For the attention of the representative of Bickel UK, Harrow,
We are here today because of Bickel's purchase of Carmel-Agrexco. The
purpose of our visit is to request that your company divests from Agrexco.
We want to make you aware that your company will be a target for the global
boycott movement because of your purchase of Agrexco.
We are also writing to inform you that the business of Bickel UK is not
lawful. Bickel's business cannot be defined as lawful business as the company profits from the import into the UK of produce from illegally occupied territories
making it ancillary to Apartheid and other Crimes Against Humanity under
the International Criminal Court Act 2001 (Hereafter the Act).
Crimes under the International Criminal Court Act are criminal offences
under English law.
For example Bickel UK handles goods grown in Ro'i in the occupied Jordan
Valley. The Jordan Valley is part of the West Bank, a Palestinian
territory, that was illegally invaded by force and occupied during 1967.
From 1968 Israel began colonising the valley and transferring its civilian
population into illegal settlements there.
The transfer of a civilian population into occupied territory is a War
Crime under the Act and is a crime under English Law. It is a crime under
English Law to be ancillary to (or complicit in/accessory to) a War Crime.
Bickel, by dealing with growers in Ro'i, is providing financial support
through trade, to the illegal settlers living there, facilitated the
subsistence and growth of Mehola settlement.
Settlement growth in the Jordan Valley has lead to the forceful
expropriation of at least 95% of the land in the valley. This is land that
was previously owned by the indigenous Palestinian population. The theft
and cultivation, achieved through state violence and the threat of
violence, of this land is a War Crime under the Act and it is a crime under
English Law to be ancillary to it.
The building of settlements and settlement infrastructure in the valley has
lead to damage being caused to Palestinian Civilian objects and territory.
This damage has included the building, on occupied territory, of a wall
along the length of the Jordan River and the building of a series of
checkpoints, such as those at Al-Hamra and Al-Tayasir. It is a War Crime
under the act for an occupier to damage civilian property.
In establishing the threat of violence in the Jordan Valley, to allow the
construction of settlements like Ro'i, the Israeli army has been guilty of
Murder, a War Crime under the Act.
The situation established in the Jordan Valley can be correctly
characterised as apartheid. The minority settler population controls 98% of
the land and a majority of the water in the Valley. The majority
Palestinian population are marginalized on the land and are subject to a
system of Israeli military law whereas the civilian settler population are
subject to Israeli Criminal Law.
Settlement expansion is facilitated by a state policy of Ethnic Cleansing
against the Palestinian Civilian Population. Palestinian residents of the
Jordan Valley must apply for permits to live in the valley from the Israeli
military. The military has engineered a situation where residents
increasingly lose their permits and have to leave the valley. This is
coupled with a ban on new building in the valley, resulting in the majority
of the Palestinian population, in some areas, living in tents. This
restriction on building is enforced by house demolitions by the military of
any new Palestinian structures. Ethnic Cleansing is a War Crime under the
The above situation has been engineered by the state to allow the
cultivation of land in the Jordan Valley, the most fertile area in the West
Bank. Agrexco, a partly state owned company, has directly benefited from,
and facilitated this situation:
Carmel-Agrexco, bought by Bickel this year, deals with growers in the
settlements of Tomer, Netiv Hagdud, Beit Ha'Arava, Mehola, Sdemot Mehola,
Ro'i, Argaman, Beqa'ot, Kalia, Gilgal and Bnei Yehuda. The company also
owns assets on illegally occupied territory, including the in the Jordan
Valley Regional Council compound. Agrexco claimed to export 70% of all
fresh produce from the settlements, by continuing this illegal trade Bickel
will be breaking UK law and will become the number one target for the
international boycott movement.
Brighton Jordan Valley Solidarity Campaign