Stand For Human Rights. Boycott SodaStream
Join us in raising awareness about SodaStream’s human rights violations and complicity in apartheid, and get it deshelved from NYC stores. This campaign is in response to the Palestinian call for the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) of Israel and complicit institutions, until Israel meets its obligation to fully comply with international law and uphold the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination.
SodaStream Benefits From Occupation
● SodaStream International Ltd. is an Israeli company that produces carbonization devices and syrup for making soft drinks at home. Since 1996, its main production facility has been located in an industrial park, Mishor Edomim, in the Israeli settlement of Ma’aleh Adumim in the occupied West Bank.
● Israel’s Jewish-only settlements steal Palestinian land and water, and are built in violation of international law.Ma’aleh Adumim was once home to seven Palestinian towns and is part of a ring of settlements that sever East Jerusalem from the West bank. It juts deeply into the West Bank, effectively cutting it in two, restricting Palestinian movement and development.
● SodaStream and other companies that operate in settlement industrial zones enjoy low rent, tax incentives and other forms of government support, as well as lax enforcement of environmental laws.
● SodaStream mislabels its products as “Made in Israel,” to avoid boycotts of settlement products. The European Union customs refuse to apply terms of agreement for Israeli products to SodaStream made in Mishor Edomim.
Occupation is Not Green
● SodaStream is complicit in the environmental destruction Israel’s military occupation has brought to Palestine. By promoting its product as beneficial to the environment, the company hopes to gain allies and distract from, or green-wash, its complicity in Israel’s human rights abuse.
● The illegal settlement home to SodaStream “manages” the infamous Abu Dis landfill, where more than 1,100 tons of waste from Jerusalem and Israeli settlements are dumped every day. The Israeli Ministry of Environment Protection has stated that the landfill is “the most polluting waste disposal site in the country.” A Palestinian university research team has documented soil and water contamination as well as toxic gases in the air.
● In April 2014, activists successfully mobilized to pressure the Earth Day Network to dissociate itself from SodaStream. In response, PENGON, the Palestinian Environmental NGOs Network, stated: “Israeli occupation and its settlement enterprise are not environmentally friendly. On the contrary, they are based on the pillage of our land and deplete and pollute our water resources. Over the last 40 years, Israeli occupation has cut hundreds of thousands of trees to make space for their colonization. We call on all environmental organizations and activists to stand with us against the Israeli occupation and its systematic large scale destruction of our land.”
The SodaStream Factory Does Not Benefit Palestinians
● Although SodaStream employs about 500 Palestinians in the West Bank, it helps sustain an occupation which denies the basic rights, including economic rights, of 2.6 million Palestinians.
● SodaStream and other companies located in settlements support Israel’s illegal settlement enterprise by paying taxes to support their development.
● Unemployment in the West Bank is well above 20%. The settlements and the system they are part of reinforce the economic realities that often leave Palestinians with no choice but to work within the system that oppresses them.
● The Mishor Edomim factory has been the subject of numerous complaints by Palestinian workers over the years, regarding low wages, discrimination, and poor working conditions. In July 2014, 60 Palestinian night shift workers were fired from the plant after complaining about inadequate food rations. The workers, who were fasting in observance of Ramadan, were not allowed to bring their own food into the factory and found themselves without adequate food after 16 hours of fasting. They were fired by verbal notice only prior to being axed without predismissal hearings, as required by law.
● Palestinians who work for SodaStream and other companies that operate in settlement industrial parks face severe restrictions on their movements. They have to obtain special permission from Israel’s General Security Service. As noted by Israeli NGO Who Profits?, “Their dependence on these permits limits the workers’ employment choices and makes organizing almost impossible.”
SodaStream in the Naqab (Negev) is Complicit in Apartheid and Colonization
● SodaStream’s newest plant is located inside “Israel proper” near Rahat, in the Naqab desert, where many Palestinian Bedouins live. Some argue that since this factory is not inside the “occupied territories” then it should not be a boycott target. The reality is, this plant also profits from Israel’s human rights abuses and discriminatory policies toward its non-Jewish citizens.
● As part of Israel’s industrialization effort in the Naqab, the SodaStream factory was established with the help of government grant money.The industrialization of the Naqab is part of a strategy dating back to 1963, when Israeli general Moshe Dayan outlined his plan for the Bedouins. Dayan stated, “We should transform the Bedouin into an urban proletariat… which means that the Bedouin will not live on his land with his herds, but would become an urban person…”
● Israel’s aim to divorce its Bedouin citizens from their land and traditional agricultural heritage is embodied in the Israeli government initiative, the Prawer Plan, which intends to forcibly displace 40,000 Bedouin citizens of the Naqab.
● The Prawer Plan has yet to pass Israel’s Knesset as law, yet it is being carried out now. Since Prawer was announced, the government announced plans to displace over 10,000 people and replace them with forests, military centers, and new Jewish settlements. Thousands of homes have already been demolished.
● SodaStream continues its unfair labor practices in the Naqab factory. Workers, many of whom are Bedouin women, are told to work more or fewer hours based on the company’s needs. This can include shifts up to 12hours long, including evening shifts, and SodaStream can notify employees on short notice