Big box retailer Bed Bath & Beyond carries two products that are manufactured in illegal Israeli settlements: Ahava cosmetics and SodaStream home beverage carbonating devices. Sign this petition to tell Bed Bath & Beyond to stop selling these products which violate international law.
On The Palestinian Land Day, this Wednesday, March 30, 2011, activists will deliver copies of the letter below and petition signatures to Bed Bath & Beyond stores that carry these products around the US and will fax the letter and signatures to the corporate headquarters and to CEO Steven Temares.
Many Bed Bath & Beyond stores prominently display two settlement products, Ahava cosmetics and SodaStream home beverage carbonating devices. These products are fraudulently labeled as “Made in Israel”, but are in fact produced in illegal Israeli settlements, under the conditions of a military occupation in the West Bank, outside the internationally-recognized borders of Israel.
Settlement production relies on and supports an illegal activity according to international law. Outside official state borders, Israeli companies operating in the West Bank enjoy cheap land and water, confiscated from the indigenous Palestinian owners; a captive Palestinian labor force, under severe restrictions of movement and organization; vast tax incentives; and lax regulation of environmental and labor protection laws.
Ahava products are manufactured in the illegal settlement of Mitzpe Shalem in the occupied Palestinian West Bank. Ahava is partly owned by Mitzpe Shalem and another illegal settlement, both of which are directly subsidized by the company’s profits.
SodaStream devices are made in an illegal industrial zone called Mishor Edomim, on a 29 square mile area between Jerusalem and Jericho, expropriated from its original Palestinian owners. The SodaStream factory employs Palestinian workers under the discriminatory and exploitative conditions of the occupation. SodaStream’s own reports to the U.S. Security Exchange Commission discuss the relative weight of international consumer boycotts and negative publicity against the economic benefits of manufacturing in a settlement industrial zone.
On February 25th, 2010, In a ruling against SodaStream’s distributor in Germany, Brita, the European Court of Justice stated that settlement products are not “Made in Israel”, and therefore they cannot benefit from the trade agreements with the State of Israel. Ahava’s fraudulent labeling is currently under investigation in the U.K. and in The Netherlands.
The “Made in Israel” label is not just a customs fraud; it is misleading your customers. Your customers are misled to think that SodaStream is an environmentally-friendly product, but they don’t know the truth about the destruction of life, land and peace brought upon by the Mishor Edomim settlement industrial zone, which was intentionally designed to cut the occupied West Bank in two, destroying all hope for a contiguous future Palestinian state. Your customers are misled to think that Ahava is simply a beauty product; they don’t see the on-going destruction of the Dead Sea and the indigenous Palestinian population on its shore.
The Bed Bath & Beyond website provides an impressive “Code of Conduct” for all its vendors and suppliers, demanding nondiscrimination in hiring practices, fair workers' wages and benefits, environmental protections and many more legal requirements, which are clearly violated by settlement producers. To be in compliance with your own policies, Bed Bath & Beyond must stop selling Ahava and SodaStream.
Mr. Temares, don't you want to be on the right side of history? Stand up for a just peace for the people of Palestine and Israel. The settlements are an impediment to peace. Please stop carrying Ahava and SodaStream.