The leaders of the American Jewish community continue to struggle with how to respond to the the growing BDS movement. The Jewish Community Relations Committee of Greater Washington has adopted a particularly strange approach - they want their members to actively support the occupation.
This call is in response the Code Pink "Stolen Beauty" campaign targeting Ahava cosmetics, which are produced in the West Bank settlement of Mitzpe Shalem.
Here's a recent newsletter the JCRC sent out:
Buy Ahava This Week and Support Stores Being Boycotted for Selling Israeli Products
An anti-Israel organization called Sabeel organized a boycott of a Silver Spring store that sells AHAVA brand Israeli skin care products. In what they call a "Boycott to End the Occupation," protesters on Saturday picketed Ulta Salon, a cosmetics store in downtown Silver Spring. This local effort is part of a global movement called the Boycott Divestment Sanctions for Palestine (BDS) movement, an international effort to delegitimize Israel.
The power of the anti-AHAVA campaign, supported by the international BDS network, should not be under estimated. They have tried to pressure COSCTO stores to remove AHAVA products, and pressured "Sex and the City" star Kristin Davis not to seek renewal of her contract as an AHAVA spokeswoman.
The Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) urges you to support Israel by combating this boycott. What can you do?
(1) Shop! Buy AHAVA at Ulta this week! Please visit the Ulta store in Silver Spring and buy as many AHAVA products as you can. 914 Ellsworth Drive, Silver Spring, MD 20910, 301-588-8744. If you cannot make it to the Silver Spring store this week, you can shop for AHAVA products on the Ulta website. Although it is not possible to specifically support the Silver Spring store in this way, you can leave a message on the website by clicking on the "Guest Services" tab and leaving a comment that your purchase is made in support of the Silver Spring store's continued carrying of AHAVA products.
(2) Tell the store manager that you support Ulta's selling of AHAVA and that you will continue to support their carrying of AHAVA because you enjoy the product. Let them know that there is a bigger, more active, consumer population that strongly opposes the AHAVA boycott and will continue to buy AHAVA products.
(3) Let the JCRC know that you have purchased AHAVA products at the Ulta store in Silver Spring this week. As a thank you for your support of this initiative we will send you a free gift compliments of AHAVA US.
(4) Encourage your friends to join you in taking the first three steps and spread this email message far and wide. For more information about Sabeel DC Metro visit the Friends of Sabeel--North America website. Thank you for standing up for Israel when her name and legitimacy are smeared.
Arielle Farber, Director of Israel & International Affairs, JCRC