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SodaStream flap educates Americans about the illegal settlement project

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The good news is that the Scarlett Johansson Oxfam meltdown has educated Americans, somewhat, about Israel’s illegal settlement project. A few items…

First, Keith Olbermann featured the story on ESPN II segment, “World’s Worst Persons in the sports world.” His focus was the contradiction between Johansson’s role as Oxfam’s global ambassador and her cluelessness re Palestine. SodaStream is manufactured in a “controversial Israeli settlement in the occupied West Bank territory,” Olbermann says, hastening to add, “Without getting into that debate…” As if it’s fine if you’re for those settlements.

The liberal Zionist Brooklyn rabbi Andy Bachman, who aligns with J Street, has been promoting Scarlett Johansson and SodaStream on his twitter feed. When a pro-Palestinian group said that Johansson was standing up for occupation, Bachman begged to differ, and said that the huge settlement that SodaStream produces in will be part of Israel in the coming two-state solution:

Bachman blames both sides for the absence of Palestinian rights:

But the terror is long over; and the settlements move on apace. And the Israelis get to vote for the government that effects the policies.

Bachman brags on the jobs at SodaStream, a refrain that can be heard too in Emily Harris’s piece on the controversy at National Public Radio. The NPR hosts sold her piece as being about the employment opportunities, though Harris undercut that claim, somewhat. Notice her ending– that the SodaStream flap is raising consciousness.

HARRIS: It seems everyone in this town knows someone who works at SodaStream. While it’s seen as a good job, college senior Fadi Abu Nemeh says after Israel built its separation barrier in and around the West Bank, people here have few real choices.

FADI ABU NEMEH: A lot of people had their jobs in Jerusalem, like in Arab companies or at like Arab businesses in East Jerusalem. And after the wall, they lost their jobs, so they had to work in places like SodaStream.

HARRIS: …Hubert Murray, the grandson of an Oxfam founder, says Oxfam should have let Johansson go before she resigned.

HUBERT MURRAY: This is a very subtle and complex ethical issue. That’s why it is so important for organizations like Oxfam to have paid very clear adherence to principle, and not shilly-shally and prevaricate.

HARRIS: If SodaStream’s Super Bowl ad helps market shares significantly, U.S. consumers may be drawn more in to the political fray over made in settlement products.

The NYT also has a good news piece describing the “fuss” as indicative of the growing boycott movement that has frightened Israeli leaders.

Fearing just that sort of isolation, last weekend Jane Eisner of the Forward came out for SodaStream at Huffpo, joining forces with Mike Huckabee. Now Eisner’s published an editorial at the Forward that is dispiriting, when you consider, this is a progressive voice in the Jewish community?

The headline is “Bursting Bubbles of SodaStream Haters.” So the critics of the occupation are the problem.

Examining the facts, as opposed to the propaganda, leads us to a more basic conclusion: The only legitimate criticism of SodaStream is that one of its 13 locations is where it is, in the occupied territory where Palestinians do not share the same rights as Israelis.

Precisely: that’s the criticism. It has nothing to do with propaganda. Is that a flimsy issue? I’ve been there, and it’s apartheid on steroids. But The Forward explains that occupation is not-such-a-bad-thing (unlike countless other issues where liberal Jews have supported boycott):

If you believe that buying any product from the territories reinforces the occupation, and that by doing so violates a consumer moral code, then Coke and Pepsi might indeed be better for your conscience.

For us, it’s not that simple. A blanket boycott of Israeli goods produced in the Palestinian territories — formulated as a more targeted version of the boycott, divestment and sanction movement known as BDS — is shortsighted, unfair, largely unenforceable, and ultimately self-defeating. Some Palestinian leaders have called for sympathizers to take up this cause. Some Palestinian workers, clearly, don’t agree.

Ilene Cohen has this response to SodaStream ceo Daniel Birnbaum’s jobs claims:

With the hubris that comes with unbridled paternalism, Massa Danny boasts about how well he treats his house slaves (he’s doing it for them) and Scarlett thinks it’s all just swell (“a bridge of peace” and all).

But colonial occupation is wrong, just as slavery is wrong. Unfortunately, the majority of twenty-first-century Jews in “the only democracy in the Middle East” don’t get it.

Yes, if it’s so great that they’re working for you, why not give these people the vote over the government that has sovereignty? Can a liberal Jewish newspaper say that? Apparently not.

