augur the beginning of the end of Israel’s criminal impunity.

The Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC) is the largest coalition in Palestinian civil society. It leads and supports the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. Visit our website and follow us on  Facebook and Twitter @BDSmovement.

thanks to: BDSmovement

UN’s list of companies linked to settlements to be published despite Israeli, US pressure

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The United Nations Human Rights Council reportedly plans to go ahead with the publication of a list of companies operating in illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory and the Golan Heights, in spite of immense diplomatic pressure from the United States and Israel.

According to a report published Tuesday by Israel’s Channel 2, the full list will be published in December, and will include some of the biggest firms in the Israeli industry as well as major US companies, a translation of the report from Times of Israel said.
Some of the international companies on the list reportedly include Coca-Cola, TripAdvisor, Airbnb, Priceline, and Caterpillar, in addition to Israeli companies such as pharmaceutical giant Teva, the national phone company Bezeq, bus company Egged, the national water company Mekorot, and the country’s two largest banks, Hapoalim and Leumi.
The list was recently delivered to the Foreign Ministry, the report said.
Last year, the United Nations Human Rights Council passed a resolution to support forming a database of all companies conducting business in illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, amid fierce opposition by the United States and Israel.
The Washington Post previously reported that Zeid Raad al-Hussein, the UN high commissioner for human rights, said that the UN planned to publish the list by the end of this year, which prompted the Donald Trump administration to work with Israel to obstruct its publication.
However, according to the US newspaper, Israel and the United States had unsuccessfully attempted to block funding for the database.
PLO Executive Committee Member Hanan Ashrawi condemned the US and Israeli efforts at the UN as “morally repugnant” at the time.
The attempt “exposes the complicity of Israeli and international businesses in Israel’s military occupation and the colonization of Palestinian land,” Ashrawi said. “This is a clear indication of Israel’s persistent impunity and sense of entitlement and privilege.”
Ashrawi highlighted in her statement that Israel’s settlement activities constituted a “war crime” and were in direct violation of international law and several UN resolutions. “Any company that chooses to do business in the illegal settlements becomes complicit in the crime and therefore liable to judicial accountability,” she said.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has complained that the list unfairly targets Israel and has noted that it was part of the larger Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which targets specific companies profiting off of Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territory and falls within the traditions of the nonviolent boycott movement against the apartheid regime in South Africa.
Israel and the United States have been starkly opposed to any move that could give weight to the BDS movement, and have often claimed that any support of a boycott against Israel amounts to anti-Semitism.
Israel has tightened the noose on the BDS movement in recent months, most notably by passing the anti-BDS law, which bans foreign individuals who have openly called for a boycott of Israel from entering the country.
Furthermore, Israel has routinely condemned the UN for what it sees as their anti-Israel stance, as numerous resolutions have been passed in recent months condemning Israel’s half-century occupation of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and its relentless settlement enterprise that has dismembered the Palestinian territory.
However, Palestinians and activists have long pointed out that nonviolent movements, expressed both in BDS activities and raising awareness on the international stage, are some of the last spaces to challenge Israel’s occupation, as Israeli forces have clamped down on popular movements in the Palestinian territory, leaving many Palestinians with diminished hope for the future.

 

Sorgente: UN’s list of companies linked to settlements to be published despite Israeli, US pressure

 

 

Teva China API plant smacked by FDA warning letter, adding to drugmaker’s burdens

The FDA has nailed another Teva manufacturing facility with a warning letter, this time for an API facility in China.

The Israel-based drugmaker in a short SEC filing said the letter had been issued April 10, following an inspection of the facility in September that found issues with the plant’s manufacturing control and sampling processes.

Teva said it is already taking steps to deal with the FDA concerns “as well as the underlying causes of those concerns.” It said it will provide the FDA a full response by May 1.

Later in the day, a Teva spokeswoman responded by email, repeating the language of the public filing but adding that, “As a matter of practice, Teva manufactures according to the highest quality and compliance standards.” She said no supply interruptions are anticipated as a result of the warning letter.

We do not anticipate any disruption in the supply of products to patients.

This is Teva’s second warning letter in the last six months. In October, the FDA cited a Teva sterile injectables plant in Hungary, noting significant sterility concerns. The agency had earlier banned the plant from shipping any more products to the United States.

