Tony Greenstein | 14 September 2012 | Post Views:

Join the Picket of Sodastream in Western Road, Brighton this Saturday

As Sodastream realise that their presence is going to cause protests, they have issued a Disinformation Sheet below to try and distract peoples’ attention from the fact that they are based in an industrial park Mishor Adumim, which is part of the Jewish only settlement Ma’ale Adumim on the outskirts of Jerusalem.

Anyone who thinks their poisonous product is ‘saving’ millions of barrels of oil needs their head examining.  If they didn’t produce it then there would be even less energy waste!  Apart from the fact that their soda is an acidic poison as one contributor pointed out.

The Kochav Hashachar quarry in the Jordan Valley. Photo: Keren Manor,, 8 Feb. ’11

Somewhat ironically  Sodastream complains of ‘the persistent harassment of the pro-Palestinian BDS movement’.  The Nazi Party and Goering also used to complain about the Jewish harassment they experienced from those who ‘deligitimised’ their peaceful national movement.  Little things like the Boycott of German Goods (which the Zionists helped break with their Ha’avara  trade agreement).

Sodastream would rather not like to be reminded that they operate in the occupied West Bank courtesy of Israel’s military occupation of the West Bank, an occupation which, as the UN Information Bulletin above demonstrates, deprives Palestinians of adequate water, demolishes their buildings (including 28 schools scheduled to be demolished) and of course inflicts daily violence.  All this is ‘political’ unlike the non-political support to the Jewish settlers.

We have never said that selling West Bank products is illegal per se, though trading in stolen goods is.  However an occupying power using the resources of an occupied territory for its own commercial benefit is illegal under International Law, in particular the 4th Geneva Convention of 1949.

Sodastream denies that they are based in occupied Palestine.  They say it is ‘disputed territory.’  Err yes.  The Sudetenland was disputed between Czechoslovakia and Nazi Germany!  Indonesia disputed the territory of East Timor for many years.  Any aggressive and war-like state can conquer another country’s land and say it is ‘disputed’.  What is not disputed is that the establishment of settlements in the Occupied Territories is illegal, as the Opinion of the International Court of Justice below makes clear.  The fact that Israel refuses to recognise the Court’s jurisdiction matters confirms that fact.

The Oslo Accords, which were a disaster for Palestinians, have been abandoned by Israel, which seeks control of all of the West Bank and the eventual transfer of Palestinians from it to neighbouring states.  In any event they did not supercede international law but Netanyahu specifically opposed them at the time and has disregarded them ever since, except when convenient.  The fact that Sodastream is based in Area C doesn’t change International Law and permit exploitation of the natural resources of the Palestinians or the eviction of Bedouins to permit such exploitation, to say nothing about destruction of Palestinian buildings and theft of water.

Sodastream claims that their efforts benefit the Palestinians!  Presumably they are too stupid to recognise that fact.  In fact Israeli economic exploitation has been combined with the destruction of Palestinian industry and their economy in order to allow Israeli companies free reign.  This argument is reminiscent of the old Apartheid justification that Blacks were paid more in South Africa than elsewhere – true – since the Whites stole the most productive resources. Israel simply goes one better and prevents the development of Palestinian industry and agriculture by simple things like preventing their export through hold-ups at the hundreds of check-points and other forms of embargo.

Israeli thieves and pirates like Sodastream are effectively claiming that their thefts of lands and resources benefit the victim, who would otherwise not be able to survive unless allowed to work in the land they were born in.  Next time a burglar is up in court he can argue that without him, the insurance companies would not be able to survive because they would lose the opportunity to sell household contents insurance!  A wonderful argument.

So pathetic are Sodastream’s arguments that they claim that the 4th Geneva Convention doesn’t apply to Israel’s occupation.  Strange then that the International Court of Justice, on 9.7.04. disagreed, when ruling that the Separation Wall was illegal!  Presumably Israeli pirates like Sodastream understand international law better than the ICJ!!


SodaStream opened its first Ecostream Refill Store here in Brighton. The SodaStream brand is now present in 43 countries around the world with over 6 million active users, who are saving the planet from the waste of 1 billion plastic bottles every day as well as millions of barrels of oil.

Unfortunately SodaStream faces the persistent harassment of the pro-Palestinian BDS movement which tries to use false arguments to delegitimise Israel and further its own political agenda.

