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Palestinians Appeal To The Diamond Industry - Boycott International Diamond Week in Israel


inminds
30 January 2020



Palestinian civil society organisations, representing a cross-section of Palestinian civil society, including women’s groups and trade unions, and international organisations and individuals in solidarity with the Palestinian struggle for equality, justice and an end to the Israeli occupation of Palestine, have issued a call on the diamond industry to boycott International Diamond Week in Israel:


30th January 2020

Palestinian civil society organisations, groups and individuals working for justice and peace in the Middle East call upon people in the diamond industry not to attend the International Diamond Week in Israel February 10th-12th 2020.

On December 20th the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Fatou Bensouda, concluded there is reasonable basis to believe Israeli forces committed war crimes during the 2014 assault on Gaza which resulted in the deaths of over 2250 people mainly civilian including over 550 children and also in relation to the transfer of Israeli civilians into the West Bank since 13 June 2014.

In 2014 members of the Israeli diamond industry sponsored truck loads of equipment sent to soldiers committing suspected war crimes in Gaza.

According to Israeli political economist Shir Hever, “The Israeli diamond industry contributes about $1 billion annually to the Israeli military. Every time you buy an Israeli diamond some of that money ends up in the Israeli military”.

The diamond industry has been described as a “cornerstone” of the Israeli economy. According to the Jerusalem Post “Israel turns over about $28 billion in diamonds a year. The value of exported diamonds is so significant (about a fifth of total industrial exports) that the government reports its figures sans diamonds to ensure the gems do not skew the values.”

In November 2019, at the conclusion of a three year period of reform, the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme failed to broaden the definition of a “conflict diamond” which is restricted to rough diamonds that fund rebel violence. As a result, diamonds that are a significant source of funding for government forces guilty of grave human rights violations continue to flood the market labeled conflict free.

In 2015 Israel blocked a previous attempt to broaden the definition of a “conflict diamond” as “it could be disastrous…especially to Israel.”

Diamonds processed in Israel may be Kimberley Process compliant but they are not conflict free. Jewellers and consumers should avoid diamonds from Israel until such time as Israel respects Palestinians inalienable rights and international law.

Everyone in the diamond industry has a responsibility to ensure diamonds that fund war crimes or crimes against humanity are not allowed enter the legitimate market.

According to the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights the responsibility to respect human rights requires that business enterprises “Seek to prevent or mitigate adverse human rights impacts that are directly linked to their operations, products or services by their business relationships, even if they have not contributed to those impacts.”

Given the aforementioned and Israel’s belligerence in the face of all attempts to bring about an end to the occupation and subjugation of Palestinians we believe it is necessary to exert economic pressure to persuade Israel to abide by the norms accepted by civilized nations worldwide.

Signed:

The General Union Of Palestinian Woman, Gaza, Palestine
Zeinab El Ghunaimi, Director, Center For Women’s Legal Research, Counseling and Protection, Gaza, Palestine.
Union of Palestinian Women Committees, Gaza
Palestine Action for the Planet
Women Society for Development Studies, Palestine
Society of Women Graduates in Gaza Strip, Palestine
Dr. Ghada Karmi, author, lecturer
Union of the Agricultural Work Committees Association, Palestine
Union of the National Progressive Democrats, Gaza
ICTU (Irish Congress of Trades Unions)
Dr. Ilan Pappe, author historian,
Dr. Ramzy Baroud, author, journalist
Semsem Association for Relief and Development, Gaza
Sonia Mabunda-Kaziboni (Cde), International Secretary COSATU S.A.
Women Affairs Center, Gaza, Palestine
Na’eem Jeenah, Academic, Author, Anti-apartheid activist. S.A.
Community Media Center, Palestine
Miriam Margoyles O.B.E., Actress
Lowkey, Rap artist
Prof. Steven Friedman, Politics Dept. University of Johannesburg
Alison Weir, If American’s Knew
Ronnie Kasrils, former South African minister,
Afaq Center for Women, Palestine
Alice Rothchild MD USA.
Independent Jewish Voices, Canada
Union for Progressive Youth, Gaza
Study and Documentation Center, Gaza
Aelaf Society for Charity and Development
Nour Society for Learning, Palestine
Al Aqsa Sport Club, Palestine
Firoza Mayet (Campaigns Coordinator); Palestine Solidarity Alliance, S.A
Jon Pullman, Film director
Prof. Mazin Qumsiyeh, Bethlehem University
Margaret Cassar, Convenor of Adelaide BDS
Boycott from Within (Israeli citizens for BDS)
Center for the Empowerment of Women, Palestine
Samed Society for Relief and Development, Palestine
Society for Social Justice, Palestine
Ronnie Barkan, Israeli dissident
Union for Labor Committees, Palestine
Palestinian Society for development
Ray Williamson, Australia - Vice-President of the Palestine Israel Ecumenical Network
Angus Geddes, Shareholders Against Blood Diamonds
Clare Daly, Member European Parliament
Milad Society of Youth Skills development, Gaza, Palestine
Sahil Society for Growth and development, Gaza, Palestine
Tom Suraez, Author
Nancy Elan, Violinist
Edward Hogan, Chair, Veterans For Peace Ireland
Gail Miller, Jews Say No, NY.
Free Attiaf Performance Group, Gaza
Akabir Performance Group, Gaza,
Jewish Voices for Peace, Hudson Valley, NY
Union of Independent Palestinian Labor Committees, Gaza
Almowared Labor center, Gaza
Charlotte Kates, coordinator Samidoun (Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network)
Jafar Ramini, Writer, journalist, London
Dr. Mohammad Tawil, M.D., Chicago Ridge, IL
Samer Sood, Peace activist, Laguna Beach, CA
Ellen E. Barfield, Director Baltimore Phil Berrigan Memorial Chapter VFP
Philip Giraldi, Executive Director, Council for the National Interest
Jackie Walker, Author, activist, anti-racism trainer
Yaha Zaloom, Artistic director, The P21 Gallery
Leslie Bravery, Palestine Human Rights Campaign, NZ
Marian Bravery, Palestine Human Rights Campaign NZ
Cindy Shamban, Member JVP Bay Area CA
Australian Friends of Palestine Association Adelaide
Australians for Palestine Melbourne
BDS Australia
Byron Friends of Palestine
Coalition for Justice and Peace in Palestine Sydney
Abbas Ali, Chair, Inminds Human Rights Group, UK
Women for Palestine Melbourne
J-BIG (Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods)
John Lannon, Shannonwatch, Ireland
Eve Hershcopf, Member Jewish Voice for Peace, Bay Area CA
John Tymon, Football Against Apartheid
Hilmi Dabbagh Co-Convenor BDS Australia
Paul Heywood-Smith QC Patron Australian Friends of Palestine
Professor Jake Lynch, Chair, Department of Peace and Conflict Studies, Luxembourg Prize winner, Sydney University
Hon. Sandra Kanck ex-Member of the Legislative Council South Australia
Dr. Penny Rosenwasser Educator, Author, Rabble-rouser
Jeanie Lucas, Sec. Australian Friends of Palestine Association
Tarak Kauff, Veterans For Peace, Managing Editor, Peace & Planet News
Cathy Peters, Secretary BDS Australia
Gareth Smith, Convenor Byron Friends of Palestine
Mike Cushman, citizen concerned for peace and human rights
Sharen Green on behalf of Protecting Palestinian Families
Karen Platt, Member JVP, Bay Area, CA.
Stephan Reisig, Visual artist, Amsterdam
Fatin Al Tamini, Chair, Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign
Middle East Crisis Response, Hudson Valley, New York.
Antoine Raffoul, Founder & Coordinator, 1948.org
Jerry Cook, Member of Byron Friends of Palestine
Rita Mashni Lodi, CA
De-Colinizer Research and Art Laboratory for Social Change (Palestine-Israel)
Massoud Shadjareh, chair Islamic Human Rights Commission
Elizabeth Morley, Human Rights Activist, UK
Muhammad Ali, Ahlulbayt Islamic Mission
Joe Frank, Member Adelaide BDS
Jacky Desbiolles, R& D Engineer, Palestine Israel Ecumenical Network Inc. (PIEN), Australia
Helen Rainger, Australia – President, Palestine Israel Ecumenical Network
Dr Kevin Bray, Australia – Member Palestine Israel Ecumenical Network and Australians for Justice and Peace in Palestine
Nell Potter, Australia – Executive Officer of the Palestine Israel Ecumenical Network
Nick Riemer, Sydney Staff for BDS
Canon Garth Hewitt
Sabeel-Kairos, UK
Em. Prof. Dr. Herman De Ley, Ghent Univ. (Belgium), BACBI
Samir Abed-Rabbo Palestinian activist, author, and professor
Sean Clinton, human rights activist

For information contact:

Contact in English by the media in Gaza, FatHi Tobil: 00972599740757 Sean Clinton 353-872725300
If you would like to add your name to this list please contact margaret.cassar@internode.on.net

Notes for Editors:

Fatou Bensouda - there is reasonable basis to believe Israeli forces committed war crimes https://www.theguardian.com/law/2019/dec/20/icc-to-investigate-alleged-israeli-and-palestinian-war-crimes

Data from the Report of the Independent Commission of Inquiry on the 2014 Gaza Conflict https://www.ochaopt.org/content/key-figures-2014-hostilities

Diamond industry a cornerstone of the Israeli economy http://jewelleryoutlook.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=722

Israel turns over about $28 billion of diamond a year https://www.jpost.com/Business/Business-Features/Diamonds-are-not-a-boycotters-best-friend-347843

Trucks of equipment sent to the soldiers in Gaza https://www.en.isde.co.il/article.aspx?id=28397

The Israeli diamond industry contributes about $1 billion annually to the Israeli military https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aPmTlDFE9-4&t=6s

Kimberley Process failure to reform https://www.nationaljeweler.com/diamonds-gems/social-issues/8366-kp-again-can-t-agree-on-conflict-eases-restrictions-on-car

Israel Diamond Exchange President, Shmuel Schnitzer, prevented changes in the definition https://www.en.isde.co.il/article.aspx?id=29402

UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights https://www.ohchr.org/documents/publications/guidingprinciplesbusinesshr_en.pdf

OECD Due Diligence Guidelines for Responsible Business Conduct https://www.oecd.org/investment/due-diligence-guidance-for-responsible-business-conduct.htm


Source: http://www.afopa.com.au/blog/2020/1/30/palestinian-appeal-to-the-diamond-industry

Source: http://www.afopa.com.au/blog/2020/1/30/palestinian-appeal-to-the-diamond-industry


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