#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.

Take Action

Boycott Israeli dates

When shopping this Ramadan, #CheckTheLabel on the packaging for the ‘origin of’/’produce of’. If the dates are labelled from Israel, the West Bank or the Jordan Valley, choose another option.

Please also see Israeli brand companies to watch out for and our verified Palestinian brand dates to buy from: Yaffa, Zaytoun, Holy Land, Al’Ard

 

Order #CheckTheLabel info cards

Order #CheckTheLabel info cards to distribute outside your mosque after Jummah and in your area. Distribution is a great way to get those at your mosque to boycott Israeli dates this Ramadan.

Note: Please add your postcode in the city tab.

Front and back of Leaflet:

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FOA

Write to your MP to call for a ban on settlement trade

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.

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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We'll send your email to the MP for :

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Edit the suggested letter below before sending.

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,

 

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

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

Unfortunately, without realising, many Muslims break their fast with an Israeli date. Breaking the fast with an Israeli date does not fit with the values of justice and fairness that Muslims try to instil within themselves during Ramadan.

Please remember to #CheckTheLabel to make sure that you’re not breaking your fast with Israeli dates. Dates labelled as from the West Bank and Jordan Valley will have been grown in illegal Israeli settlements on land stolen from Palestinians. You will be buying into the occupation and apartheid of Palestine (and that doesn’t taste good!)

Illegal Israeli settlements are a key part of Israel’s illegal occupation. Palestinians are forcibly removed from their homes or their homes are demolished. The ongoing building of these settlements violates the Fourth Geneva Convention and has been widely criticised by the UN.

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.

What can you do?

1) When shopping this Ramadan, #CheckTheLabel on the packaging for the ‘origin of’/’produce of’ is. If it’s from Israel, the West Bank or the Jordan Valley, choose another option.  Also boycott dates from Israeli companies shown in the image below.

To confuse the customer, some Israeli brands have labelled themselves as ‘Produce of Palestine’. Our research, at present, can only verify genuine Palestinian brands: Yaffa, Zaytoun, Holy Land, Al’Ard

 

2) Email the Foreign Secretary urging the British government to ban trade with Israeli settlements.

The UK government repeatedly condemns Israeli settlements, but it still trades with them! The UK is Israel’s second largest market for dates – worth £28m in 2020. The average British person consumes over 20kg of dates in their lifetime – so make sure you’re not buying into occupation and apartheid.

You can email the foreign secretary above.

These simple actions are a powerful way to stand up for justice and against occupation and apartheid.

Downloads & Resources

FAQ

What dates should I not buy?

Do not buy dates labelled from Israel, the West Bank or the Jordan Valley. They will have been grown in Israeli settlements which are illegal under international law, on land stolen from Palestinians.

To confuse the customer, some Israeli brands have labelled themselves as ‘Produce of Palestine’. Our research, at present, can only verify genuine Palestinian brands. Order your dates from Palestine this Ramadan: Yaffa, Zaytoun, Holy Land, Al’Ard.

What are Israeli settlements?

The establishment of an Israeli community on stolen Palestinian land. This breaks international law, specifically the Fourth Geneva Convention. It is a key part of Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestine.

Since Israel occupied (invaded and took control of) the West Bank and Gaza in 1967, Israel has built over 250 Israeli-only communities on Palestinian land, home to over 600,000 illegal Israeli settlers.

Why are settlements illegal?

The Fourth Geneva Convention prohibits an occupying power (Israel) from moving its population (Israelis) into occupied land (Palestine).

In other words, it is illegal for Israelis to move into the West Bank because the West Bank is under occupation by Israel.

Israeli settlements have been widely criticised by the United Nations and the international community.

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 this boycott?

The #CheckTheLabel boycott helps to pressure Israel into complying with international law. As we saw with apartheid in South Africa, boycott is a powerful way for individuals to express their moral objection to a company or government’s actions.

Boycotting Israeli dates is a powerful way to bring about change.

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?

No. Whilst we are focusing on Israeli dates right now, it’s important to boycott all produce from Israel, the West Bank and the Jordan Valley, including peppers, strawberries, avocadoes, figs and citrus fruits.