We want our customers to know the truth about some of the BDS claims;

BDS claim that selling products manufactured in the West-Bank is illegal:
FALSE, there is absolutely nothing illegal in selling our products, otherwise HM Customs and Excise and the EEC Authorities would have banned their import.

BDS claim that SodaStream is located in “occupied territory”:
FALSE, SodaStream has a production facility in “Area C” of the disputed land, which according to the Oslo agreements signed by Israel and the Palestinian Authority remains under Israeli authority until a final agreement is signed by both parties.

BDS claim that boycotting our products will help the Palestinian people:
FALSE, it would actually harm them. SodaStream is the largest employer of Palestinians in a region that has a 20% unemployment rate. SodaStream pays its Palestinian employees wages that are on a par with Israeli ones and are 4-6 times the local wages. SodaStream also provides all their employees with medical, maternity, vacation and pension benefits. Approximately 3,000 people rely on these jobs for their food and health. Palestinians and Israelis work for SodaStream side by side, with equal treatment in front of the law.

BDS claim that manufacturing in the West-Bank is a violation  of the 4th Geneva Convention:
FALSE, both the text of that convention, and the post World War II circumstances under which it was drafted, clearly indicate that it was never intended to refer to situations like Israel’s settlements. According to the International Committee of the Red Cross, Article 49 relates to situations where populations are coerced into being transferred. This is clearly not the case with the people working in our West-Bank factory.


The Opinion of the International Court of Justice  

Published 1 January 2011
On 9 July 2004, the International Court of Justice, in The Hague, gave its advisory opinion on the question of the legality of the separation barrier being built by Israel. The opinion was given pursuant to the request of the UN General Assembly of 3 December 2004.

Israel refused to cooperate in the proceeding, contending that the court did not have jurisdiction to hear the matter. In a document that it submitted to the court, Israel argued that the question involved was political and not legal, and should be dealt with bilaterally, between it and the Palestinians. In a majority decision, the court denied Israel’s argument. In a minority opinion, one of the judges held that the court did not have sufficient information to render an opinion on the question, and thus lacked the authority to hear it. Before dealing with the substantive matters, the court explained that its opinion related only to those sections of the separation barrier that were built, or will be built outside the Green Line [in the Occupied Territories].

The first main issue discussed in the opinion relates to the effects of the barrier on the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination. The court “recorded” the promise made by Israel that the barrier was intended only as a temporary security measure. However, the court pointed out that there is a grave fear that the barrier’s route would create “facts on the ground” that lead to the de facto annexation of the territory and determination of the future borders between Israel and a Palestinian state. The court believed that de facto annexation of parts of the West Bank by Israel would violate the right to Palestinian self-determination.

The second major issue involved the legality of the barrier in light of international humanitarian law. The court rejected Israel’s argument that the Fourth Geneva Convention does not apply in the Occupied Territories because the West Bank and the Gaza Strip were never part of a sovereign state. On this point, the court held that, insofar as the territories fell into Israel’s hands as a result of war with two states that are party to the Convention, the state must exercise control over the said territory in accordance with the provisions of the Convention.

Specifically, the court found that the separation barrier is intended to assist the settlements, the establishment of which violates Article 49 of the Convention. Also, the court pointed out that the restrictions placed on the local population located between the barrier and the Green Line are liable to lead to abandonment of the land, which also constitutes a violation of Article 49. In addition, the opinion stated that taking control of private land to build the barrier injured private property owners, and thus violated Articles 46 and 52 of the Hague Regulations of 1907 and of Article 53 of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

The third major issue that the court dealt with involved the legality of the barrier under international human rights law. In this context, the court stated unequivocally, and contrary to the position held by Israel, that international human rights law applies in its entirety in occupied territory, along with humanitarian law. The court ruled that the separation barrier violates rights set forth in conventions to which Israel is party. The court mentioned the rights to freedom of movement and the right against invasion of privacy of home and family, which are enshrined in Articles 12 and 17 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the right to work, to an adequate standard of living, health, and education, which are enshrined in Articles 6, 11, 12, and 13 of the International covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural rights.

It should be mentioned that the opinion dealt briefly with Israel’s argument that violation of these rights is justified under international law because they are intended for legitimate security purposes. The court stated that Israel has the right and duty to protect its citizens against violence, but its defensive actions must comply with international law. The brief discussion on the possible security justifications for the route of the barrier resulted, in part, from Israel’s refusal to present its arguments to the court, and from its decision to suffice with a written statement contending the court lacked jurisdiction.

