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Objects of Desire

Israeli diamonds are forever … on your conscience.

In recent years the romantic image of diamonds as objects of desire has been tarnished by bloody conflicts in central Africa that are often funded by the trade of locally mined gems. Human rights organizations have begun a campaign against “conflict diamonds,” or “blood diamonds,” and the ensuing global attention has forced the diamond industry to take action against the trade. The Kimberley Process, introduced in a 2003 UN resolution, is a certification scheme designed to prevent rough diamonds used to fund conflict from entering the market. But the process operates with a very narrow definition of conflict diamonds. Cut and polished diamonds, regardless of what bloody conflicts they may fund, do not qualify for regulation under the Kimberley Process. Israel’s blood diamonds, therefore, are kosher.

Israel is the world’s largest producer of cut and polished diamonds. In 2006 diamond exports worth $16.7 billion accounted for a significant portion of the country’s total manufacturing exports. (The importance of the diamond industry to the Israeli economy can best be appreciated when one considers that the budget of the Israeli Ministry of Defense in 2008 was $13 billion.) Because cut and polished diamonds are not regulated by the Kimberley Process, jewelers continue to sell Israeli diamonds to consumers who are, for the most part, completely unaware that the gems were crafted in Israel – where taxes from the diamond industry are used to fund the illegal occupation of Palestinian land and the brutal subjugation of the Palestinian people.

Despite the fact that Israeli diamonds are feeding Israel’s war machine, the Kimberley Process has yet to broaden its definition of conflict diamonds. Furthermore, the international campaign Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions for Palestine (BDS) has failed to speak out against this major revenue source. Efforts have been made in Ireland to raise public awareness through the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC), which has called on the Kimberley Process to expand its definition of conflict diamonds. The IPSC has lobbied the diamond industry to laser-inscribe all gems with their country of origin, which will allow consumers to choose diamonds from countries that respect human rights.

Because the international community – Western governments in particular – has long failed to protect innocent Palestinian civilians from constant attacks by the Israeli military, it’s imperative that the concerned citizens of the world take action in defense of Palestinians’ human rights. Rejecting Israeli blood diamonds is the most effective means of sanction available to civil society. Diamond exports significantly outperform all other Israeli export commodities, making the gleaming rock Israel’s Achilles heel. The country’s overdependence on a single luxury commodity leaves its economy vulnerable to trends and public taste. And unlike other Israeli exports – technology, software and armaments – diamonds are purchased by individual consumers, not companies or governments. When buying a diamond, each individual consumer has the power to withhold the money that powers the Israeli war machine. By choosing a stone that is truly conflict free, consumers will diminish funding for Israeli crimes against humanity – in Palestine and beyond. Israeli diamonds are forever … on your conscience.

–Sean Clinton

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98 comments on the article “Objects of Desire”

Displaying 91 - 98 of 98

Page 10 of 10

Levine

By your logic and phrasings "shlomo", the following cannot be far from the truth...

"Now lets look at a perhaps even more insidious industry coming out of America at the expense of "disappeared" orphans and alleged "adopters": Child Trafficking. Of course people have been complaining about it for decades but it wasn't until recently when some Christian Missionaries were caught red handed in Haiti attempting to smuggle human children that the world could no longer turn a blind eye."

Therefore, White American Christian Missionaries = embodiment of everything evil?

I simply cannot begin to comprehend the stupidity of your argument, "schlomo".

Levine

By your logic and phrasings "shlomo", the following cannot be far from the truth...

"Now lets look at a perhaps even more insidious industry coming out of America at the expense of "disappeared" orphans and alleged "adopters": Child Trafficking. Of course people have been complaining about it for decades but it wasn't until recently when some Christian Missionaries were caught red handed in Haiti attempting to smuggle human children that the world could no longer turn a blind eye."

Therefore, White American Christian Missionaries = embodiment of everything evil?

I simply cannot begin to comprehend the stupidity of your argument, "schlomo".

Levine

This article is blatantly anti-semitic.

