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Take The Boycott Home: 5 Household Products That Support Israeli Apartheid

Posted in Journalism, and MintPress News

Originally published at MintPress News.

AUSTIN, Texas — A growing number of people worldwide support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement to bring an end to Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestine, and it’s already forced major corporations to change their practices.

Earlier this month, MintPress News offered six grocery products to avoid to support BDS, but companies whose products support Zionist war crimes aren’t limited to grocery store shelves.

Here are five products and companies to avoid in support of a free Palestine, starting with one of the most well-known product boycotts:

  • Sodastream — The campaign against Sodastream, a manufacturer of home appliances that allow consumers to make their own carbonated beverages, has been a highly public and very effective one. After both the company’s products and sponsor Scarlett Johansson were targeted by the campaign, Sodastream agreed to close its main factory located in an illegal West Bank settlement this month. But Mahmoud Nawajaa, a coordinator with the Palestine Boycott National Committee, stressed that this doesn’t end the problems with the product:

Its new Lehavim factory is close to Rahat, a planned township in the Naqab (Negev) desert, where Palestinian Bedouins are being forcefully transferred against their will. Sodastream, as a beneficiary of this plan, is complicit with this violation of human rights.

Yet Sodastream is far from the only corporation benefitting from Israeli occupation:

  • Ahava cosmetics — Available in high-end department stores and pharmacies, these body care products include mud masks, foot creams, and body washes. According to Codepink’s “Stolen Beauty” campaign, the main Ahava factory is located in Mitzpe Shalem, an illegal settlement in the occupied West Bank. Ahava “exploits natural resources for profit,” as its products contain ”mud from the Dead Sea, excavated in an occupied area” — exploitation that Codepink says is in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention.
  • Black & Decker / Keter Plastic — Keter Plastic, an Israeli corporation which sells its plastic home and garden goods worldwide, is licensed to sell its toolboxes, garden sheds, and other plastic items under the Black & Decker, Spacerite and Workmate brands, including in Home Depot stores, according to a factsheet from the Presbyterian Church’s Israel/Palestine Mission Network. Keter manufactures in the illegal Barkan industrial zone, where industrial waste regularly leaks onto nearby Palestinian villages and farmland.
  • Hewlett-Packard — This global leader in computer hardware manufacturing is heavily invested in Israel, and it plays a key technological role in maintaining Israeli apartheid against Palestinians, according toWho Profits. Not only does HP supply computing systems to Israel’s defense ministry, but hardware and software developed by HP Enterprise Services maintains the Basel System, an automated biometric tracking system that uses hand and facial recognition to limit the movement of Palestinian workers.
  • Motorola Solutions — In 2011, Motorola split into two companies. One of the resulting companies is Motorola Solutions, which includes the subsidiary Motorola Solutions Israel, the main focus of the boycott for its close relationship to the Israeli Defense Forces. In a 2013 article on BDS for Alternet, Alex Kane noted: “Motorola Solutions does not make phones, though it does produce mobile computers, tablets and computer accessories. Still, Motorola had a relationship with the Israeli army when it was a singular company producing phones.” According to Who Profits, Motorola won a tender to provide invisible fences and surveillance systems to illegal Israeli settlements in 2005. Last year, Motorola Solutions supplied encrypted phones to the IDF, and it had previously been tapped to provide Internet access for train cars that travel on railways which illegally cross occupied land.