is the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement?
In July 2005 a broad range of Palestinian Civil Society
organizations issued a call for Boycott, Divestment
and Sanctions Against Israel as part of a non-violent
campaign to end the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian
West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem. Individual consumers
can show their opposition to Israel's occupation by
participating in a boycott of Israeli goods and services.
(You can read the call here)
see more about the Israeli civil society campaign in
support of BDS, called the Boycott from Within, here,
and read CODEPINK's
Statement on the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement.
is the Stolen Beauty Campaign?
Stolen Beauty is a boycott campaign against Ahava Dead
Sea Laboratories (see below). It is CODEPINK’s
contribution to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions
(BDS) Movement against institutions and corporations
that give tacit or material support to the Israeli government’s
continued violations of international human rights law.
CODEPINK launched Stolen Beauty in the summer of 2009
after leading four delegations
to Gaza, Israel, and the Occupied Territories, bearing
witness to the devastating impact of occupation.
is AHAVA and why are we calling for a boycott?
Ahava Dead Sea Laboratories (www.ahava.co.il)
is a privately held Israeli cosmetics company that manufactures products
using minerals and mud from the Dead Sea. Ahava’s products—such as Grape
& Avocado Body Wash, Dead Sea Mineral Mud, and Mineral Foot Cream—are
widely available in high-end department stores and pharmacies throughout
the United States and in Europe. The Hebrew word “Ahava” means love, but
there is nothing loving about what the company is doing in the Occupied
Palestinian territory of the West Bank. The company’s practices are against
international laws does AHAVA violate?
The company’s main factory and its visitors’
center are located in the Israeli settlement of Mitzpe
Shalem in the Occupied West Bank. Ahava products are
labeled as of 'Israeli origin,’ but according to
international public law, the West Bank cannot be considered
to be part of the State of Israel.
Ahava uses in its products mud from the Dead Sea, excavated
in an occupied area, and thus it exploits occupied natural
resources for profit, which is a violation of the Fourth
Who owns AHAVA Dead Sea Laboratories?
34% of the company shares are held by the West
Bank settlement of Kibbutz Mitzpe Shalem, 34% by
Hamashbir Holdings (the investment fund of B. Gaon Holdings
and the Livnat family), 18% are held by Shamrock
Holdings (the investment fund of the Roy E. Disney family),
and 6% by the West Bank settlement of Kibbutz
Kaliya. All of these entities are breaking international
law and profiting from exploiting occupied resources.
(You can read more about AHAVA on the
Who Profits site, which is a project of the Israeli
Coalition of Women for Peace.)
boycotts have an impact?
In a report published in March 2009 in the Hebrew-language
business paper 'The Marker' 21% of Israeli
exporters say that they have been directly hurt by a
boycott of Israeli products since the beginning of 2009
article about survey and boycotts) . The model that
many proponents of the Global BDS Movement cite is the
effectiveness of the international boycott campaign
against companies doing business in Apartheid-era South
Africa. When the profits to be made from occupation
diminish, so does support for the occupation.
should I join the AHAVA boycott?
Don’t let the “Made in Israel” sticker
fool you—when you buy Ahava products you help finance
the destruction of hope for a peaceful and just future
for both Israelis and Palestinians. By joining CODEPINK’s
Stolen Beauty Campaign, you will be sending a clear
message to AHAVA Dead Sea Laboratories and to your
community that you are against the continued flouting
of international law and the exploitation of Palestinian
a boycott against an Israeli company anti-Israel and
The Stolen Beauty campaign is an effort to promote
a just and sustainable peace for Jews, Muslims and Christians
in Israel and Palestine. The boycott is not against
people; it is against policies and practices that destroy
hope for a just settlement to the conflict. We are
working on this campaign with Israeli women—both
Jewish and Palestinian—who believe that boycotts
are an effective tool to work towards a peaceful and
just future for Israelis and Palestinians.
can my group take part?
If your organization would like to cosponsor this campaign,
Your local group can participate by locating retailers
that carry AHAVA in your community, approaching store
managers or owners with our letter (scroll
here to see letter) asking them to stop stocking
these products from Occupied Palestine. If the store
refuses, you can organize a "muddy" picket
action on the sidewalk outside. Click
here for our local action step-by-step guide. We
welcome activist groups, religious institutions, and
community organizations of all issues and denominations
to join us in this effort for justice.