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BDS movement in Morocco gets dozens of shop owners to boycott Israeli dates

June 2, 2016 4:59 P.M. (Updated: June 2, 2016 10:31 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement in Morocco (BDS Maroc) announced that its campaign promoting the boycott of Israeli “Medjoul” dates had successfully led dozens of shops to begin refusing to sell dates from Israel.

BDS Maroc started the boycott campaign last year, adopting several strategies to pressure retailers in the Darb Mila date markets to discontinue their relationship with Israeli date companies, while promoting the campaign among Morocco’s consumer base.

The BDS movement issued certificates to shop owners who stopped selling Israeli dates. The certificates expressed appreciation for the shop owner' s support of BDS and the Palestinian rights against the decades-long Israeli occupation.

Majid Zaji, an activist with the group, said in a statement released by BDS Maroc: “These dates support the illegal Israeli settlement project that has been ongoing since the 1948 Nakba, as they plant dates on stolen Palestinian lands. How could we accept such a product on our tables? Especially during the holy month of Ramadan, knowing that the money we spend on these dates is supporting Israeli oppression of the beloved Palestinians.”

“This is the first step towards the success of the campaign as we continue to cleanse Morocco of all Israeli dates that are raiding our markets,” another activist for BDS Maroc, Maryam Leasal, said.

A coordinator for the BDS National Committee in the Arab World, Jouman Moussa, expressed his support for the recent success of BDS Maroc: “We salute our partners in Morocco who worked strategically to accomplish this achievement.”

The Darb Mila market is the central market for the sale of dates in Morocco, located in Morocco’s largest city of Casablanca, with more than 60 shops dedicated to selling dates.

BDS Maroc’s announcement comes on the heels of an anti-BDS Israeli mission held at the UN headquarters in New York on Tuesday, in which more than 1,500 participants addressed ways to combat the pro-Palestinian movement.

The Israeli government has grown increasingly concerned about the growth of BDS, as the movement’s support base has expanded to include companies, universities and religious institutions around the world divesting from organizations complicit in Israel’s violation of Palestinian rights.

The BDS movement was founded in July 2005 by a swath of Palestinian civil society as a peaceful movement to restore Palestinian rights in accordance with international law through strategies of boycotting Israeli products and cultural institutions, divesting from companies complicit in violations against Palestinians, and implementing state sanctions against the Israeli government.
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