Israeli ambassador to give gifts from occupied Palestinian territories

The ambassador claims the gifts are a stand against their enemies and their wish to 'destroy the one and only Jewish state'

Will Grice
Thursday 24 December 2015 13:29
Israeli Ambassador to the United States Ron Dermer addresses Jewish leaders
Israeli Ambassador to the United States Ron Dermer addresses Jewish leaders

Israel's ambassador to the US has said he will be sending out Christmas presents sourced from the occupied territories of West Bank and Golan Heights.

In a letter posted on Facebook, Ron Dermer, said sourcing the items from these areas would represent Israel's defiance of its enemies and their latest efforts “to destroy the one and only Jewish state”.

Mr Dermer also stated they would symbolise the embassy’s protest against the boycott, divestments and sanctions campaign (BDS).

The BDS campaign was introduced in 2005, and demands that all food produced in occupied territories must be marked as such before being sold.

It also calls for the end of Israeli occupation and the return of refugees.

This year I decided to send a gift for the holiday that would also help combat BDS

Posted by Ambassador Ron Dermer on Monday, 21 December 2015

In his letter, Mr Dermer wrote: “The main forces behind this movement are fanatics who actively seek to eliminate Israel. Unfortunately, they are occasionally joined by fools who naively believe that in promoting BDS, they are advancing peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

"But regardless of why they support BDS, the fanatics and the fools are simply promoting a new anti-Semitism."

He goes on to say: "In response to this effort to cast a beacon of freedom tolerance and decency as a pariah state, I have decided this holiday season to send you products that were made in Judea, Samaria [commonly referred to as the West Bank] and the Golan Heights."

The Israeli-occupied territories are territories still held by Israel after being captured during the six-day war of 1967. While Israeli governments have referred to them as "disputed territories", they are widely considered to be illegal under international law.

Prior to working as the US ambassador for the Israeli government, Mr Dermer was a political consultant for the former Deputy Prime Minister of Israel, Natan Sharansky.

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