The newest citation adds to the burdens of the floundering company, which recently jettisoned its CEO and is reportedly looking at cutting as many as 6,000 jobs after Passover ends next week. It has been trying to significantly squeeze its costs following its $40.5 billion buyout of Allergan’s generic drug business last year.

Sorgente: Teva China API plant smacked by FDA warning letter, adding to drugmaker’s burdens | FiercePharma

La Coop e il Conad vendono datteri sporchi di sangue.

Con l’arrivo delle feste natalizie Coop e Conad hanno ripreso la vendita di datteri sporchi di sangue. Datteri provenienti dalle colonie israeliane illegali presenti in Cisgiordania, su terre rubate ai legittimi proprietari palestinesi, che sfruttano le risorse naturali e la manodopera palestinese, anche minorile.

Nonostante in passato Coop e Conad avessero deciso di non supportare l’apartheid israeliano sospendendo gli approvvigionamenti di merci prodotte nei territori occupati ma etichettate come prodotti di Israele, oggi apprendiamo da alcune nostre fonti che nei suddetti supermercati è possibile trovare ancora datteri illegali.

Datteri medjoul “Made in Israel” venduti presso la Unicoop Tirreno.

Datteri medjoul “Made in Israel” venduti presso la PAC 2000A.

In particolare presso la Unicoop Tirreno sono in vendita datteri medjoul di marca King Solomon e Jordan River distribuiti in Italia con marchio Fatina dalla Murano S.p.a. di Pomigliano d’Arco in provincia di Napoli, ma confezionati in Israele da Hadiklaim Date Growers LTD.

Datteri medjoul “Made in Israel” venduti presso la Unicoop Tirreno.

Datteri medjoul “Made in Israel” venduti presso la Unicoop Tirreno.

Hadiklaim è uno dei principali esportatori di datteri israeliani, prodotti in varie colonie illegali della Valle del Giordano, del Mar Morto e delle Alture del Golan.

Datteri medjoul “Made in Israel” venduti presso la Unicoop Tirreno.

L’importatore e distributore per l’Italia, la Murano S.p.a., ha aggiunto sulla scatola un adesivo con la dicitura ARDOC denominazione di origine controllata, che dovrebbe indicare la produzione dei datteri nella valle Arava a sud del mar Morto, in territorio israeliano. Ma non esiste alcuna D.O.C. denominazione di origine controllata di prodotti israeliani. Il termine è solo un modo per trarre in inganno l’acquirente visto che è utilizzato soltanto in Italia. Inoltre sull’etichetta è indicata la sede dell’impacchettamento ma non è possibile risalire a quella di coltivazione.

Dal 2015 è obbligatorio indicare sull’etichetta la provenienza dalle colonie israeliane dei prodotti agricoli. Decisione ribadita dall’Unione Europea nel 2016. Hadiklaim vende in Europa datteri confezionati in territorio israeliano per cercare di aggirare la normativa, la quale però prevede che gli stati membri applichino sanzioni efficaci, proporzionali e dissuasive per chi non indica l’esatta origine del prodotto.

Come mai la Unicoop Tirreno vende datteri che potrebbero provenire dalle colonie israeliane illegali e che tra l’altro violano la normativa UE sulla tracciabilità dei prodotti agricoli?

Datteri medjoul “Made in Israel” venduti presso la Unicoop Tirreno.

Ma non si comporta meglio Conad. Nei supermercati Conad aderenti alla PAC 2000A è possibile trovare in vendita datteri di qualità medjoul di provenienza israeliana con codice a barre italiano.

Datteri medjoul “Made in Israel” venduti presso la PAC 2000A.

Al Conad si possono trovare datteri ramati naturali distribuiti da Life S.r.l. di Sommariva Perno in provincia di Cuneo. Questi datteri di qualità medjoul sono importati da Israele senza indicare dove sono stati coltivati e nemmeno riportare quale azienda li ha esportati verso l’Italia, ma il codice a barre italiano che inizia per 800, li identifica come prodotto italiano.

Datteri medjoul “Made in Israel” venduti presso la PAC 2000A.

