Monday, March 22, 2010

Palestinian farmers not given visas and the 'High Street' continues to sell illegal produce from the occupied territories

With illegal settlements encroaching onto their fields, it appeared that for those Palestinians who are lucky enough to get permission to harvest their own crops, although sometimes having to risk life and limb at the hands of settlers to do so, the news last year that their olive oil was to go on sale in Co-op supermarkets as the first fairtrade product from Palestinian farmers was a welcome piece of good news. Moreover, when Gordon Brown said that we would all be helping Palestinian farmers to make a living by buying a product which is essential to the West Bank economy, we might, at least, have had grounds to cultivate the illusion that there was some movement in the right direction by the UK government. Furthermore, this move in the right direction appeared to be reinforced at the beginning of December last year when the British government decided to advise supermarkets and stores on how to distinguish between produce from illegal Israeli settlements and Palestinian goods.

Unfortunately, with the UK government refusing three Palestinian farmers visas to enter the UK, where they were to attend a Fairtrade fortnight as guests of the UK social enterprise, Zaytoun, and with their being no official hurdles to High Street supermarkets selling settlement produce, we can clearly see that the rhetoric that comes out of Downing Street is not so different from the drivel that we hear on a daily basis from Jerusalem as Israel's friends in Westminster "allow" the Palestinians to market their olive oil on the British market, no doubt, under the proviso that they don't mind it being placed next to illegal produce from the Zionist West Bank settlements on the supermarket shelves and they don't expect to come into the country to market it. So, it is back to Brown and his "blah, blah, blah" of a year ago and it is back to the British government giving "advice" to the 'High Street' four months ago and we might as well jump across the Atlantic to Bibi and his Zionist friends, the drivel, the drivel, the drivel and never was it more true that actions speak louder than words, than when we come to the oxymoronic "Jewish Democracy" and its Zionist friends.

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