This is akin to the author literally pointing the finger at me buying a bottle of Coke, and by the some twisted logic, I have ended up supporting capitalism, specifically "Amercian" capitalism (but because GWBush has come to represent the nasty side of capitalism) and therefore, I have ended funding the war in Iraq. Correct me if I am wrong, but I'm sure I read somewhere that the majority of the dollars in circulation have cocaine on them (I don't think that was metaphorical)

And besides historically, precious stones and gold, have always had value. Kingdoms, markets and wealth were built around things like these.

Diamonds are a rather recent phenomena having no 'real' or lasting value (compared to Gold) but I seriously doubt that apart from funding small conflicts, I simply refuse to believe that the (conflict)diamond trade fund war???

Levine

This article is blatantly anti-semitic.

This is akin to the author literally pointing the finger at me buying a bottle of Coke, and by the some twisted logic, I have ended up supporting capitalism, specifically "Amercian" capitalism (but because GWBush has come to represent the nasty side of capitalism) and therefore, I have ended funding the war in Iraq. Correct me if I am wrong, but I'm sure I read somewhere that the majority of the dollars in circulation have cocaine on them (I don't think that was metaphorical)

And besides historically, precious stones and gold, have always had value. Kingdoms, markets and wealth were built around things like these.

Diamonds are a rather recent phenomena having no 'real' or lasting value (compared to Gold) but I seriously doubt that apart from funding small conflicts, I simply refuse to believe that the (conflict)diamond trade fund war???

Anonymous

Enough using the same old propaganda and lies, every time someone is talking about the racist state of Israel, a state built on occupation and and ethnic cleansing of its native population, the Arab Palestinians, but you don't want people to know what is OCCUPATION and is happing to these people, just keep it aside and you bring your front-page baseless accusation even you don't bother to point where and why the article is "blatantly anti-semitic".

Anonymous

Enough using the same old propaganda and lies, every time someone is talking about the racist state of Israel, a state built on occupation and and ethnic cleansing of its native population, the Arab Palestinians, but you don't want people to know what is OCCUPATION and is happing to these people, just keep it aside and you bring your front-page baseless accusation even you don't bother to point where and why the article is "blatantly anti-semitic".

Levine

Ok...how about this...

It doesn't take a genius to figure that out why this article is blatantly anti-Semitic.

Historically national boundaries have always been shifted through bloodshed perpetrated by a group of humanity..so this is nothing new. However, the statement is false if I said that HUMANITY is responsible for blood-shed.

This article implies that Israel, both the state and the people, are involved in this 'occupation'. That is NOT the case.

For instance, by me stating that Americans are out to satisfy their imperial thirst is simply a baseless argument, that though might apply to a few 'hawks' within the administration ... this cannot, however, be taken to apply to the entire country or people.

Or take this example for instance...

1. A thief broke into a house and accidentally killed an elderly woman.
2. The thief was a black man.
3. The woman was French.

From the above set of statements, it would be wrong to assume that
a. Thieves are out to get French Elderly women
b. The thieves are people of colour.
c. Elderly women will get burgled and are more likely to die.

... and so on and so forth.

That was the jist of my argument.

Levine

Ok...how about this...

It doesn't take a genius to figure that out why this article is blatantly anti-Semitic.

Historically national boundaries have always been shifted through bloodshed perpetrated by a group of humanity..so this is nothing new. However, the statement is false if I said that HUMANITY is responsible for blood-shed.

This article implies that Israel, both the state and the people, are involved in this 'occupation'. That is NOT the case.

For instance, by me stating that Americans are out to satisfy their imperial thirst is simply a baseless argument, that though might apply to a few 'hawks' within the administration ... this cannot, however, be taken to apply to the entire country or people.

Or take this example for instance...

1. A thief broke into a house and accidentally killed an elderly woman.
2. The thief was a black man.
3. The woman was French.

From the above set of statements, it would be wrong to assume that
a. Thieves are out to get French Elderly women
b. The thieves are people of colour.
c. Elderly women will get burgled and are more likely to die.

... and so on and so forth.

That was the jist of my argument.

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