Addirittura la Noberasco S.p.a. di Albenga in provincia di Savona distribuisce presso Conad datteroni premium selection ovvero datteri di qualità medjoul che non solo riportano un codice a barre italiano ma che non indicano nemmeno il paese di importazione. Come se i datteri venissero coltivati in Italia. In realtà si tratta di datteri made in Israel come si evince dal loro sito internet.

Datteri medjoul “Made in Israel” venduti presso la PAC 2000A.

Datteri medjoul “Made in Israel” venduti presso la PAC 2000A.

Siccome Israele non fa distinzioni tra territorio israeliano e colonie israeliane illegali, come fa un acquirente del Conad a capire se questi datteri rispettano la normativa europea sulla tracciabilità dei prodotti agricoli provenienti dalle colonie israeliane illegali? Perchè la PAC 2000A vende datteri che potrebbero essere coltivati sulle terre che i coloni ebrei hanno rubato ai palestinesi?

Non sarebbe meglio evitare di proporre ai propri clienti prodotti così controversi visto che già in passato sia Coop che Conad si sono dimostrati contrari alla vendita di merci provenienti dalle colonie israeliane illegali?

Oppure se suddette catene di supermercati volessero a tutti i costi vendere datteri di qualità medjoul non sarebbe meglio importarli da aziende palestinesi certificate che non violano nessuna legge internazionale come quelle associate alla Ong PARC (Palestinian Agricultural Relief Committee)?

In attesa di qualche risposta inviamo i nostri più calorosi auguri di Buon Natale a tutti gli amici di Unicoop Tirreno e PAC 2000A. Che i datteri israeliani vi possano andare di traverso.

Boycott Israeli Dates

KEY FACTS

  • Israel is the world’s 3rd largest ($) exporter of dates worth $151 million in 2014.
  • The UK is Israel’s 3rd largest market for dates worth $23 million in 2014 (10,000 tons).
  • 60% of the world’s Medjool dates are produced in Israel (2013).
  • 60% of Israeli dates are grown on illegal settlement plantations in the Jordan Valley (2014).

If you buy a Medjool date, there’s a strong possibility that it is from an illegal settlement – grown on stolen land.


Boycott Israeli Dates leaflet (front)

 

SETTLEMENTS

Israeli settlements built on stolen Palestinian land have been ruled illegal by the International Court of Justice. Nearly half of the settlements in the Jordan Valley grow dates, it’s their most profitable crop, and contributes significantly to their economic viability. 80% of settlement dates are exported, making up some 40% of all dates exported from Israel. If you oppose the settlements then target their dates.


Palestinian child working in illegal Israeli settlement.
Out of desperate poverty Palestinian families are forced
to take their children out of school and hand them over
to the settlers to work for a pittance
(source: Channel4 news 7 July 2008)

 

EXPLOITATION

Picking of the dates is hard work, Israeli settlers bring in low paid Palestinian labourers to do this back breaking work. During the pruning season, workers are dropped on the date palm trees by a hoisting crane at 5 in the morning, left perched on palms that soar to heights of 12 metres – a 4 storey building, left there swaying in the wind for up to 8 hours without even a toilet break, with no means to come down until the crane returns at the end of the day, the workers cling to the tree with one arm and work with the other to meet their quota. If they fall behind they will lose their jobs.

CHILD LABOUR

The Israelis prefer to employ children – even issuing them official work permits, as they can climb trees faster, work for less and it’s easier to cheat and humiliate them. Out of desperate poverty Palestinian families are forced to take their children out of school and hand them over to the settlers to work for a pittance.

GUILTY COMPANIES

Every year Israel expands its share of the global dates market – up 16% in 2011; up 23% in 2012, it surpassed Saudi Arabia to now become the world’s 3rd largest exporter of dates ($ terms) after Tunisia and Iran with an export value of $151 million in 2014. After the Netherlands and France, the UK is Israel’s largest market for dates worth $23 million in 2014 with nearly 10,000 tons of Israeli dates being exported to the UK.Hadiklaim, the Israeli Date Growers Cooperative, which includes illegal settler plantations in the Jordan Valley, sells 65% of all Israeli dates. Its brand names include Jordan River, King Solomon, Tamara Barhi Dates, Desert Diamond, Rapunzel, Bomaja, Shams and Delilah. They also supply Israeli dates to supermarkets who market them under their own brand. These include Marks & Spencer, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Asda, Morrisons and Waitrose. Sometimes they are labelled “produced in the West Bank”, remember these are not Palestinian dates. Hadiklaim have also sold South African dates with profits going to Israel, but due to the boycott their South African partner Karsten Farms have cut ties and vowed never to partner with any Israeli entity complicit in the occupation.