Flash from the past, 1984:

A survey among black South African factory workers that was published today shows overwhelming resistance to the notion that United States companies should withdraw investment in this racially divided nation to force change.

Of 551 workers interviewed in the main industrial centers, 75 percent said they disagreed with campaigns in the United States and elsewhere for divestment in South Africa. Of that number, according to the survey, 54 percent said divestment would reduce the number of jobs, and 41 percent said divestment would harm blacks.

The battle anticipates the coming battle over whether the John Kerry framework could produce a viable Palestinian state on chunks of land. A British Labour minister who long supported the two-state solution has called for consideration of a one-state solution. This kind of discussion is sure to come to the U.S. soon…

But I am increasingly unsure about whether [2SS is] still achievable – mainly because, as time has marched on, and successive negotiating initiatives have come and gone, the land earmarked for a viable Palestinian state has been remorselessly occupied by Israeli settlers.

And I’m not alone. John Kerry and William Hague have both talked of “the window for a two-state solution” closing…. The fundamental problem is this: sooner rather than later the land available to constitute a future Palestinian state will have all but disappeared.

Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is senior editor of and founded the site in 2005-06.

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43 Responses

  1. bangpound on January 31, 2014, 11:00 am

    I caught Jane Eisner doing free SodaStream advertising today on social media. It’s not just seltzer. It is fancy seltzer.

    • philweiss on January 31, 2014, 12:17 pm

      Wow. Thanks for that bangpound. Fancy!

    • seafoid on January 31, 2014, 7:42 pm

      The square view

      “At $4m per 30 seconds, commercial time during this year’s Super Bowl on Sunday is by far the most expensive air time on television in the world
      There is always one campaign that sparks controversy, but this year the protests have spread around the globe. SodaStream, the Israeli home drinks carbonation company, is using their Super Bowl air time to showcase the multiyear sponsorship deal they reached with 29-year-old actress Scarlett Johansson. The ad has ignited criticism of SodaStream’s factory in the Maale Adumim settlement near Jerusalem.
      What amazes me every year is it just keeps building,” says Adam Komack, chief client officer at WPP’s MediaCom ad buying firm, which was behind the VW Darth Vader campaign. “They used to call the ads the game within the game. Now it’s the game within the game. Who can do the ads, the best teasers, the best social media?”’

      Are you all ready for the Sodastream social media blitz on Sunday ?
      We should all listen to Straight outta Compton by NWA
      Gotta be ready

  2. Lucas on January 31, 2014, 11:16 am

    Re: SodaStream

    Dear Ms. Johansson:

    You have been a young actress who has grown up in the public eye, which process has been quite charming to watch through the media. My family and I have appreciated your films, such as The Prestige. It has been heartwarming that you have regularly made efforts on behalf of President Obama’s Presidential campaigns.

    We appreciate that, for a young person in particular, choices are never easy, especially in light of significant financial incentive and powerful groupthink. We also know that, especially for a lady, the film business is stressful and uncertain. As an astute person, you certainly know that the expropriation of land in the West Bank is the official policy of Israel. While it directly benefits from this state-sanctioned theft, you have decided to work on behalf of SodaStream. In our view, this has been a very poor decision.

    While your decision may result in the beneficence of a few influential studio executives, this beneficence will be short-lived. Integrity is essential. In our opinion, your SodaStream relationship has significantly deteriorated your status with a vibrant segment of film viewers.

    • Mondowise on January 31, 2014, 3:33 pm

      “In our opinion, your SodaStream relationship has significantly deteriorated your status with a vibrant segment of film viewers.”

      yep! i’m boycotting anything and everything having to do with her.

  3. pabelmont on January 31, 2014, 11:16 am

    If, as buyer, I sign a P&S agreement for your house, can I move in today, or do I have to wait until I get a mortgage, and pay you, and the move-in date rolls around?

    Bachman seems to say (recalling the Mikado)

    when Israel occupies it it’s as good as Israel’s already so why not say it IS Israel’s already?

    If I could hold Bachman’s feet to the fire (and the feet of other dimwits — and moral/legal cripples — as well, of course), I’d ask him if he believes that “the huge settlement that SodaStream produces in will be part of Israel in the coming two-state solution:” is the same as “that huge settlement is part of Israel now.”