In its conclusion, the court stated that Israel must cease construction of the barrier, dismantle the parts of the barrier that were built inside the West Bank, revoke the orders issued relating to its construction, and compensate the Palestinians who suffered losses as a result of the barrier. The court also called on the international community to refrain from assisting in maintaining the unlawful situation that has arisen following construction of the barrier, and to take legal measures to cease Israel’s violations and to ensure enforcement of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

Even the BBC, hardly an unbiased source, admits:

The Geneva Convention

It is widely accepted that under international law, the Jewish settlements in the territories occupied by Israel in 1967 are illegal.

Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the protection of civilian persons in time of war states: “The occupying power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own population into the territories it occupies.”

Within the international community the overwhelming view is that Article 49 is applicable to the occupation of the West Bank including East Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip and the Golan Heights.

Almost the entire international community, including allies of Israel, have referred to the situation in these territories as occupation.

The position that the 4th Geneva Convention does apply to the West Bank, Gaza and Golan Heights is supported by the International Committee of the Red Cross, UN bodies, and the International Court of Justice.

Israel is a party to the Geneva Conventions, and bound by its obligations.


Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs occupied Palestinian territory

Humanitarian Facts S heet on Area C Of The West Bank
JULY 2011
P. O. Box 38712 East Jerusalem 91386 l tel. +972 (0)2 582 9962 l fax +972 (0)2 582 5841 l [email protected] l
� Over 60 percent of the West Bank is considered Area C, where Israel retains extensive control, including
over security, planning and zoning.
� An estimated 150,000 Palestinians live in Area C, including 27,500 Bedouin and other herders.
� More than 20% of communities in Area C have extremely limited access to health services.
� Water consumption dips to 20 litres/capita/day (l/c/d) in communities without water infrastructure, one
fifth of the World Health Organisation’s recommendation.
� Communities depending on tankered water pay up to 400% more for every liter than those connected to the water network.
� 70% of Area C is off-limits to Palestinian construction; 29% is heavily restricted.
� Less than 1% of Area C has been planned for Palestinian development by the Israeli Civil Administration.
� 560 Palestinian-owned structures, including 200 residential structures and 46 rainwater collection cisterns and pools, were demolished by the Israeli authorities in 2011.
� 1,006 people, including 565 children, lost their homes in 2011, over twice as many in 2010.
� Over 3,000 demolition orders are outstanding, including 18 targeting schools.
� The planned expansion area of the around 135 Israeli settlements in Area C is 9 times larger than their built-up area. (B’Tselem).
� Approximately 300,000 settlers currently live in Area C.

1. Most of Area C has been designated as military zones and for expansion of Israeli settlements, severely constraining the living space and development opportunities of Palestinian communities.  While it is virtually impossible for a Palestinian to obtain a permit for construction, Israeli settlements receive preferential treatment in terms of allocation of water and land, approval of development plans, and law enforcement.

2. There has been a marked increase in demolitions in Area C this year.  More Palestinians lost their homes in Area C in the first half of 2011 than in either of the past two years.

3. Most demolitions in 2011 affected livelihood structures, negatively affecting the sources of income and living standards of some 1,300 people.

4. In addition to restrictive planning policies, Palestinians living in Area C also have to contend with a range of other Israeli policies and practi policies and practices, including restrictions on movement and access, harassment from the Israeli military and settler attacks, making daily life a struggle.

5. Demolitions drive already poor families deeper into poverty. Most demolitions in 2011 have targeted already vulnerable Bedouin / herding communities, who live in very basic structures, with no infrastructure and very limited access to services.  Demolitions increase the dependency of these families on humanitarian assistance and have a range of negative psycho-social impacts, particularly on children. Many of these communities have suffered multiple waves of demolitions.

6. In some communities, families are being forced to move as a result of Israeli policies applied in Area C.  Ten out of 13 communities recently visited by OCHA reported that families are leaving because policies and practices implemented there make it difficult for residents to meet basic needs or maintain their presence on the land.

See Israeli SodaStream: Maybe Green, Definitely Not Clean and

The Italian Stop Sodastream campaign exposes the Israeli company’s deceptions

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Tony Greenstein

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