Coca Cola: Thousands of Dollars for Extremist Israelis

Published May 8th, 2017 - 05:00 GMT
Israeli soldiers throw a flash grenade during clashes with Palestinian demonstrators in the West Bank village of Beit Fajjar, on October 31, 2015 (AFP/Musa Al-Shaer)
Israeli soldiers throw a flash grenade during clashes with Palestinian demonstrators in the West Bank village of Beit Fajjar, on October 31, 2015 (AFP/Musa Al-Shaer)

Coca-Cola has angered activists after it was discovered that they had sent thousands of dollars to an extremist pro-settlement Israeli group that has described the Nakba as “nonsense” and has launched controversial smear campaigns against left-wing Jews critical of Israeli policy.

A document from the Israel Corporations Authority has revealed that Israel’s Coca-Cola franchisee, the Central Bottling Company, donated $13,850 (50,000 shekels) to fascist group Im Tirtzu in 2015.

Im Tirtzu’s director Matan Peleg had even submitted a request to the Israel Corporations Authority to keep the large donation confidential, which was later rejected.

The request was rejected after the Central Bottling Company failed to send a letter explaining why the donation should be kept confidential, leaving the authority with no reason to make an exception to the policy of the Registrar of Non-Profit Organisations. 

Coca-Cola under fire again

The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement has made implementing boycotts of Coca-Cola a priority, because its local Israeli subsidiary has factories in areas in illegal settlements in occupied Palestinian lands.

The Central Bottling Company operates in the Atarot and Shadmot Mehola illegal settlements, breaking international law. Coca-Cola has at large ignored calls to abide by international law.  

In 2009 the company had also hosted a special reception at the Coca-Cola world headquarters to honour Brigadier-General Ben-Eliezer. Under the presidency of Ariel Sharon, Ben-Eliezer served as Israeli Defence Minister presiding over 2002 storming of Jenin, a refugee camp, leaving hundreds of Palestinians dead.

Nakba denial

For its part, Im Tirtzu has angered many with several controversial campaigns. One of the most famous campaigns was to deny the occurence of the Nakba [Catastrophe], the 1948 expulsion of over 700,000 Palestinians during the violent birth of the state of Israel atop historic Palestine.

In 2011, Im Tirtzu published a pamphlet titled ‘Nakba Nonsense’, which described the 1948 tragedy as something that “has become so false and distorted that there is no other way to describe it than by calling it by name: rubbish - a collection of tall tales and myths”.

They had also attempted to smear a number of Jewish pro-Palestine human rights activists for their advocacy of justice for Palestinians, by accusing them of being “planted” by anti-Israel groups for propaganda and espionage purposes.


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