    And I’d ask him,

    is there not such a thing as international law, sir, at long last, is there not such a thing as international law?

    In fact, there is no peace treaty on any reasonable horizon, and hasn’t been for 46 years since Israel decided to “own” the OPTs instead of make peace. So that’s one thing. Until (remote and very future possibility) Israel will sign a peace treaty specifying as border the green-line, there will be no 2-state-solution, and SodaStream will not be made in Israel until then.

    The other thing is the possibility that apartheid will go on for quite a while (in which case, the settlement will still not be part of Israel for quite a while) — and the more remote possibility that there will be a total swallowing of OPTs by Israel in some kind of (different from today) 1-state-solution, in which case the settlements will not be part of “Israel” but, rather, part of “Israstine”.

    In all three cases, SodaStream is NOT manufactured inside Israel TODAY, and in some readings of the tea leaves, not in the future either.

  4. annie on January 31, 2014, 11:45 am

    i tried leaving this comment over at the forward but it kept rejecting my twitter login. i’m tech challenged tho so it was probably something i did. anyway, here’s the comment i tried to leave:

    it’s disingenuous to claim soda stream is not profiting from the occupation when it’s getting huge tax breaks designed to entice companies to become complicit in israel colonization of more palestinian land. when laborers who once worked in east jerusalem are denied access to land now unilaterally annexed eisner claims some are “clearly” unsympathetic to calls for boycott. and we all know how some slaves loved their masters too, just ask them! when the alternative is not feeding your family then it’s AOK and such a relief working in factories on stolen land.

    BDS works precisely because it’s the people’s choice. so it doesn’t matter if it’s “largely unenforceable” because consumers can decide for themselves, and we will.

    drink your bloodbubbles if it quenches your thirst, and the occupation (like a vampire) could live on forever.

    • just on January 31, 2014, 11:48 am

      great comment– I’m glad you shared it here!

    • AlGhorear on January 31, 2014, 1:06 pm

      “drink your bloodbubbles if it quenches your thirst, and the occupation (like a vampire) could live on forever.”

      You have a way with words, Annie :).

    • wondering jew on January 31, 2014, 3:33 pm

      Annie- Use the vampire image if you want, but it does not help to keep the conversation on an even keel, if that should ever in the future be your intention.

      • W.Jones on January 31, 2014, 3:59 pm

        Where do you think all the blood drives go to, haven’ you seen Blade?

      • seafoid on January 31, 2014, 4:02 pm


        It’s the beginning of the end of 47 years of insanity . Keeping the conversation on an even keel is not where it is at, with all due respect.

      • wondering jew on January 31, 2014, 4:09 pm

        Seafoid- Now we understand why you make no effort at conversation and merely are a conduit for statements of your viscera expressed in words. Maybe Annie, at some point in time, might wish to make conversation.

      • seafoid on January 31, 2014, 4:26 pm


        I’m happy to talk to anyone at any time. But not hasbara.
        I did my apprenticeship a long time ago.

      • Woody Tanaka on January 31, 2014, 6:08 pm

        “Now we understand why you make no effort at conversation and merely are a conduit for statements of your viscera expressed in words. Maybe Annie, at some point in time, might wish to make conversation.”

        At some point, talk has to end so that justice can begin. What is the purpose of talking to a zio if he refuses to lift the boot from the neck of the Palestinian he is in the process of slowly murdering?

      • LESMama on February 1, 2014, 12:21 am

        The vampire image is reminiscent of when Jews were accused during the Middle Ages of drinking the blood of Christian children. Or committing sacrileges such as stabbing the holy host and making it bleed (a tale that gained credence in 1370 in Brussels and led to a group of Jews being burned at the stake). We must all be aware that these myths are in our collective unconscious.

    • Citizen on February 1, 2014, 10:36 pm

      @ Annie

      As you know Oxfam has cut ties with celebrity Scarlett Johansson over Johansson’s new role as a “global ambassador” for the Israeli company SodaStream, which is based in an illegal Israeli settlement in the West Bank. As Oxfam stated:

      “Johansson’s role promoting the company SodaStream is incompatible with her role as an Oxfam global ambassador. Oxfam believes that businesses, such as SodaStream, that operate in settlements further the ongoing poverty and denial of rights of the Palestinian communities that we work to support. Oxfam is opposed to all trade from Israeli settlements, which are illegal under international law.”

