Showing posts with label Ahava. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ahava. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Thank Disney for Denouncing Ahava!

Our member group CODEPINK is asking supporters to sign their e-card to thank Abigail Disney for disowning her share of her family's investment in Ahava cosmetics. Shamrock Holdings, owned by the Disney family, is believed to have an investment worth around $12 million in the company. 

“I cannot in good conscience profit from what is technically the ‘plunder’ or ‘pillage’ of occupied natural resources and the company’s situating its factory in an Israeli settlement in the Occupied West Bank," she said. Make sure to send her a thank you!

This is just the latest victory for the
Stolen Beauty Campaign and BDS. Earlier this month the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church-USA passed a resolution to boycott all Israeli settlement products, specifically naming Ahava products. 

The campaign's next target is Nordstrom, and you can send a letter demanding the department store stop selling Ahava products

And make sure to
register to join us at our National Organizers' Conference September 21-23 at St. Louis University to celebrate this and many other recent BDS victories. 

Monday, July 16, 2012

BDS Win! Disney Renounces Investments in Ahava

The Stolen Beauty Campaign, a project of our member group CODEPINK to boycott Israel's Ahava cosmetics, announced today that Abigail Disney, a principal investor of Shamrock Holdings Incorporated, the Roy E. Disney family fund, is disclaiming her share of Shamrock's investment in Ahava Dead Sea Laboratories. Ahava, an Israeli cosmetics firm with its factory and visitors center in an illegal West Bank settlement, is a privately held corporation. Shamrock owns about 18.5% of the company. 

In a press release, Disney states:

“Recent evidence from the Israeli Civil Administration documents that Ahava Dead Sea Laboratories sources mud used in its products from the Occupied shores of the Dead Sea, which is in direct contravention to provisions in The Hague Regulations and the Geneva Conventions forbidding the exploitation of occupied natural resources. While I will always hold my colleagues and coworkers in the highest regard, I cannot in good conscience profit from what is technically the ‘plunder’ or ‘pillage’ of occupied natural resources and the company’s situating its factory in an Israeli settlement in the Occupied West Bank. Because of complicated legal and financial constraints I am unable to withdraw my investment at this time, but will donate the corpus of the investment as well as the profits accrued to me during the term of my involvement to organizations working to end this illegal exploitation.”

Just last month the Stolen Beauty Campaign celebrated its three-year anniversaryAccording to Haaretz: "Stolen Beauty’s activity in the United States and elsewhere has helped make Ahava cosmetics one of the first mentioned in any discussion of products that are produced in settlements or in industrial zones operated in settlements but are marked 'Made in Israel.'" 

We congratulate CODEPINK on this victory and hope you will join us at our
National Organizers' Conference September 21-23 at St. Louis University to celebrate! 

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Celebrate Stolen Beauty Campaign!

Our member group CODEPINK is celebrating the three-year anniversary of its Stolen Beauty Ahava boycott campaign

Although Ahva labels it beauty products as "Made in Israel," the
ugly truth is that the products actually come from stolen Palestinian natural resources in the occupied West Bank and are produced in the illegal settlement of Mitzpe Shalem.

mislabeling has been in the news recently as both South Africa and Denmark recently decided to clearly label settlement goods. 

Here's how you can support the Stolen Beauty Ahava boycott campaign and help grow the global BDS movement:

  • Tell Nordstrom to stop selling Ahava products
  • Read the new report on Ahava by the the Israeli group Who Profits
  • Tweet this and like Stolen Beauty on Facebook
  • Find action ideas, fact sheets and more resources to help you organize

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Take Action on Valentine's Day: No LOVE in Occupation!

Below are three simple actions to take part in today's Valentine's Day Stolen Beauty Campaign Day of Action, courtesy of CodePink, a US Campaign member group... the queens of creative tactics and online activism!

Take action today, Valentine's Day, to ask Bed, Bath & Beyond to stop breaking Palestinian hearts. The big box retailer carries Ahava cosmetics and SodaStream products. Both Ahava and SodaStream are subject to international boycott campaigns because their production facilities are based in illegal West Bank settlements and because of other illicit practices.

