Anti-Israel activists target Queen over Jubilee diamond

By Jennifer Lipman, June 11, 2012

Supporters of a boycott of Israel have issued a call to Queen Elizabeth II, asking the monarch to divest herself of her "blood diamond".

Activists from the Boycott Israel Network want the Queen to take action on the Steinmetz Forevermark Jubilee Diamond, put on display by DeBeers in the Tower of London to mark the monarch's 60 years on the throne, because of the company's support for Israeli soldiers.

The 35.60 carat pink diamond is not one that falls under the general understanding of a blood diamond, a term which covers stones traded to finance rebel movements or their allies aimed at undermining legitimate governments.

According to the company's website, Steinmetz, which has offices in Tel Aviv, supports the Tzabar Unit of the IDF's Givati Brigade via the charitable foundation of Agnes and Beny Steinmetz.

The foundation "fosters a close relationship with the commanders and their soldiers, helping the brigade to organise events, buying equipment for end-of-course ceremonies and giving aid to needy soldiers".

The campaign is backed by the Sammoni family of Gaza, which lost 29 members during Operation Cast Lead.

"We are shocked and disappointed by the decision of De Beers to present the Queen of England with a diamond manufactured by the Steinmetz Diamond company," said Helmi Sammoni. "We the Sammoni family call on the Queen of England and the British people to decline this gift.

"We demand that De Beers be instructed to remove this offensive blood diamond display immediately."

Last updated: 5:25pm, June 11 2012