London protest against goods from illegal Israeli settlements
Activists from the London Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign handed out leaflets outside Ahava and Tesco shops in Covent Garden, calling for a boycott of products grown in illegal settlements on Palestinian land. London, UK. 21st May 2011
Activists from the London Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign handed out leaflets outside Ahava and Tesco shops in Covent Garden calling for a boycott of products grown in illegal settlements on Palestinian land. London, UK. 21/05/2011
London BDS describes itself as "a grassroots coalition of human-rights activists who proactively campaign for a free and independent Palestine" and has been organising regular fortnightly protests at the Ahava shop on Monmouth Street since 10 January 2009.
Ahava beauty products are made using mud excavated from the shore in the occupied northern area of the Dead Sea under a licence issued by the Israeli Civil Administration in 2004 in violation of the international laws governing occupied territories.
On Saturday their protests started at Ahava and then went on to a picket outside Tesco in Bedford Street, which sells fruit, vegetables and herbs supplied by Carmel Agrexco which markets 70% of the agricultural produce from the illegal Israeli settlements on Palestinian land, misleading consumers by labelling these as 'made in Israel.' Palestinian organisations including farmers' unions, agricultural organisations and other bodies have called for a complete boycott of Carmel-Agrexco.
The protesters, who included both Jews and Muslims, handed out leaflets explaining the position and giving some of the logos and trademarks that would enable shoppers to identify the goods produced on these stolen lands. The entirely peaceful protest was watched from inside the store throughout the time I was there by a man wearing a white t-shirt with a Star of David logo and the words 'We Believe In Israel.' Many of those calling for justice for Palestine and involved in the Boycott Israeli Goods campaign are also Jewish and supporters of Israel, but are ashamed of the way that this country behaves towards the Palestinians.