Image 1 of 11: Burst their bubble: Scarlett Johansson’s stint as SodaStream spokesmodel created a fizz, outing the brand as a West Bank settler. It does its main manufacturing Israeli settlement Ma’ale Adumim, on land taken from five Palestinian towns and two Bedouin tribes evicted during one of the largest land expropriations of Israel’s occupation.
Image 1 of 11: Turns out Victoria has got a secret: The undies brand sources it’s fabrics from Delta Gail Industries, a company with a warehouse in the Barkan Industrial Zone - an Israeli settlement in the West Bank. It’s no secret that Victoria also operates shops in Pisgat Ze’ev and Ma’aleh Adumim. Are lacy bras and skimpy thongs kosher?
Image 1 of 11: Date with the occupation: An easy snack to break fasting and a handy airport gift, Medjool Dates are a MidEast staple. Israel produces half the world’s harvest - particularly in the Jordan Valley and on settlement farms where child labor is the norm. Call them “blind dates” - most come with misleading “produced in Israel” labels.
Image 1 of 11: Strauss Group - an Israeli biz with strong IDF ties - owns Sabra, America’s fave hummus. Their website crowed they supplied “personal care packages” to IDF soldiers, specifically the elite Golani Brigade, but they killed the post in 2010 to avoid bad press caused by BDS pressure. Strauss still supports IDF troops - pretty dippy.
Image 1 of 11: Stop the press: Hewlitt Packard owns EDS Israel, who supplies computer systems to the Israeli Ministry of Defence and created the system that tracks Palestinian workers as they pass Gaza and the West Bank checkpoints. Matrix and its subsidiary, Tact Testware, both HP subcontractors, are base in the illegal West Bank settlement of Modi'in Illit.
Image 1 of 11: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder? Ahava beauty company loves water, education and art - so says their website - but do they love human rights? Its main factory and visitor center is in West Bank settlement Mitzpe Shalem so the Israeli firm has full access to Dead Sea minerals. No matter how you slather it on, occupation ain’t pretty.
Image 1 of 11: Diaper disaster: Proctor & Gamble makes Pampers which comprise nearly half of all sales by Israeli diaper supplier Avgol Nonwoven Industries (ANI), according to the pro-boycott researchers Who Profits. ANI runs a plant in the Barkan Industrial Zone, located near the West Bank settlement of Ariel. What a load of crap.
Image 1 of 11: Glass half empty: The winery boasts their location is Israel’s primo vineyard zip code - the 140,000 Golan Syrians displaced from the area in the War of 1967 also agreed. It is now home to 20,000 settlers and Golan Heights Wine is one of Israel’s largest exporters, but their are other settlement vintners including Binyamina and Teperberg 1870.
Image 1 of 11: Citrus crisis: Exporters of Jaffa oranges make huge profits farming Palestinian land. Israel controls 94% of the fertile Jordan Valley along the West Bank, depriving Palestinians from farmland and limiting access to water. Think twice before buying brands such as Mehadrin, Carmel Agrexco, and those tasty Jaffa cakes of your youth.
Image 1 of 11: If the shoe was on the other foot: Teva Naot is an Israeli shoe and sandal manufacturer based at Kibbutz Neot Mordechai that wake-surfs on Birkenstocks' hippy-dippy model of free-venting sandals with cork-comfy insoles. The company has a factory in one of Israel’s illegal West Bank settlements. Spot a pair you like? Walk on by.
Image 1 of 11: A refreshing sip of occupation: Eden takes water from the Salukia spring in the occupied Golan Heights in direct violation of international resolutions that specify that the natural resources of occupied territory cannot be plundered. Water used in the company’s foreign coolers are locally sourced, but the profits return to Israel.
Every year, in February and March, activists and ethically-minded organizations all over the planet will be talking about boycotting Israel, kicking off proceedings with the tenth annual Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW). This comes at a time when the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) movement has seen unprecedented growth and attention from world media as well as from within Israel and the governments and institutions complicit with its ongoing crimes against Palestinians.
IAW, an international series of peaceful protests, has become a major catalyst for rallying support and encouraging action for BDS on Israel. BDS is an emphatically anti-racist movement that targets structures of systematic injustice and exploitation.
Israel is losing the BDS battle, with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu taking to the Twittersphere to attack activists and accuse BDS of targeting Jews rather than Israel’s “alleged” abuses against Palestinians. But BDS does not discriminate against individuals because of religion or national identity.
Speaking to leaders of American Jewish pro-Israel organizations this week, Netanyahu declared BDS supporters to be “classical anti-Semites in modern garb” and called for the Israeli state to fight back and “delegitimize the delegitimizers.”
Hardly news. He’s parroting the Reut Institute’s 2010 strategy – launched four years ago this week – to fight back against so-called “delegitimizers” –Palestinian rights supporters – with a strategy of “sabotage and attack.” In recent months, top ministers in Netanyahu’s government have repeatedly declared that BDS is the “greatest threat” Israel faces.
Indeed, last summer, Netanyahu put responsibility for fighting against the movement for Palestinian rights into the hands of the “Ministry of Strategic Affairs.” The state is also placing dedicated anti-BDS operatives in its foreign embassies.
Yet four years and millions of dollars later, the Reut Institute strategy hasn’t stemmed growth of Palestinian support. If anything, Israel’s vilification of nonviolent BDS is expanding global awareness of the movement’s efforts to implement positive change.
Israel has a problem; its reaction to this growing movement is myopic. Denigrating BDS as an anti-semitic pressure group hellbent on the destruction of the Israeli state creates a Molotov cocktail of public emotion, pitting pro-Palestinians against supporters of a dedicated Jewish state. Human rights is not a zero-sum game, ideals can co-exist within a framework of basic universal principles.
BDS is not anti-semitic. It is anti-occupation, anti-apartheid, anti-colonization, anti-racist and fully committed to halt the systematic denial of the rights of indigenous Palestinians solely on the grounds that they are not Jewish. Substitute “Jews” for “Palestinians” in that sentence and “Christian” for “Jewish”, to see the common core in both sides of this heated equation.
Even if you're no activist, you may be secretly aiding and abetting the Israeli occupation without realizing it - many household items and products have ties to the Israeli government. The recent Scarlett Johansson SodaStream scandal proved that you can barely get a fizzy drink these days without there being politicial ramifications. So that you don't do a "Scarlett", here's Al Bawaba's low down on all the brands that helped build the Israeli occupation. The easiest way to join the BDS movement? Stop buying these products.
Here’s our cheat sheet of 11 ways you can become an agent for positive change!