Stop Israel's Blood Diamond Trade
- by: Global Palestine Solidarity
- recipient: Members of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS), NGO observers to the KPCS, the World Jewellery Confederation, the Responsible Jewellery Council and all national and international Jewellers associations
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Revenue from diamonds processed in Israel funds war crimes and crimes against humanity yet they are sold worldwide as conflict free diamonds.
Israel is the world's leading diamond exporter, with exports valued at nearly $20 billion in 2008, accounting for over 30% of Israel's exports. Revenue from the Israeli diamond industry generates approximately $1 billion annually in funding for the Israeli military/security industry, a military which stands accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity.
According to the UN based Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) only "rough diamonds used by rebel movements or their allies to finance conflict aimed at undermining legitimate governments" can be classed as conflict or blood diamonds. Even though there is no legal or widely agreed definition of a conflict free diamond, jewellers, other vested interests in the diamond industry and some NGOs refer to all other diamonds as conflict free diamonds, regardless of what human rights violations they may be funding .
Approximately 50% of all gem-quality diamonds in dollar terms are processed in Israel. These de facto blood diamonds are sold worldwide as conflict free diamonds to unsuspecting consumers who are unaware that their purchase is funding gross human rights violations in Palestine.
The KPCS definition of a conflict or blood diamond must be urgently reviewed in order to include all diamonds that fund human rights violations.
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We the undersigned call upon members of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS), NGO observers to the KPCS, the World Jewellery Confederation, the Responsible Jewellery Council and all national and international Jewellers associations to:
1. Seek an urgent review of the KPCS definition of a conflict or blood diamond so all diamonds that generate revenue used by any group or government to commit breaches of international humanitarian and human rights law are classed as conflict or blood diamonds.
2. End the unjustified and misleading use of the term "conflict free" to describe diamonds that do not meet the KPCS's existing narrow definition of a conflict or blood diamond.
3. Support the call for the introduction of a universal hallmarking system for all diamonds so consumers can be fully informed where a diamond was mined, cut and polished.
Thank you for taking the time to read this letter. We hope you will give this matter urgent attention, mindful of the wellbeing of millions of people who suffer daily under Israel's diamond-funded, military occupation and subjugation of Palestine.