- Israel is the world's 3rd largest ($) exporter of dates worth $181 million in 2017.
- The UK is Israel's 2nd largest market for dates worth $30 million in 2017 (9,000 tons).
- 75% of the world's Medjool dates are produced in Israel (2016).
- 60% of Israeli dates are grown on illegal settlement plantations in the Jordan Valley (2014).
It's no longer enough to check the label Israel is even using 'Made in Palestine' label to peddle stolen dates from illegal settlements. If you buy a Medjool date, there’s a strong possibility that it is from an illegal settlement - grown on stolen land. Unless its from a trusted Palestinian source like Zaytoun or Yaffa, we would caution against buying it.
Its simple - you don't need to join any groups, just get a couple of friends together, order your free leaflets and start distributing!
With Ramadan rapidly approaching we need your help to get the message out to our people - Do Not Buy Israeli Dates. We need your help to distribute 'Boycott Israeli Dates' leaflets in your Mosques, your campuses, and your communities.
Its simple - you don't need to join any organisations or facebook groups, just get a couple of friends together and order your leaflets. The leaflets are free of charge, just let us know how many you can distribute and we will send them. We just ask if you can please help contribute towards the cost of postage. (There is a donate box at the top right of the page which can be used for this purpose.)
This Ramadan don't just think of the Palestinians, but act!
Our beloved Prophet (SAW) has said "The Ummah are like one body: if the eye is in pain then the whole body is in pain..".
Today Palestine is bleeding..
Buy Palestinian DatesYou can order genuine Palestinian Medoul dates (Zaytoun) from the IHRC shop
1. We are sorry, but at this time we can only deliver in the UK.
2. When leafleting please dont just leave a pile on the table in the Mosque, please make the effort to hand them out - put it in peoples hands so that there is a chance they will look at it.
Distributing On Social Media
We also need your help creating awareness for the campaign on social media - facebook, twitter, instagram, whatsapp, blogs, mailing lists, etc. Included below are jpegs of the leaflet in various sizes so that you can start sharing them.
When approaching shops that are selling Israel dates make sure you ask to speak to the owner - the person behind the till might just be a worker who has no say in what the shop sells. Always remember to be polite, remember you have the moral high ground so reason with them and give them a way forward without them loosing face.
Common responses from shop keepers and sample replies:
1. Everyone is selling them, why are you picking on my little corner shop, Tesco's sells them why dont you go there?
There are campaigns all year around targeting supermarkets that sell Israeli goods. for example there was a sustained picket outside M&S for nearly 20 years, we are not picking on you. If you know other stores selling Israeli dates let us know and we will also speak to them. Give the storeowner a leaflet - it includes logos of all the guilty supermarkets.
2. My customers ask for it. I also sell Tunisian dates, I provide choice - the customer decides, its a free country.
These dates are grown on stolen land, Palestinian families have been thrown off their land in order to grow these dates. If these dates contributed to YOUR families suffering, YOUR childrens suffering would you still sell them because customers ask for it? Is a Palestinian child worth less than YOUR child?
If your customers insist on Mejoul dates, why not order Palestinian Mejoul dates, these are now readily available in the UK from Zaytoun.org and Yaffa.co.uk.
3. Everything is Israeli, it wont make any difference to boycott Israeli dates.
Following a global boycott campaign Agrexco, Israel's largest exporter of fresh produce which was half owned by the Israeli government actually went bust, our actions - ordinary people like you and me, can make a difference. The boycott helped end apartheid in South Africa and it can do the same in Palestine.
4. These Medjoul dates are not Israeli. There is no country of origin on the box and no company name or the dates are sold loosely out of their original box. (This is a common tactic used by Israel and complicit shops to hide the Israeli origin of Medjoul dates).
Explain to the shopkeeper that most Medjoul dates in the UK are Israeli (75% of the worlds Medjoul dates are from Israel, and much of the rest is from USA which aren't actively marketed in the UK). The Food Labelling Regulations 1996 requires that food should be labelled with “....particulars of the place of origin or provenance of the food if failure to give such particulars might mislead a purchaser to a material degree as to the true origin or provenance of the food”. That it is a criminal offence under the 'Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008' to make false claims about the origin of a product. It carries a maximum penalty of £5,000 fine or two years’ imprisonment.
If the box has no company details of the producer of the dates, tell the shopkeeper to provide them. The Food Labelling Regulations 1996 requires transparency regards the producer of the food. It states that the label should include "the name or business name and an address or registered office of either or both of (i)the manufacturer or packer, or (ii)a seller established within the European Community;".
If the shopkeeper refuses then take photos of the box and report the shop to your local trading standards office.
5. I do it for the Palestinians, I know that poor Palestinians are working on those Israeli farms. At least this was they will get a little money, so they dont starve over Ramadan.
When activists went to the Jordan valley and talked to these deprived Palestinian labourers who are forced to work for the Israeli settlements for their survival, some whose children as young as 12 years old were doing backbreaking work for the Israelis, they asked them what can we do to help? The reply was swift and unequivocal - the Palestinians urged them to take actions against these settlement companies that have taken their land and abused them - they asked us to boycott them. By buying those dates you are perpetuating this settlement 'slavery'.
Sample letter to give shopkeepers
Greeting of peace,
Please spare a few minutes to read this important letter, thank you.
As a customer of yours I wish to draw your attention to something which is very dear to my heart and I am sure to many of your other customers and hopefully to yours as well, namely the plight of the Palestinian people.
For 70 years now they have lived under brutal Israeli occupation, their land stolen from them, their homes demolished and their children murdered in front of their eyes. The United Nations has condemned Israel on many, many occasions, and the International Court of Justice has ruled the Israeli settlements are illegal - built on stolen Palestinian land, and those that lived through the horror of apartheid in South Africa have described Israel as practising a much worse form of apartheid than anything they suffered under. And yet despite all this, the oppression continues, nothing changes.
So in 2005 Palestinian civil society, over a 170 organisations representing every aspect of society including farmers, teachers and labourers, issued a call asking ordinary people around the world, people on conscience like us - you and I, to help by respecting their call to boycott Israeli goods until Israel complies with international law and respects Palestinian rights.
It is in this endeavour that I humbly urge you, as your customer, please do not help oppress the Palestinians by selling Israeli goods, in particular please do not sell Israeli dates this Ramadan. Every year just before Ramadan, Israel especially targets small retailers who serve the Muslim community in to stocking its dates. The included leaflet lists which brands of dates are Israeli and should be avoided, it also includes details of the suffering Palestinians undergo in the production of these dates. This Ramadan please think of the Palestinians.
PS As your customers, we will be frequenting your store, please do not disappoint - thank you
Campaign video from 10 years ago.. still relevant