No to the Greenwashing of Israel’s Occupation and apartheid policies: Boycott Soda Stream
SodaStream is the world’s largest maker of home carbonation systems.As part of its corporate marketing strategy SodaStream markets itself as a environmentally friendly. The central “greenwashing” message from SodaStream is that by buying their product, consumers can save on plastic and can waste. However, what SodaStream does not mention is that they are at the forefront of Israel’s military occupation regime, as their main production factory operates out of an illegal Israeli colony in the Occupied West Bank.
SodaStream factory built on stolen Palestinian land:
Soda Stream established it main production plant in Mishor Adumim, in 1996. Mishor Adumim is an industrial zone located in the illegal Israeli colony of Ma’ale Adumim in the Occupied West Bank. Ma’ale Adumim represents one of the largest Israeli thefts of Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank with land stolen from the Palestinian towns of Abu Dis, Azarya, Atur, Issauya, Han El Akhmar, Anata and Nebbi Mussa.
In addition, the Ma’ale Adumim industrial zone and the residential areas are part of Israel’s “East 1” project, which was initiated in 1995 by Yitzhak Rabin. The project aims to cut the Occupied West Bank off from Occupied East Jerusalem through strategic settlement expansion, hence destroying any prospect of a viable Palestinian state. Most recently in early December 2012 – in retaliation for the vote at the UN granting Palestine “non-member observer state status” – Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu authorised the building of an addition 3000 illegal settler housing units between Jerusalem and Ma’ale Adumim to ensure the strategic expansion of the settlement.
Goods produced in illegal Israeli colonies do not serve the local Palestinian population; instead, 65% of goods are shipped elsewhere and taxes and profits go to support the Israeli economy, not Palestinians. In addition,“Cross-border Industrial Zones”, such as the one which SodaStream’s factory is located in, help to entrench the illegal Israeli occupation and Palestinian oppression, both economically and politically.
And while SodaStream’s main production plant is location in an illegal Israeli colony in the Occupied West Bank, it regularly labels its products as “made in Israel”.
For more information see:
Full report: Production in Settlements: The Case of SodaStreamhttp://www.whoprofits.org/sites/default/files/WhoProfits-ProductioninSettlements-SodaStream.pdf-update
SodaStream September 2012 Update http://www.whoprofits.org/content/sodastream-september-2012
Exploitation of Palestinian workers
Palestinians who work in illegal Israeli settlements often face exploitative labour conditions. Palestinian workers are treated as occupied subjects rather than citizens. Because they are occupied subjects, Palestinian workers are unable to demand their legal labour rights without risking current and future sources of employment.
According to reports from three consecutive years (2008 to 2010) of Kav LaOved (an NGO committed to protecting the rights of disadvantaged workers employed by Israeli companies), workers in the SodaStream factory suffer from harsh working conditions. This is particularly true for the Palestinian workers. During the last few years, there have been several occasions on which workers complained about low wages and poor working conditions, and about ‘revolving door’ employment policies.
For more information see:
Labor section in Who Profits report: Production in Settlements: The Case of SodaStreamhttp://www.whoprofits.org/sites/default/files/WhoProfits-ProductioninSettlements-SodaStream.pdf-update
Corporate Watch: “They destroyed our lives and then gave a few people a job. It is nothing”: Some unanswered questions for SodaStream http://corporateoccupation.org/they-destroyed-out-lives-and-then-gave-a-few-people-a-job-it-is-nothing-some-unanswered-questions-for-sodastream/
Palestinian workers in settlements:http://www.whoprofits.org/content/palestinian-workers-settlements
Ma’ale Adumim and enviromental destruction:
Ma’ale Adumim, the illegal colony which SodaStream has its production factory in, manages the infamous Abu Dis landfill (which is built on stolen Palestinian land), where over 1,100 tons of waste from Jerusalem and Israeli settlements are dumped every single day. The Israeli Ministry for the Environment has stated that the landfill is “polluting nearby streams and land”.
In addition,Industrial Zones such as the one in which SodaStream is located produce large quantities of industrial wastewater and solid waste which often pollute adjacent Palestinian land and communities.
For more information:
Experts probe reach of toxins from West Bank landfill [managed by Ma’ale Adumim] (March 2013)
Jerusalem Post: J’lem refuses to stop using Abu Dis landfill (2012)
Israeli colonies and environmental destruction
The environmental destruction wrought by Ma’ale Adumim is not isolated. The 450 Israeli colonies and outposts built on stolen Palestinian land all have a disastrous impact on the Palestinian population, as well as the environment and natural resources.
Since 1967, in violation of Article 49 (c) of the Fourth Geneva convention which prohibits an occupying power from transferring its own civilian population into an occupied territory, Israel has constructed hundreds of illegal colonies and transferred close to half a million of its citizens illegally into the territories it occupies. According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, in 2010 there were 450 illegal Israeli colonies, outposts and other sites in the Occupied West Bank and Occupied East Jerusalem.
