This Ramadan, Make a Date with Justice Choose Occupation-Free Dates
During Ramadan, many Muslims break their fast following the sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) with water and dates. But do they know the history of injustice behind the production of so many dates? Many dates are grown in Israeli settlements built on occupied Palestinian land, in direct violation of international law, and harvested through unfair labor practices.
Dates in the Israeli economy Israel produces more than half the world’s leading variety of dates, the Medjool date.1 The majority of these are grown in Israeli settlements in the Jordan Valley and Dead Sea areas on occupied Palestinian land, and then exported worldwide for a profit of $265 million for Israeli export companies.2 Dates were Israel’s leading fruit export in 2005.1 Export of Israeli dates to Europe and North America increased by 16 percent in 2011.3 Large quantities of these are exported specifically during Ramadan.1 Currently, most Israeli dates are marketed by Hadiklaim, a company that exports dates from Israel and its settlements in the Occupied Territories, especially in the Jordan Valley.4 Hadiklaim markets the dates under the brand names of Jordan River, Jordan River Bio-Top and King Solomon, and under the private labels of supermarket chains.4