1. Go to the Bed, Bath & Beyond web site and leave a customer comment. You can write your own comment, or cut and paste this one:
I notice that you sell Ahava and SodaStream. Both products are made in illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank. Ahava is made with mud pillaged from the occupied shores of the Dead Sea. Both products are subject to international boycott campaigns due to their illicit practices. This Valentine's Day, have a heart and please stand for human rights and international law. Stop selling Ahava and SodaStream. Occupation profiteering is ugly. 

2. Join our Valentine's Day Twitter campaign to tell @bedbathbeyond to stop selling Ahava and SodaStream. Here are some sample tweets!:
#Valentine's Day wish: @bedbathbeyond will drop settlement products #Ahava & #SodaStream. #BDS @stopsodastream

Valentine's Day: Tell @BedBathBeyond to drop #Ahava & #SodaStream Occupation is ugly. #BDS @boycottahava
More sample tweets & details on the one-day twitter-a-thon can be found here.

3. Watch and share the Brides Boycott Ahava and SodaStream video, which has over 56,000 hits on YouTube.

Last month Ahava suffered a bad press bonanza as prominent U.K. scientists, filmmakers and academics penned a letter calling on London's Natural History Museum to halt its nanotechnology research collaboration with the illegal settlement profiteer. The letter received prominent coverage in major newspapers and science journals, dragging Ahava's name yet again through its own stolen mud.

SodaStream recently announced they would be opening a new factory in the Negev, but that they will keep open their plant in the settlement of Mishor Adumim. The new plant is a needed expansion of capacity because of increased sales, but it is also a public relations ploy allowing them to say that some of their products are made within Israel. We need to keep the pressure on so that they see the benefit of shutting down the Mishor Adumim plant.
Ahava products are manufactured in settlements
on stolen Palestinian land
Thanks for taking action to support human rights and international law on this Valentine's Day!

For more information and ideas for taking action, click here.

Friday, January 20, 2012

London's Natural History Museum Blasted for Collaborating with Ahava

In the summer of 2009, US Campaign coalition member group CODEPINK launched the Stolen Beauty Campaign against Israeli cosmetics manufacturer Ahava Dead Sea Labaratories. Since then, the boycott campaign against Ahava has grown into an international campaign that continues to raise awareness about Ahava's deceitful business practices, which include labeling products manufactured in the occupied West Bank as 'Made in Israel', in violation of international law.

This past Tuesday, prominent intellectuals in Great Britain demanded that the Natural History Museum in London pull out of a research project which involves Ahava. In an open letter to the British newspaper, The Independent, top British filmmakers Mike Leigh and Ken Loach, along with other leading cultural and academic figures in Great Britain, condemned the museum for "coordinating an activity that breaks international law."

The museum is coordinating a European Union-funded project studying the environmental and health risks of nanoparticles. Avaha is one of several companies and institutions collaborating on the project, however, it is the only one operating in an illegal settlement in occupied territory. In their letter, the 21 signatories conveyed their outrage over the museum's collaboration with Ahava:

Ahava/DSL is based on occupied territory. It extracts, processes and exports Palestinian resources to generate profits that fund an illegal settlement. Israel's settlement project has been held by the International Court of Justice to break international law. Organisations which aid and abet this process may well themselves be found to be in violation. We find it almost inconceivable that a national institution of the status of the Natural History Museum should have put itself in this position.

We call on the museum to take immediate steps to terminate its involvement in Nanoretox and to establish safeguards that protect against any comparable entanglement.

The letter has generated a fair amount of negative publicity for Ahava, including a separate article in The Independent, and featured articles in the Jerusalem Post, Haaretz, Rueters, YNet News and leading science websites like Nature and Science.

Check out CODEPINK's Stolen Beauty website for more information on how you can get involved in the boycott campaign against Ahava!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Flash Mob Tells Bed Bath & Beyond: "Stop Selling Illegal Israeli Settlement Products!"

The three groups involved in this action -- CODEPINK, 14 Friends of Palestine, and Keep Hope Alive -- are all coalition members of the US Campaign, which offers its exclusive flash mob resources here.

Brides, Professional Choir and Minister Flash Mob at Bed Bath & Beyond with Message:
"Stop Selling Illegal Israeli Settlement Products!"

