Tag Archives: Dead Sea

TripAdvisor includes guesthouse in illegal Israeli settlement in its listings

IMG_0074

Holiday Village in the illegal settlement of Almog in the occupied Jordan Valley. Photo: Corporate Watch, February 2013

This blog is part of a series of articles highlighting tourism to illegal settlements in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Occupied Syrian Golan. For more detailed information about tourism in the Jordan Valley, see our article Occupation Tourism: Hiding the Ugly Truth about the settlement of Vered Yeriho, located only a short drive from Almog.

TripAdvisor is a travel website featuring reviews of hotels and restaurants around the world. In February 2013, Corporate Watch visited a guesthouse in Almog, a settlement situated on occupied Palestinian territory and found Trip Advisor stickers displayed. A quick search on TripAdvisor revealed that the site lists Almog Holiday Village as being situated within Israel.

One TripAdvisor user commented “this kibbutz is in the West Bank. And not just barely, it’s about as far into the West Bank as you can get without being in Jordan. Saying this kibbutz is in ‘Israel’ is relatively misleading since the only country who thinks this is Israel, is Israel. Even the US recognizes this land as the West Bank and disputed land. Personally this made me feel somewhat uncomfortable, because this is a settlement.” Continue reading

Occupation tourism: hiding the ugly truth

Vered Yeriho is a settlement  Moshav (a type of cooperative agricultural community) situated on a hilltop just West of Jericho in the occupied Jordan Valley. Established in 1979, it is part of the Megilot Regional Council and has a small settler population of under 150 people. Like most other settlements in the Jordan Valley, it relies on agriculture for economic activity. When Corporate Watch visited in January, we found one Agrexco branded and one other packing house operated by the settlement, and we have previously reported on interviews with Palestinian settlement workers working the Vered Yeriho fields.

IMG_2577

Jericho Inn guest house located in the settlement Vered Yeriho in the occupied Jordan Valley.

Continue reading

Photo blog: ‘Organic’ Carmel Agrexco crops grown in the settlement of Kalia

A sign in the fields of the illegal settlement of Kalia in the Israeli occupied Jordan Valley for 'organic goods' grown by Hayun Yitzhak - taken by Corporate Watch researchers on 26/01/2013

A sign in the fields of the illegal settlement of Kalia in the Israeli occupied Jordan Valley for ‘organic goods’ grown by Hayun Yitzhak – taken by Corporate Watch researchers on 26/01/2013

Corporate Watch visited the fields of the illegal settlement of Kalia, a settlement kibbutz on the coast of the Dead Sea, on the 26th January 2013.

Carmel-Agrexco was Israel’s main agricultural export company, exporting 70% of all fresh produce from Israel’s illegal settlements, until September 2011 when it was formally liquidated, partly due to pressure from the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. Formerly state owned, Agrexco has been privately purchased by Bickel Flowers and, according to Who Profits?, has regained a significant proportion of its former market.

A packing house bearing Agrexco signage, which was packaging goods for Agrexco’s ECOFRESH brand in 2010, was operating nearby but was packaging goods for export by other agricultural companies instead of Agrexco, indicating that Agrexco has lost some of its market in this region.

Crops were labelled as being grown for export by Carmel Agrexco. One sign read “Organic FC [Field Crops], Hayun Yitzhak”. Continue reading

“Everything changes apart from the money”: Conditions for settlement workers in the Jordan Valley – January 2013 (Part One)

On February 9th a coalition of civil society groups have called for an international day of action against Israeli agricultural companies in line with the movement for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israeli militarism, apartheid and colonisation. Corporate Watch researchers are in Palestine collecting new information and over the coming weeks Corporate Watch will be writing a series of articles and blogs examining Israeli agricultural exports.

The reverse of an ID card which Palestinians must apply to the Israeli Administration for before working in some Jordan Valley settlements

The reverse of an ID card which Palestinians must apply to the Israeli Administration for before working in some Jordan Valley settlements

Palestinian workers in Israeli settlements have been entitled to the Israeli minimum wage since an Israeli Supreme Court ruling in 2007 (see here). In 2010 Corporate Watch conducted over 40 interviews with settlement workers showing that Palestinians are consistently paid as little as half the minimum wage.

The current hourly minimum wage is 23.12, NIS (New Israeli Shekels). The equivalent of 184.96 NIS for an eight hour working day, having risen from 20.7 NIS in 2009. An Israeli government website advises that workers are also entitled to 14 days paid holiday and must receive a written contract and payslips from their employer (see here). However, for Palestinian workers on Israeli settlements in the Jordan Valley these conditions are an impossible dream. Continue reading

More on Bezeq infrastructure in Israel’s illegal settlements

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

Bezeq sign in the illegal Israeli settlement of Almog

Continue reading

Ahava Victory

In a victory for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against apartheid Israel, Ahava, a multinational Israeli Dead Sea products company, will be forced to close its flagship store in Monmouth Street, central London.

Continue reading

Corporate Watch talk given to All Party Parliamentary Committee on Palestine on Companies Exploiting the Jordan Valley

Joint talk by Brighton Jordan Valley Solidarity and Corporate Watch

view at http://www.inminds.com/article.php?id=10503

Ahava blockaded for the fifth time

Police arrive at Ahava, Monmouth Street

On Monday 21st November 2010 two campaigners locked themselves inside the Ahava Dead Sea laboratories store in Monmouth Street, Covent Garden.

Ahava is an Israeli settler company, owned by the illegal settlements of Kalia and Mitzpe Shalem. The London store has admitted that all the products stocked in the shop, barring tweezers from China, are manufactured in their factory in Mitzpe Shalem. Continue reading

Tourism in apartheid Israel – a ‘unique’ experience

Israel tourism advert from G2

A few weeks ago the Guardian’s G2 supplement ran a series of adverts for tourism in Israel. One of them,  shown above, describes a holiday in Israel as a ‘unique experience’. Damn right its a unique experience; interrogation by surly airport security, sharing buses with hordes of armed to the teeth Israeli adolescents and the chance to see the old city of Jerusalem policed by racist goons with a quota of Palestinian residents to harass. For the more adventurous tourist there’s the deserted and terrorised streets of the old city of Hebron, daubed with xenophobic graffiti, the apartheid wall, collective puishmment, targeted assassinations, house demolitions, torture and repression – the possibilities are endless.

None of that was mentioned in the G2 adverts. Readers are presented with a picture of a couple enjoying the Dead Sea Coast – much of which is in illegally occupied territory (see http://corporateoccupation.wordpress.com/2010/05/06/kibbutz-kalia-part-1-a-holiday-in-israeli-apartheid/). Continue reading

Construction on the Illegal Settlement, Kibbutz Kalia

Construction Sign outside Kibbutz Kalia

Several companies were advertising construction work at the settlement of Kibbutz Kalia when Corporate Watch visited in April.  At the gate to Kalia half finished homes can be seen, along with a sign for the Evelon (www.evelon.com) Real Estate Company. The ‘luxury villa project, dubbed “Qalya Vistas, The Cherry of the Dead Sea”, advertises 54 new housing units. The executing contractor is named as Ts. P Construction and ‘management and supervision’ by Peled Klein Civil Engineering (www.peled-klein.co.il) in Yoqne’am Illit (more about Peled Klein at http://www.whoprofits.org/Company%20Info.php?id=566).

Evelon seems be aimed at US buyers, a special drop down menu on their site allows customers to select the US state they live in.

The half finished buildings in Kalia

Continue reading