Tuesday, February 2, 2010

From PinkTank: "A British MP makes the case against Ahava"

Dr. Phillis Starkey, a British MP, made a speech on January 27 regarding the fraudulent labeling of Israeli settlement products. One section of her speech focused on one of our old favorites, Ahava cosmetics.
Here's an excerpt from the speech, courtesy of PinkTank, the blog of US Campaign member group CODEPINK Women for Peace:
"I now turn to a specific case relating to cosmetics in which it seems to me that even more blatant fraud is occurring. Cosmetics, particularly from Dead sea products, are very significant imports into the UK; there were 417 consignments of beauty and skincare products in 2009. I want to focus on Ahava, a firm that is part-owned by two co-operatives based at Mizpe Shalem and Kibbutz Kalia. Both are in the occupied Jordan valley and both are on the EU list of settlements. The products that Ahava produces are based on Dead sea mud, which is extracted at both those sites and processed at Mizpe Shalem. There is no evidence of any other production facilities and certainly none within Green Line Israel, although the head office is near Tel Aviv.
The Ahava website and product labels clearly give the postcode at Mizpe Shalem and then say “Israel”, which is an incorrect description. Its chief executive was totally open in a BBC interview a year or so ago about the fact that it uses the head office address, not the site of production, to justify the “Made in Israel” claim. That could not be more blatant. There is no argument about this one, and when… the firm was challenged about where its site of production was, it made no attempt to rebut its site in the occupied territories, but just waffled about how “the Dead Sea treasures are international and do not belong to one nation”, which was an interesting response to an HMRC request."
Read more here, and click here for "Stolen Beauty" Ahava boycott resources.