Truth in advertising: SodaStream ad attached to video showing Israelis arresting 18-month-old infant

on 12 Comments
soda stream arrest
An ad for SodaStream attached itself to this video showing Israeli soldiers arresting a mother and her baby.

Google Ads for SodaStream, the carbonated beverage maker produced in Israeli settlements, seem to be hounding my every move on the Internet these days. That’s most likely because I’m in the midst of working on a nationwide interfaith collaborative boycott campaign against the newest kitchen-tech gadget to hit the American market.

One such appearance recently, however, reached the heights of perfect irony. Were it not so sickening, it could almost be funny: Google placed a SodaStream ad on the bottom of a video that captured Israeli soldiers arresting a young Palestinian woman and her 18-month-old baby.

SodaStream is marketing itself as a holistic and environmentally friendly alternative to established sodas, such as Coca Cola and Pepsi. It’s supposed to help cut down on plastic bottles in landfills and its syrups are supposed to be less expensive and healthier than pop you’d buy in the store. All advertorial hyperbole, based upon one investigation.

The biggest reason Palestine solidarity activists around the world are boycotting SodaStream is because it is produced, in part, in an Israeli settlement, which is built illegally on stolen Palestinian land. Settlements entrench Israel’s colonizing and apartheid  policies by confiscating ever more land, roads and buffer zones meant only for Jewish residents. Because settlements are protected by the Apartheid Wall, checkpoints and Israel’s security apparatus, Palestinians have lost their freedom of movement. Many of them have lost their jobs as a result because they cannot travel into 1948 Palestine anymore, or because the Wall has cut them off from their fields and other livelihoods. As a result, many Palestinians  — including children as young as 12 — work in settlements. They are routinely underpaid and overworked, according to a new study by, an organization that tracks companies that profit from the occupation.

Another reason activists boycott products made in settlements is because these items support the settlement industry, which in turn helps nourish Israel’s continued occupation of Palestine.

Another practice that shores up the occupation is Israel’s random arrest and detention of Palestinians. Currently, more than 4,600 Palestinians are incarcerated illegally in Israeli prisons. Every year, some 700 children, as young as 10 years old, are arrested and processed through Israel’s military court system, according to Swiss-based organization Defence for Children International – Palestine Section. As of December 2012, nearly 180 children were behind bars.

Apparently, 18 months isn’t too young to be jailed. On Jan. 19, Israeli soldiers, acting to help illegal settlers appropriate Palestinian land and olive orchards, arrested Qamar, her mother Rima Ismail Awad, and several others as they attempted to access their land.

Ma’an News reported that the infant was released that night, while Rima was released the following day.

What kind of democracy takes a baby into custody?

The fact a SodaStream ad appeared on the video of the violent arrest breaches credulity. SodaStream is a product that supports an occupation apparatus that allows for the incarceration of an infant – and indeed thousands and thousands of innocent Palestinians, many of whom are being held without charge or trials.Samer Al-Issawi is one such prisoner. He is in critical condition and near death, after having refused food for 184 days to protest Israel’s use of administrative detention, torture and other human rights abuses.

SodaStream needs to go away, and settlements along with it. Boycott, divestment and sanctions is the one way to make this happen. BDS is a peaceful method to pressure Israel to comply with international law in the absence of global diplomatic or political pressure.

Do you part. Join BDS. Boycott SodaStream. Fight for justice for Palestinian prisoners. And stand in solidarity with Palestinians as they work for their internationally guaranteed right of self-determination.

The interfaith boycott committee, housed within the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, is a group of Jewish, Christian and Muslim activists committed to working for justice in Palestine. American Muslims for Palestine, Jewish Voice for PeaceUnitarian Universalist for Middle East Justice, Quakers and other Christians groups are involved. We’re gearing up to kick off our campaign on SuperBowl Sunday, when SodaStream plans to have a splashy commercial during the fourth quarter. Get involved by entering a ‘spoof commercial’ video contest, holding a Fizzies For Freedom house party on Super Bowl Sunday, or join our Twitter campaign. For more information and the list of all the fun ways you can help boycott SodaStream, click here.

This post originally appeared on the blog Zatar and Spinach.

About Kristin Szremski

Kristin Szremski is an award-winning journalist with more than 20 years in newspapers. She currently is the director of media and communications for American Muslims for Palestine.

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12 Responses

  1. ckg
    January 24, 2013, 8:45 pm

    Thom Hartmann, Ed Schultz, Bill Press, and Stephanie Miller: Are you listening?

  2. atime forpeace
    January 24, 2013, 9:09 pm

    That little m&f’r is a terrorist in the making…just ask the nazis, what they would have said was that the little dude was a communist in the making.

