Angered by Israeli aggression against Palestinians, Jordanian customers are mounting a boycott against Israeli agricultural produce in the marketplace, particularly mangoes, said a government official, specialized in agricultural marketing on Tuesday. “It is a natural response to Israeli crimes committed against our brothers and sisters in Palestine,” said the source who requested anonymity.
Around 140 people have been killed in the Israeli-Palestinian clashes, known as Al-Aqsa Intifada, since September 28, mostly Palestinians. The Jordanian-Israeli agricultural agreement, he said, is still valid, however, the angry masses are growing day by day and choosing to boycott Israeli agricultural products, he added.
Since the beginning of 2000, Israel has exported to Jordan a total of 510 tones of mangoes, kiwis and avocados, revealed a local newspaper report on Tuesday. The last shipment, added the report, was received in Jordan on October 12.
According to the official, Israel is a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO), and so it should be dealt with as any member of the WTO. “But, the setback of the peace process, coupled with recent clashes between Israeli soldiers and Palestinians has caused the rejection of Israeli products whether agricultural or not,” he said.
Recently, the Agricultural Engineers Association called on citizens to make sure of the place of origin of mangoes, “if from Israel, do not buy!” “Some vegetable and fruit importers re-label Israeli mangoes as Gaza Strip or West Bank produce,” said the association source who declined to be named.
A greengrocer said, “since early October, I stopped dealing with Israeli mangoes as a result of what is going on in Palestine.” Some greengrocers were scolded by customers who stipulated not to see any Israeli produce as a pre-condition to buy vegetables and fruit from the store, said the greengrocer who preferred not to be named
“Each kilo of Israeli mangoes now costs 1 Jordanian dinar. The price has dropped significantly, as it used to cost double that before the clashes started,” he said. The greengrocer expressed disappointment as large quantities of mangoes enter Jordan from Israeli-owned mango plantations in Brazil and South Africa.
But and according to Khair Eddin Shukri, chairman of the Association of Fruit and Vegetables Exporters and Producers, “it is an exaggeration... there are no Israeli mango plantations in Brazil as Israel's production of mangoes is small.”
He added that the mangoes, which are sold in Jordan, are produced in the Gaza Strip or the West Bank and not Israel. “It is hard to get a license to import Israeli mangoes,” he said. . — ( Jordan Times )
By Khalid Dalal
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)