Representatives for 75 countries affiliated to the United Nations-based Kimberley Process Certification Scheme meeting in Kinshasa this week failed to reach agreement on the export of blood-stained diamonds from Zimbabwe. The elephant in the room was Israel’s burgeoning diamond exports which evade the human rights strictures imposed on Zimbabwe’s diamond exports.
A “letter of the month” that I authored and which was published in the April edition of Retail Jeweller magazine exposes these double standards in the Kimberley Process regulations that facilitate the trade in blood-stained diamonds from Israel and Zimbabwe (Letters, Retail Jeweller Magazine, April 2011).
The letter caused “consternation” to some in the diamond industry and resulted in the withdrawal of the magazine from a major jewellery trade fair in Switzerland (“Gems editor sorry for ‘blood diamond’ boycott letter,” The Jewish Chronicle, 7 April 2011).
The letter drew the wrath of vested interests and leaders of the Israeli diamond industry. Their response via the Letters page in the May edition of the magazine demonstrated the sensitivity of the global diamond industry to any exposure of the links between Israeli diamonds and Israeli war crimes.
Location: Cayman Islands