Ban Israeli Blood Diamonds. By Sean Clinton

Via: indymedia ireland.

EU must call for urgent review of the Kimberly Process

At this critical juncture it is important that all who seek an end to Zionist hegemony focus on the critical structures underpinning the regime. Even a cursory examination of Israeli trade statistics reveals the importance of the diamond industry to the Israeli economy. Israel dominates the global diamond market and is, by a significant margin, its largest beneficiary with net diamond exports amounting to $10 billion in 2008.

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Revenue from the Israeli diamond industry funds war crimes, crimes against humanity and high seas piracy – yet its diamonds are not classed as blood diamonds. The Kimberly Process system of self-regulation introduced by the diamond industry stipulates that only rough diamonds can be classed as blood diamonds. Israel’s cut and polished diamonds avoid having to comply with any human rights standards and are being sold as “conflict free” diamonds to unsuspecting consumer.

The European Union is a member of the Kimberly Process and should immediately call for an urgent review of the process so as to ensure the same human rights standards apply to all sectors of the diamond supply chain and that Israeli blood diamonds are banned.

Please ask your MEP to seek an urgent review of the Kimberly Process.

Sample letter to your MEP

Re: Ban Israeli blood diamonds – review the Kimberly Process Certification Scheme

To (your representative in the European Parliament)

The Kimberly Process Certification Scheme (KP) is a UN based system of self-regulation introduced by the diamond industry in response to growing public concerns over the trade in conflict or blood diamonds – diamonds that fund human rights abuses.

As of November 2008, the KP has 49 members, representing 75 countries, with the European Community and its Member States counting as an individual participant.

In 2003 the KP adopted a narrow definition of what constitutes a conflict or blood diamond – “rough diamonds used by rebel movements or their allies to finance conflict aimed at undermining legitimate governments” As a result of this tight ring-fencing, the process created a double standard in the diamond supply chain. The KP focuses exclusively on human rights abuses funded by rough diamonds. The far more lucrative trade in cut and polished diamonds does not have to adhere to the same human rights standards. Regardless of the human rights abuses funded by cut and polished diamonds they are not classified as blood diamonds and are freely traded on the international market.

Israel is the world’s leading diamond exporter, with exports valued at $20 billion in 2008. Israel stands accused of war crimes, crimes against humanity and piracy on the high seas. Revenue from the Israeli diamond industry funds Israel’s criminal behaviour. If the Kimberly Process applied the same human rights standards to all diamonds, Israeli-crafted diamonds would be classed as conflict or blood diamonds and treated accordingly.

During the past week we witnessed Israel’s total disregard for international law and the will of the international community when it violently attacked the Free Gaza Movement aid flotilla in international waters killing nine unarmed civilians as they attempted to deliver essential aid to the besieged people of Gaza. The three year long Israeli siege of Gaza has been described as “collective punishment” – a war crime under the Geneva Conventions.

Despite these human rights violations by Israel, Israeli diamond exports avoid the strictures of the Kimberly Process simply because they are cut and polished diamonds. As a consequence of this, consumers are being sold Israeli blood diamonds and are thereby unwittingly helping to fund Israel’s on-going breaches of international humanitarian law and the Geneva Conventions.

Given the foregoing I appeal to you to raise this issue in the European Parliament as soon as possible and to impress upon the Parliament the need for an urgent review of the Kimberly Process Certification Scheme so that the same human rights standards apply across all sectors of the diamond supply chain. Until that happens, Israeli blood diamonds, which fund the sort of human rights abuses committed by Israel in the past week, will continue to contaminate the diamond market.

Yours Sincerely,

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