These illegal Israeli colonies and their supporting infrastructure (such as Israeli-only bypass roads) have numerous negative impacts on the environment including but not limited to:
1. The building of these illegal colonies results in widespread destruction of Palestinian agricultural land, icluding crops, olive groves and fruit orchids. This has resulted in increased soil erosion, the depletion of water resources and health hazards due to untreated industrial waste and domestic waste being dumped into the environment.
2. Israeli settlers in all illegal colonies consume huge amounts of scarce Palestinian water resources, usually consuming four times as much water as compared to water consumed by Palestinian residents of the Occupied Territories. While Israeli settlers fill their swimming pools with fresh water, many Palestinian communities are left without water for extended periods of time.
3. Israel’s illegal colonies release large amounts of raw waste water and domestic solid waste into the surrounding Palestinian environment. This waste not only threatens to pollute water aquifers, but also dumped untreated on Palestinian land, creating a health hazard for Palestinian communities.
The environmental impact of Israeli settlements on the Occupied Palestinian Territories (2012)
B’Tselem report: Foul Play: Neglect of wastewater treatment in the West Bank (June 2009)
The Environmental Impact of the Israeli Occupation (2000) http://www.thejerusalemfund.org/ht/display/ContentDetails/i/2156/pid/2254
The Environmental Impact of Jewish Settlements in the West Bank (1998)
SodaStream builds factory on ethnically cleansed land
SodaStream is currently building a new factory in the Negev desert where between 1948 and the early 1950s, the Israeli state ethnically cleansed 90% (approximately 90,000) of the Palestinian Bedouin living in that area. Since 1948, Israel has declared Palestinian Bedouin land “dead” land, claiming it was unsettled, unassigned and uncultivated and sought to prevent Bedouins from returning to their lands. In order to control the land and prevent Palestinian Bedouin from returning to their land, the Israel state via the Jewish National Fund have sought to engage in “forestation” projects, which sees the wholesale planting of trees on Bedouin traditional lands. The planting of these trees is then used by the Israeli state to “greenwash” its ethnic cleansing practices.
In addition, Israel has sought to systematically repress those Bedouin who remained on their land. For example, in the last two years, the Palestinian Bedouin village of Al-Arakib has been destroyed approximately 35-40 times by the Israeli state.
In 2011, Israel announced that it planned to ethnically cleanse more than 30,000 Palestinian Bedouins who continue to live the Negev in more than 40 “unrecognised villages”. These villages have been in existence since before the establishment of the Israeli state but are systematically excluded by the Israeli government from official maps and excluded from the provision of local and national government infrastructure, such as electricity, water, telephone lines and educational and health facilities and services in order to make life as difficult as possible for the Bedouin in the hope that they will voluntarily leave their lands.
So while the Israeli state has continued to systematically ethnically cleanse Palestinian Bedouin from the Negev, SodaStream has received a €5.05 million (approx: AU $6,185,000) construction grant from the Israeli Ministry of Trade and Industry in order to build their new factory on stolen Palestinian Bedouin land.
For more information:
Israel: Ethnic cleansing in the Negev http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2012/10/2012102114393741506.html
Al-Naqab: The Ongoing Displacement of Palestine’s Southern Bedouin
Jewish National Fund resumes forestation project in al-Arakib
Forced eviction of Palestinian Bedouins from Ma’ale Adumim (where Soda Stream is located)
Supporting the campaign for Palestinian human rights:
We are asking the consumer and companies to support the Palestinian civil society Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign, which was launched in 2005 with the support of more than 170 Palestinian civil society organisations.
Inspired by the struggle of South Africans against apartheid, the Palestinian-initiated BDS campaign is conducted in the framework of international solidarity and resistance to injustice and oppression and calls for non-violent punitive measures to be maintained until Israel meets its obligation to recognise the Palestinian people’s inalienable right to self-determination and fully complies with international law.
This non-violent civil disobedience campaign calls for non-violent punitive measures to be imposed on Israel until it recognises the Palestinian people’s inalienable right to self-determination and complies with international law by: (1) ending its occupation of Arab lands and dismantling the separation wall; (2) recognising the rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and (3) respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of refugees to return to their homes and properties, as stipulated in United Nations resolution 194.
For more information:
BDS Global website: http://www.bdsmovement.net/
BDS 2005 Unified Call to Action: http://www.bdsmovement.net/call
BDS and SodaStream: http://www.bdsmovement.net/tag/sodastream
BDS Italia’s rebuttal of SodaStream
BDS Italia’s rebuttal to SodaStream regarding the Palestinian BDS campaign and the role of SodaStream in relation to Israel’s occupation.
SodaStream’s reply fails to convince http://www.bdsitalia.org/index.php/english-menu/280-reply-sodastream