SP and Palestine research body call on pharmacy customers not to help pay for Israeli occupation

17 May 2013

SP and Palestine research body call on pharmacy customers not to help pay for Israeli occupation

Distributing flyers at a pharmacy in Castricum as part of the campaign ‘There’s no beauty in an occupation’, SP Member of Parliament Harry van Bommel and Nicole Hollenberg of the Palestine research and services group docP today called on shoppers not to buy goods which profit the Israeli occupation.

Harry van Bommel‘In various pharmacies and also online Ahava cosmetics are being sold under the label “Made in Israel”, but in reality they come from an illegal settlement in the occupied Palestinian territory,’ explains Van Bommel. ‘The Israeli firm, moreover, uses raw materials from Palestine, which is in violation of international law. Without knowing it customers buying these products are paying for the longstanding Israeli occupation. An end must be put to this deception as quickly as possible.’

A recent survey showed that the European Union imports more than €230m’s worth of products per year from the Israeli settlements. Because Israel makes no distinction between these products and those from Israel itself and because the customs authorities exercise no effective control, settlement products often carry the label ‘Made in Israel’ when they reach the shops. Shoppers then have no way of knowing whether a product comes from the settlements or not. This goes for cosmetics but equally for fruit and vegetables as well as, for example, various wines.

‘Almost everyone agrees that the settlements are the biggest obstacle to peace between Israel and the Palestinians,’ says Van Bommel. ‘So it’s of the greatest importance that every form of cooperation with the illegal settlements must stop. That’s why we we’re handing out flyers at a pharmacy today, so that the true origin of Ahava products can be made clear. It is unacceptable that customers are still being misled by incorrect labels.’

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