Action in Solidarity with Global Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Movement

[LARKSPUR]: On Saturday, December 10, International Human Rights Day, a flash mob took over the wedding registry section of the Bed Bath & Beyond in Larkspur.  The flash mob consisted of a mock wedding in which four brides committed to boycott illegal Israeli settlement products, namely Ahava cosmetics and SodaStream home carbonation systems, and local Reverend Dr. Walt Davis pronounced the brides "married to a life of peace and justice."  The Justice Voices choir sung a parody of "Ode to Joy" that asked Bed Bath & Beyond to deshelve these products.  Store employees asked the flash mobbers to leave the store and called the police.  No arrests were made.  Caroling continued outside the store where the group received positive feedback from holiday shoppers.

“We hope Bed Bath & Beyond CEO Steven Temares hears our plea and stops selling products that are in clear violation of international law,” said Rae Abileah, flash mob "bride" and co-director of CODEPINK.  “Consumers have a right to know the ugly truth behind Ahava beauty products: they’re stealing Palestinian land! 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. Save a few plastic bottles at the expense of trashing Palestinian land and people?  We don’t think so.”

Ahava and SodaStream products are fraudulently labeled as “Made in Israel”, but are in fact produced in illegal settlements under the conditions of the military occupation in the West Bank, outside the internationally-recognized borders of Israel.  Ahava cosmetics are manufactured in the illegal settlement of Mitzpe Shalem in the occupied Palestinian West Bank. Ahava’s fraudulent labeling is under investigation in the UK and in The Netherlands. The Stolen Beauty Boycott and international boycott pressure have successfully pressured many stores to drop Ahava.  Stores that have pulled Ahava from their shelves include Canada’s major department store The Bay, UK retailer John Lewis, the National Cathedral in DC, the U.N. commissary in Vienna, and many more.

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.  SodaStream is another occupation profiteer located the illegal industrial zone called Mishor Adumim, one of the largest land expropriations of Palestinian land in the West Bank, which prevents a future contiguous Palestinian state.

"This month, we mark three years since the Israel's deadly assault on Gaza that killed about 1,400 Palestinian men, women, and children. Let us all recommit ourselves to ending US financial and diplomatic support to Israel, and to supporting the inspiring, growing, global, Palestinian-led  movement for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions until Palestinians enjoy the freedom, equality, and justice that they deserve,” said Anna Baltzer, flash mob "bride" and national organizer with the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation.  

“I invited the CODEPINK women to Marin so that we could do a boycott action at our local Bed, Bath, and Beyond,” said Jane Jewell, founder of 14 Friends of Palestine and Justice Voices. “BDS is one of the most important non-violent activities we can do to oppose the cruel Israeli Occupation of Palestine that causes such terrible suffering to the Palestinian people. I consider it the duty of those of us who enjoy a life of freedom and privilege to help those who do not. If I lived under horrendous oppression like the Palestinians do, I would like to think that somewhere in the world there were people looking out for me. "

The action was coordinated by 14 Friends of Palestine, CODEPINK Women for Peace, and Keep Hope Alive.

More information on both campaigns is available at and

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Growing Impact of BDS Creating Anxiety amongst pro-Israel Groups

The growing success of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign internationally has Israel’s US supporters panicked. In response to the surging momentum of BDS, pro-Israel groups have launched "Buy Israel Week," which will run Nov. 28 to Dec. 4.

The initiative, with counts BDS target Ahava as one of its sponsors, is frantically being promoted as a way to counteract the BDS movement and those that “work to undermine Israel’s right to exist.”

Such foolish hyperbole, designed to demonize a nonviolent resistance movement and deflect attention away from Israel’s systematic human rights violations, reveals the growing desperation of Israel’s supporters, as the rogue nation is increasingly isolated due to its illegal occupation and apartheid regime.

In fact, the BDS movement continues to grow and gain momentum precisely because it is a powerful nonviolent resistance strategy. Our steadfast work organizing and educating at the grassroots level is working to ensure that US consumers don’t buy “the coolness” of Israeli consumer products.

It is clear the pressure we are bringing to bear on Israeli interests is having an impact. International BDS efforts are playing a key role in contributing to Israel’s isolation. Those efforts are also changing the lopsided discourse in the US that still overwhelmingly favors Israel. Through solidarity and a commitment to nonviolence, our movement will succeed in holding Israel accountable to its obligations under international law.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

BDS campaigners force London Ahava shop to move

The BDS movement celebrates another victory this week as the Israeli cosmetics company Ahava is forced to move its London location.  Read more about the boycott of Ahava here.

