Psagot boutique and visitors’ centre in the illegal settlement of Psagot – Photo taken by Corporate Watch researchers – February 2013
The Psagot winery visitors’ centre is located in the illegal settlement of Psagot, positioned just outside Ramallah and Al Bireh in the West Bank. Established in 1981, the settlement hosts the headquarters of the Binyamin Regional Council and has a population of over 1600 people. Originally, the winery itself was also based there, but in 2008 it moved a few minutes down the road to the East Jerusalem settlement, Pisgat Ze’ev. Its first vineyards were planted on stolen land in 1998 and the winery has been operational since 2003. It produces around 100,000 bottles of wine per year, most -but not all- of which is sold in Israel. The winery’s vineyards are located within the West Bank.
The Israeli settlement wine export industry might not yet be huge, but settlement wineries are growing and have a big impact on Palestinians. The planting of vineyards facilitates settlement expansion and is an easy way to take over Palestinian land. Just like with other settlement businesses there is also state support for individuals willing to operate from the West Bank. For a full report of all the facts around Israel’s settlement wine industry, read the excellent report by Who Profits? Forbidden Fruit: The Israeli Wine Industry and the Occupation. Continue reading
This article is part of a series of Corporate Watch articles exposing corporate complicity in settlement expansion in the wider E1 area. They will be followed by an in-depth factsheet in the coming months.
UN OCHA map showing the threat to the Bedouin communities living in the E1 and greater E1 area.
Kfar Adumim is an illegal Israeli settlement established in 1979 and has a population of over 2,500 settlers. It is located just outside the boundaries of the E1 project but is just as strategically important for Israel’s plans for the area. The planned route of the apartheid wall encircles Kfar Adumim to include it in what Israel refer to as the Greater Jerusalem area. As the E1 plan will facilitate this further land grab, with much the same results, we have decided to refer to this area between Ma’ale Adumim and Kfar Adumim as the ‘wider E1 area‘. Continue reading
Posted in Corporate Watch Research Blogs
Tagged Caterpillar, Construction, E1, Jahalin, JCB, Kfar Adumim, Khan al Ahmar, Psagot Wineries, Telecommunications, Tourism, Volvo, Wine
Distributing occupation fruits
Beresheet in Ein Zivan
Ein Zivan kibbutz presents itself as the perfect retreat for Israeli families who want some time away from the heat and buzz of cities like Tel Aviv; it is green, quiet and benefits from the cooler, more comfortable climate. It was also one of the first settlements in the Israeli occupied Golan. Established in 1968, it has a population of around 50 Israeli families and -like most Golan settlements- makes its money through tourism and fruit sales. Cherries, blackberries, strawberries, peaches, pomegranates, plums, apples and various herbs are all grown on the land occupied by Ein Zivan. The kibbutz runs a popular ‘pick your own fruit’ service for tourists and locals, but its fields are covered in flags and signs for the Israeli fruit export and marketing company Beresheet, who clearly run the distribution part of their business (for a previous Corporate Watch article about Beresheet see http://corporateoccupation.wordpress.com/2010/04/22/beresheet-exporting-the-fruits-of-occupation/ ).
The fields of Ein Zivan settlement
The entrance to the illegal israeli settlement of Merom Golan
Merom Golan (www.merom-golan.org.il) is an illegal Israeli settlement in the Northern Golan heights. It was established in 1967, after Israel’s invasion and military occupation of the area. Merom Golan was established on land belonging to the Syrian area of Al Mansura. It now has a population of 497 people. Continue reading
El Rom is an illegal settlement, established in 1971, in the Northern Golan heights. El rom is situated on the land previously occupied by the Syrian settlements of Ein el-Hajal and Buq’aata. The settlement has 300-350 residents. There is now a large expanse of apple fields, possibly bound for export, stretching toward the border on the far side of the road from El Rom.
The fruit export company, Beresheet, advertise that ‘kibbutz’ El Rom is one of their partners (see ).
When Corporate Watchers visited El Rom in February 2010, a car belonging to the Golan Heights winery (which is based in the illegal settlement of Katzerin) was seen leaving the settlement. The Golan Heights Winery lists El Rom as one of the places where they have vineyards, the other illegal settlements where the winery grows its grapes are Alonei Habashan, Gshur, Yonatan, Mevo Hama, Merom Golan, Nov, Kidmat Tzvi, Ramot Naftali, Ein Zivan, Ramot Mashimim, Tel Fares and Sha’al.
El Rom is also trying to market itself as part of the Golan settlements tourist trail with a ‘movie experience’, advertised from the highway, where visitors can watch a film about the Yom Kippur war, should they so wish.
Apple Fields belonging to El Rom
El Rom's 'Movie Experience'
Golan Winery visitors centre
Katzerin is a settlement of 6444 people situated in the occupied Golan Height. It was established on the land of the Syrian area of Fakhura.
Mey Eden/Eden Springs – www.meyeden.co.il/www.edensprings.co.uk: Mei Eden extract water from the occupied Golan and sell it throughout Israel. Eden Springs supply water coolers to businesses, local authorities and universities across the UK. A successful campaign in Scotland has seen boycotts of Eden Springs at universities and pressure on Edinburgh City council to pull out of its contract with the company (http://www.scottishpsc.org.uk/index.php?option=com_sectionex&view=category&id=23&Itemid=200208). Eden Springs’ Scottish depot has recently closed.
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