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Arab states' kosher-certified exports to Israel continue amid Gaza genocide

June 25, 2024 at 2:32 pm

Kosher sign [Getty]

Hundreds of food products from Arab states are being sold in Israel with kosher certification, according to an investigation by Middle East Eye and Arabic Post. Despite international calls for a boycott over Israel’s war crimes in Gaza, trade links have been unaffected between Israel and countries like the UAE, Egypt, Jordan, and Morocco.

The investigation reveals that the Chief Rabbinate of Israel has approved kosher certifications for dozens of products from these countries since October last year. Products from Arab countries, including frozen vegetables, oils, and juices, are found on Israeli supermarket shelves.

Some companies deny direct exports to Israel, suggesting third-country intermediaries, while others claim their products are for Palestinian markets. Mahmoud Nawaja of the BDS movement was quoted as saying: “The trade growth between these Arab countries and Israel can only be considered as their involvement and complicity in Israeli crimes against Palestinians, and the genocide in Gaza specifically.”

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Trade data shows fluctuating imports from Arab countries to Israel. Egypt’s exports to Israel in May 2024 were valued at $25 million, double the amount from May 2023. Imports from the UAE and Morocco also saw significant figures.

Controversially, products from Tunisia and Saudi Arabia, which lack formal relations with Israel, also appear in the kosher certification database. Meanwhile, the UAE faced a diplomatic dispute over a shipment of dates with pits, banned by Israel’s Agriculture Ministry for agricultural risk reasons.

Despite global condemnation of Israel’s war in Gaza, trade with Arab countries persists. The UAE maintains its ties with Israel, citing humanitarian concerns for Palestinians as a justification for its stance.

The Turkish government last month stopped all trade with the occupation state in response to the war in Gaza, though the report noted some Turkish products were still on sale this week in a supermarket in Acre, northern Israel.

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