The central London flagship store of Ahava, an Israeli cosmetics company whose products come from stolen Palestinian natural resources in the occupied West Bank, and are produced in the illegal settlement of Mitzpe Shalem, has been forced to move following a sustained campaign from BDS activists.
A spokeswoman for Shaftesbury PLC, which owns the property that the shop is currently located in, told the Jewish Chronicle: “When Ahava’s lease expires in September, we will not offer them a new one.”
Demonstrations have been taking place outside the shop every fortnight since March 13 2010, following a call to action from the Bil’in’s Popular Committee. The first action against Ahava took place in January 2009.
The news first came to light last week during a court case resulting from the fifth successful blockade of the shop in November.
Ahava has vowed to open a new shop elsewhere in London. Campaigners have vowed to continue the campaign.
Visit for more information. 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

CODEPINK Protests at Lord & Taylor

Tuesday, September 6, 2011, the greater Boston chapter of CODEPINK: Women for Peace organized a protest inside Lord & Taylor against the Israeli company Ahava Cosmetics as a part of its Stolen Beauty Campaign.

CODEPINK has been pressuring large chains such as Bed, Bath, & Beyond and Nordstrom to stop carrying Ahava products.  Ahava is located within an illegal settlement in the West Bank, and much of the natural resources used in the cosmetics come from Palestinian land.  The singing protesters prolaimed to Lord & Taylor shoppers: "There is no love in occupation," and urge them to boycott Ahava products.

A video of the protest can be found here:

For more information regarding the Stolen Beauty Campaign, visit:

To learn more about CODEPINK: Women for Peace, or to get involved, check out their website at:

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

FLASH MOB: Mock Wedding Promotes Ahava & Soda Stream Boycott at Bed, Bath, & Beyond!

Activists from CODEPINK (US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation coalition member group) recently staged a mock wedding at Bed, Bath, & Beyond in Los Angeles.

Four CODEPINK women dressed in brides dresses strolled through the store and mall answered the reverend's big question:

"Do you promise to tell your fellow brides to not register with Bed, Bath & Beyond until it stops stocking illegal Israeli settlement products Ahava and SodaStream?"...

"Do you promise to honor and obey international law?"...

"Do you promise to cherish the right of Palestinians to use their own natural resources?"

etc... to which the brides answered a resounding,

"WE DO!"

Watch the wonderful video below. CODEPINK invites others to "Become a BDS Bride!"

Find the video, script, fliers, and more by clicking here.

Monday, May 16, 2011

AHAVA's Twitter campaign jammed with BDS messaging

This post was added five days ago, so we wish it wasn't displaying under Monday, May 16. :-( Stolen Beauty is a boycott campaign organized by CodePink, which is a member group of the US Campaign.

By Maureen, May 11, 2011
Electronic Intifada

The Stolen Beauty campaign focusing on a boycott of Ahava cosmetics, which are illegally manufactured in the occupied West Bank using Palestinian natural resources, has launched a culture jamming initiative currently underway on Twitter:
This Wednesday, May 11 and Thursday, May 12, is sponsoring an Ahava Twitter contest. They are calling on people to Tweet skincare question with the hashtag #AHAVAreborn. People who Tweet using that hashtag - part of Ahava’s REBRANDING campaign -will be entered into the contest and given a chance to win $300 worth of Mineral Magical Skincare. (See details below by clicking on the link.)
AHAVA Twitter Contest! Win $300 Worth of Mineral Magical Skincare
We are asking Ahava boycott supporters to use the hashtags #AHAVAreborn & #stolenbeauty on Wednesday & Thursday to help get out the word about Ahava’s illegal practices and its occupation profiteering. PLEASE TWEET OFTEN. PLEASE SHARE THIS ACTION ALERT WITH YOUR FRIENDS.
So many people have responded to this call, that I can’t see any tweets that AREN’T about BDS and Israel’s rights abuses when searching #AHAVAreborn on Twitter. AHAVA is having an increasingly hard time covering up its human rights blemishes. It is has been dropped from retail stores in Canada and the UK and taken to court in France. As The Electronic Intifada reported last June, “Bad publicity caused Sex & the City star Kristin Davis to be dropped as a spokesperson for Ahava and as a goodwill ambassador for the international organization Oxfam after activists called on her to end her paid promotional appearances for Ahava. ”


Friday, April 23, 2010

Stop! Pink Police! -- Great video of Ahava boycott action in Austin, TX

Check out this great video of an Ahava boycott action in Austin, TX:

BDS Austin Activism - Ahava Protest from PSC UT Austin on Vimeo.

