Muslims across Europe urged to boycott Israeli dates this Ramadan

Mejdool dates

Friends of Al Aqsa has launched its annual campaign to urge Muslims across Europe to boycott Israeli dates that are being sold in shops and supermarkets this Ramadan.

The #CheckTheLabel campaign aims to make sure that Muslims are not breaking their fasts with a “taste of apartheid.”

All you need to do is check the label to avoid buying dates from Israel – including dates labelled “from Israel,” the “West Bank” and the “Jordan Valley.”

“By choosing not to buy Israeli dates this Ramadan the Muslim community can send a clear and powerful message of condemnation of Israel’s illegal occupation and apartheid in Palestine,” said Shamiul Joarder of Friends of Al-Aqsa.

Israel is the world’s largest producer of Medjoul dates, with 50% of Israel’s dates being exported to Europe. These dates are then sold in major supermarkets as well as local shops across the continent.

Major UK supermarkets like ASDA, Tesco, Iceland and Waitrose all sell dates from Israel as well as local grocery stores.

The UK is the second-biggest importer of Israeli dates in Europe. In 2020 it imported over 3,000 tonnes of dates from Israel, worth roughly £7.5 million.

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The Netherlands, France, Spain and Italy also import huge quantities of the dried fruit.

There are two peaks of date consumption in Europe – one is during the month of Ramadan and the other is during New Year’s Eve and Christmas.

So far in 2023 Israel has killed at least 62 Palestinians including 13 children – the equivalent of one child every 5 days.

The Israeli regime is increasing home demolitions at an alarming rate and has promised to expand illegal settlements at an unprecedented level.

The world’s leading human rights organisations (Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch) have said that Israel is committing the crime of apartheid, but European states are still failing to impose sanctions on Israel.

“It’s time to renew our commitment to BDS this Ramadan. We must remember that as a community we are powerful – we can make our voices heard through the simple act of putting Israeli dates back on the shelf. All we need to do is #CheckTheLabel and not buy dates from apartheid Israel,” Shamiul Joarder added.

A Day of Action to encourage Muslims to check the label has been called at UK mosques on March 17, the last Friday before Ramadan. There will also be an online awareness drive on the final weekend before the holy month.

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