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Bed, Bath … and Settlements?!

29th March, 2011 - Posted by Admin - 3 Comments

This following post by Dalit Baum was originally sent to the Economic Activism for Palestine e-mail list. Be the first to receive urgent action items by signing up for our e-mail lists.

By Dalit Baum
Director, Economic Activism for Palestine

This Wednesday, March 30th, is Palestinian Land Day. Land Day commemorates the 1976 general strike of Palestinians within Israel against mass expropriation of their land by the state. Six unarmed protesters were killed on that day, but hundreds more have been killed since in demonstrations and protests against the on-going confiscations of Palestinian land.

We choose to bring to your attention today an Israeli product, SodaStream, now being aggressively introduced into the U.S. market. The SodaStream company is an Occupation profiteer located in an illegal settlement and directly benefitting from one of the largest land expropriations of Palestinian land in the West Bank.

SodaStream produces home beverage carbonating devices, labeled as “Made in Israel,” whereas in fact, these devices are made in an illegal industrial zone called Mishor Edomim, on a vast area between Jerusalem and Jericho in the West Bank expropriated from its original Palestinian owners in the 70’s to prevent a future contiguous Palestinian state. Last year, the European Court of Justice ruled that SodaStream devices are not “Made in Israel,” as asserted, since they are produced in an illegal settlement, and therefore they cannot benefit from the EU trade agreements with the State of Israel.

SodaStream is marketed as an environmentally responsible product, but the destruction of life, land and peace brought about by this settlement industrial zone is anything but environmentally responsible. Outside official state borders, Israeli companies operating in the West Bank enjoy cheap land and water, both confiscated from the indigenous Palestinian owners; a captive Palestinian labor force, under severe restrictions of movement and organization; large tax incentives; and lax regulation of environmental and labor protection laws.

A recent report by the Israeli research project Who Profits from the Occupation describes SodaStream’s illegal settlement activities, exposes its fraudulent labeling practices and investigates its exploitative labor practices. The photo on the left shows SodaStream’s Factory in Mishor Edomim Settlement. (photo credit: Esti Tsal, WhoProfits)

SodaStream is currently facing a growing boycott campaign in Europe and, as can be seen from its own SEC reports, the company is weighing the relative costs of international consumer boycotts and negative publicity against the economic benefits of manufacturing in a settlement industrial zone. It is time to raise the cost of occupation and exploitation.

This Land Day, we are asking one chain store, Bed Bath and Beyond, to stop selling SodaStream, as well as Ahava and all other settlement products.

Take 30 seconds now to sign our petition to Bed Bath & Beyond.

Global Exchange along with our partners in CODEPINK will deliver your signature to stores around the country and fax the letter and signatures to their corporate headquarters on Wednesday, The Palestinian Land Day.

Thank you for standing in solidarity and taking action to bring justice in Palestine through corporate accountability.

3 Responses to “Bed, Bath … and Settlements?!”

  • Mary Jo Dolis

    To participate economically in Israel’s 42-year military occupation of Palestine, is to aid Israel in its steady confiscation of more and more land from Palestinian villages, its routine destruction of olive orchards, and its aggressive construction of walls that prevent Palestinians from farming their fields. Until Bed, Bath and Beyond, and other retailers refuse to sell products that benefit from Israel’s occupation (while pretending not to), it is complicit in the degredation of the Palestinian people. This means I can’t shop there and I will urge my friends to understand why they can’t in good conscience shop there either.

  • stephanie

    Ok I see your point but seriously! Maybe we should just stop buying product all together until its all made in the United States. That’s what’s wrong with our country everything is from another country. What you think things made in Indonesia or Vietnam, or China for that factor is all properly made and made by properly paid and treated workers. NO! If your going to try and start a protest I think you need to start bigger. Its not Bed Bath and Beyonds fault it is us stupid and luxury hungry Americans fault for having to have Soda Streams and other frivolous items made in other countrys. I think we need to stop worrying about other countries and their problems and start focusing on ours!!!

    • Unfortunately, the US is already deeply involved in the on-going oppression and exploitation of Palestinians, by providing about $3 Billion annually to the Israeli government for weapons.
      Until such time as we can effect US policies (for example, to spend these dollars here in the US for people’s needs) there are some things that we can do, People to People.
      The Palestinian civil society has signed a unified call in 2005, asking us to stop supporting Israeli human rights violations and violation of international law with our consumer dollars, with our cultural normalization and diplomatic support.
      SodaStream is not just a product manufactured abroad, it is manufactured in an illegal settlement, using exploited land and labor under a military regime. Consumers over here should know more about it, and stop financing those crimes.

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