| ||The Guardian reports on new voluntary guidance issued by the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), which urges British supermarkets to label foodstuffs from the Occupied Palestinian Territories as "Israeli settlement produce" or "Palestinian produce", to give consumers more precise information on its origins. |
Barbara Stocking, Oxfam's chief executive, said: "We support the right of consumers to know the origin of the products they purchase. Trade with Israeli settlements – which are illegal under international law – contributes to their economic viability and serves to legitimise them. It is also clear from our development work in West Bank communities that settlements have led to the denial of rights and create poverty for many Palestinians."
The low level of economic growth in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, the legitimation of the occupation under the status quo, and the consequences for the peace process and conflict resolution are also taken up in the Foreign Affairs select committee report ‘Global Security: Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories’.
DEFRA’s voluntary guidance is a welcome step towards enabling individuals to exercise a form of peaceful political protest through consumption decisions that allow them to reject goods produced on Israel’s illegal settlements.
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