(UPDATE: October 29, 2014 – Victory! After a global boycott campaign and declining sales, SodaStream announced plans to close its West Bank factory by the end of 2015.)
Please do not buy SodaStream
Did you know?
Many products marked “made in Israel” are really made in illegal* Jewish-only settlements established by Israel on Palestinian land in the West Bank. Israel’s illegal settlements and business enterprises are at the heart of the obstacles to peace.
Do not buy Israeli settlement products. SodaStream products are made in an illegal settlement. Tell your retailer: do not sell SodaStream home carbonation systems!
The United Church of Canada has called on its members to work for peace in Israel/Palestine by taking economic action against products from Israel’s illegal settlements on occupied Palestinian territory. A network of United Church members and friends, Independent Jewish Voices, and others in Israel, Palestine, the US and Europe are supporting that call with this boycott campaign. A Canadian boycott coalition is focusing on SodaStream as a priority target: http://www.canadianboycottcoalition.ca/
Boycott to encourage Israel to respect its legal obligations and Palestinian human rights.
*The Geneva Convention forbids an occupying power from moving its own people into areas it occupies. Yet Israel has moved more than 500,000 of its own citizens out of Israel into the occupied West Bank, taking land, resources and water from Palestinians.
– A boycott is an ethical response to an illegal, brutal occupation that causes terrible suffering of the Palestinian people.
– Over 170 Palestinian civil society organizations, including Palestinian Christians, have asked for an international boycott.
– The boycott is not against people, it is against policies and practices that destroy hope for a just settlement to the conflict.
– Boycotts do have an impact. This movement is growing internationally.
Why Boycott SodaStream?
While SodaStream, a home water carbonation device, claims that it is “Made in Israel”, its main factory is in the occupied West Bank industrial zone of Mishor Edomim, in the settlement of Ma’ale Adumim. Ma’ale Adumim is one of the largest of the illegal settlements and, because it connects Jerusalem to the Jordan Valley, dividing the Palestinian West Bank in two, is a major obstacle to any peace agreement. SodaStream’s taxes go directly to supporting the infrastructure of Ma’ale Adumim.
SodaStream’s operations exemplify the reality of Palestinian life under occupation, with few employment opportunities. It takes advantage of a virtually captive Palestinian workforce, paying them less than half of the minimum wage and subjecting them to terrible working conditions. Those who have disagreements are labelled “security risks”, making them virtually unemployable.
Do not support Israeli Settlements:
Israel builds and subsidizes more illegal settlements (colonies) every year. Israel’s military occupation of the West Bank provides ultimate control over all of the territory, with illegal settlements, illegal settler-only roads, the separation barrier, military zones, roads, and bases. Israel’s illegal land and resource confiscation and occupation has benefited illegal settlements and destroyed Palestinian homes, farms, businesses, and lives. The Israeli military imposes curfews, assassinates Palestinians, and invades communities at will, abducting and imprisoning Palestinian civilians, including children. There is frequent violence by settlers against Palestinians in nearby communities, which is largely ignored by the complicit Israeli army.
Without an end to Israel’s occupation of Palestine, there will be no peace for Israel and Palestine, and absolutely no justice for Palestinians. Help us work towards peace and justice by boycotting SodaStream!
UPDATE: SodaStream officially announced in October 2014 that it has plans to shut down its factory in the West Bank by the end of 2015. This marks an enormous victory for the movement for peace with justice in Israel and Palestine. However, SodaStream is expanding operations in its factory near Rahat in Israel’s Naqab (Negev) desert, which is complicit in the ongoing displacement and dispossession of Indigenous Bedouin citizens of Israel. The reality is, this plant profits from Israel’s human rights abuses and discriminatory policies toward its non-Jewish citizens, and should therefore remain a target for boycott if we truly want to support a peace with justice in Israel/Palestine.
● As part of Israel’s industrialization effort in the Naqab, the SodaStream factory was established with the help of government grant money. This industrialization of the Naqab is part of a strategy dating back to at least 1963, when Israeli general Moshe Dayan outlined his plan for the Bedouins. Dayan stated, “We should transform the Bedouin into an urban proletariat… which means that the Bedouin will not live on his land with his herds, but would become an urban person…”
● Israel’s aim to divorce its Bedouin citizens from their land and traditional agricultural heritage is embodied in the Israeli government initiative, the Prawer Plan, which intends to forcibly displace 40,000 Bedouin citizens of the Naqab. Though the Prawer Plan has yet to pass Israel’s Knesset as law, it is being carried out now. Since Prawer was announced, the government announced plans that will displace over 10,000 people and plant forests, build military centers, and establish new Jewish settlements in their place. Thousands of homes have already been demolished.
● Israeli government officials proudly link industrialization in the Naqab—such as the building of factories like the SodaStream plant— to the Prawer Plan. The SodaStream plant in the Naqab is also a manifestation of Moshe Dayan’s vision, with Bedouins being forcibly removed from their traditional lifestyle and given factory jobs to replace the agriculture they’ve practiced for generations.
● SodaStream continues its unfair labour practices in the Naqab factory. Workers, many of whom are Bedouin women, are told to work more or fewer hours based on the company’s needs. This can include shifts up to 12-hours long, including evening shifts, and SodaStream can notify employees on short notice.
Israel’s demolition of Bedouins’ homes throughout the Naqab is linked directly to the Jewish National Fund‘s campaign: Blueprint Negev. Blueprint Negev aims to bring hundreds of thousands of Jews from outside of Israel and Jewish-Israelis to the Naqab, establishing 18 Jewish-only localities for them to be housed in. Meanwhile, the Indigenous Bedouin of the Naqab live primarily in villages Israel refuses to recognize, since it wants to confine the Bedouin into urban townships mirroring impoverished native reservations. The Bedouin want to practise their traditional lifestyle of herding animals and farming, while Israel wants them to work in factories, such as SodaStream’s. You can watch this video made by Israel Social TV in Hebrew with English subtitles interviewing Bedouin whose villages have already been demolished dozens of times with the aid of the JNF, and whose current homes are under constant threat of demolition: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S7ZmeSt6Vcg.
Picketing SodaStream in Halifax
Halifax pickets at Planet Organic for selling illegal settlement products
In late winter, two Halifax-based human rights groups began to picket Planet Organic, a well-known local health food store in town.
Members of Canadians, Arabs and Jews for a Just Peace (CAJJP) and Independent Jewish Voices- Canada have been holding information pickets in front of this business to alert shoppers and other Haligonians to SodaStream. SodaStream is a kitchen gadget that makes sodas and other drinks. Its multi-million dollar advertising campaign boasts that it is a green product is meant to cut people’s reliance on bottled water and canned drinks, However, Sodastream does have a dark side. The product is manufactured in an industrial zone of Mishor Edomim, a large Israeli Settlement in the West Bank. Israeli settlements are illegal under international law, which makes it also illegal for Israeli companies to operate businesses in the Occupied West Bank.
Though activists have tried to speak with the manager at Planet Organic many times, he has refused. Instead, he or his assistant manager have called the police on demonstrators to discourage them. Planet Organic is one of nearly a dozen stores in Halifax and Dartmouth that now carry SodaStream. CAJJP and IJV-Canada continue to picket and hand out leaflets it in the hope that Planet Organic will stop stocking the product. Judy Haiven
All these photos were taken by Trevor Beckerson
Sodastream presents…How to profit from Occupation, Oppression and Apartheid