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Bursting the Bubble of Israeli apartheid: Boycott Soda Stream
SodaStream is the world's largest maker of home carbonation systems. 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 with land stolen from the Palestinian towns of Abu Dis, Azarya, Atur, Issauya, Han El Akhmar, Anata and Nebbi Mussa. The colony is strategically positioned to disconnect Ramallah, Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Jericho to prevent Palestinian movement and development.
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 though 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” - IsraeloPrime 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.
SodaStream receives regular tax benefits/breaks from the Israeli government and employs Palestinians under exploitative labour conditions. Palestinians who work in illegal Israeli settlements face exploitative labour conditions. 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), the 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.
SodaStream is located in a “Cross-border Industrial Zone” in the West Bank, but goods produced here do not serve the local Palestinian population. 65% of goods are shipped elsewhere and taxes and profits go to support the Israeli economy---not Palestinians. These industrial zones entrench the illegal Israeli occupation and Palestinian oppression. In addition SodaStream’s products are mislabelled as being from Israel, when they are in fact from the Occupied West Bank.
SodaStream is currently building a new factory in the Negev desert where the Israeli state ethnically has cleansed more than 90,000 Palestinian Bedouin in the wake of the 1948 Palestinian Nakba. Since 1948, Israel has declared Palestinian Bedouin land unsettled, unassigned and uncultivated and sought to prevent Bedouins from returning to their lands.
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 $AU6.31 million construction grant from Israeli Ministry of Trade and Industry in order to build their new factory on stolen Palestinian Bedouin land.
In Australia a number of retailers stock SodaStream, including:
Woolworths, KMart, Myers, David Jones,Coles, Big W, Harvey Norman, The Good Guys, Retrovision, IGA, MItre 10, Betta Electrical, Domestix and Foodworks.
For more information on Soda Stream see the following links:
- BDS Global website - SodaStream
- The full report: Who Profits report: Production in Settlements:The Case ofSodaStream
- Who Profits report and position paper: Palestinian workers insettlements
- Also report from Israeli Labour group, Kav Laoved on Soda Stream (which is also known as Soda Club in Israel): Employees at Soda Clubfired without wages (follow up report) 27 April, 2010
- BDS Italia's response to a letter from Edelman, the PR company hired by SodaStream Italy disputing BDS claims
- Electronic Intifada report: Israel steps up SodaStream marketing in attempt to greenwash Israeli settlement crime (2 March 2013)