You can help! Visit ULTA online or send them an email at to ask them to take Ahava products, which are made in illegally occupied Palestinian territory with minerals stolen from the Dead Sea, off of their shelves. Here's a sample message: "Please stop selling Ahava products. The theft by Israeli colonizers of these resources from stolen Palestinian land supports the illegal displacement and dispossession of the indigenous population. I ask Ulta to cease supporting such violations of international law and human rights." Sign a boycott pledge and find out more about the Ahava boycott by clicking here.

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.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

"Stolen Beauty" Victory: Costco feels the love

The US Campaign recently released organizing resources and campaign kits for the boycott of Ahava, an Israeli cosmetics company that operates on stolen Palestinian land in the West Bank. Here's news of a recent victory for the "Stolen Beauty" campaign against Ahava, from the blog of US Campaign member group CODEPINK: " In mid-December Rula Borelli, prompted by a friend who brought her attention to the fact that AHAVA products were on sale at Costco, sent a letter to the company asking them to remove AHAVA from their shelves, explaining about AHAVA’s illegal practices and the Stolen Beauty boycott campaign against them. Borelli then started a Facebook group called “Ask Costco to remove AHAVA from their shelves,” thinking that she could mobilize more people to contact Costco via the social networking site.

Borelli, who lives in Seattle, used the group, which soon grew to over 200 members, to bombard Costco with messages about AHAVA. She also encouraged the group’s members to join Costco’s fan page on Facebook where they posted messages about AHAVA to be read by Costco fans.

Borelli and others received non-committal formal replies from Costco representatives for almost a month. They were undaunted and continued sending messages to the company, until finally, in the second week of January, Borelli received a reply from a company representative saying:

“These items are pending delete in our system and once they have sold they are no longer available. Your concerns have been forwarded to our corporate offices.”

A search of the Costco online store for AHAVA turns up no results. But Borelli and her team of online organizers have turned up great results for the Stolen Beauty boycott campaign with their group efforts. No more AHAVA at Costco!

Join Rula’s “Ask Costco to remove AHAVA from their shelves” group and join the “Stolen Beauty AHAVA Boycott” Facebook group. You can follow The Stolen Beauty campaign on Twitter. Or go to Stolen Beauty for more information on our work towards a just and sustainable peace for Israelis and Palestinians."

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

CommonDreams article on Gaza Freedom March highlights Israeli apartheid

Joshua Brollier of Voices for Creative Nonviolence relates some "Lessons from the Gaza Freedom March" at Here's Brollier on Israeli apartheid:
"Throughout the Gaza Freedom March presence in Cairo, our sisters and brothers from the South African delegation dynamically articulated the connections between injuries that indigenous Africans suffered under the white supremacist regime in Pretoria and the inequalities that Palestinians now face at the hands of the Israeli government. The delegation informed us that just as blacks in South Africa were forced to live in Bantustans and provide cheap labor for industry controlled by whites, so the Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank are caged in smaller and smaller areas controlled by Israeli military checkpoints. The economic livelihood of the Palestinians is reliant upon free movement through these checkpoints and Israel often only grants access for Palestinians when it is financially useful for Israel. Similar to the situation in South Africa, Israel controls all the beneficial natural resources and siphons the productivity and profit of the resources away from the people of Palestine."
Brollier goes on to note that comparisons with South Africa or with the U.S. governments treatment of American Indians highlights the ongoing complicity of U.S. government and corporate actors:
"Many people who study and discuss issues related to Palestine are aware of the South African and North American analogies, but the general public in the United States doesn't seem to notice that we are subsidizing these bloody policies with 3.5 billion dollars of military aid per year....The Cairo declaration was formed and the South African group gave us insight to further focus the Boycott Divestment Sanctions Movement (BDS) through "campaigns to encourage divestment of trade union and other pension funds from companies directly implicated in the Occupation and/or the Israeli military industries." They suggested very specifically targeting companies in our areas that both enable and profit from the occupation."
Like what Brollier is saying? Here's how you can get involved: 1) The US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation carries out targeted campaigns against Motorola, Caterpillar, and Ahava, three companies that are directly complicit in Israeli occupation and apartheid. Find out more about these and other BDS campaigns by clicking here, and sign up as a local organizer here. 2) Find out more about Israeli apartheid by clicking here, and check out the international Israeli Apartheid Video Contest organized by US Campaign member group and our allies at Stop the Wall. 3) Oppose U.S. military aid to Israel by organizing in your Congressional District.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Where will boycott show up next?

