Muslims across Europe are being encouraged to #CheckTheLabel and boycott Israeli dates this Ramadan to make sure they are not breaking their fasts with the ‘taste of apartheid’.
“By choosing not to buy Israeli dates this Ramadan the Muslim community can send a clear and powerful message of condemnation of Israel’s illegal occupation and apartheid in Palestine” said Shamiul Joarder at UK-based Friends of Al-Aqsa, who have launched the campaign.
Israel is the world’s largest producer of Medjoul dates, with 50% of Israel’s dates exported to Europe. These dates are then sold in major supermarkets as well as local shops across the continent.
So far in 2023 Israel has killed at least 62 Palestinians including 13 children - the equivalent of 1 child every 5 days. The Israeli government is increasing home demolitions at an alarming rate and has promised to expand illegal settlements at an unprecedented level. The world's leading human rights organisations (Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch) have said that Israel is committing the crime of apartheid, but European states are failing to impose sanctions on Israel and uphold international law.
“It's time to renew our commitment to BDS this Ramadan. We must remember that as a community we are powerful - we can make our voices heard through the simple act of putting Israeli dates back on the shelf. All we need to do is #CheckTheLabel and not buy dates from apartheid Israel” Joarder added.
A Day of Action to encourage Muslims to check the label has been called at UK mosques on 17th March, the last Friday before Ramadan. There will also be an online awareness drive on the final weekend before the holy month.