The Israeli diamond industry is one of the main arteries sustaining the Zionist military occupation of Palestine and subjugation of the Palestinian people. In 2005 the Israeli diamond industry accounted for 30% of Israel”s total manufacturing output.
Israel is the world”s No.1 exporter of cut and polished diamonds. Israeli gemstone exports were valued at over â‚¬16 billion US dollars in 2005 and are expected to approximate $20 billion in 2007. The Israeli Ministry of Defense budget in 2007 is approximately â‚¬12 billion.
Most people are unaware that the majority of diamonds on display in Jewellers” windows are likely to have been manufactured in apartheid Israel and that their purchase helps to fund Israel”s illegal occupation and Zionist crimes against humanity. Israeli diamonds are de facto Blood Diamonds.
Significant revenues from corporation and personal taxes accrue to the Israeli state form the diamond industry each year. This helps to fund the 60 year long illegal occupation of Palestinian territory and associated crimes including murder, ethnic cleansing, home demolitions, destruction and theft of land and collective punishment of the Palestinian people.
Boycott Israeli DiamondsThe UN-based Kimberley Process which seeks to eliminate the trade in diamonds from conflict zones only applies to uncut or rough diamonds. It does not control to trade in polished diamonds from conflict zones. This has allowed jewellers to continue selling Israeli diamonds, conveniently ignoring the war crimes and crimes against humanity being committed by Israel, the world”s No1 producer of cut and polished diamonds.
Consumers and jewellers presently have no way of distinguishing which diamonds are cut and polished in Israeli and which are crafted in countries that respect human rights and international law. Consumers have a right to know not only where the diamond was mined (as certified by the Kimberley Process) but also the country where it was cut and polished.
Diamonds can be microscopically laser inscribed to identify where they were crafted. A number of manufacturers already employ this technology to brand their diamonds making them readily distinguishable. Some Canadian manufacturers inscribe a maple leaf on their diamonds.
Israel”s appalling record of crimes against humanity, breaches of international law and disregard for the norms of civilised behaviour provides ample justification for an international campaign to isolate the Israeli diamond business. Consumers should be given the information necessary to make a fully informed decision when they purchase diamonds. People may be unwittingly supporting the apartheid regime in Israel if the purchase gemstones with out knowing where they were crafted.
The Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign is calling for the introduction of a hallmark system for all diamonds which will inform consumers where they were manufactured, giving them the right to choose Israel-free diamonds. Consumers should have the right to know that when they purchase gemstones they are not funding the murder and oppression of innocent men, women and children in Palestine or elsewhere.