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Bed Bath & Beyond flash mob: Stop selling illegal Israeli settlement products

ActivismIsrael/PalestineUS Politics

On Saturday, December 10, International Human Rights Day, a flash mob took over the wedding registry section of the Bed Bath & Beyond in Larkspur, Calif. The flash mob consisted of a mock wedding in which four brides committed to boycott illegal Israeli settlement products, namely Ahava cosmetics and SodaStream home carbonation systems, and local Reverend Dr. Walt Davis pronounced the brides “married to a life of peace and justice.” The Justice Voices choir sung a parody of “Ode to Joy” that asked Bed Bath & Beyond to deshelve these products. Store employees asked the flash mobbers to leave the store and called the police. No arrests were made. Caroling continued outside the store where the group received positive feedback from holiday shoppers.

“We hope Bed Bath & Beyond CEO Steven Temares hears our plea and stops selling products that are in clear violation of international law,” said Rae Abileah, flash mob “bride” and co-director of CODEPINK. “Consumers have a right to know the ugly truth behind Ahava beauty products: they’re stealing Palestinian land! SodaStream is marketed as an environmentally responsible product, but the destruction of life, land and peace brought about by this settlement industrial zone is anything but environmentally responsible. Save a few plastic bottles at the expense of trashing Palestinian land and people? We don’t think so.”

Ahava and SodaStream products are fraudulently labeled as “Made in Israel”, but are in fact produced in illegal settlements under the conditions of the military occupation in the West Bank, outside the internationally-recognized borders of Israel. Ahava cosmetics are manufactured in the illegal settlement of Mitzpe Shalem in the occupied Palestinian West Bank. Ahava’s fraudulent labeling is under investigation in the UK and in The Netherlands. The Stolen Beauty Boycott and international boycott pressure have successfully pressured many stores to drop Ahava. Stores that have pulled Ahava from their shelves include Canada’s major department store The Bay, UK retailer John Lewis, the National Cathedral in DC, the U.N. commissary in Vienna, and many more.

A recent report by the Israeli research project Who Profits from the Occupation describes SodaStream’s illegal settlement activities (PDF), exposes its fraudulent labeling practices and investigates its exploitative labor practices. SodaStream is another occupation profiteer located the illegal industrial zone called Mishor Adumim, one of the largest land expropriations of Palestinian land in the West Bank, which prevents a future contiguous Palestinian state.

“This month, we mark three years since the Israel’s deadly assault on Gaza that killed about 1,400 Palestinian men, women, and children. Let us all recommit ourselves to ending US financial and diplomatic support to Israel, and to supporting the inspiring, growing, global, Palestinian-led movement for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions until Palestinians enjoy the freedom, equality, and justice that they deserve,” said Anna Baltzer, flash mob “bride” and national organizer with the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation.

“I invited the CODEPINK women to Marin so that we could do a boycott action at our local Bed, Bath, and Beyond,” said Jane Jewell, founder of 14 Friends of Palestine and Justice Voices. “BDS is one of the most important non-violent activities we can do to oppose the cruel Israeli Occupation of Palestine that causes such terrible suffering to the Palestinian people. I consider it the duty of those of us who enjoy a life of freedom and privilege to help those who do not. If I lived under horrendous oppression like the Palestinians do, I would like to think that somewhere in the world there were people looking out for me.”

The action was coordinated by 14 Friends of Palestine, CODEPINK Women for Peace, and Keep Hope Alive.

Action in Solidarity with Global Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Movement. More info at and

About 14 Friends of Palestine CODEPINK Women for Peace and Keep Hope Alive

14 Friends of Palestine, dedicated to ending the suffering of Palestinians and bringing peace in the ME. CODEPINK Women for Peace a grassroots movement working to end U.S. funded wars and occupations, to challenge militarism globally. Keep Hope Alive,ecumenical org joined YMCA EJerusalem and YWCA Palestine in their OliveTreeCampaign

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About 14 Friends of Palestine

14 Friends of Palestine, dedicated to ending the suffering of Palestinians and bringing peace in the Middle East.

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About CODEPINK Women for Peace

CODEPINK Women for Peace a grassroots movement working to end U.S. funded wars and occupations, to challenge militarism globally.

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About Keep Hope Alive

Keep Hope Alive joined YMCA East Jerusalem and YWCA Palestine in their Olive Tree Campaign.

