Settlement Products Wikia

Supplementary Table: Dates

JordanValleyDates .jpg

Growing dates, especially Medjool dates, is an essential part of the agricultural activity and the economic support of the settlements in the Jordan Valley. Dates are cultivated on the settlements Nativ Ha'gdud, Bekaot, Tomer, Petzael, Hamra, Maskiot, Mevuot Yericho, Yitav, Beit Ha'arava, and others. Date packaging plants are located in the settlements Tomer, Mehola, Gilgal, Beit Ha'arava, as well as Arvot Ha'yarden packagine plant. Large quantities of dates are exported from there to Europe, the USA and Canada. It should be noted that Medjool is not a brand name, rather a species of date palm tree, originating in Morocco and brought to Israel in a roundabout manner, by means of bringing seeds and cuttings from California, USA.

A large portion of the dates that are sold in Israel under the name Medjool come from the Jordan Valley settlements, but there are dates of the same type that are grown by farmers in the Negev, in the Beit She'an area and other places within the Green Line. For example, the Shufersal supermarket chain sells Medjool dates under its brand name Green, some of which come from the Jordan Valley settlements and some from within the Green Line.

There are also Medjool dates that are grown by Palestinian farmers who try to penetrate the Israeli market but face unfair competition that makes this a difficult feat. When marketing Medjool dates in Europe, where the settlement produce competes under the name King Solomon against the same type of dates from Morocco, the origin of this species of date, there is a deliberate attempt to conceal the origin of the dates.

For example, companies like Jordan River distribute dates in cardboard boxes with no writing in Hebrew and no mention of Israel in general or settlements in particular. The only writing is in English, sometimes other European languages (German, French, Spanish, Italian, and sometimes Arabic as well). Some of the boxes of Jordan River dates bear "Orientalist" illustrations of camel riders against the background of an exotic city with mosque minarets, which may suggest to a casual observer that they are Arab produce. Only when marketing the product in Israel is a sticker added to these boxes which notes the origin of the dates (the Jordan Valley), the name of the packaging plant (Gilgal, Tomer, etc.) and the branch of the Rabbinate that provides the kosher certificate.

Another species of date that is grown on the settlements in the Jordan Valley and exported to Europe is Deglet Noor.

In recent years, as the European policy of marking products from settlements has been implemented, the Jordan Valley settlers faced increasing difficulty in exporting their produce. An attempt to circumvent this by exporting to Russia, where products from settlements are not marked, also ran into difficulties due to the economic crisis in Russia.

Name of Company Product Location Notes (1) Notes (2)
Agudat Ha'dekla'im (Palm Growers' Association) Dates Organizes date growers, both from settlements and from within the Green Line Markets dates from settlements in Israel and exports
Dekel Ha'bikha Ltd. Dates Jordan Valley settlements
Vered Ha'tamar Dates Jordan Valley settlements
Zorganika/Zorganika Dates-Ga'on Ha'yarden Organic dates Hamra
Eretz Bereshit Produce/Genesis Land Dates/N.S. Water and Maintenance Services Dates Ma'aleh Efraim N.S. Water Services is the owner of Genesis Land Produce
Pri Yisraeli/"Israel Fruit" Dates Tomer Apparently "Pri Yisraeli" is not the name of a specific company Dates from the packaging plant in Tomer are marketed under this name to conceal their origin
Mehadrin Dates Jordan Valley settlements Agricultural produce, especially dates Markets produce from settlements through concealing the origin
Mata Ami-Gifts Medjool dates Mevuot Yericho "Gift packages, export quality dates and other products from Judea and Samaria"
Jordan Valley (Nahar Ha'yarden) Dates Jordan Valley settlements
Eynot Kedem Dates, olives and olive oil Jordan Valley Organic desert agriculture
Etz Ha'sadeh Buckwheat flour Yitzhar Label on package: "Produced by Hebrew Labor"
Sasson & Co./Sasson Levinsky Nuts and dried fruit Company located in Kiryat Gat, within the Green Line Markets Medjool dates and other produce from the Gilgal packaging plant in the Jordan Valley
Tamar Ha'zahav ("The Golden Date") Dates Jordan Valley settlements
Givat Sal'it Dates Dates Mehola "Growing and marketing pesticide-free dates by Hebrew labor"
Tnuvot Sadeh u'mateh Ltd. Sorting and packaging dates/peanuts Yafit/Na'ama