I have taken this from the Big campaign site. Click on Holyland to link.
As the annual season of goodwill approaches, many thoughtful people will look to Good Gifts from the Charities Advisory Trust (CAT) as a source of ethical gifts for family and friends.
As we did this time last year, we are obliged to point out that one of the products promoted by CAT sits oddly among the many items it sells on behalf of disadvantaged people around the world. We refer to Peace Oil – an Israeli product marketed with the claim that it helps peace and reconciliation in the Middle East. The conflict in Israel/Palestine has a particular resonance for most caring people at Christmas time, and the desire to contribute to a peaceful solution is extremely powerful. However, the conflict will only be resolved by Israel ending its occupation and settlement of Palestinian land, and ending the economic strangulation of Palestinians which results from its occupation policies.
Unfortunately, Peace Oil will not advance either goal. The three types of Peace Oil come from an Israeli Jewish-owned farm, whose olives are pressed by a Druze Sheikh, and whose workforce is Palestinian and Bedouin. The cooking blend contains 50% Palestinian content from the West Bank. While we welcome the employment of Palestinian and Bedouin citizens of Israel, and the inclusion of some Palestinian oil, Peace Oil is hardly the collaboration of equals that those who purchase the oil might assume it to be.
We urge you to consider purchasing Zaytoun olive oil, which is 100% produced by an independent cooperative of Palestinian farmers in the occupied West Bank. With no funds for marketing, these farmers have worked over the last few years, against the odds, to build up a customer base in Britain. They have to confront major obstacles created by the Israeli occupation and closure policies. They have slowly been making inroads into UKhealth food shops, charity outlets and the occasional supermarket. They depend mainly on groups of committed human rights activists, of all faiths and of none, personally canvassing potential outlets and selling bottles of oil to individual supporters. The list of suppliers can be found on their website (www.zaytoun.org).
Signed, Executive, Jews for Justice for Palestinians Linda Mead, Commitment for Life Stewart Hemsley, Pax Christi Garth Hewitt, Amos Trust Alun Morinan, Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) Christian Network Ibrahim Hewitt, Interpal
For further information see: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2007/dec/20/israelandthepalestinians.ethicalshopping www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2007/dec/07/israel www.savethechildren.org.uk/en/docs/middle-east-quartet-progress-report