A group of BDS-holes recently urged people to boycott International Diamond Week, which was to take place last week in Israel.
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.
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.
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
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.
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, (PIEN), Australia
Nell Potter, Australia – Executive Officer of the Palestine Israel Ecumenical Network
Nick Riemer, Sydney Staff for BDS
Canon Garth Hewitt
Em. Prof. Dr. Herman De Ley, Ghent Univ. (Belgium), BACBI
Samir Abed-Rabbo Palestinian activist, author, and professor
Sean Clinton, human rights activist
Rand Samara, BDS Jordan
Note the list of signatories. They include demonstrable antisemites.
Like Alison Weir
If Americans Knew (IAK), a non-profit founded by activist Alison Weir, has the rare distinction of being condemned for furthering anti-Semitism by the Anti-Defamation League, Jewish Voice for Peace, and the U.S. Campaign to End the Occupation.
Weir earned this remarkable wall-to-wall opprobrium by promoting anti-Semitic myths, working with white supremacists, and publishing anti-Jewish content on IAK’s web site. Among other exploits:
• Weir published an original blog post on her personal site which justified anti-Semitism by labeling the Jewish “race” as “an object of hatred to all the peoples among whom it has established itself,” In the words of the U.S. Campaign to End the Occupation, the piece “effectively blam[ed] Jews for anti-Semitism.”
• Weir has not only promoted the conspiracy theory that Israel harvests the organs of Palestinians—an update of the medieval blood libel—but has actually asserted the accuracy of the original blood libel itself, which accused Jews of ritually murdering Christian children to use their blood in Passover matzo. (Weir cited the discredited and since withdrawn research of a Jewish writer.)
• Weir has worked repeatedly with white supremacists, while never challenging their bigoted claims. For instance, in a series of appearances on the radio show of white supremacist and Holocaust denier Clayton Douglas, Weir dismissed allegations that he was a racist, did not challenge his repeated assertions of Jewish control of the world, and did not protest when he played a speech by former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard David Duke. Writes the U.S. Campaign to End the Occupation, “Weir made little to no effort to challenge, confront, or rebut any of these views; on the contrary, she continued to appear on the show.”
For these actions and others, both Jewish Voice for Peace and the U.S. Campaign to End the Occupation severed ties with Weir in July 2015. (Though the same cannot be said for many other anti-Israel activists, who continue to defend and even honor Weir.)
This did not deter If Americans Knew from spreading anti-Jewish content. On March 16, President Obama nominated Merrick Garland to the U.S. Supreme Court. Unsurprisingly, Garland’s Jewish background immediately provoked upset among anti-Semites. Said David Duke:
Look at the Jewish control of this country. You already have three open Jewish members of the Supreme Court. Thirty-three percent. They’re only two percent of the population. You can count on those Jews to do whatever the Jewish agenda is, whatever the Jewish establishment wants…
And now Obama, who is totally under the power of the Jewish control, he’s been, in fact there’s a reason why the Chicago Tribune calls him the first Jewish president. And why the New Yorker magazine had him as the first Jewish president, alright? He’s appointed a Jewish supremacist to be the guy on the Supreme Court, which basically gives Jews total veto over the Supreme Court.
At the same time, If Americans Knew was echoing this anti-Semitic attack on Garland’s nomination on its Facebook page:
Philip Giraldi, former CIA Operations officer in Europe and Middle East
and Jackie Walker
The former vice-chair of Momentum Jackie Walker has been expelled from the Labour party for misconduct, in one of the longest-running high-profile cases of the party’s antisemitism crisis.
It is understood the party disciplinary process took into account a pattern of behaviour by Walker over time, including comments on social media. She was expelled for “prejudicial and grossly detrimental behaviour against the party”.
Walker was suspended more than two years ago after comments made at an antisemitism training session, where she criticised Holocaust Memorial Day for only commemorating Jewish victims.
After participants said the event does in fact commemorate other genocides, Walker said that was not how she viewed it. “In practice, it’s not actually circulated and advertised as such,” she said. “I was looking for information and I still haven’t heard a definition of antisemitism that I can work with.”
During the training event, Walker also questioned why Jewish organisations, including schools, said they needed high security.
Walker was previously suspended and then readmitted to the Labour party after posting during a Facebook discussion that Jews were “chief financiers of the sugar and slave trade” and arguing that “the Jewish Holocaust does not allow Zionists to do what they want”.
These are the signatories who stood out to me, but I am sure if I investigated more of the names, I would uncover more antisemitism. And of course support for terrorism.
Incidentally, International Diamond Week was a huge success.