Mehadrin, Israel’s largest fresh produce exporter, boasted of doubling their Medjoul date sales sighting strong demand in Ramadan! Their dates have brand names Premium Medjoul, Fancy Medjoul, Royal Treasure, Red Sea, and Bonbonierra. Sometimes their packaging states “Grown by Palestinian Farmers”, this refers to Palestinian ‘slave’ labourers found on Israeli plantations.

Tnuvot Field (Field Produce Marketing Ltd) is Israels 3rd largest exporter of Medjool dates. Its brand names include Paradise dates, and Star dates.

READING LABEL NOT ENOUGH

Unfortunately reading the label is no longer enough as Hadiklaim admit that from 2012 they have been shipping dates from the Jordan Valley labelled ‘Produce of Palestine’ to Europe and Dubai. It’s unclear how much of this is from Palestinian farms and how much is from illegal Israeli settlements.An Al-Jazeera report from August 2012 interviewed an Israeli agricultural export manager in Mahola settlement, one of the illegal Israeli colonies on the West Bank where Hadiklaim sources its Medjool dates. He explained a pallet of dates boxes in his packing warehouse labelled “Palestine – Jericho” by saying that “sometimes the British object [to buying from us].. We just avoid writing ‘Israel’ on the boxes.. we often print special boxes at the request of the client.. sometimes they ask us to change the name of the country of origin on the boxes.”

There are also reports of Palestinian ministry of economy intercepting 20 tons of Israeli settlement dates on their way to Palestinian packing houses for repackaging for export under the “Made in Palestine” label. Reporters from the Anadolu news in Sept 2014 interviewed several Palestinian merchants in Ariha involved in this nefarious activity. The collaborators admitted “We do trade in dates of the settlements, which we buy at prices that are 40 per cent lower than the market price. And in order to be able to market the dates, we clean and re-package them and choose the best in preparation for selling them in the local market, as well as the Arab and European markets” They estimate the annual volume of his seasonal sales of dates is nearly 350 tons. They use licensed companies that are registered officially. The export process takes place after the official bodies check the quality and specifications of the product, ensuring the product’s conformity with European specifications and international standards. It is then exported under the “Made in Palestine” label.

So now even the ‘Made in Palestine’ label is no longer a guarantee that you are not buying Israeli occupation dates! We would caution against buying any Medjool dates from the region unless they are from trusted Palestinian sources like Zaytoun or Yaffa.


Checking the label is not enough – label says Palestine – Jericho, but the dates are produced in illegal Israeli settlement of Mahola

 

BDS CALL

In 2005 Palestinian civil society initiated a call for people of conscience around the world to Boycott, Divest and Sanction Israel until it complies with international law and Palestinian rights. The call was endorsed by over 170 Palestinian organisations representing all aspects of society including farmers.

PLEA FROM PALESTINE

Activists visiting the Palestinian village of Fasayl in the Jordan Valley discovered that villagers are slowly being forced off their land by the Israeli army for settlement expansion. The only livelihood left open to them is to work for those same Israeli settlements. These Palestinians whose land had been stolen and were forced to work for the settlements (including two children under the age of 12), in order to feed their families – they had a message for the activists, a plea for anyone who would listen – ‘take action against the companies that support Israeli apartheid!’ What excuse is left for us not to boycott Israel?

Help Us Distribute Boycott Israeli Dates Leaflets

Its simple – you don’t need to join any groups, just get a couple of friends together, order your free leaflets and start distributing!

With Ramadan rapidly approaching we need your help to get the message out to our people – Do Not Buy Israeli Dates. We need your help to distribute ‘Boycott Israeli Dates’ leaflets in your Mosques, your campuses, and your communities.

