My name is Noah Tatelbaum Winer, and I am a religious Jew from Philadelphia. This 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 blazing 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.