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45 Responses

  1. Kathleen
    December 20, 2011, 11:15 am

    Wonderful! All of the new actions against the illegal occupation have been so creative. Rae and Anna Baltzer two front brides. Is that Annie in the back as one of the brides?

    • Annie Robbins
      December 20, 2011, 12:09 pm

      kathleen, you are so astute. no, i am not one of the brides in the video. the brides are all wearing white.

      • Kathleen
        December 20, 2011, 12:42 pm

        gotcha. Remember you at the Move over Aipac conference. Thanks for all of your work

      • Annie Robbins
        December 20, 2011, 1:32 pm

        in dc? i wasn’t there. my memory is a tad shot tho but i think i would recall a trip to dc. i have attended several aipac protests out here on the west coast tho. i also participated in this action. it was fun!

      • Kathleen
        December 20, 2011, 1:42 pm

        You were not at the recent Move over Aipac conference? At the Flash Mob event at Union Station?

        Must be getting you confused…but you sure look very similar

      • Kathleen
        December 20, 2011, 1:44 pm

        you are not here in the long white shirt and black pants, long hair?

        Move Over AIPAC flashmob @ D.C. Union Station
        by Annie Robbins on May 22, 2011 24
        I’m excited to hear news about the Move Over Aipac event in D.C. this weekend. Here’s a start!

      • Kathleen
        December 20, 2011, 1:47 pm

        If that is not you in that flash mob in DC union station and in attendance at the Move Over Aipac conference you two could be twins?

      • Kathleen
        December 20, 2011, 1:53 pm

        In that flash mob at Bath and Body Works and the lady in the circle at the Union Station flash mob ( I was there) and you posted that Flash Mob Annie you look so much like that lady in that union station flash mob with the white dress to the knees, black rolled up pants and the long hair with bangs dancing around in that circle dance. You two could be twins…really

      • Kathleen
        December 20, 2011, 2:02 pm

        the first minutes of the DC flash mob you will see your twin Annie. Have never seen two people who look so much alike
        Move Over AIPAC flashmob @ D.C. Union Station
        by Annie Robbins on May 22, 2011 24
        I’m excited to hear news about the Move Over Aipac event in D.C. this weekend. Here’s a start!

        The flashmobs are so creative, non violent and really get the message out.

      • Annie Robbins
        December 20, 2011, 2:07 pm

        no, that is not me, really! she was one of our brides, she is a tall person. i enter the video @ 1:11 to have a discussion w/the manager before he exits, w/a red flower on my hat. most of that little interaction was successful cut from the video, we wanted him out of the shot.

  2. hophmi
    December 20, 2011, 11:23 am

    “All of the new actions against the illegal occupation have been so creative.”

    Creative? They keep doing the same thing over and over again. Sodastreams and Ahava products are flying off the shelves, LOL.

    How about working to sell some Palestinian products in BBY, instead of tearing down Israeli ones?

    • Kathleen
      December 20, 2011, 11:43 am

      boycotts take time. Building awareness. People will eventually respond.

      • seafoid
        December 20, 2011, 5:00 pm

        It’s already beginning to happen. By the time it reaches warp speed Israel will be too late to do anything. The time for change was 1967.

    • Cliff
      December 20, 2011, 11:55 am

      Hey look yet ANOTHER comment where hophmi:

      A) Does not criticize Israel
      B) disassembles and avoids the heart of the issue

      These products are made on illegal settlements and yet instead of supporting the boycott you MOCK the initiative and then propose Palestinians sell their own products at BBY?

      So let’s just conclude that you are pro-settlements. Something we all knew but about 5 minutes ago you were saying you criticize Israel “all the time.”

      If that were even true, we can expect the same level of “criticism” from you as we see in your tacit approval of products made in the settlements.

    • eee
      December 20, 2011, 12:04 pm

      You know I love the flash mobs, they are quite entertaining. However, this one is quite dull. Where is the dancing?

      • Mndwss
        December 20, 2011, 1:22 pm

        You have your own flash mobs and i am sure you love them. They are not entertaining. However, they are quite deadly.

        And sometimes the the brave flash-mob IOF soldiers dance on stolen land to celebrate that they are much better than everyone else at stealing land.

        Israel rocks!


      • friendofpalestine
        December 20, 2011, 1:44 pm

        Dancing? At a wedding ceremony?
        Have you ever been to a wedding?!

