Tuesday, March 23, 2010

729 the number of apartheid (by Mark R. Hesling)

You are not what you buy, but what you buy matters, and nobody with a fully developed sense of morality would willingly and consciously support a system of exploitation, theft, brutality and apartheid. Unfortunately, a lot of us do.

If we wish to adhere to any form or concept of 'sustainable development' then we need to take responsibilty for our actions, and the consequences of our purchases.

This is why the Global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement (BDS) has been calling for a consumer boycott of Israeli goods, services and products.

The BDS movement argues that such sanctions are necessary because governments, especially those in Europe and North America, have failed to intervene and impose economic, cultural and political sanctions against the Israeli state for continued violations and crimes against international law, human rights, and humanity.

There are many retailers and outlets in the UK that sell not only Israeli produce, but also produce grown on land in the Occupied Territories, often labelled as 'Produce of Israel.' A product barcode beginning with 729 denotes Israeli origin.

Many might feel uncomfortable with the idea of boycott, but all of us have moral principles which we aim to adhere to, though a depressingly small number of us act upon those principles by not purchasing, for example, goods made with child labour, cosmetics developed through animal testing, or products that aid in the destruction of the rainforests. If the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement against South African apartheid could have been rationalised and justified then so can a boycott of Israeli apartheid.

It is difficult to profess support for childrens rights whilst purchasing goods that ensure children are denied the chance to attend school and attain a decent education, or support animal rights whilst buying unnecessary goods made with the suffering of animals, or call yourself an environmentalist whilst buying produce that directly results in the destruction of the rainforest and you certainly CANNOT call yourself an advocate of human rights whilst willingly and consciously purchasing goods that support apartheid, colonialisation, exploitation and theft.
Located at: http://www.sustainablescotland.com/people/help/israel-palestine-settlements-apartheid.html

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