      Thank Oxfam for taking this principled stand by signing our petition.

      That’s why I signed a petition to Raymond Offenheiser, President, Oxfam America, which says:

      “Oxfam did the right thing by cutting ties with celebrity Scarlett Johansson when she refused to end her role as a “global ambassador” for the Israeli company SodaStream, which is based in an illegal Israeli settlement in the West Bank. ”

      Will you sign the petition too? Click here to add your name:


  5. Krauss on January 31, 2014, 11:47 am

    So The Jewish Daily Forward – which pretends to be a liberal newspaper – brands critics of the occupation as ‘haters’.

    This is very succint summary of the total intellectual and moral freefall of “liberal” Zionism.

    It’s actually quite amazing the level of which all the same arguments used by the pro-Apartheid lobbyists are re-used and recycled by Israel’s pro-Apartheid lobbyists.
    It didn’t work then and it won’t work now.

    But as a Jew it’s fucking depressing to watch the depth of racism we’ve fallen to in our community when pro-occupation trash pieces like that is considered within the mainstream of the liberal concensus.

    • philweiss on January 31, 2014, 12:18 pm

      I agree with you. This is historic and overwhelming and plain. And yet there is valiant opposition.

      • seafoid on January 31, 2014, 3:56 pm

        “And yet there is valiant opposition.”

        It’s very sad for Yossi Israeli. Just watch as the story unfolds and Hoenlein and the rest of the galacticos abandon the people. It’s going to be very hard on the Beitar Jerusalem guys.

  6. Herb Glatter on January 31, 2014, 12:05 pm

    first DeBlasio now California governor Jerry Brown:
    Gov. Jerry Brown: ‘California and Israel can lead together

    • seafoid on January 31, 2014, 4:27 pm

      Is California going down the pan as well? I heard some Valley dude wanted to spin it off into seven separate states.

  7. wondering jew on January 31, 2014, 12:06 pm

    Peter Beinart’s proposal of boycotting the settlements is an attempt to voice opposition to the occupation. Eisner opposes such a boycott and instead would be satisfied with editorials against the occupation blaming both sides for it. I agree that Israel’s security concerns are significant vis a vis giving back the West Bank. But Israel’s settlement policy makes a legal occupation: a military occupation, into an illegal occupation: a settlement occupation. And this type of occupation is only one side’s fault: Israel’s.

    I would not consult the Forward’s history during the reign of Cahan in order to increase the horror of Eisner’s weak position. It is no surprise that a newspaper changes over time and this change is no surprise. I suppose it is no surprise that middle of the road liberal Zionists would be uncomfortable with Beinart type boycott of the settler occupation. Still Eisner’s position is mealy mouthed.

    • Talkback on February 1, 2014, 7:13 am

      But Israel’s settlement policy makes a legal occupation: a military occupation, into an illegal occupation: a settlement occupation.

      The occupation became illegal when Israel rejected to comply with 338 calling for the immediate implementation of 242 (especially regarding the withdrawal of its armed forces from territories which were occupied in 1967.)

      • Hostage on February 1, 2014, 10:12 am

        The occupation became illegal when Israel rejected to comply with 338 calling for the immediate implementation of 242 (especially regarding the withdrawal of its armed forces from territories which were occupied in 1967.)

        It was illegal the moment it began. Preventive wars aren’t allowed under Article 51 of the UN Charter or the Armistice agreements that were imposed by the Security Council acting under Chapter 7, Article 40 of the Charter. See resolutions 62 and 73.

        *Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Co-operation among States in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations

        Every State likewise has the duty to refrain from the threat or use of force to violate international lines of demarcation, such as armistice lines, established by or pursuant to an international agreement to which it is a party or which it is otherwise bound to respect. . . .

        . . . The territory of a State shall not be the object of military occupation resulting from the use of force in contravention of the provisions of the Charter. The territory of a State shall not be the object of acquisition by another State resulting from the threat or use of force. No territorial acquisition resulting from the threat or use of force shall be recognized as legal.

