#CheckTheLabel

Boycott Israeli Dates

This Ramadan, do not buy dates labelled from Israel, West Bank and the Jordan Valley as they’re grown in illegal Israeli settlements on land stolen from the Palestinians.

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Ban Trade with Illegal Israeli Settlements

We are urging MPs to call on the Foreign Secretary to ban goods from Israeli settlements. These settlements are illegal as they’re built on land stolen from Palestinians. Israeli settlements promote the demolition of Palestinian homes and the forceful displacement of the Palestinian people.

By trading with these settlements, the government is normalising the brutal treatment and the oppressive occupation.

The UK government needs to comply with the UN and support International Law.

Send your MP an email to call for a ban of trade with illegal Israeli settlements.

 


 

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I hope this email finds you well.

As your constituent I would like to request you to write to the Foreign secretary for the UK to ban Trade with Illegal Israeli Settlements.

Israeli settlements built on occupied Palestinian land are illegal under international law. Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention states: “The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.”

The UK government oppose these settlements and considers them as an obstacle to peace.

However, the UK continues to import goods from illegal Israeli settlements and as listed by the UN there are UK companies operating within the settlements.

Mr Lynk, the UN Special Rapporteur in reference to the Israeli settlements states that they are a “significant source” of human rights violations. This include land expropriation, displacement and the destruction of homes and other properties.

It is time the UK government brought into force its own policy, comply with UN and support International Law by banning all goods being imported from the Israeli illegal settlements.

I would appreciate if you could write to the foreign secretary on my behalf to call for a ban on settlement trade with Israel.

Yours sincerely,

This is a great way to keep up to date on all our activities and news on Palestine

MP profile photo: © Parliament (CC-BY-3.0)

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Boycott Israeli Dates

When doing your Ramadan shopping, please #CheckTheLabel and boycott dates labelled from Israel, West Bank and the Jordan Valley.

Here are some brands to boycott

Story

Boycott Israeli Dates

During the month of Ramadan Muslims fast from dawn to sunset. Ramadan is a time for spiritual reflection and to get closer to God. It is also about remembering the unfortunate and the poor.

The end of each day of fasting is marked by having iftar, this is the meal to end the days fast. Iftar usually begins by eating a date.

Unfortunately, many Muslims break their fast with Israeli dates. These dates help maintain the illegal occupation of Palestine.

Breaking fasts with Israeli dates counter the essence of justice and fairness that Muslims try to instil within themselves during Ramadan.

Please check the label and not buy Israeli dates to break your fasts. Israeli dates are labelled from Israel, West Bank and Jordan Valley.

Dates from West Bank and the Jordan Valley are most likely grown from illegal Israeli settlements, on land stolen from Palestinians.

Israeli settlements are extremely harmful for the Palestinian people. For an Israeli settlement to be built Palestinian people are forcibly removed from their homes, their homes are demolished and they are then denied access to their own land.

As a part of the process of colonisation of Palestine, Israel takes over Palestinian land, sets up companies on that stolen land and they then employ some Palestinians who have no option but to work there since Israel has taken away the opportunity for them to work for themselves. Palestinians would rather have their land back and than have called for a boycott of Israeli goods.

So, what can you do about this?

1) When doing your Ramadan shopping, #CheckTheLabel on the date package to see the ‘origin of’/’produce of’.

Do not buy dates labelled from Israel, West Bank and the Jordan Valley. Some Israeli brands to avoid are shown in the image below.

If you shop online, before you add the dates to your cart, check where the dates are from as this information is usually listed.

To confuse the customer, some Israeli brands have labelled themselves as ‘Produce of Palestine’. Our research, at present, can only verify genuine Palestinian brands as shown in the image below.

2) Email the foreign secretary urging the UK government to ban trade with Israeli settlements.

The UK government repeatedly condemn Israeli violations and settlements, but continue to trade with them. This is evident in the fact that the UK is Israel’s second largest market for dates that in 2020 was worth nearly £28 million. Trade is a huge aspect in sustaining these illegal Israeli settlements.

