The Coalition against Israeli Apartheid’s campaign against SodaStream
SodaStream is the world’s largest manufacturer, distributor and marketer of home carbonation systems and is sold in more than 43 countries world-wide, including Australia.
In 1996, SodaStream established its main production plant in Mishor Adumim, 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 and the settlement is strategically positioned to disconnect Ramallah, Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Jericho to prevent Palestinian movement and development.
In early December 2012, in retaliation for the vote at the UN granting Palestine “non-member observer state”, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu authorised the building of an additional 3000 illegal settler housing units between Jerusalem and Ma’ale Adumim.
Sodastream employs Palestinians under exploitative labour conditions. Palestinians who work in illegal Israeli settlements are treated as occupied subjects rather than citizens and so depend on their employers for work permits. There have been cases of Palestinians having their permits revoked if they challenge their employers for better wages and conditions.
A coordinator for Kav LaOved, an Israeli NGO working with disadvantaged workers in Israel and the OccupiedPalestinianTerritories, said of the conditions at SodaStream “The Palestinian workers say that they are being discriminated against, they don’t even earn half of the minimum wage and the work conditions are terrible. If they demand their rights they will be fired.”
And while SodaStream is located in the West Bank, goods produced here 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, the industrial zones physically located in the West Bank, such as the one which SodaStream’s factory is located, help to entrench the illegal Israeli occupation and Palestinian oppression, both economically and politically.
SodaStream is also currently building a new factory in the Negev desert where the Israeli state ethnically cleansed some 85% of the Palestinian Bedouin in the wake of the 1948 Palestinian Nakba. 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. Israel has systematically tried to repress those Bedouin who remained on their land. The Jewish National Fund’s (JNF) afforestation plans have meant the further dispossession of the Bedouin.
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” – this is despite the fact that the majority of the villages have been in existences since before the establishment of the Israeli state. These “unrecognised” villages 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 construction grant from Israeli Ministry of Trade and Industry in order to build their new factory on stolen Palestinian Bedouin land.
SodaStreams products are regularly mislabelled as being from Israel, when they are in fact from the Occupied West Bank.
Trademarks: SodaStream®, Soda-Club®, AlcoJet®, Sprudelino®, Aquabar®, and Gazoz®. Aquafizz®, Aquabubbler®, Penguin®, Sodamaker®. Fountain Jet®, Edition1®
Australian stores which stock SodaStream: Woolworths, KMart, Myers, David Jones, Coles, Big W, Harvey Norman, The Good Guys, Retrovision. IGA, Mitre 10, Betta Electrical, Domestix and Foodworks
Every month, CAIA will be leafletting outside Myer in the Bourke street mall to raise awareness of SodaSteam.
Come and join us on the third Friday of every month from 5:30 to help with this important BDS campaign.