Jewish Voice for Peace fully endorses the campaign by American Muslim for Palestine to make a date with justice by boycotting dates produced in Israeli settlements. We endorse boycotting of all settlement goods since the settlements are segregated communities, built on Palestinian land in contravention of international law, and the goods produced there often exploit Palestinian labor and natural resources.
We have supported similar boycott calls made by the United Methodist Church and the Presbyterian Church (USA). Both churches have approved this year a boycott of all settlement goods. We add here testimony given by JVP Board Member Noah T Winer at the Presbyterian Church (USA) in support of a boycott of Hadiklaim, an Israeli date-growers cooperative in the Occupied West Bank:
My name is Noah Tatelbaum Winer, and I am a religious Jew from Philadelphia. This (Prebsyterian) overture is about growing dates, and my family’s name is Yiddish for “date tree.” My family’s name embodies our historical connection to the date trees of biblical Israel. But my ancestors would be shocked to see how Israeli settlers harvest dates today. Settlers have illegally seized Palestinian land to grow these dates. Then they “hire” Palestinians—often children—to be foisted into the air for long hours in the blistering heat with no bathroom breaks. If you think Pittsburgh is hot, imagine the Occupied West Bank in the blazin sun. Palestinian laborers are made into migrant workers on their own land, picking dates that will profit Jewish-only settlements. My family’s historical connection to the Land of Israel has been co-opted for exploitation. Until we refuse to buy Hadiklaim dates, this will continue. The United Methodist Church just voted to boycott all Israeli settlement products. I hope you will join Christians, Jews, and Muslims in this boycott.
Ramadan Kareem, may this month fill you with blessings and bring us all closer to justice.
Jewish Voice for Peace