You can email the foreign secretary above.

Make sure this Ramadan you are not helping Israel maintain its occupation by eating Israeli dates.

Downloads & Resources

FAQ

What dates should I not buy?

When shopping, do not buy dates from Israel, West Bank and the Jordan Valley.

Dates from here are mostly grown in illegal Israeli settlements.

To confuse the customer, some Israeli brands have labelled themselves as ‘Produce of Palestine’. Our research, at present, can only verify genuine Palestinian brands as shown in the image above.

What are Israeli settlements?

Settlements are built up Israeli communities on stolen Palestinian land. Pre-existing Palestinian communities are forcibly removed from their homes and deprived of access to their land.

Why are settlements illegal?

The United Nations General Assembly, the United Nations Security Council and the International Court of Justice have all said that Israeli settlements on the West Bank violate the Fourth Geneva Convention.

The Fourth Geneva Convention says that an occupying power “shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.” Israel has been doing exactly that, since occupying the West Bank in 1967.

Won’t Palestinian farmers lose their jobs?

The campaign to boycott Israeli dates stems from the fact that a large quantity of Israeli dates are grown on farmlands which were stolen from Palestinian farmers. These lands are now solely occupied by Israelis and the bulk of income from the harvest of dates enriches the illegal Israeli settlers and the state of Israel. Palestinians, are however, permitted to work on the land for the Israeli settlers, thus undertaking the gruelling backbreaking work of farming dates, while, Israelis reap the rewards of theft of land and a harvest they did not work for.

Palestinians will face a short-term economic dip, however, as we have seen during the South African apartheid, boycotting is an effective strategy to stop oppressive regimes. Palestinians will undoubtedly benefit in the long-term with a prosperous economy of their own without living under in apartheid and occupation.

Are child labourers used to harvest dates?

FOA has also identified the use of child labourers on these farms. Children who should be at school are instead employed on these farms doing dangerous jobs without adequate protection. Children interviewed by Human Rights Watch stated that they had little choice about the work, as their families lived in poverty. They hated working on the illegal settlement farms, but the occupation has starved the Palestinian economy of growth and prosperity, leaving many in poverty and with little choice.

What is the aim of the boycott?

The #CheckTheLabel boycott is aimed at pressuring Israel to end its occupation, end its illegal settlement programme, end its illegal siege of Gaza and answer the charges that Israel has engaged in war crimes against the Palestinians.

As we saw with apartheid South Africa during the 1980s, boycotting served as an effective strategy to highlight injustice and to ultimately build up pressure on the South African government.

How does not buying a date make a difference?

By not buying dates from Israel, the illegal settlements in the West Bank, or in the Jordan Valley you are making a stand supporting the Palestinians. By boycotting you are putting international pressure upon Israel to end its brutal occupation and to ensure it complies with international law in a peaceful way. It is making a difference. Israel is spending millions of pounds countering the boycott, as it knows the boycott focuses on its grave violations of international law and injustice towards the Palestinian population.

How will a boycott of Israel help?

1. It reduces their income as companies stop trading with Israel.

2. It isolates Israel by rejecting it from the rest of the democratic world by exposing it as a false democracy, wherein there is only freedom for one people and oppression for another.

3. It pressurises Israel to change its inhumane policies in Gaza and release it strangle hold in the West Bank.

4. As world governments clamour to support Israel and its ‘right to defend itself’ while ignoring the relentless Israeli aggression and wanton violence against Palestinians, ordinary people like us can make a huge difference.

Through boycott, we isolate Israel and send a clear message that the global grassroots communities will not stand by and do nothing while Israel murders innocent Palestinian women and children.

Is #CheckTheLabel just for Ramadan?

The campaign will continue after Ramadhan and then switch to focusing on Israeli produce such as peppers, strawberries, avocadoes, figs and citrus fruits.