Tony Greenstein | 09 September 2012 | Post Views:

Zionists trying to avoid another Ahava-like humiliation

The stall did a roaring trade

One of the Bedouin slated for removal from the land

Today, was the beginning of a large picket and stall outside the Israeli shop Sodastream.  A number of our opponents, including two mad Christian Fundamentalists, were on hand, but the vast majority of Brighton people passing by gave us their support and we ran out in 2 hours of over 500 leaflets.  There are a number of pictures of our picket and also a video, whose quality leaves a lot to be desired but gives a flavour of the exchanges. 
So successful though was our first outing that we’ve decided that instead of mounting pickets every 2 weeks, as happened at Ahava, we are going to do weekly pickets of this Apartheid shop.

Its branding in Green Brighton is interesting.  It calls itself ‘Eco’ stream – part of an attempt to greenwash its activities just as the Jewish National Fund calls itself an eco-friendly organisation, building all those forests and parks, even if they are on top of razed Arab villages whose inhabitants have been expelled from the West Bank!  But there is nothing eco friendly about Ecostream’s base and activities.

As the information below shows, Sodastream is based in the Mishor Adumim industrial zone, which is part of the growing number of Jewish only settlements on the outskirts of Jerusalem, Ma’ale Adumim.

Amongst our opponents was a Christian Fundamentalist who claimed to live nearby, but was disturbed by our ‘offensive’ message.  His neigbours described him as a ‘w*****’ and a mad Black female fundamentalist who seems to think Apartheid was and is ok, and 2 or 3 Zionists who repeated the same hoary lines.  One of them at one point asked me ‘what about the 6 million’!  As if the dead at the hands of the Nazis justify further racism, as I asked what was the logical connection.
This is Sodastream’s first UK outlet and it is rumoured they have a 6 month lease.  It is incumbent upon us to ensure that it is not renewed and Sodastream get the message that stolen goods from stolen land are not welcome here.

Tony Greenstein

Israeli apartheid profiteer Sodastream opens new store in UK

August 22, 2012, Corporate Watch

Sodastream, a carbonated beverage manufacturer, is based in the Mishor Adumim settlement industrial zone. Mishor Adumim is an industrial area  attached to the residential settlement of Ma’ale Adumim, East of  Jerusalem in the Israeli occupied West Bank. Israeli company Soda Club, which owns the Sodastream brandname, has  opened a new store called Ecostream on Western Road in Brighton, UK.

However, Palestinians living in the villages around Mishor Adumim are prevented from building any permanent structure under Israeli military  orders. Their tents and huts, and even a primary school at Khan-al-Ahmar, are subject to demolition by the army

The Israeli army plans to forcibly evict and transfer 20 Palestinian communities, some 2,300 people, from their homes in the area of the Ma’ale Adumim settlement bloc in the occupied West Bank. The plan aims to relocate the communities, a majority of which are Jahalin Bedouin, to a site about 300m away from the Jerusalem municipal garbage dump.  Israeli authorities have not consulted with the communities and the residents oppose the move. Military officials have said that the army will begin implementing the plan in early 2012.  If carried out, this forced transfer would violate Israel’s obligations under international law and uproot some of the poorest communities in the West Bank.

These building restrictions prevent the establishment of any Palestinian businesses, meaning that local Palestinians are forced to work in the settlements. Palestinian agriculture is limited by the settlements monopoly on land and the restrictions placed on the grazing of cattle, often leading to the seizure of cattle by the army.

Palestinians working for Sodastream in Mishor Adumim are working in the context of the occupation. In January 2012 activists from Stop Sodastream Italy made the following statement in response to claims by the company that its workers were well treated: “the fact remains that, as subjects of an occupation regime, these workers do not enjoy civil rights (including the right of workers to organize) and are under constant threat of having their permits to work in the settlement revoked by the company at any moment.”

“Palestinian workers often have no choice but to work in the settlements, with high unemployment rates that are a direct result of the Israeli occupation. The 2011 United Nations Conference on Trade and Development report explicitly links the decline in Palestinian agricultural and industrial sectors and the dire humanitarian conditions with Israeli government policies, in particular the confiscation of land and natural resources, restrictions on movement of people and goods, and isolation from international markets. Only a colonial mindset could claim to provide jobs to the very same people whose land and freedom have been stolen.”

Bedouin tent slated for removal

The Palestinian call for boycott, divestment and sanctions urges a boycott of all Israeli companies until Israel complies with international humanitarian law, recognizes the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality, the rights of return of refugees and ends the siege of Gaza and the occupation of all lands occupied in 1967.

Sodastream products are sold in the UK at Robert Dyas, John Lewis, Argos, Comet, Lakeland and some Sainsbury and Asda stores.

For more information on Soda Club see here, pages 96-102.

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Tony Greenstein

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