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
During a recent visit to the Jordan Valley, Corporate Watch found evidence of a company operating from there that we previously haven’t come across. Cherriessa, trading under the slogan ‘From Farm to Market’ is a family owned business which claims to sort, package and export vegetables from Israel to Europe. According to Cherriessa Ltd’s web-site, the company was founded in 2009 to ‘address the developing and growth of ‘The Saada Family Modern Farm’. The Saada Farm was founded in 1989 and exported their produce through Carmel Agrexco.
Cherriessa labels aimed for the European market obtained in the occupied Jordan Valley.
Avis cars are available to rent in the illegal Israeli settlement of Beitar Illit. On 5th February 2013 Corporate Watch researchers photographed an Avis car rental centre, obtained Avis publicity material published by www.avis.co.il in Bney Brak and were told that they could rent a car directly from the settlement of Beitar Illit.
An Avis car rental office in the illegal Israeli settlement of Beitar Illit
Corporate Watch has been asked by campaigners for information on Bezeq‘s telecommunications infrastructure in Israel’s illegal settlements. We have collected some more information.
Bezeq, previously a state-owned company, has historically had a monopoloy on the telecommunications market. Since the 1990s, the state has been selling off its stake in Bezeq. The company is now owned by private consortia. For more information on Bezeq click here.
Bezeq sign in the illegal Israeli settlement of Almog
Posted in Corporate Watch Research Blogs, Dead Sea
Tagged Almog, Bezeq, BT, Companies Working on settlements, Dead Sea, East Jerusalem, Jordan Valley, Kfar Adumim, Ma'ale Efraim, Ramat Eshkol, Telecommunications
- Grape fields in the illegal Israeli settlement Beqa’ot in the occupied Jordan Valley
Two and a half years ago Corporate Watch visited the illegal Israeli settlement Beqa’ot
in the Jordan Valley
, where we found packing houses belonging to the agricultural exporter Mehadrin Tnuport Export Company (MTEX). The produce being prepared for export was mislabeled as ‘produce of Israel’ despite being from the occupied West Bank. As we exposed at the time, Mehadrin produce is sold through Tesco stores in the UK
. Last week we made another visit to the settlement to find out whether recent developments in UK and Israel has had an effect on the conduct of the company.
Posted in Agriculture, Corporate Watch Research Blogs
Tagged Adafresh, Agrexco, Agriculture, Arava, Be'erot Yitzhaq, Beqa'ot, Companies Working on settlements, Farming Injustice, Israeli Companies, Jordan Valley, Mehadrin, Mislabelling, Supermarkets/Retail, Tesco, The Co Op
Bezeq infrastructure in Kfar Adumim settlement
Activists campaigning for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israeli militarism, occupation and apartheid have asked for information about the Bezeq telephone company’s involvement in Israel’s illegal settlements.
On Saturday 12th January 2013 Corporate Watch photographed a piece of Bezeq telephone infrastructure in Kfar Adumim settlement. Kfar Adumim is situated above the Bedouin community of Khan al Ahmar close to the Mishor Adumim industrial zone. Settlement expansion in Kfar Adumim is threatening the existence of Khan al Ahmar, who are currently fighting eviction in the Israeli courts.
Mall in the illegal settlement of Ma’ale Adumim
British company Lee Cooper no longer has a branch of its franchise in the shopping mall in the settlement of Ma’ale Adumim.
Corporate Watch visited Ma’ale Adumim on Wednesday 8th January 2013 and can confirm that the shop is no longer operating. Continue reading
Aerial view of Mishor Adumim
During the last four years Corporate Watch have made numerous visits to the settlement industrial zone of Mishor Adumim with the aim of documenting the companies working there. We have also been highlighting the impact the expansion of the illegal settlement of Ma’ale Adumim is having on the Palestinian communities living in the area and tried to contextualise the information to inform international BDS action. One of the biggest companies trading from Mishor Adumim is the Israeli carbonated drinks manufacturers SodaStream. The company has met with pressure from the international BDS movement for a number of years as a result of their occupation profiteering. Continue reading