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For Immediate Release: May 15th, 2013

International Coalition Criticizes SodaStream Sponsorship of the American Pavilion at Cannes Film Festival


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Contacts:


As the Cannes Film Festival opens today, a coalition of U.S. human rights organizations is criticizing the American Pavilion’s choice of SodaStream as its premier sponsor. The Israeli producer of home carbonation devices touts itself as socially responsible, but critics have pointed out that SodaStream’s primary production facilities are located in the Israeli settlement of Ma’aleh Adumim, built in the occupied Palestinian West Bank in violation of international law, and in opposition to official U.S. government policy going back decades.

“While we appreciate the American Pavilion’s desire to be more environmentally friendly and socially responsible by avoiding the wasteful use of cans, these efforts are completely negated and overshadowed by accepting sponsorship from a company like SodaStream, which is complicit in serious human rights abuses,” said Donna Hicks of the Interfaith Boycott Coalition comprised of organizations of Catholic, Church of the Brethren, Episcopalian, Jewish, Lutheran, Mennonite, Muslim, Presbyterian, Quaker, Unitarian Universalist, United Church of Christ, and United Methodist traditions. “We hope that the Pavilion’s founder Julie Sisk will see that a commitment to the environment cannot be detached from respect for human rights and international law.”

Because it has production facilities in the illegal settlement of Ma’aleh Adumim, SodaStream pays taxes to its municipal government, which are destined exclusively for Ma’aleh Adumim’s growth and development, to the detriment of Palestinians living nearby on whose land Ma’aleh Adumim was built. Additionally, far from protecting the environment, SodaStream contributes to the pollution of Palestinian land and water. The Ma’aleh Adumim settlement manages the Israeli landfill at Abu Dis, also built on land confiscated from Palestinians. More than 1,100 tons of waste from Jerusalem and Israeli settlements is dumped there daily. The Israeli Ministry for the Environment has stated that the landfill is “polluting nearby streams and land.”

The international coalition -- which includes the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, a coalition of more than 400 U.S. organizations, and Association France Palestine Solidarité -- is urging industry professionals attending Cannes to boycott the SodaStream bar at the American Pavilion, and is calling on the general public to ask retailers to remove SodaStream products from their stores. See here for a video uploaded on Monday recalling the U.S. creative community’s long history of standing up for social justice issues, and urging Cannes attendees and the general public to support the boycott of SodaStream.

Endorsers:

American Muslims for Palestine
Association France Palestine Solidarité
Boycott from Within - Israel
Chico Palestine Action Group
Citizens for Justice in the Middle East
CodePink Women for Peace
14 Friends of Palestine - Marin
Friends of Sabeel - North America
Global Exchange
Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions - Finland
Interdenominational Advocates for Peace
Jewish Voice for Peace - DC Metro
Jews for Palestinian Right of Return
LA Jews for Peace
Labor for Palestine
National Lawyers Guild Free Palestine Subcommittee
Palestine-Israel Action Committee
Palestine Solidarity Campaign - United Kingdom
US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation (a coalition of 400 U.S. organizations)

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