Its simple – you don’t need to join any organisations or facebook groups, just get a couple of friends together and order your leaflets. The leaflets are sent free of charge, just let us know how many you can distribute and we will send them.

This Ramadan don’t just think of the Palestinians, but act!

Our beloved Prophet (SAW) has said “The Ummah are like one body: if the eye is in pain then the whole body is in pain..”.

Today Palestine is bleeding…

 

Distributing on the internet

We also need your help creating awareness for the campaign on the internet, on social networking sites , etc. Included below are jpegs of the leaflet in various sizes so that you can start sharing them on your favourite websites, blogs, mailing lists, facebook and twitter.


Boycott Israeli Dates leaflet (1200px, both sides)

Boycott Israeli Dates leaflet (800px, back)

 

 

Educating Shopkeepers

When approaching shops that are selling Israel dates make sure you ask to speak to the owner – the person behind the till might just be a worker who has no say in what the shop sells. Always remember to be polite, remember you have the moral high ground so reason with them and give them a way forward without them loosing face.

Common responses from shop keepers and sample replies:

1. Everyone is selling them, why are you picking on my little corner shop, Tesco’s sells them why dont you go there?

There are campaigns all year around targeting supermarkets that sell Israeli goods. There has been a picket outside M&S for over 12 years now, we are not picking on you. If you know other stores selling Israeli dates let us know and we will also speak to them. Give the storeowner a leaflet – it includes logos of all the guilty supermarkets.

2. My customers ask for it. I also sell Tunisian dates, I provide choice – the customer decides, its a free country.

These dates are grown on stolen land, Palestinian families have been thrown off their land in order to grow these dates. If these dates contributed to YOUR families suffering, YOUR children’s suffering would you still sell them because customers ask for it? Is a Palestinian child worth less than YOUR child?

If your customers insist on Mejoul dates, why not order Palestinian Mejoul dates, these are now readily available in the UK from Zaytoun.org and Yaffa.co.uk.

3. Everything is Israeli, it wont make any difference to boycott israeli dates.

Following a global boycott campaign Agrexco, Israel’s largest exporter of fresh produce which was half owned by the Israeli government actually went bust, our actions – ordinary people like you and me, can make a difference. The boycott helped end apartheid in South Africa and it can do the same in Palestine.

4. These dates are not Israeli, they are South African it says so on the box [ pointing to Kalahari Karsten Farms Mejoul dates box ]

Israel’s Hadiklaim cooperative which includes illegal settler plantation has struck a deal with Kartsen Farms in South Africa to market its dates in Europe, in this way the Israeli date company can supply dates through out the year, even when the Israeli date season is gone. Yes, whilst the dates are South African, but the profits still go to Israel, to those illegal settlement plantations, so please boycott them.

5. I do it for the Palestinians, I know that poor Palestinians are working on those Israeli farms. At least this was they will get a little money, so they dont starve over Ramadan.

When activists went to the Jordan valley and talked to these deprived Palestinian labourers who are forced to work for the Israeli settlements for their survival, some whose children as young as 12 years old were doing backbreaking work for the Israelis, they asked them what can we do to help? The reply was swift and unequivocal – the Palestinians urged them to take actions against these settlement companies that have taken their land and abused them – they asked us to boycott them. By buying those dates you are perpetuating this settlement ‘slavery’.

 

Sample letter to give shopkeepers

Dear Shopkeeper,Greeting of peace,Please spare a few minutes to read this important letter, thank you.

As a customer of yours I wish to draw your attention to something which is very dear to my heart and I am sure to many of your other customers and hopefully to yours as well, namely the plight of the Palestinian people.

For 60 years now they have lived under brutal Israeli occupation, their land stolen from them, their homes demolished and their children murdered in front of their eyes. The United Nations has condemned Israel on many, many occasions, and the International Court of Justice has ruled the Israeli settlements are illegal – built on stolen Palestinian land, and those that lived through the horror of apartheid in South Africa have described Israel as practising a much worse form of apartheid than anything they suffered under. And yet despite all this, the oppression continues, nothing changes.

So in 2005 Palestinian civil society, over a 170 organisations representing every aspect of society including farmers, teachers and labourers, issued a call asking ordinary people around the world, people on conscience like us – you and I, to help by respecting their call to boycott Israeli goods until Israel complies with international law and respects Palestinian rights.

