SodaStream is dumping their apartheid digs in Occupied Palestine, allegedly. As news of SodaStream’s announced closure of their factory and forthcoming exit from Mishor Adumim Industrial Park in the illegal Jewish settlement of Ma’ale Adumim flooded main stream media yesterday the plagued seltzer company announced the results for its third quarter ending September 30, 2014. It isn’t pretty. We previously reported the “titanic” stock drop that occurred after SodaStream released the preliminary report on October 7, 2014.
A glance at Bloomberg’s headline tells us everything we need to know about why this is a huge victory for the BDS campaign:
A virtual chorus of synchronized press running AP’s coverage from ABC , Newsday to The Washington Post opened with “boycott” in the lede. What a striking turnaround from the coverage just a 3 weeks ago when we reported “unofficially, it’s the boycott.”At that time, the majority of the press covering SodaStream’s plummeting stock didn’t even mention the boycott.
SodaStream plans on moving to the Idan HaNegev Industrial Park /Lehavim Industrial zone, 1,100-acre “development zone” just outside of the Bedouin township of Rahat in the Negev desert, heavily subsidized by the Israeli government. This is the same news we’ve heard repeatedly over the last couple years.
Who Profits, SodaStream Update | May 2013:
At the third quarter of 2012, SodaStream started constructing a new factory within Israel, in the Lehavim Industrial zone in Negev desert. The company evaluates that the first stage of the construction will be completed in approximately 18 to 30 months. The 2012 annual report emphasizes, “Upon completion of the first phase, the new site will have all production capabilities necessary to produce all of our products”.
So why are we hearing this now? Perhaps it’s because SodaStream stock is still floundering down in the low 20’s and has hardly budged all month.
If SodaStream thought re-announcing the move to the Lehavim Industrial zone next year would generate a spike in stock prices they were wrong. But one thing is certain from yesterday’s coverage, SodaStream’s brand has been thoroughly saturated by BDS. Their new marketing plan shifts the corporation’s previously disastrous tagline “Set the bubbles free” to the bland “water made exciting.” Regardless, it is unlikely to wash away the permanent stain left over from the p.r. assault by pro-Palestinian BDS activists.
Although the move from the occupied territories is certainly a victory, it’s not enough. Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC) spokesperson Rafeef Ziadah said:
SodaStream’s announcement today shows that the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement is increasingly capable of holding corporate criminals to account for their participation in Israeli apartheid and colonialism.
BDS campaign pressure has forced retailers across Europe and North America to drop SodaStream, and the company’s share price has tumbled in recent months as our movement has caused increasing reputational damage to the SodaStream brand.
Even if this announced closure goes ahead, SodaStream will remain implicated in the displacement of Palestinians. Its new Lehavim factory is close to Rahat, a planned township in the Naqab (Negev) desert, where Palestinian Bedouins are being forcefully transferred against their will. Sodastream, as a beneficiary of this plan, is complicit with this violation of human rights.
Any suggestion that SodaStream is employing Palestinians in an illegal Israeli settlement on stolen Palestinian land out of the kindness of its heart is ludicrous.
Let this be a warning to everyone investing and empowering apartheid and the occupation of Palestine. The pressure won’t stop.