Masthead graphic based on a painting by Gudrun Thriemer.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Paul Gallagher, "'Illicit' settler food sold in UK stores," The Observer, July 6, 2008.

British policy is clear, with the government's website stating the UN Security Council resolution that 'settlements are illegal under international law and settlement construction is an obstacle to peace'.

Food grown on illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied territories is being sold in Britain, often to customers who assume they are buying goods from Palestinian-owned farms.

Tesco, Sainsbury's, Waitrose and Somerfield have all admitted sourcing produce from Israeli-owned farms on Palestinian territory but claimed that labelling the goods 'origin: West Bank' gave enough information for the customer to make an informed choice.

All the leading supermarkets claim they are complying with EU law, which states that the origin of a product on a food label can be given as a geographical region rather than a country - providing the meaning is clear to the consumer. Campaigners say customers are being duped into believing they are buying goods from Palestinian-owned farms, when in reality they are contributing to the economies of the illegal settlements.


Ruth Tenne, an Israeli peace activist and member of Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods, said: 'Ethical consumers of all faiths ought to boycott Israeli goods, especially those produced by the Jewish illegal settlements in the West Bank as well as campaigning for divestment from companies which profit from Israel's illegal occupation and for suspending the EU Association Agreement which grants Israel a privileged access to the European market.'

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