Smith Signs Pledge To Promote Palestinian Produce

07 December 2010
Alyn Smith, SNP Member of the European Parliament's Agriculture Committee, has signed up to a campaign to clearly label illegal Israeli settlement produce in supermarkets across Scotland.

This boycott pledge is part of the ‘Ride for Palestine – 2011’ campaign and makes it clear to supermarkets who stock goods from settlements which have been deemed illegal that their trade will suffer because of it. It is hoped that this will discourage further settler development and support Palestinian trade.

The pledge closely echoes a Written Declaration in the European Parliament on the labelling of goods from the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) which lapses on 6th December if the required number of MEPs fail to sign it.  Smith has already signed this Written Declaration and is also closely involved in the European Parliament’s activities in relation to Palestine.

Speaking after adding his name to the pledge, Smith said:

“Having been a pretty frequent traveller to the Middle East and Palestine in particular, this is a subject that is close to my heart and which I have been active on for many years now.

“Labelling goods from the OPT is absolutely necessary if we are to really help the people of Palestine. Many Israeli settlements were found to be illegal back in 2004, yet we are still seeing goods coming into our country labelled as Israeli when, in fact, they are from an illegal settlement and have merely been mixed with Israeli goods.

"Agricultural produce is one of the most essential exports of the region, and the people of Scotland deserve to know exactly what they are purchasing. Goods must be clearly labelled to distinguish whether they are Israeli goods, Palestinian products or Israeli settlement products. This is the only way to ensure clarity and provide ultimate freedom of choice for consumers.”

The “Ride for Palestine” was established last year when four bikers, riding vintage Royal Enfield machines, drove to London from Southport to deliver a petition calling on the UK Government to cancel the supply of arms from Britain to Israel. The ride is expected to become an annual event with a different subject each year.

Details of the 2011 petition on illegal Israeli settlement goods can be found at http://rideforpalestine.blogspot.com/.