Stories about boycotts of goods produced in Israeli settlements have been popping up all over the place recently. Here's just a few examples. Yesterday, we let you know about an article on Ahava at CNNMoney. CNN refused to say whether there is an official boycott of Ahava in the United States--something which our supporters were quick to correct them on--but did mention other boycott campaigns as well as the controversy surrounding Oxfam's decision to drop Kristin Davis as a spokesperson because of her role as spokesperson for Ahava. Ironically, just a few days before the CNN article, Electronic Intifada posted a story entitled "Boycott of Ahava Dead Sea products makes an impact." A quick Google search by the author of the CNN piece would have revealed this! A few days ago, the Associated Press distributed a story about Palestinians boycotting Israeli settlement products, which was picked up by YNet News, the website of Israel's largest daily newspaper. And today, Ha'aretz is reporting that the "British government has issued an official recommendation urging business owners to mark Israeli products produced in West Bank settlements so that consumers who want to boycott such items will find it easy to identify them." BBC is also carrying the story. Keep track of exciting developments in media coverage of the BDS movement by clicking here. Don't just read about BDS, though--find out how you can get involved by clicking here.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Setting the Record Straight on Ahava: According to CNN, Ahava won't say whether they're being boycotted in the United States

CNN has decided that Ahava has a good business model. Not only that, but they apparently "transcend politics and ecology," according to this article published at CNN fails to explain how stealing resources from Palestinian land and building factories in illegal colonies on occupied territory constitutes "transcending politics." Looks like politics as usual to us. Especially fascinating is CNN's take on the boycott of Ahava, initiated by US Campaign member group CODEPINK and officially endorsed by the US Campaign at our 8th Annual National Organizers' Conference in Chicago in September 2009. Here's the CNN article on boycott:
"Ahava faces political challenges that don't arise for most Western lifestyle brands.... Although Ahava won't say whether its merchandise has ever been officially boycotted in the U.S., other Israeli products have recently sparked protests. In June, a pro-Palestinian group called Don't Buy Into Apartheid called for a boycott of Trader Joe's grocery stores because the company sells Israeli frozen cilantro and other products. And in August the New York Post claimed that Oxfam International, a leading humanitarian organization, had dumped celebrity spokesperson Kristin Davis because of her affiliation with Ahava."
Help us set the record straight. Find out more about the "Stolen Beauty" campaign against Ahava here. Read the article here. Leave a comment letting other readers know that Ahava violates international law and good conscience by making its products in an Israeli settlement and marketing them as "Made in Israel." And let us know that you did it by commenting on our blog. Let's make sure people know the ugly truth about Ahava!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

"The US cash behind extremist settlers": US Campaign member group exposes U.S. funding of Israeli settlers

