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Diamonds processed in Israel fund war crimes and crimes against humanity yet they are sold worldwide as conflict free diamonds.
Israel is the world’s leading diamond exporter, with exports valued at nearly $20 billion in 2008, accounting for over 30% of Israel’s exports. Revenue from the Israeli diamond industry generates approximately $1 billion annually in funding for the Israeli military/security industry, a military which stands accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity.
According to the UN based Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) only “rough diamonds used by rebel movements or their allies to finance conflict aimed at undermining legitimate governments” can be classed as conflict or blood diamonds. The KPCS classifies all other diamonds as “conflict free” regardless of what human rights violations they may be funding. Approximately 50% of all gem-quality diamonds in dollar terms are processed in Israel. Diamonds from Israel finance war crimes and crimes against humanity in Palestine yet they are sold worldwide as conflict free diamonds to unsuspecting consumers.
Sean Clinton of Global Palestinian Solidarity describes how critical trade in conflict diamonds is to Israel’s economy.
Israel’s total diamond exports in 2008 were valued at $19.4 billion. This figure includes polished diamonds and rough diamonds.
Israel’s total diamond imports in 2008 were va…lued at $9.7 billion. This figure includes rough diamonds and cut & polished diamonds that were returned – not sold.
The Kimberley Process (KP) deals only with rough diamonds and by using the KP statistics we find the value of Israel’s rough diamond imports in 2008 was $5.4 billion. Israel re-exported $4.2 billion of this, to China and India mainly. So in 2008 Israel’s net rough diamond imports were $1.2 billion. https://kimberleyprocessstatistics.org/static/pdfs/AnnualCharts/2008Charts.pdf)
By subtracting the rough diamond exports ($4.2) from the total diamond exports (19.4) we determine that Israel exported €15.2 billion of polished diamonds in 2008.
Subtracting the KP value ($5.4) of Israel’s rough diamond imports from the total (rough +polished) import figure of $9.7 billion we get the value of cut & polished diamond returns – $4.3 billion
Subtracting this $4.3 billion of returns from the Israel’s total polished diamond exports of $15.2 billion gives the actual value of polished diamonds exported – $10.9 billion in 2008.
Finally from this $10.9 we abstract the value of the net rough diamond imports 1.2 billion to get the net value of Israel’s diamond exports in 2008 = $9.7 billion dollars.
The added value to the Israeli economy from the diamond industry in 2008 was $9.7 billion.
If you look at the graph of Israel’s exports for 2008 ( http://dl.dropbox.com/u/8654956/Israel%27s%20Top%2030.jpg) you see that the gross value of Israel’s second most important export commodity, electronics, was just $7 billion.
The point I’m making here is that even the net value of Israel’s diamond exports is significantly greater than the gross value of it’s second most important export commodity.
‘The WDC fails to mention that the much more lucrative, high-value end of the diamond industry is the main artery of the Israeli economy, accounting for more than 30 percent of Israel’s total manufacturing expo…rts worth nearly $20 billion in 2008 (“Trade Performance HS: Exports of Israel” accessed 25 March 2010) (See Figures 3 and 4). By comparison, the budget for Israel’s Ministry of Defense was $16 billion in 2008.’
Sign the petition to Stop Israel’s Blood Diamond Trade
Queries about the provenance of conflict free diamonds leads to censorship by world’s leading online diamond retailer.
Israelis and others bought undocumented diamonds including comment on Wikileaks cable documenting illicit trade in Zimbabwean diamonds, 12th November, 2008.