        Here are some additional references that reflect customary international law. Article 8bis of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court:

        “act of aggression” means the use of armed force by a State against the sovereignty, territorial integrity or political independence of another State, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Charter of the United Nations. Any of the following acts, regardless of a declaration of war, shall, in accordance with United Nations General Assembly resolution 3314 (XXIX) of 14 December 1974, qualify as an act of aggression:
        (a) The invasion or attack by the armed forces of a State of the territory of another State, or any military occupation, however temporary, resulting from such invasion or attack, or any annexation by the use of force of the territory of another State or part thereof;

        link to
        *Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States:

        Article 11
        The contracting states definitely establish as the rule of their conduct the precise obligation not to recognize territorial acquisitions or special advantages which have been obtained by force whether this consists in the employment of arms, in threatening diplomatic representations, or in any other effective coercive measure. The territory of a state is inviolable and may not be the object of military occupation nor of other measures of force imposed by another state directly or indirectly or for any motive whatever even temporarily.

        link to
        *Charter of the Organization of American States
        Chapter IV

        Article 21
        The territory of a State is inviolable; it may not be the object, even temporarily, of military occupation or of other measures of force taken by another State, directly or indirectly, on any grounds whatever. No territorial acquisitions or special advantages obtained either by force or by other means of coercion shall be recognized.

  8. HarryLaw on January 31, 2014, 1:20 pm

    Jane Eisner.. “It is not “profiting from the occupation,” as its critics claim.” Oh contraire . The Israeli High Court ruled on this in 1983 here… (1) The Israeli high court of justice ruled that The Hague regulations prohibit the exploitation of resources of occupied territory for the economic needs of the occupying country. “The military commander may not weigh national, economic, or social interests of his country in so far as they have no ramifications on his security interest in the area, or on the interest of the local population. Even military needs are his (i.e. the military commander’s) needs and not national security needs in the broad sense. Territory held in belligerent occupation is not an open field for economic or other kinds of exploitation” [HCJ 393/92 Teachers Housing Cooperative V Commander of IDF forces. Honourable justice A Barak 1983]. These settlements fundamentally breach article 49.6 of the Geneva Conventions, Jane can you please do some more homework?
    Here is another example..(2) The Israeli state attorney’s office relied on this principle in its response to the petition The Ma’ale Adumin Municipality filed to exempt it from paying for burying Palestinian waste in the Abu Dis waste-disposal site:
    It is absolutely clear that the powers specified in Article 55 too are subject to the fundamental principal involving the powers of the military commander in territory that is subject to belligerent occupation, as appears from Article 43 (Hague 1907) whereby the area is not an open field for economic exploitation. Therefore the entire authority of the military commander in the region is exercised for security interests or for civilian needs of the population living in the territory, and this includes also the authority under Article 55.

    • HarryLaw on January 31, 2014, 1:34 pm

      It must also be noted that the civilian needs of the population living in the territory described above, excludes any Israelis, the protected population in this case are Palestinians, here..
      Geneva Conventions 1949. Article 4
      Persons protected by the convention are those who, at a given moment and in any manner whatsoever, find themselves, in case of conflict or occupation, in the hands of a party to the conflict or occupying power OF WHICH THEY ARE NOT NATIONALS [cited fourth Geneva Conventions 1949. Article 4]

      • Kathleen on January 31, 2014, 1:56 pm


  9. Kathleen on January 31, 2014, 1:54 pm

    Good for Keith…better late than never.

    Maale Adumin existence insures there will be no 2ss.

    “Bachman blames both sides for the absence of Palestinian rights:

    My view is that it’s an equal opportunity mess”

    I have heard this myth “both sides are equally wrong” used by Jews for decades. I was around a relatively large Jewish community for almost two decades. This false equivalency argument was used constantly to just push the facts to the side. Less of this going on over the last five years but still being used way too often.

    • seafoid on January 31, 2014, 4:03 pm

      “Maale Adumin existence insures there will be no 2ss.”

      MA brings it all back to 48. As it should
      It’s a pity Lenny Bruce isn’t around to see this.

  10. PeaceThroughJustice on January 31, 2014, 1:56 pm

    “SodaStream flap educates Americans …”

    Has any mainstream commentator dared mention that Johansson is Jewish? Considering that her emotional involvement with Israel is almost certainly her motivation for siding with a cheap soda maker against Oxfam (roughly the equivalent of someone siding with K-Tel against the Red Cross), it seems a rather important aspect of the story.

    • Citizen on January 31, 2014, 2:58 pm

      I’ve not seen or heard any mention of Scarlett being Jewish by any American mainstream commentator talking about #Sodastream.

