The 2006 olive oil harvest is under way on the West Bank. Olives, the West Bank's most profitable cash crop, are of course the life blood of thousands of Palestinian families living under occupation. As a result Palestinian olive groves and the harvest itself are targeted by Israel: militant Jewish settlers intimidate individuals involved in the harvest, Israel has confiscated huge amounts of land to build the wall and travel restrictions make it difficult for farmers to tend to their trees and get their crops, once picked, to market.
The International Solidarity Movement is providing international accompaniment to this year's harvest. Internationals working with Palestinians are witnessing countless human rights violations, but their presence is also having a positive effect, including most recently in Zawata.
As much as I'd love to I can't go to Palestine to help with olive harvest but I am going to do my bit to stimulate demand for olives from that part of the world by giving olive oil to friends and family this year for Christmas. But not just any old olive oil, but Peace Oil.
Peace Oil is produced in Israel by Jews, Arabs, Druze and Bedouin working together. Grown in the foothills of the Carmel Mountains, the olives are pressed within hours of picking, to produce this prize winning extra virgin olive oil.
Peace Oil encourages co-operation between communities and by helping to market their produce it hopes to bring economic prosperity to such enterprises, encouraging others to follow their example.
I understand it tastes pretty good too.