‘NYU’ business school and ‘Think Progress’ endorse businesses that operate in occupied West Bank

Israel/Palestine
on 12 Comments

What we’re up against: blindness. Two respectable institutions, both with liberal bona fides, overlook the occupation.

First, there’s a Stern Women in Business Conference this Friday, ironically called “Breaking Boundaries,” at which they will offer as a role model an executive who produces goods in the occupied territories, from stolen Palestinian resources, Ahava:

[conference] will highlight how business is being transformed by values-driven female leaders who combine private sector profitability with creative and strategic leadership. Speakers will explore how women have innovated their careers, from design innovation to business model innovation to innovating for social change.SWIB is pleased to be hosting the following Keynote speakers: Irene Rosenfeld, Chairman and CEO of Mondelez International (formerly Kraft Foods), Bethany Mayer, SVP & GM of Hewlett-Packard Company, Marian Croak, SVP at AT&T Labs, and Elana Drell Szyfer, CEO of AHAVA North America.

Kimmel Center 44 West 4th Street, Suite 6-130 New York, NY 10012

United States Friday, February 8, 9:00am – 4:30pm

It’s worth pointing out that Martin Kimmel, after whom the building is named, supports Israel. These are critical connections in understanding this support.

The news site of the Center for American Progress, ThinkProgress, meanwhile, has two pieces up praising SodaStream, the company that makes seltzer-makers in the West Bank, for its environmental practices and saying nothing explicitly about the fact that the company operates in occupied territory in disregard of international law. Here’s one piece:

This Sunday’s Super Bowl will be punctuated by dozens of ads featuring everything from adorable puppies to kids in Star Wars outfits. But one commercial you won’t see is a provocative ad by the carbonated beverage company SodaStream — an Israeli company that is no stranger to controversy — that takes on soda giants Coca Cola and Pepsi.

That’s because the ad has been pulled after pressure from the mammoth corporations led Super Bowl host CBS to take it down from its programming. Reportedly, Coke and Pepsi were upset with the commercials’ implied criticism of the soda industry’s use of plastic bottles and the subsequent harmful effects on the environment:

This second piece at the liberal site says that SodaStream got the backing of environmentalist marketer Alex Bogusky, who has highlighted the health dangers of sugary drinks:

SodaStream says its “vision is to create a world free from bottles.” They claim that ”since January 2009, we have saved the world from over 1 billion plastic bottles.”

…in October, Bogusky “partnered with The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) to launch a public info project called The Real Bears … to highlight the far-reaching affects of soda marketing.”

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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12 Responses

  1. Annie Robbins
    February 4, 2013, 11:00 am

    the last link to Joe Romm @ think progress:
    link to thinkprogress.org

    Here is Bogusky again:

    “This project attempts to contrast the marketing hype around soda with the stark reality, and it is my hope that it makes some small contribution to a critical cultural awakening. We need to begin to connect the dots between what we are sold, what we eat, and how sick we have become.”

    Seriously!

    pity Romm doesn’t even begin to connect the dots between what we are sold, what we eat, international law and human rights.

    • MLE
      February 4, 2013, 11:26 am

      That’s all good, if people are just drinking soda water plain. But by adding the flavored cola syrups that soda stream sells, it’s equally as unhealthy.

      Sorry, not BDS related but that’s just dumb.

      • Annie Robbins
        February 4, 2013, 12:14 pm

        i didn’t know sodastream sold flavored cola syrups too. any different than torani? link to torani.com

        same difference except with soda stream you can give apartheid an added boost with every sip.

  2. Nancy Kricorian
    February 4, 2013, 12:35 pm

    Most galling is the offering up of the Ahava US CEO as a “values-driven” leader. What values do land theft, pillage of resources and fraudulent labeling promote? http://www.stolenbeauty.org

  3. MRW
    February 4, 2013, 1:13 pm

    “backing of environmentalist marketer Alex Bogusky, who has highlighted the health dangers of sugary drinks”

    SodaStream’s Natural Lemon and Lime has over 24 carbs in it for a single serving (240 ml or 8 oz), according to their website.

  4. Scott
    February 4, 2013, 1:56 pm

    Maybe Coke and Pepsi will oppose the occupation.