    • Rusty Pipes on January 31, 2014, 6:41 pm

      The motivation of a character is a crucial part of acting. The motivation of a screen actor in the context of an industry in which most of the major employers are major Zionist donors is another question. While the public is aware of the crude stereotypes of casting couch and blacklist as carrots and sticks in the highly competitive employment world of Hollywood, many other factors come into play in landing plum roles aside from raw talent. How many years ago was it that Kate Winslett joked that she’d need to make a Holocaust movie in order to win an Oscar? When was the last time that Vanessa Redgrave had a starring role (or any role at all) in a Hollywood film?

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius on February 1, 2014, 11:26 am

      I’m not so sure that Johansson’s ”Jewishness’ has as much to do with it as the power of the mighty $. Remember that she had already signed a ‘multi million dollar’ deal and filmed at least one ad with Sodastream before the controversy broke. If she were to back out at that stage, she would be in breach of contract and likely stand to lose a vast amount of cash. There’s also the fact that the story had become so high-profile that for her to choose Oxfam over Sodasteam would have been interpreted – wrongly – as her ‘siding against Israel’. That’s obviously a no-no in Hollywood, even for an established (albeit talent-free) star like Johansson.

      Not that I’m making excuses for her in any way, shape or form, but her agents were foolish to allow her to become entangled in this mess in the first place. No doubt they all live in their privileged little bubble and had no clue of the fallout which would ensue from the ad. From now on, a significant number of people will see Johansson as the unscrupulous product shiller who chose profit over principle. Not good.

  11. Tzombo on January 31, 2014, 3:00 pm

    Did you guys see what Buzzfeed had? Half the “article” consisted of pics made by BDS-activists. BDS has hit the mainstream!

  12. Rusty Pipes on January 31, 2014, 6:28 pm

    Forward commenter: “Let’s boycott Oxfam!” A good reminder about why there have been tensions between Oxfam International and Oxfam America over ScarJo, SodaStream and their Zionist Donors. Has Oxfam America issued a peep yet about ScarJo and Soda Stream?

    • just on January 31, 2014, 7:00 pm

      I’ll boycott Oxfam if and when I discover that they are complicit in illegal activities. Oxfam and many of the NGO’s are the new Peace Corps. Seems that too many regular folks are just not that into peace. It’s a shame, but it’s true.

      If people want to do boycott Oxfam, may I suggest that their energies should go toward volunteering at a food kitchen or homeless shelter here at home, or giving their hard-earned money to MSF, PCRF, CODEPINK, or the many other good and decent people working for justice and health and peace.

      Please, do something…not nothing.

  13. Hostage on January 31, 2014, 10:25 pm

    Her statement was far more complex. And wouldn’t Maale Adumim be in any peace deal land-swap?

    Hell even the illiterati at Al Jazeera reported that Palestinians rejected that proposal under any possible peace deal:

    Palestinian leaders took a more principled stand on other major settlement blocs in the West Bank. In the same meeting where he conceded East Jerusalem, Qurei told Livni that the PA “cannot accept the annexation of Ma’ale Adumim, Ariel, Giv’at Ze’ev, Ephrat and Har Homa settlements”.

    Qurei: Perhaps Ma’ale Adumim will remain under Palestinian sovereignty, and it could be a model for cooperation and coexistence.

    Livni: The matter is not simply giving a passport to settlers.

    Rice: I don’t think that any Israeli leader is going to cede Ma’ale Adumim.

    Qurei: Or any Palestinian leader.

    Rice: Then you won’t have a state!

    Rice may prove to be correct: Two and a half years later, the parties are no closer to a solution on settlements, and the Israeli government may be gearing up to issue a “massive” new round of housing permits for illegal settlers in the West Bank.

    Al Jazeera was wrong about UN recognition of Palestine being nothing more than an elaborate farce. The whole purpose of Kerry’s 9 month round of talks was to delay the entry of Palestine into the United Nations and other international treaty organizations, like the International Criminal Court, which can put Israeli officials on trial over crimes they commit on the territory of the State of Palestine.

  14. bijou on February 1, 2014, 7:11 am

    WOW! Check this out in the Christian Science Monitor:

    10 brands you’ll have to give up if you’re boycotting Israel


  15. Theo on February 1, 2014, 11:47 am

    Since years we refuse to buy anything that was made or produced in Israel, a tiny support to the BDS.

