Friends of Al Aqsa, which campaigns to defend the human rights of Palestinians and to protect the sacred al-Aqsa Sanctuary in Jerusalem, has issued the following press statement urging Muslims to boycott Israeli dates.
“During Ramadhan, Israel exports tonnes of dates into Europe and North America. Israelis profit to the tune of hundreds of millions from dates alone, and most of the date farms are located in occupied Palestinian land in the Jordan Valley.
These lands rightly belong to Palestinian families who now live in abject poverty while illegal Israeli settlers cultivate the land (often using Palestinian labourers).
60 per cent of the dates grown by Israelis are grown on settlement lands, and these dates form 40 per cent of all exported produce.
For Muslims, Ramadan is a time of year for remembering those who are less fortunate. It is a time for spiritually and reflection. By buying dates which help continue a cycle of oppression, many Muslims believe this would go against the entire spirit of the month of fasting.
Every year, Israel exports millions of pounds worth of dates to the world, which many people unknowingly buy and use to break their fasts. By buying these dates, Muslims would be helping Israel to continue its occupation and oppression of the Palestinian people.
The Check the Label campaign was first launched on Friday June 6th and received a huge response from Muslim communities. A day of awareness took place on the last Friday before Ramadhan, 27th June.
Shamiul Joarder of FOA said ‘We have had an amazing response from the community. Volunteers have been putting up posters in mosques, shops and community centres and distributing leaflets after prayers outside mosques across the UK as well as spreading the message on social media. Consumers have also been contacting Sainsbury’s to urge them to stop using Mehadrin to supply their dates as they are well known for sourcing produce from growers based in illegal settlements. ‘
He went on to say ‘this is part of our wider campaign called ‘check the label’ to raise the awareness of consumers to ‘check the label’ of all produce they buy throughout the year, peppers, sweet potatoes, plums etc.”
More information available
#icheckthelabel – www.checkthelabel.org.uk
Check the Label – https://www.foa.org.uk/campaigns/boycott-israeli-produce