Statement: We welcome Daimaru department store's decision to cancel the sale of illegal Israeli settlement wine

Statement: We welcome Daimaru department store's decision to cancel the sale of illegal Israeli settlement wine

In the midst of Israeli atrocities against peaceful protesters in Gaza demanding the end to the blockade and the return to their homeland, Daimaru’s Tokyo store was planning to hold its Mediterranean Food and Wine Fair on May 9-15 with a sales booth for wine-importer Naturael. Naturael sells illegal Israeli settlement wine almost exclusively. In response to an inquiry from a member of the Committee for the 15 Day Action for Solidarity with Palestinian's Great March of Return, Daimaru initially responded that they were considering whether they would allow the sale of settlement wine or not at the Mediterranean Food and Wine Fair. Then, just before the event began Daimaru made clear that they had decided not to provide a booth for Naturael.

Daimaru says that their decision is not due to the “politics”. However, after examining the process of the decision, we are convinced that the decision to exclude illegal settlement wine was in response to our criticism regarding the legal and ethical problems inherent with doing business with illegal Israeli settlement businesses.

We welcome Daimaru's decision. Israel’s ethnic cleansing and apartheid policy against Palestinians in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and against Syrians in the Occupied Golan Heights shouldn't be promoted.

The past few years have seen a string of significant wins for Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement campaigns against illegal Israeli settlement wine. Last July in Canada the Liquor Control Board of Ontario ordered vendors not to sell Israeli settlement wine labelled as "Made in Israel." In Japan successes have included the withdrawal of Osaka branch of JETRO, a Japanese government-relatied organisation tasked with promoting trade and investment, from the Israeli Embassy wine promotion event in November 2016 and the suspension of illegal settlement wine sales at Ginza Mitsukoshi department store in September 2017. We believe that these successes were significant in Daimaru's own decision.

However, Daimaru's Wine Fair continued to sell some Israeli wine other than the settlement wine. Who Profits, an Israeli peace organization, has reported that those wines which are allegedly made in Israel proper, could in fact be made with using grapes grown in illegal settlements. Furthermore, Israel is pursuing aggressive policies to block the development of Palestinian industry through the illegal settlements, land exploitation, and restrictions on movement, making the Palestinian territories quite literally a “captive market” for Israel. Therefore we would like to bring to the attention of all parties involved in the wine industry - including importers, retailers and consumers - the ethical and human rights problems driven by Israeli wine, which has been promoted on the exploitation of resources of Palestinian winemakers and other Palestinian businesses.

May 2018
Committee for the "15 Day Action for Solidarity with Palestinian's Great March of Return"