  3. sardelapasti
    January 24, 2013, 9:37 pm

    A fantastic gift, right on time. Thank you, Sodastream and Google!
    Provided, of course, that the boycott organizations can use the screenshot quick and well.
    In fact, the Zionists seem to have already lost most of their smart people. The IQ level used to be average in the good old times… only the stupidest of rats continue to remain seated.

  4. talknic
    January 24, 2013, 10:40 pm

    I dare say there’ll have been a recent flurry of communications between Google and SS

  5. Tzombo
    January 25, 2013, 6:27 am

    I tried 3 links from the article, none of them worked. The first 2 and the one that says Maan News reported.

  6. DICKERSON3870
    January 25, 2013, 8:06 am

    My avatar/icon speaks for itself!

    • Mooser
      January 25, 2013, 6:12 pm

      “My avatar/icon speaks for itself!”

      Whoa, Dickerson, this is, like, totally Twilight Zone! (Cue: Theremin noises) I noticed your avatar on the 8:10am comment without seeing this comment (the screen is the size of a postage stamp on my Commodore) and really liked what it said for itself, and for you.

  7. FreddyV
    January 25, 2013, 9:52 am

    Sadly, this is only an algorithm within Google’s Adwords facility. It’s simply been set up to display ads when something Israeli comes up. Those posting the vids can monetise their channels by accepting ads on their vids. A similar goof occurred when Ebay were placing unfiltered ads on Google. One ad read ‘Buy Steve Irwin Dead’.

    On another note, why hasn’t anyone developed a product to compete with SodaStream, or am I missing a trick here?

  8. W.Jones
    January 25, 2013, 7:05 pm

    It’s because google ads tend to be linked to things they describe. Probably the ad and the image were related to something like “Israeli”.

  9. heb
    January 26, 2013, 4:53 am

    Rima, the Palestinian woman in the video, was released on Sunday. But she has been charged with assaulting IDF soldiers. The release was only only made possible when Ta’ayush activists put their hands in their pockets and paid the ridiculously high bail of 5,000 shekels.

    Ta’ayush ( moral giants in my experience ) have issued an appeal for funds to cover Rima’s bail costs – please consider making a donation. Here it is:

    Tuesday, January 22 2013
    Bailing Rima out – your help is needed

    On Saturday, January 19th, the Israeli army arrested ten Palestinians farmers who came to plow their lands in Umm el Arayes in south Hebron hills in the West Bank, and five Israeli activists who came to accompany them. Among the arrested were three minor girls, one of them an 18 months old baby arrested along with her mother, father and grandfather.

    As the video shows, the soldiers used excessive force on unarmed farmers and children, whose sole crime was coming to work their land. The army also brought a skunk truck, used to spill stinking water (in order to disperse what the Israeli occupation forces term “infringement of the public order”), and vehicles to transport the detainees were brought to the scene in advance – all suggesting an orchestrated mobilization by the Israeli army to prevent the farmers from working their privately owned lands, in order to make this land available for the expansion of the nearby Israeli outpost of Mitzpe Yair

    While most detainees were released later that day, two women – the Palestinian mother of the 18 months old baby – Rima , and a young Israeli activist – Noam, were accused of assault (a common tactic used by the Israeli armed forces against civilian assualted by soldiers or police) and were held in detention overnight. The next day they were brought to court. The Israeli military court in Ofer demanded NIS 5000 bail (approximately 1300 US dollars or 1000 €) for the release of Rima. This excessive sum was by far more then what Rima’s family – impoverished farmers from the arid south Hebron Hills – could afford. Rima was only let go after the cost was paid for from the pockets of Palestinian and Israeli individuals, most of whom cannot truly afford it.

    We now ask for your help so that this extravagant sum will not fall on the shoulders of these individuals. Donations could be paid to Ta’ayush, the Israeli activist group that works closely with Palestinians in the South Hebron Hills whose members paid the bail. The money will be specifically marked for the covering of bail and legal expanses brought about by our activity and the occupation forces relentless attempt to suppress it.

    Tax-deductible donations by (American) credit card can be made here.

    Alternatively, donation can be made by bank deposit to:

    Bank Hapoalim
    Branch 574 (‘Hapalmach’)
    Account no. 160213
    Swift code ‘poalilit’
    IBAN: IL61-0125-7400-0000-0160-213

    Or by cheques

    Payable to: Ta’ayush
    c/o Yehuda Agus, POB 360
    Timrat 36576

    This entry was posted on Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013 at 23:24 and is filed under Pressing Issues. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
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