  5. DICKERSON3870
    February 4, 2013, 5:52 pm

    RE: “The news site of the Center for American Progress, ThinkProgress, meanwhile, has two pieces up praising SodaStream, the company that makes seltzer-makers in the West Bank, for its environmental practices and saying nothing explicitly about the fact that the company operates in occupied territory in disregard of international law.” ~ Weiss

    AN OPPOSING VIEW FROM A MORE KNOWLEGEABLE PERSON WHO IS NOT AS COMPELLED TO BE “POLITICALLY CORRECT” AS IS THE CENTER FOR AMERICAN PROGRESS: “Why I’m Boycotting SodaStream”, By Rabbi Brant Rosen,Shalom Rav,

    [EXCERPTS] Israel’s settlement juggernaut continues at full speed, creating apartheid conditions on the occupied West Bank while making a mockery of any hope of a two state solution. Since no nation or institution seems willing to hold Israel accountable, it seems to me the least any concerned citizen can do is to refuse to patronize companies that directly profit from this brutal and unjust occupation.
    At the moment, Exhibit A is SodaStream
    – a company that produces home carbonating devices. Promoting its product as eco-friendly, SodaStream is sold in 39 countries in 35,000 stores worldwide, including Macy’s, Bed Bath and Beyond, Bloomingdale’s, Sears, and Kmart.
    It is also manufactured in the Israeli settlement of Mishor Adumim.
    A bit of history: Mishor Adumim is the industrial park section of Ma’aleh Adumim, the largest settlement in the West Bank. The land for both of these settlements originally belonged to the Palestinian towns of Abu Dis, Azarya, Atur, Issauya, Han El Akhmar, Anata and Nebbi Mussa, but was expropriated by Israel in the 1970s. Today, Ma’aleh and Mishor Adumim are a key part of the Israeli government’s plan to create Jewish facts on the ground around Arab East Jerusalem.

    The SodaStream boycott is a particularly instructive action since the company actively promotes itself as an environmentally concerned enterprise. This is a tactic known as “greenwashing” – a cynical attempt to hide behind liberal environmental values in order to divert attention away from egregious violations of human rights. . .
    . . . And what about the fact that the company says its product is “Made in Israel”, yet is based in the West Bank? . . .
    . . . Jordan Ash, writing in the Twin Cities Daily Planet has also recently addressed this issue:
    . . . At the SodaStream factory, when workers protested that they were being paid less than half of the minimum wage and were forced to work 12 hour days, they were fired. On another occasion, when workers who were fired and were still owed a month’s wages went to the factory to request their pay, SodaStream had them removed from the factory and banned from the entire industrial park. . .

    . . . While I certainly don’t have any illusions that this boycott will bring the Israeli economy to their knees, I do believe it provides us with the means to take a public moral stand against the injustices Israel is committing in the occupied West Bank – and to stand in solidarity with those whose lives are impacted by this oppression.
    It is a particularly timely action since the company has spent $3.8 million on a 30-second spot during next month’s Super Bowl. Apparently the commercial advocates “setting the bubbles free”. Those concerned with human rights should know that freedom for real, living breathing human beings is what is truly at stake here.

    ENTIRE COMMENTARY – link to rabbibrant.com

  6. Inanna
    February 4, 2013, 6:42 pm

    Yet sodastream in Israel tries to pass itself off as being very concerned for the dignity of its workers Palestinian workers in the Israeli press:

    http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/01/pride-and-embarrassment–at-the.html

    Makes you wonder why they pay them below minimum wage, fire those who agitate for better pay and conditions and base their factory at a site from lands stolen from surrounding villages as well as on private Palestinian land.

  7. jd65
    February 6, 2013, 10:04 pm

    endtheoccupation.org had a video “contest” recently for ads countering the sodasatream super bowl ad. i found out a bit late and only had half a day to put mine together, but here it is anyway:

    link to youtube.com

    i assume there’s no way to embed video here so click on the above link if interested. some of the other vids were worth a viewing as well. maybe some folks saw them and thought twice about buying sodastream afterward. a guy can dream :)

    too bad we didn’t have 3 million dollars to waste like sodastream did to buy time actual air time during the super bowl…

    • Annie Robbins
      February 7, 2013, 12:20 am

      hey, John Dworkin..check this out:link to mondoweiss.net

      we already featured your video during the superbowl.

      we also featured amal’s the day before link to mondoweiss.net

      and another here: link to mondoweiss.net

      thanks! and great video,very effective.

      • jd65
        February 7, 2013, 9:09 pm

        Oh snap! Didn’t know this was up here. I was directed here yesterday after I received info from a tweet by Max B. I think… Thanks Annie :)

      • Annie Robbins
        February 7, 2013, 10:26 pm

        our pleasure john, and please do visit us and comment more often.

        btw, super congrats for receiving the second highest percentage of votes for your video. now if only more people would vote!

        this has been a fantastically successful effort by end the occupation based on the numbers of people who have watched these videos, but people don’t seem to be as down on voting. heck, it is a tough call. obviously we were impressed with your video or we wouldn’t have chosen to feature it during the game.

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