Friends of Al-Aqsa launch effort to boycott Israeli dates in Ramadan
The Friends of Al-Aqsa NGO calls on Muslims all over Europe to boycott Israeli dates in the upcoming holy month of Ramadan in solidarity with Palestinians.
The Friends of Al-Aqsa pro-Palestine NGO is calling on Muslims in Europe to boycott Israeli dates this upcoming Ramadan to ensure that they are not breaking their fasts with the "taste of apartheid".
The NGO launched the campaign #CheckTheLabel ahead of the Muslim Holy month, saying it was aimed at sending a clear message of condemnation of "Tel Aviv's" illegal occupation of occupied Palestine.
"By choosing not to buy Israeli dates this Ramadan, the Muslim community can send a clear and powerful message of condemnation of Israel’s illegal occupation and apartheid in Palestine," said Shamiul Joarder at UK-based Friends of Al-Aqsa, who have launched the campaign.
"Israel", according to the NGO, is the world's largest producer of Medjoul dates, with 50% of the occupation's dates exported to Europe. These dates are then sold in major supermarkets and local shops across the continent.
Furthermore, Friends of Al-Aqsa underlined that the Israeli occupation has so far in 2023 killed "at least 62 Palestinians, including 13 children, the equivalent of 1 child every 5 days."
It also highlighted how home demolitions at the hand of the Israeli occupation were seeing an uptick and reaching unprecedented levels and cited how Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch said the Israeli occupation was committing apartheid as European states fail to sanction "Tel Aviv" and uphold international law.
Read next: Friends of Al-Aqsa calls on UK Foreign Secretary to sanction 'Israel'
"It's time to renew our commitment to BDS this Ramadan. We must remember that as a community, we are powerful - we can make our voices heard through the simple act of putting Israeli dates back on the shelf. All we need to do is #CheckTheLabel and not buy dates from apartheid Israel," Joarder added.
FOA also highlighted that major UK supermarkets such as Tesco, ASDA, Waitrose, and Iceland, as well as various local grocery stores, sold dates from "Israel", with the United Kingdom being the second-biggest importer of Israeli dates in Europe.
50% of the Israeli occupation's dates are consumed by Europe, with the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, France, Spain, and Italy being the most significant markets for Israeli dates, with Britain alone importing over 3,000 tones of Israeli dates in 2020.
The organization noted that the label on the packaging would read "Israel," West Bank, or Jordan Valley" if the dates were produced by the Israeli occupation.
Accordingly, Israeli brands to boycott include Star Dates, Mehdadrin, Galilee, Carmel, Hadiklam, Jordan River, Jordan Plains, and King Solomon Dates.
Earlier in February and in light of recent Israeli criminality, the FOA NGO announced that its Love Aqsa initiative, which seeks to spread awareness and love for Islam's third holiest site, would run from February 13th to 19th this year, always coinciding with Al Isra Wal Miraj, an Islamic holiday.
The statement reveals that individuals and mosques all over the world are organizing activities to celebrate Al-Aqsa and raise awareness of the plight of Palestinians living under Israeli apartheid.
This comes at a critical juncture, as the new far-right Israeli occupation government has murdered 42 Palestinians in the first 40 days of 2023, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced plans for more illegal Israeli settlements in occupied Palestine yesterday.
Since Valentine’s Day falls on the Tuesday of Aqsa Week, Friends of Al-Aqsa's activities around loving Masjid Al-Aqsa in London and Glasgow, have a Valentine's Day theme, including heart-shaped decorations with the beautiful virtues of Al-Aqsa and Palestine.
On another note, Aqsa Week Kids, which will take place during the February half-term holiday, is also returning. Since the official launch of Aqsa Week Kids in 2020, over 4000 children have participated in the United Kingdom.
Aqsa Week was founded in 2017 by the UK-based Friends of Al-Aqsa to highlight the significance of Masjid Al-Aqsa and the injustices endured by Palestinians as a result of "Israel's" illegal occupation and apartheid regime.
Aqsa Week received support from government departments and prominent institutions worldwide in 2021, and it was celebrated in more than 50 countries in 2022. Aqsa Week 2023 will be observed across five continents.