Shalom Life | April 27, 2015

Op-Ed: BDS Victory Over SodaStream May Equal 900 Palestinians Out of Work

SodaStream is moving its Ma’ale Adumim factory to the Negev

By: Daniel Koren

Published: August 26th, 2014 in Business » Israel

Op-Ed: BDS Victory Over SodaStream May Equal 900 Palestinians Out of Work

One of the biggest news stories that accompanied the start of 2014 was Scarlett Johansson being named as the global ambassador of SodaStream, an Israeli company based out of the West Bank settlement of Ma'ale Adumim, which develops home carbonation systems that allow users to convert tap water into sparkling water, in more than 100 flavors.

Fresh off of signing the contract with SodaStream, Johansson found herself quickly under fire for supporting a company in "occupied" Palestinian Territories, with New York Magazine referring to the company as "blood bubbles." Reza Aslan, a well-known writer and academic, later called Johansson a Nazi supporter for working with SodaStream.

The confrontation didn't end there, however. The SodaStream ad Johansson appeared in would end up almost being banned by the Super Bowl - though they claimed it wasn't political - and she would end up stepping down from her long-held post as global ambassador of Oxfam due to a "fundamental difference of opinion." Obviously, anti-Israel crusader Roger Waters also condemned the actress for her unwavering support of SodaStream.

In the days that followed, many argued that Oxfam was being hypocritical and that the waves of protesters who began advocating for the boycott of SodaStream would hurt both Israelis AND Palestinians. After all, 900 Palestinians were employed at the company's biggest plastics and metals factory in Ma’ale Adumim.

"Those who seek to help the Palestinians end up hurting us," said Nabil Bashrat, 40, a resident of Ramallah who worked at the factory.

"(The factory) provides income to hundreds of families, entire villages. Peace is what happens here inside, and not outside. Those who are abroad don't understand the relations and actually sabotage the process. The factory draws us closer. Even in times of instability, as was during the war in Gaza, everything was as usual here."

Unfortunately for Bashrat, however, and the other 900 Palestinian SodaStream employees, it seems the BDS supporters are more concerned with boycotting Israeli businesses who 'occupy' Palestinian settlements than helping the actual Palestinian people themselves.

Now, it seems the supporters finally have their wish: SodaStream has announced, in a reported non-political move, that they are opening up a new factory in a land that indisputably belongs to Israel (unless you're a member of Hamas or ISIS), near the town of Lahavim in the Negev.

This could potentially mean that, if they evacuate the West Bank factory, the Israeli company will no longer be "occupying" in there any longer. Good job, BDS supporters.

Oh, it would also mean that 900 Palestinians - the people you claim you're trying to protect here - are now out of a job.

The company will make the move sometime in 2015. While it will still practice its equal opportunity hiring practices, it seems more likely that the region's Bedouin and African communities will be reaping the benefits of employment as opposed to the Palestinians.

Great job BDS supporters. Way to help out those Palestinians you know and understand so much.

UPDATE: As predicted, SodaStream CEO Daniel Birnbaum has announced that the company may indeed close its doors in its West Bank location, and also said it was not due to the boycott. “The considerations will be purely financial, and do not include the European boycott on manufacturing in the territories,” said Birnbaum. “Nor [will they include] the various calls to boycott products of the company because of its location in Ma’aleh Adumim. The boycott is a nuisance, but does not cause serious financial damage. We are not giving in to the boycott. We are Zionist.”

The Israeli Crowdfunding Initiative to Land a Torah on the Moon The Israeli Crowdfunding Initiative to Land a Torah on the Moon TrendingPoland Wants Mattel To Recall 'Apples To Apples' Game For Labelling Them As Nazis Poland Wants Mattel To Recall 'Apples To Apples' Game For Labelling Them As Nazis TrendingAshely Madison To Make A $200 Million IPO Ashely Madison To Make A $200 Million IPO Trending
 

Ever Wonder What Israel's Favorite Soccer Team Is?

April 27, 2015 | By Sy Berg
Ever Wonder What Israel's Favorite Soccer Team Is?

Study reveals that Chelsea, owned by Jewish pro-Israeli billionaire Roman Abramovich, is the most popular English team in the Middle East

Read More

New York Times Slammed for Running Article Titled 'Israeli Police Officers Kill Two Palestinian Men'

April 27, 2015 | By Daniel Koren
New York Times Slammed for Running Article Titled 'Israeli Police Officers Kill Two Palestinian Men'

"What is so hard about [a] straightforward headline accurately depicting the nature and chronology of events?" asks watchdog group CAMERA

Read More

Toronto UJA Opens Nepal Emergency Relief Fund

April 27, 2015 | By Shalom Life Staff
Toronto UJA Opens Nepal Emergency Relief Fund

One hundred percent of funds raised will provide immediate humanitarian aid to disaster victims and their families

Read More

British Tory Candidate Says She'll Never Back 'the Jew'

April 27, 2015 | By Daniel Koren
British Tory Candidate Says She'll Never Back 'the Jew'

Conservative candidate Gulzabeen Afsar is being asked to apologize after singling out Labor leader Ed MIliband on Facebook

Read More

This Teenage Boy Tried to Pick Up Nicki Minaj At His Bar Mitzvah

April 27, 2015 | By Daniel Koren
This Teenage Boy Tried to Pick Up Nicki Minaj At His Bar Mitzvah

Minaj performed at a Bar Mitzvah ceremony in New York this weekend

Read More

IDF Rescue Mission Departs for Nepal

April 27, 2015 | By Itamar Eichner
IDF Rescue Mission Departs for Nepal

Military sends mission to assist in aftermath of earthquake after damaged runways in Kathmandu delayed its departure

Read More

The Israeli Crowdfunding Initiative to Land a Torah on the Moon

April 27, 2015 | By Shalom Life Staff
The Israeli Crowdfunding Initiative to Land a Torah on the Moon

'Torah on the Moon' is a values-driven space mission to celebrate the Torah's contributions to society

Read More

Yes, There's A Grateful Dead Album Entirely in Hebrew

April 24, 2015 | By Caitlin Marceau
Yes, There's A Grateful Dead Album Entirely in Hebrew

Released by Sagol 59 and Ami Yaris, "The Promised Land" features songs from the revered jam band beautifully translated into Hebrew

Read More

More Headlines