Rotten Fruit of Israeli Apartheid Delivered to Agrexco Headquarters in Milan
Entering the Italian offices of the company, the activists delivered gift baskets of rotten fruit and vegetables to symbolize the Palestinian agricultural products rotting at Israeli checkpoints in the West Bank. While produce from the plantations of Israeli settlements built illegally in the Occupied Palestinian Territories makes its way to European markets via Agrexco - the company, 50% owned by the State of Israel, exports 70% of all agricultural products grown on confiscated land - the Palestinians find the road blocked by Israeli checkpoints.
Also in the baskets were bottles labeled "Jordan Valley Water", which were practically empty to represent the water stolen from Palestinians in this northern West Bank area rich in water resources. Palestinians are forbidden to dig wells and collect rainwater, and since 1967 Israel has blocked their access to 162 water wells. Israelis living in illegal settlements instead enjoy discounts of up to 75% on water rates: the approximately 9000 settlers in the Jordan Valley consume one quarter of the resources used annually by all 2.5 million Palestinians in the West Bank.
The action at Agrexco headquarters in Milan is part of the protests against the propaganda event, "Unexpected Israel ", highlighting Israeli technology and innovation. While Israel attempts to change its image on the squares and streets of Milan, and the Israeli and Italian governments sign bilateral agreements on agriculture and water management, activists denounced Agrexco, a company that not only profits from Israeli policies of colonization and apartheid aimed at driving the Palestinians off their land, but creates a direct economic incentive to continue the status quo.
The campaign against Agrexco is part of the 2005 Palestinian call for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel, inspired by the international boycotts that helped end the apartheid regime in South Africa. The campaign calls on consumers to boycott Agrexco products and on retailers to cut commercial ties with Israel?s economy of occupation.