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.
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.
Director, Economic Activism for Palestine
Activist in Residence with Global Exchange