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

posted on: Jun 7, 2016

By: Christa Case Bryant/ Christian Science Monitor

Since 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 iPhones, iPads, MacBooks, Skype, computer firewalls, and Microsoft XP.

  •  1. Pampers

    Procter & 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 Bank settlement 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 of Maale 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 Volvo Group of Sweden 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. The Volvo Group no longer owns Volvo Cars, though not all BDS supporters differentiate between the two. (Editor’s note: This paragraph was updated to clarify which Volvo products are targeted.)

  •  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

  •  5. Tribe and Sabra Hummus

    A 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. Ahava

    The Israeli cosmetics company, whose name means “love,” is a common target of BDS supporters. Ahava’s products use minerals from the Dead Sea, which borders occupied territory, and its manufacturing plant is located in an Israeli settlement in the West Bank that is also a shareholder in the company, giving the settlement a direct financial stake. Ahava exports to 45 countries, and derives about half its sales from such exports. (Editor’s note: This slide replaces a previous one, after it was brought to our attention that while some include Starbucks in calls for boycotting Israel, it does not meet the criteria set by the BDS movement.)

  • 9. McDonald’s

    BDS supporters have targeted McDonald’s for its partnership with the Jewish United Fund, which, among other things, promotes visits to Kiryat 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 activists issued a press release on Jan. 30 calling on Ms. Johansson to stop promoting SodaStream, saying that such companies “directly support Israel’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.

Sourced from the Christian Science Monitor