      • justicewillprevail
        December 20, 2011, 5:48 pm

        Oh, what a drole troll you are ee. The kind of flash mob you get off on is the one that blows up Palestinian children. Yeah, that will entertain you and your IDF chums.

    • pjdude
      December 20, 2011, 3:41 pm

      because Israel won’t let them come to our markets

    • eGuard
      December 20, 2011, 5:57 pm

      hophmi: Creative? They keep doing the same thing over and over again.

      Have you seen this bridal ceremony before in BDS? Heard these lyrics before in BDS? Heard the well articulated arguments? No. Now, this is another creative bright new BDS promotion. Like.

    • mikeo
      December 20, 2011, 7:06 pm

      Well in London the Ahava shop shut down…

      • Walid
        December 21, 2011, 6:40 am

        “Well in London the Ahava shop shut down…”

        That’s good news, mikeo, but it’s not enough; it’s frustrating how despite the efforts of so many people of good will joining the BDS movement, there are still Arab states still bending backwards to normalize relations with apartheid Israel. Now there is talk of one of them supplying it with LNG to offset the gas it had been getting on and off from Egypt. Another Arab state hosts ecumenical conventions in European cities to provide an opportunity for its leaders to meet with Israeli terrorists like Peres and Livni that have nothing to do with religion. Yet another holds international energy conferences and invites an Israeli minister to attend. The only Arab country that’s treating Israel as an enemy should be treated is Lebanon.

    • Citizen
      December 21, 2011, 6:07 am

      I dunno, hophmi–did you actually watch the video? It seemed pretty darn creative to me. I guess you think putting “Made in Israel” labels on products made outside of Israel in areas brutally occupied by Israel is creative. Go away, ziotroll.

  3. Cliff
    December 20, 2011, 12:03 pm

    Oh and just to reiterate that hophmi is a liar, who never criticizes Israel because he tacitly (and clearly) supports the settlements (while paying lip-service to the 2SS – although I’ve never even seen him say that either):

    Hophmi shocked that I remind him he cited the Mufti as ‘proof’ that his racist, idiotic statement “Palestinian support for Hitler” was not unfounded:

    Hophmi finally explaining his “Palestinian support for Hitler” statement by, yes, bringing up the Mufti and exaggerating his prominence and Palestinian support for him:

    Oh and the original thread, wherein Hoppy does not ONCE mention the Mufti:

    So there you have it – three lies! 2 are lies about the original lie. LOL

    Conclusion: Hophmi is a Zionist sophist and liar who never criticizes Israel.

    • kapok
      December 20, 2011, 3:13 pm

      Don’t forget Calvinist: Success in business is proof of goodness.

  4. pabelmont
    December 20, 2011, 12:18 pm

    I love it — my favorite sentiments sung to some of my favorite music. And beautiful brides.

    IS THERE A PETITION or EMAIL CAMPAIGN to slug it out with BB&B?

  5. split
    December 20, 2011, 12:48 pm


  6. Kathleen
    December 20, 2011, 2:22 pm

    Annie/all there is some real movement about the facts on the ground in Iran and the endlessly repeated inflammatory comments about Iran in the MSM (including on the Rachel Maddow show over the last year )

    Rachel Maddow opened her show with a focus on how Rep Paul is calling out the Iran warmongers. Very unusual for Maddow

    last night Dec 19th) Ed on MSNBC Ed’s show actually poked at some of the Republican candidates who talk crazy about Iran “several said they are ready to bomb Iran”

    In the clip over at Ed’s site under “3am phone call, 2012 version” at 53 seconds.

    Then Ed goes even further in this clip calling out the Iran “fear mongering”..

    Later 3:32 Ed”during several recent GOP debates there was a lot of I guess you can say fearmongering is what I call it about Iran getting nuclear weapons” They then show clips of Michelle Bachman, Santorum, Gingrich, Romney all repeating inflammatory claims about Iran. Now Cincirone (who always protects Israel no matter what they do) did not just come out and say that there are no substantiated evidence that Iran is doing what the warmongers keep repeating but Ed and his program moved on Iran. THEY ARE MOVING.