  16. seafoid on February 1, 2014, 11:55 am

    No sitting on the fence for the FT

    Israel is losing the goy elite. No more procrastination.

    A star stumbles in the settlements

    Scarlett Johansson’s defence of her sponsor is naive

    “The decision by actress Scarlett Johansson to stop being an ambassador for Oxfam, the social justice charity, and continue as brand ambassador to SodaStream, an Israeli company that makes home-carbonated drink dispensers at a plant in the occupied West Bank, might be dismissed as a storm in a fizzy cup. It should not be.

    The Lost in Translation star has accidentally turned a searchlight on an important issue – whether it is right or lawful to do business with companies that operate in illegal Israeli settlements on Palestinian land – as well as inadvertently sprinkling stardust on the campaign to boycott Israel until it withdraws from the occupied West Bank and Arab East Jerusalem – a separate issue, at least so far.

    SodaStream makes some dispensers in Maale Adumim, the biggest of Israel’s West Bank settlements, illegal under international law. It employs about 500 Palestinians and claims to promote jobs and peaceful coexistence between Arabs and Jews. Ms Johansson says the company is “building a bridge to peace between Israel and Palestine”. That is naive, as is her conflation of this controversy with the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement advocating the isolation of Israel.

    The status of the settlements is clear in international law even if Israel chooses to ignore this and expand its colonisation of Palestinian land, while ostensibly negotiating on the creation of a Palestinian state. Last year the EU adopted rules prohibiting grants to entities operating in illegal settlements. Yet the EU still let Israel into Horizon 2020 – the only non-member state in this €80bn research and development programme – making Israeli tech high flyers eligible for European public money provided it is not spent in the settlements.

    That is not a boycott. It is the application of the law. Yet if Israel maintains its occupation, and spurns the peace terms being negotiated by US secretary of state John Kerry, such distinctions will erode. European pension funds are already starting to pull their investments in Israeli banks with branches in the settlements.

    Israeli leaders, from former prime ministers Ehud Barak and Ehud Olmert to Tzipi Livni and Yair Lapid, justice and finance ministers in the present rightwing government of Benjamin Netanyahu, have warned that Israel faces ostracism unless it makes a deal on Palestine. Now it is the settlements that are being targeted. But that could easily morph into a general boycott.

    It is disingenuous to romanticise settlement enterprises. The occupation imprisons thousands of the Palestinians’ young men, gives their land and water to settlers, demolishes their houses and partitions the remaining territory with scores of checkpoints and segregated roads. There are almost no basic foundations for an economy. The way to create Palestinian jobs is to end the occupation and let Palestinians build those foundations – not to build “bridges to peace” on other people’s land without their permission.”

  17. Les on February 1, 2014, 12:37 pm

    Denmark’s largest bank blacklists Israel’s Hapoalim over settlement construction
    Danske Bank states Bank Hapoalim is acting against the rules of international humanitarian law; bank already pulled investments from two Israeli firms.
    By Barak Ravid | Feb. 1, 2014 | 5:15 PM
    Denmark’s largest bank decided to blacklist Bank Hapoalim because of its involvement in the funding of settlement construction.

    Danske Bank added Bank Hapoalim to its list of companies in which the company cannot invest due to its corporate accountability rules.

    In an announcement posted on its website, the bank stated that Bank Hapoalim was acting against the rules of international humanitarian law.

    Israeli website Walla reported on the Danish bank’s decision earlier on Saturday.

    The Danish bank had already decided to pull its investments from Africa Israel Investments Ltd. and Danya Cebus due to their involvement in settlements construction.

    Approximately a week ago, the Netherlands’ largest pension fund management company, PGGM, decided to withdraw all its investments from Israel’s five largest banks because they have branches in the West Bank and/or are involved in financing construction in the settlements.

    Earlier this week, The Norwegian Ministry of Finance announced it has decided to exclude Israeli firms Africa Israel Investments and Danya Cebus from its Government Pension Fund Global.

    According to the announcement, the Ministry of Finance received a recommendation on November 1 from the Council of Ethics to exclude the two companies from the fund “due to contribution to serious violations of individual rights in war or conflict through the construction of settlements in East Jerusalem.”

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