It is in this endeavour that I humbly urge you, as your customer, please do not help oppress the Palestinians by selling Israeli goods, in particular please do not sell Israeli dates this Ramadan. Every year just before Ramadan, Israel especially targets small retailers who serve the Muslim community in to stocking its dates. The included leaflet lists which brands of dates are Israeli and should be avoided, it also includes details of the suffering Palestinians undergo in the production of these dates. This Ramadan please think of the Palestinians.

Thank you

PS As your customers, we will be frequenting your store, please do not disappoint – thank you


 


Boycott Israeli Dates leaflet (back)

DownloadBoycott Israeli Dates Leaflet (A5 300dpi ready-to-print PDF) (6Mb)
DownloadBoycott Israeli Dates Leaflet (A5 300dpi front JPG) (1Mb)
DownloadBoycott Israeli Dates Leaflet (A5 300dpi back JPG) (1.3Mb)

BOYCOTT ISRAELI DATES: BACKGROUND

In 2004 the International Court of Justice ruled that the Israeli settlements are illegal – they are built on stolen Palestinian land. Growing dates is one of the major agricultural activities carried out by nearly half of the illegal Israeli settlements located in the Jordan Valley – it’s their most profitable crop , and contributes significantly to their economic viability.

Picking of the dates is hard work, so the Israeli settlers bring in Palestinian labourers to do this back breaking work. During the pruning season the workers are dropped on the date palm trees by a hoisting crane at 5 o’clock in the morning, left perched on palms that soar to a height of 10 or even 12 meters – the height of a three- or four-story building, left there swaying in the wind for up to 8 hours without a break and with no means to come down until the crane returns at the end of the day, the workers cling to the tree with one arm and work with the other to meet their quota. They can’t even take a break to go to the toilet. If they complain or fall behind their quota they will lose their jobs and their families will starve.


Palestinian child working in illegal Israeli settlement.
Out of desperate poverty Palestinian families are forced
to take their children out of school and hand them over
to the settlers to work for a pittance
(source: Channel4 news 7 July 2008)

But the Israelis prefer to employ children – even issuing them official work permits, as they are quick and light, can climb trees faster, work for less and it’s easier to cheat and humiliate them. Out of desperate poverty Palestinian families are forced to take their children out of school and hand them over to the settlers to work for a pittance.

Most of the Israeli date crop – up to 80%, is exported, mainly to Europe where it has around 10% market share. In 2005, dates were Israel’s leading fruit export.

The two major Israeli companies involved are Agrexco and Hadiklaim.

Agrexco, half owned by the Israeli government, handles 60-70% of all goods produced in the illegal Settlements. Its dates have brand names Carmel, Jordan Plains and Jordan Valley. Last September, a week before the start of Ramadan, Carmel boasted in their press release that they had managed an early crop of dates in order to meet the Ramadan demand for dates from Europe’s Muslims!

Hadiklaim sells 65 percent of the all dates produced in Israel. Its dates have brand names King Solomon and Jordan River. They also supply Israeli dates to supermarkets and retail chains who market them under their own brand names. These include Marks & Spencer’s, Sainsbury’s, Tesco’s, and Waitrose.


Sainsburys Medjool Dates
produced in the illegal Israeli settlement
of Netiv Hagdud in the West Bank

Sometimes they are labelled “produced in the West Bank” – this just confirms they are grown in the illegal Israeli settlements.

Peace activists who visited the Palestinian village of Fasayl in the Jordan Valley last year discovered that villagers are slowly being forced off their land by the Israeli army. The only livelihood left open to them is to work for Carmel Agrexco. The activists even spoke to two Palestinian children under the age of 12 who were working for Carmel. The Palestinian workers whose land had been stolen and were forced to work for Carmel in order to feed their families – they had a message for the peace activists, a plea for anyone who would listen – they urged them to take action against Carmel Agrexco and such companies that support Israeli apartheid. What excuse is left for us not to boycott Israel? If you oppose the illegal settlements target their dates. Boycotting can make a real difference.

