With Ramadan approaching, various dates began to fill up markets. It is certainly inseparable from Muslims’ tradition to break their fast with dates.
The tradition of breaking the fast with dates in Islam is rooted in the religious teachings of the Prophet Muhammad SAWW, who emphasized: “When one of you is fasting, he should break his fast with dates.”
However, it seems that Muslims have to be more selective in buying dates to break our fasts as Israeli dates are widely circulated in the market. Around 40 per cent of Israeli dates are grown in illegal settlements built on land stolen from Palestinians, so we must help end this situation by boycotting Israeli dates.
The illegal Israeli settlements built on Palestinian land have been declared illegal by the International Court of Justice.
Israeli dates palm groves profit from theft and abuse. Apart from being planted in illegal settlements, Israeli dates are also grown using stolen natural resources such as water from Palestinian villages, leaving them struggling to get water for drinking and irrigation.
In most cases, these huge Israeli corporations exploit Palestinian labourers to work at very low wages and force them to work in gruelling physical conditions.
As a result, authentic Palestinian dates are hard to compete with the much cheaper Israeli dates that are flooding the local and international markets.
In addition, Israeli dates are known to help fund settlements and continue the genocide against the Palestinian people.
The following are useful tips for you in choosing date products during Ramadan:
- Always check labels and packaging to ensure they are not sourced from Israeli settlements.
- When buying, pay attention to the country of origin on the package and avoid products with barcodes starting with 729.
- Make sure the dates you buy have not been repackaged or re-labelled, considering that some buyers can go the extra mile to hide the place of origin of the dates.
- Tell the retailer that you will not be buying Israeli dates.
- Buy dates from trusted and reputable Palestinian date producers, such as Jericho Delights, Penny Appeal Palestine Dates, and Zaytoun, which are known for their authentic Palestinian products that support Palestinian farmers steadfast on their land.
- If you cannot find Palestinian dates, you can choose dates from other countries, such as dates produced in Tunisia, Algeria, the United States and other countries.
During Ramadan this year, make the right choice by boycotting Israeli dates and supporting Palestinian producers and farmer collectives.