In 2015, the World Diamond Council proposed reforms that would broaden the definition of a “conflict diamond” to ban diamonds from “countries who flout human rights laws not just in mining areas but also in diamond trading centers” – but this proposal was blocked by Israel as it would be “disastrous…especially to Israel”.
Israel is the single biggest net beneficiary of the global diamond industry with net exports of $11 billion in 2104 – far higher than any African diamond-producing countries.
It is estimated that Israeli diamond industry generates about $1 billion per year in revenue for the Israeli military which stands accused of war crimes, crimes against humanity, apartheid and the proliferation of unregulated nuclear weapons.
Between 2016 and 2017 Israeli military forces killed 49 Palestinian children in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip. Every year 500-700 Palestinian children, some as young as 12, are imprisoned and prosecuted in Israeli military courts. In 2017, a UN report accused Israel of establishing “an apartheid regime that oppresses and dominates the Palestinian people as a whole”.
Despite this, Israeli diamonds continue to be sold by the world’s leading jewellery companies which choose to hide this link to serious human rights violations from their clients and those they use to promote a positive image for the industry.