- John Lewis Stores UK
- Mr. Dino Rocos
John Lewis, Don't market Israeli toys from illegal settlements
Edinburgh Action for Palestine (EA4P) supports the human rights of Palestinians, campaigning for the end of Israeli military occupation, exile of Palestinian refugees, and discrimination against Palestinians within Israel. As part of this we promote peaceful opposition through BDS - Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions.
For 48 years, Palestinians have been harassed and threatened routinely by heavily armed soldiers, bombed, imprisoned without trial, subjected to daily military checkpoints so that normal life is impossible. Many must also watch while police or soldiers demolish their family homes. You can imagine the effect on children. Home is the one place children should always feel safe.
John Lewis sells a range of toys from Israel: Halilit, Taf, Tiny Love and Interstar. The first three are made in Israel, but Interstar toys are made on a settlement in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT). A settlement is purpose-built housing for Jewish people on land taken by force from the Palestinians. The UN Security Council has repeatedly condemned the settlements as illegal - most recently two weeks ago - but settler businesses continue to thrive. Interstar is one such business. Halilit, as the UK supplier of Interstar, Taf and Tiny Love toy brands, also profits from Interstar's settlement business; And John Lewis then profits from the toy sales.
Palestinian homes are demolished for a number of reasons, including lack of allowance and collective punishment: 1025 structures in 2016, leaving 1613 people homeless. The Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions reports that Palestinian homes are demolished to create space to expand settlements. - Thus, Interstar, Halilit and John Lewis may profit from the homelessness of some Palestinian children and families.
Children are particularly vulnerable to this vicious oppression: Palestinian children going to school must face checkpoints, tear gas and even assault by Israeli soldiers and violent settlers. Meanwhile under the 10 year siege of Gaza, 30% of children have malnutrition, and water and basic medicine are scarce. The abuse of Palestinian child prisoners is an international scandal. Http://maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=774158
EA4P members support Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions as a peaceful means of putting pressure on the Israeli government to end this cruel occupation, exile and apartheid. Most of us could not buy any products from Israel while the occupation continues and you may feel the same. However, our formal request to John Lewis is at least not to assist the Occupation by dealing in settlement products.
PLEASE NOTE: Interstar are also sold by Argos and Amazon. John Lewis also sells Keter garden furniture and playhouses from Barkan settlements.
Please sign the petition urging John Lewis to end this trade.
- John Lewis Stores UK
- Mr. Dino Rocos
To John Lewis CEO, Mr. Dino Rocos,
We wish to draw your attention to the legal and ethical status of Halilit (https://shop.halilit.co.uk the supplier of some of the baby toy products you sell. Some toys marketed and advertised by Halilit, namely Interstar construction sets, are made in the Israeli Barkan settlement within the Occupied Palestinian Territories. We are concerned about this on both legal and humanitarian grounds.
In December 2016, the UN Security Council passed a resolution condemning Israel's illegal settlements. The UK Foreign Office website notes that they "constitute an obstacle to peace” https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-deplores-israeli-government-decision-to-expropriate-land-in-west-bank
The UK government and the European Union both state that products from the settlements should be labeled as such. These toy manufacturers have failed to do so. There is no information on the Halilit website or catalog on the origins of their toys. Although Halilit, Taf and Tiny Love toys are made in Israel itself (http://www.inminds.com/shopping-can-kill.php Halilit also acts as the supplier in the UK of toys made by Interstar, thus profiting from their illegal manufacture. John Lewis in its turn then profits from business with Halilit. Taf and Tiny Love benefit from their partnership with Halilit.
The Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions report that Palestinian homes are demolished to create space to expand settlements - 1025 in 2016 alone, leaving 1613 people, including children homeless. The settlements have a deleterious effect on the Palestinian economy leaving many Palestinian families incomeless. Thus, Palestinian children are made homeless or poor or both to enable businesses such as Interstar and its supplier, Halilit, to profit from the illegal products you stock in the baby section of your store. This is just one example of many human rights violations of the Israeli Occupation that affect children. Other examples include nightly raids by the Israeli army to arrest Palestinians, including children, who are often held without access to lawyers or parents, checkpoints on school routes, tear gas near and in schools, and aggression from settlers, unchecked by police.
We urge you to stop doing business with Halilit toy manufacturers until they stop marketing toys produced in illegal settlements. Until then, we will not buy toys supplied by Halilit - including Halilit, Interstar, Taf and Tiny Love – and we will urge other customers to do likewise.
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