    Now when will any of the the MSNBC host have Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett on their program? Professor Juan Cole, former weapons inspector Robert Kelly? Keep pushing him. Have been able to get on his program several times and keep pushing him towards the Leveretts. He has a radio program on every day. Contact the show if you please

    • Annie Robbins
      December 20, 2011, 2:45 pm

      but Ed and his program moved on Iran. THEY ARE MOVING.

      excellent, i must say i have not been keeping up w/the tv channels since passing on cable last spring, but knowing how vital tv coverage is perhaps this is really i sign things are changing. it wouldn’t surprise me at all given paul’s serge

      thanks for all your awesome updates, somebody’s got to watch the tube and keep us abreast!

      • Kathleen
        December 21, 2011, 9:41 am

        I have been totally intrigued with the MSM the last 10 years. Watching and listening more closely than ever before. MSNBC, CNN, Fox etc, Huff Post, Crooks and Liars etc not so different when it comes to accurate information when it comes to the Israeli Palestinian conflict, Iran etc. So called liberal folks like Maddow, Richard Engel who generally carry the water for the I lobby, Israel when it comes to Iran are fascinating. Clearly Maddow, Ed…shifting a bit. You never know if it is from the persistent pounding by some or their own awareness growing or both.

  7. braciole
    December 20, 2011, 5:04 pm

    This Bed Bath & Beyond issue is nothing, it is totally insignificant compared with Whole Foods in Foggy Bottom including Matzoh in its Hanukkah display! Call Abe Foxman! Bring the UNSC into special session! Forget that! Bring the UNGA into special session so that they can “unite for peace” and declare a no-fly-zone over Whole Foods in Foggy Bottom! It is time for regime change at Whole Foods.

    • Annie Robbins
      December 21, 2011, 12:06 am

      hey braciole, the little bitchette over whole foods faux pas about matzoh in the Hanukkah display just garnered an entire column in wapo. talk about bloviation.

  8. seafoid
    December 20, 2011, 5:57 pm

    Meir Panim. All hungry Israeli (Jewish) children dream of is FOOD.
    Not Messianism.

    Israel is so shameful . These are JEWISH kids with nothing at Chanukah.
    And there is no money for them but abundant treasure for anyone who wants to move to the settlements.

  9. thetumta
    December 20, 2011, 10:54 pm

    After years of being bombarded with “Bed Bath & Beyond” coupons in my mailbox that are never a good deal, I can finally tell them in writing why they should no longer mail me. I don’t wish to be implicated in war crimes unless I get a substantially better discount(sic).

  10. Richard Witty
    December 20, 2011, 11:21 pm

    I’m going to “spam” this site. Please allow the posts to be accepted.

    Happy Hannukkah all.

    Remember the light that comes your way. Remember to pass on light further. Remember the light that originates deep within that is a never-ending free well. Remember the light that originates deep within all others.

    • Walid
      December 21, 2011, 12:06 am

      “Remember the light that comes your way. ”

      Also remember the light from Israel’s white phosphorus over Gaza 3 years ago. It should never be forgotten.

      • seafoid
        December 21, 2011, 4:49 am

        That’s the light that burns eternally , Walid

    • Citizen
      December 21, 2011, 5:57 am

      When we spin the dreidel, Richard Witty, what are we celebrating? A great miracle happened where?

      • Citizen
        December 21, 2011, 6:09 am

        Oh, wait, I see–a great miracle happened in Larkspur, Calif. Yes it did, and we have a video here to prove it.

    • Kathleen
      December 21, 2011, 9:43 am

      ” Remember the light that originates deep within all others.” And when you remember and cultivate this thinking and turn it into action ……perceived differences dissapear

  11. NickJOCW
    December 21, 2011, 7:57 am

    It was a great joy reading this and watching the clip, seeing them having such fun while doing so much good. Doing good is fun, isn’t it?

    Mr Witty, I don’t get how a sincere seasonal greeting can be ever spam, even when ex tenebris lucet.

    (it shineth in darkness. For those unfamiliar with the Gospel of John)

    • Richard Witty
      December 21, 2011, 10:25 am

      I posted the same message in a couple topics, hence spam.

      • Chaos4700
        December 22, 2011, 3:15 am

        Did it occur to you that it’s intensely distasteful to associate any sort of “Season’s Greetings” with articles describing Israel’s crimes against humanity and the struggle to oppose them?

  12. Shmuel
    December 22, 2011, 2:36 am

    SodaStream deshelving in Rome, December 2011 (English subtitles):

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