This Corporate Watch op-ed was first published by Electronic Intifada on the 20th of March 2013.
For the last three and a half years the UK-based research cooperative Corporate Watch has been running a project tracking corporate complicity in the occupation of Palestine.
After a research visit to Palestine in 2010, we wrote a handbook for activists who want to take action in line with the Palestinian call for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel. In January and February this year, we returned to Palestine to find out what was new on the ground.
Much of Corporate Watch’s research has focused on entering Israeli settlements, seeing how they are financially sustaining themselves, what companies are operating or providing services there and how they are facilitating apartheid and colonization. Continue reading
As we have previously reported Corporate Watch was recently denied a requested visit to the SodaStream factory in the illegal West Bank settlement of Mishor Adumim.
Despite the company’s insistence that anyone who visits the premises will find it to be a force for good in the area, it was not willing to let critics challenge this assertion for themselves. In a move that seems to go against its own self proclaimed eco-friendliness SodaStream recently paid the expenses of local Brighton journalist John Keenan when he flew over from the UK to see the factory, yet they would not let researchers already in the West Bank in. Brighton is the location of EcoStream, SodaStream’s first own brand shop in the UK, and it has been met by weekly boycott demonstrations since its opening in the middle of 2012. As part of its PR strategy, SodaStream has also invited the Brighton MP Mike Weatherley to the factory. Weatherley had already previously issued strong worded statements against the protests and in support of SodaStream.
Entrance to the SodaStream factory in the illegal settlement Mishor Adumim.
Posted in Corporate Watch Research Blogs
Tagged Abu al Helweh, Abu al Mihtawish, Abu Dis, Abu Fellah, Anti Corporate Resistance, Companies Working on settlements, East Jerusalem, Ecostream, Histradrut, Hizma, Israeli Companies, Jabba, Kfar Adumim, Khan al Ahmar, Kurshan, Ma'ale Adumim, Mishor Adumim, Ramallah, Settlement Industrial Zones, Sodastream, Workers
SodaStream’s premises in Airport City – Tel Aviv
SodaStream’s factory in the illegal settlement industrial zone of Mishor Adumim
In August 2012 the Israeli carbonated beverage manufacturer SodaStream opened their first own brand shop in the UK. EcoStream, which is owned by SodaStream, is located in Brighton and promotes itself as an eco friendly alternative to bottled drinks. However, SodaStream is far from an ethical company. With their main manufacturing plant being located in the illegal settlement industrial zone Mishor Adumim the company is profiting from the Israeli occupation of the West Bank.
SodaStream has been on the receiving end of an international boycott campaign for a number of years and Palestine solidarity groups have been demonstrating outside the EcoStream shop on a weekly basis since September 2012. These demonstrations have been opposed by Zionist counter demonstrators. SodaStream has always been defensive about its business on occupied territory, claiming it benefits the Palestinians, something which has been disputed at length by activists. Continue reading
The latest Israeli offensive in Gaza claimed the lives of 162 Palestinians. Four Israeli civilians and one Israeli soldier have also died as a result of retaliatory rocket attacks. During the evening of Wednesday 21 November a ceasefire was reached but the Israeli siege of Gaza continues.
Hundreds of demonstrations have been held worldwide in solidarity with Gaza and a national demonstration is planned in London on Saturday 24 November. Continue reading
The CEO of Soda Club, an Israeli company with a production facility in the settlement industrial zone of Mishor Adumim, has vowed to stop the protests happening outside its UK shop.
Daniel Birnbaum told local paper The Argus today that the firm will take legal action to clear the protesters from in front of their store.
Ecostream, Soda Club’s store in Brighton has faced biweekly pickets outside its shop in Western Road by supporters of the Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against companies complicit in Israeli apartheid, occupation and militarism. These are accompanied by smaller counter demonstrations by a coalition of Zionists and Christian Zionists handing out material from the British Israel Communications and Research Centre (BICOM) and the US based ’We Stand With Israel’. Continue reading
As Corporate Watch has previously reported (see here) SodaStream, an Israeli carbonated beverages manufacturer, has recently opened a shop called EcoStream in Brighton. SodaStream products are also stocked by major retailers such as Robert Dyas, John Lewis, Argos, Comet, Lakeland, Conran and some Tesco, Sainsbury and Asda stores. The Brighton shop is their first in the UK, the location was chosen because of the city’s green credentials. Continue reading