Monday 7th January, Palestinian agricultural organisations and the Palestinian BDS National Committee called in a press release for the launching of worldwide campaigns on 9th February against Israeli agricultural export corporations in light of their deep complicity in Israel’s ongoing violations of international law and Palestinian human rights.
Following the successful campaign against Israel’s former leading agricultural export corporation Agrexco, and in light of the growing international consensus on the duty to enforce an effective ban on trade with the illegal Israeli settlements, Palestinian agricultural organisations and the Palestinian BDS National Committee invite social movements, nongovernmental organisations, trade unions and human rights campaigners to take creative and effective action on February 9th in support of Palestinian farmers defending their land and natural resources.
The sale and purchase of goods from Israeli agricultural companies, such as Mehadrin and Hadiklaim, finance and reward the on-going illegal Israeli exploitation and colonisation of Palestinian land and further undermine the chances for a just peace based on international law and respect for universal human rights. As was demonstrated in the struggle to end apartheid in South Africa and the wide international solidarity movement with it, citizens can make a difference by refraining from buying products of complicit companies and by working to convince their supermarkets to stop trading with them.
Agriculture is a vital part of the Palestinian economy and national heritage, yet Palestinian farmers are being displaced from their lands and prevented from accessing it. Israel systematically exploits Palestinian natural resources in violation of international law and implements a range of restrictions on Palestinian agriculture in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip, while allowing Israeli agricultural corporations to profit from Israel’s illegal settlement enterprise.
As Palestinian agricultural organisations have noted, Israeli agricultural export companies are at the heart of Israel’s system of domination over the Palestinian people. They are an integral component of the on-going process of colonisation and environmental destruction of Palestinian land, the destruction of Palestinian agriculture, the theft of water, and the abuse of Palestinian workers’ rights, including child labourers.
Supermarkets should follow the lead of the Co-Operative Group in the UK, which has pledged to end trade with any company exporting goods from illegal Israeli settlements. Governments must meet their legal and moral obligation to take action in support of Palestinian self-determination and ban all forms of trade and cooperation with Israeli agricultural export companies complicit in the illegal settlement enterprise. People of conscience around the world can make sure such measures are taken. We count on your support to end business as usual with Israel’s agricultural companies as a contribution to our struggle for freedom, justice and equality.
General Union of Palestinian Peasants and Cooperatives
Palestinian Agricultural Relief Committees
Popular Struggle Coordination Committee
Union of Agricultural Work Committees
Union of Palestinian Agriculture Engineers