BOYCOTT ISRAELI DATES: CAMPAIGN

Innovative Minds and the Islamic Human Rights Commission are calling on campaigners to create awareness in their communities about the boycott of Israeli goods, and in particular Israeli dates, this Ramadan.

In order to educate our communities on this issue two videos and a leaflet has been produced.

“Zaynab’s Story” explores the connection between an ordinary person living in Britain and what is happening in Palestine – how our actions as consumers in this country effects what happens to the Palestinians. It’s a heart wrenching video which exposes the brutality of the occupation as it touches the lives of ordinary people in Palestine. It then traces exactly how our buying habits help sustain this occupation, and ends by exploring ways in which we can start supporting the Palestinians. The boycott of Israeli dates forms its central theme. Its premier both in this country and overseas has been very well received. It duration is 36 minutes, and its available both as a DVD, or as a downloadable AVI for screening in a mosque, community centre or student society, and as streaming video on Youtube for personal viewing.

 

ZAYNAB’S STORY – A CALL TO BOYCOTT ISRAEL

DownloadZaynab’s Story Video (480×360,700kbps AVI) (221Mb)

“Boycott Israeli Dates” was specifically created for screening at venues with time restrictions which would not permit the screening of “Zaynab’s Story”. It duration is only 18 minutes, and concentrates solely on the boycott of Israeli dates. It is available both for downloading (hi-res AVI) or streaming (low-res Youtube).

Please help us reach the widest possible audience by making copies of the videos, DVDs and passing them to your friends, placing them on your websites, etc.

BOYCOTT ISRAELI DATES A5 LEAFLET

Boycott Israeli dates leaflets can be obtained by contacting the Islamic Human Rights Commission on 02089040222. Alternatively the original PDFs used for printing the leaflets are available for download should you wish to do your own printing ( rough guide to printing cost in the UK: 10,000 leaflets £125 inc delivery ).


Boycott Israeli Dates leaflet (front)

Boycott Israeli Dates leaflet (back)

DownloadBoycott Israeli Dates Leaflet (A5 ready-to-print PDF) (5Mb)We have also produced a sample letter to give to local grocery shops, greengrocers, etc. that serve the Muslim community. The letter politely asks the the shopkeeper not stock Israeli dates this Ramadan. Only one letter, with perhaps 3-6 people signing it, needs to be given to each shop (along with a leaflet which identifies the brands to avoid).

Dear Shopkeeper,Greeting of peace,Please spare a few minutes to read this important letter, thank you.

As a customer of yours I wish to draw your attention to something which is very dear to my heart and I am sure to many of your other customers and hopefully to yours as well, namely the plight of the Palestinian people.

For 60 years now they have lived under brutal Israeli occupation, their land stolen from them, their homes demolished and their children murdered in front of their eyes. The United Nations has condemned Israel on many, many occasions, and the International Court of Justice has ruled the Israeli settlements are illegal – built on stolen Palestinian land, and those that lived through the horror of apartheid in South Africa have described Israel as practising a much worse form of apartheid than thing they suffered under. And yet despite all this, the oppression continues, nothing changes.

It is now left for us ordinary people to put pressure on Israel by boycotting its goods, by boycotting the fruits and vegetables it grows on land stolen from the Palestinians. It is in this endeavour that I humbly urge you, as your customer, please do not help oppress the Palestinians by selling Israeli goods, in particular please do not sell Israeli dates this Ramadan. Every year just before Ramadan, Israel especially targets small retailers who serve the Muslim community in to stocking its dates. The included leaflet lists which brands of dates are Israeli and should be avoided, it also includes details of the suffering Palestinians undergo in the production of these dates. This Ramadan please think of the Palestinians.

Thank you

DownloadSample letter to shopkeepers (Word DOC) (100Kb)
The idea is for activists to arrange a Boycott Israel awareness event in their community where they show one of the videos, give out the leaflets and ask people to sign the letters addressed to local shops serving the community (print out only one letter per shop which everyone signs like a petition).

If you do initiate a Boycott Israeli Dates campaign in your community please do contact us via the feedback form (on the left column of this page) and share your experience with us.

This Ramadan there is no excuse for any Muslim in the world to open their fast with an Israeli date.

Sorgente: Boycott Israeli Dates Campaign