The Danish relief agency, DanChurchAid, recently started a consumers’ campaign against settlement products. It launched a website and asks consumers to sign a consumer petition to the European Commission. DanChurchAid is a humanitarian organisation and supports a political solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict based on respect for human rights and international humanitarian law.
What is the problem?
Fruits and vegatables produced in the illegal settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories are exported and marketed as ‘made in Israel’. This is a violation of the trade agreement between Israel and the European Union. The agreement exempts Israeli products - but not settlement products - from import duty.
We urge the EU to take immediate action to ensure that Israel plays by the rules. Only when knowing if a product comes from an Israeli settlement or is in fact ‘made in Israel’ is the consumer given the right to choose.
What is a settlement product?
A settlement product is made by Israeli settlers in the occupied Palestinian territories. Settlement products include goods such as cherry tomatoes, avacados, fresh herbs, bell peppers, wine and flowers. The products are grown on land and irrigated with water confiscated from Palestinians. The settlements are illegal according to international humanitarian law. They are one of the most serious obstacles to peace and security. Their presence is a source of daily and violent clashes where both Israelis, Israeli soldiers and Palestinians are in danger. The settlements control 42 percent of the occupied Palestinian territories.
In order to protect the settlers Israel puts roadblocks everywhere and prevents the Palestinians from moving freely by restricting many roads to settlers only. Thereby settlements prevent Palestinians from accessing medical treatment and education and from going to work.
Who we are?
DanChurchAid is a humanitarian organisation. We support a political solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict based on the respect for human rights and international humanitarian law. We believe this approach to be essential in order to break the circle of violence and replace settlement construction and suicide bombings with dialogue, justice and reconciliation. This is what we aim for when we encourage both Israelis and Palestinians to play by the rules and stop shooting, start talking!