We've posted before about efforts of US Campaign member groups to expose groups like the Hebron Fund, U.S.-based "charitable" organizations that raise money for extremist settler groups. Today, Andrew Kadi and Aaron Levitt of Adalah-NY have a great piece in The Guardian reporting on tax-deductible donations in the United States that fuel violations of international law and Palestinian rights--not to mention violations of stated U.S. policy on settlements:
"Israeli settlements violate the Geneva convention's prohibition against an occupying power transferring its population into occupied territory, and Israeli settlement expansion directly contradicts the US call for a settlement freeze. Hebron's Jewish settlers, who are supported by the Hebron Fund, are openly fundraising in New York City. Under the protection of the Israeli military, they are expanding settlements in Hebron's Old City and driving out the Palestinian residents."
Check out the full article here, and be sure to leave a comment on the Guardian's site--the more comments an article has, the more play it will get on the site! Once you've done that, find out how you can help get powerful pieces like this into U.S.-based media using our media action resources. Of course, it's not just tax-deductible contributions that support the Israeli settlement regime--it's also the contributions of our actual tax dollars. Sign up today to fight the $3 billion of military aid to Israel that the United States is scheduled to pay out next year by joining our Congressional District Coordinator Network. Looking for more ways to stop settlement expansion and extremism? Remember, Motorola provides surveillance equipment, communication technology, and cell phone service to Israeli settlements. Caterpillar equipment is used to build settlements and the apartheid Wall, and to destroy Palestinian homes and agricultural land. And Ahava beauty products are produced in settlements from minerals stolen from the West Bank. Sign up to be a local organizer for any of our boycott and divestment campaigns by clicking here (Ahava organizing materials coming soon).

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Real News Network asks "Who profits from Israeli occupation?"

Here's an in-depth report on the global BDS movement from Lia Tarachansky of The Real News Network. Tarachansky reports on recent BDS victories and covers the recently launched boycott of Ahava beauty products being led by US Campaign member group CODEPINK. CODEPINK's "Stolen Beauty" campaign against Ahava has attracted recent media attention after the international humanitarian organization Oxfam suspended actress Kristin Davis from serving as an Oxfam humanitarian ambassador due to her role as a spokesperson for Ahava. Want to get involved with boycott and divestment but aren't sure how? Click here to learn more.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Exchanges over the Apartheid Wall--Real and Imagined

The Israeli cell phone company Cellcom recently released an ad showing Israeli soldiers playing a light-hearted game of soccer with invisible Palestinians over the Apartheid Wall. The ad, which takes a step beyond normalizing the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land to actually portraying it as fun, has been the target of criticism from many groups and individuals who understand the destructive effects that the Wall and the entire infrastructure of the occupation has on Palestinian lives and livelihoods and on chances for a just peace in the region. Last week, the villagers of Bil'in, who have protested weekly against the construction of the Wall on their farmland for several years, lampooned the Cellcom ad by showing what actually happens if a Palestinian tries to kick a soccer ball over the Wall. Check out the original ad and the response of Bil'in village, below: Unfortunately, Cellcom isn't the only company--or even the only cell phone company--cynically trying to make money off of the destruction of Palestinian land and livelihoods. In 2008, the US Campaign brought to the attention of Motorola its complicity in Israel's human rights violations and military occupation and called on the corporation to cease selling equipment to the Israeli military to prevent its involvement in future abuses. The US Campaign launched and is coordinating a national consumer boycott of Motorola cell phones to raise awareness of its profiteering from human rights abuses and to tarnish its corporate image for doing so. This boycott was successful in pressuring Motorola to sell of its department that produced bomb fuzes for the Israeli military; however, Motorola continues to produce the Wide Area Surveillance System, MotoEagle, and other surveillance systems that are used around Israeli settlements, as well as communication equipment used by the Israeli military. Although there's been a lot of noise lately about Motorola selling off its Israeli subsidiary, MIRS, this sale will only divest Motorola from selling consumer products to settlers, not its contracts with the Israeli military. The Cellcom ad reinforces, once again, the important role that corporations and consumer products play in the normalization and support of the Israeli occupation. To counteract this role, the international movement for boycott and divestment continues to come up with new and creative methods of drawing attention to companies that are complicit in the occupation. Recently, US Campaign allies CODEPINK Women for Peace have taken up the boycott and divestment call by targeting Ahava beauty products, which are produced in the Israeli settlement of Mitzpe Shalem. Their "Stolen Beauty" campaign seeks to bring "the struggle for a just peace" to a "store near you." The campaign against Ahava isn't limited to the United States, as attested to in this video from a protest at a Sephora in Paris. As the global BDS movement spreads, the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation will continue to explore how we can educate and mobilize the U.S. public about the role of corporations, consumer goods, and institutions in the Israeli occupation, and the role that human rights activists can play in opposing corporate complicity. Want to join the conversation? Join us in Chicago on September 12-13, 2009, at our 8th Annual National Organizers' conference as we discuss how to expand the BDS work of the US Campaign in an newly exciting--and challenging--global and domestic context. Hope to see you in Chicago!