Sunday, February 2, 2014

10 brands you'll have to give up if you're boycotting Israel

10 brands you'll have to give up if you're boycotting Israel

2005, the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement (BDS) has called on the international community to pressure Israel economically as "a form of civil resistance to Israeli occupation, colonialism, and apartheid."

That would mean significant lifestyle changes for some consumers. Here are 10 brands that BDS supporters have urged others to boycott, not to mention thousands of other products that contain or use Israeli-developed technology, including iPhonesiPadsMacBooksSkype, computer firewalls, and Microsoft XP.

1. Pampers

Proctor & Gamble, which produces Pampers, is one of the largest clients of an Israeli company that supplies diaper products, Avgol Nonwoven Industries. P&G accounts for nearly half of the company's sales, according to the pro-boycott research group Who Profits. Avgol Nonwoven Industries runs a plant in the Barkan industrial complex, located near the West Banksettlement of Ariel.

2. Victoria's Secret

The popular lingerie company is one of the largest clients of Delta Galil, which operates a textile factory in the West Bank industrial zone of Barkan as well as a shop in the settlement ofMaale Adumim. Palestinians have also criticized the company for establishing its headquarters on land expropriated from Palestinians in the Galilee.

3. Volvo

BDS supporters have criticized the Swedish giant for supplying equipment used to bulldoze Palestinian homes and also for its 27 percent stake in Merkavim, whose buses are used to transport Palestinian prisoners to and from Israeli jails.

4. Intel

Al-Awda, the Palestinian Right to Return Coalition, has called on Intel to close its plants in Kiryat Gat, site of the former Palestinian villages Iraq al-Manshiya and Faluja. Israeli historian Benny Morris has written that during the 1948-49 Israeli war of independence with Palestinians and their Arab allies, the villages' residents were all expelled in line with Israel's "strategic desire to achieve 'Arab-clear' frontiers."
Intel, whose processors can be found in about 80 percent of the world's computers, has reportedly invested $2.7 billion to upgrade its Kiryat Gat plants where it is working on new chips that will make computers lighter and faster. That brings its total investments in Israel to about $10 billion, and it has also benefited from more than $1 billion in Israeli government grants.

5. Hummus

Philadelphia-based BDS campaign drew attention to Israeli hummus makers Tribe and Sabra with a flash dance adaptation of a Lady Gaga song, which they dubbed "No Justice, No (Chick) Peas." The critics pointed to Sabra parent company Strauss's support of the Israeli military, and Tribe's owner Osem's support of the Jewish National Fund, which they criticized for displacing Bedouin with development projects in the Negev desert.

6. Motorola

Electronics giant Motorola has been targeted by BDS supporters for providing surveillance equipment used around Israeli settlements, along the Israeli-built separation barrier, and along the Israel-Gaza border. In addition, the company signed a $100 million deal with Israel in January 2014 for encrypted smartphones for its soldiers and security personnel. 

7. Hewlett-Packard

Hewlett-Packard, the maker of computers and printers better known as HP, has come under fire for its involvement in biometric technology at Israeli checkpoints and for Israeli identification cards. BDS supporters have also criticized them for using service providers based in Israeli settlements.

8. Starbucks

Critics' beef with Starbucks seems to be fairly old, dating back to comments made by founder Howard Schultz in 1998 and later in 2002, when he suggested that anti-Semitism was behind the ongoing intifada, the Palestinian uprising, even as Israeli bulldozers and tanks moved into Palestinian cities like Jenin to put down the uprising. However, BDS supporters are still putting the popular coffee company on boycott lists.

9. McDonald's

BDS supporters have targeted McDonald's for its partnership with the Jewish United Fund, which, among other things, promotes visits toKiryat Gat, built on top of a destroyed Palestinian village. Critics have also targeted McDonald's for discriminating against Arab workers at its restaurants in Israel.

10. SodaStream

The Israeli company, which runs a factory in the industrial park connected with the Israeli settlement of Maale Adumim, has become a lightning rod for BDS criticism since releasing an ad featuring Scarlett Johansson. Palestinian residents in the area and international activistsissued a press release on Jan. 30 calling on Ms. Johansson to stop promoting SodaStream, saying that such companies "directly supportIsrael's illegal occupation and colonization of Palestinian land by paying taxes to municipal settlement governments, employing local settlers, and providing the economic infrastructure for Israel's settlement expansion."