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Diamonds to Dust in Disgust
rights, freedoms and repression |
Thursday November 22, 2012 16:14 by Sean Clinton - Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign
Blood diamonds fund Israeli war crimes
On Saturday 24th November at 14:30 pm on Grafton Street, Dublin, Anne Clinton, a human rights activist from Limerick, will use a hammer to pulverise the diamond jewellery she got from her husband years ago in a public display of her outrage at jewellers for bankrolling Israeli war crimes in Gaza.
The action takes place just days before members of the Kimberley Process (KP) diamond regulatory system meet in plenary session in Washington to review the definition of a “conflict diamond” which presently excludes cut and polished blood diamonds.
Anne says: “Having learned that diamonds are a major source of funding for the Israeli military which is again mercilessly slaughtering and terrorizing innocent men, women and children in Gaza I can no longer tolerate wearing diamonds. When I look at any diamonds they now remind me of the horrific images of mutilated children in Gaza. What I once thought were symbols of love now have zero emotional appeal - they repulse me. Diamonds are worthless, human life is priceless. I want every woman, every mother, and every sister to think of the children in Gaza, murdered, maimed and terrorized by Israel, funded by over $1 billion per year of revenue from the Israeli diamond industry.”
In 2010, Israeli economist Shir Hever stated: "Overall the Israeli diamond industry contributes about $1 billion annually to the Israeli military and security industries … every time somebody buys a diamond that was exported from Israel some of that money ends up in the Israeli military so the financial connection is quite clear".
Diamonds are Israel’s most important export commodity, accounting for 30% of manufacturing exports, worth $22 billion in 2011. Even though diamonds from Israel fund the Israeli military which stands accused of war crimes by the Human Rights Council, the jewellery industry allows these diamonds to contaminate the diamond market masquerading as conflict-free diamonds.
Despite numerous calls for jewellers to end the trade all diamonds that fund human rights violations the KP insists the regulations should only apply to rough diamonds thus allowing cut and polished blood diamonds to evade scrutiny. If, as seems likely, the KP plenary refuses to broaden the definition of a “conflict diamond” and continues to allow cut and polished blood diamonds to contaminate the market, consumers can have no confidence in the ethical provenance of any diamonds.