Israeli Occupation: Supportive
Companies to Boycott
by Stephen Lendman
February 2, 2010
In July 2005, a coalition of 171 Palestinian
Civil Society organizations created the global BDS movement for
"Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel Until it
Complies with International Law and Universal Principles of Human
Rights" for Occupied Palestinians, Israeli Arabs, and Palestinian
Since 1948, hundreds of UN resolutions
and civil society actions condemned Israel's lawlessness; its
crimes of war and against humanity; occupation; discriminatory
policies; illegal home demolitions, land seizures and settlements;
oppression of a civilian population; the Separation Wall; the
Gaza siege; and preemptive imperial wars.
Nothing so far has worked. Palestine is
still occupied. Its people continue to suffer. Their human rights
are denied. World leaders ignore them. This no longer can be tolerated.
In solidarity, people of conscience everywhere must pressure Israel
with BDS initiatives that include boycotting Israeli companies,
their products and services, and global ones supporting the occupation.
They're numerous, many with familiar names.
Below is a partial list, starting with
global giants, Israeli companies following. Others can be added,
but use it as a good start along with a New Year's resolution
to boycott them and encourage others to do it as well.
The US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation
"aim(s) to change those US policies that both sustain Israel's
42-year occupation of the Palestinian West Bank, Gaza, and East
Jerusalem, and deny equal rights for all." It started with
a boycott campaign to "Hang up on Motorola" and its
subsidiary, Motorola Israel, that support the worst of illegal
occupation practices. They produce:
-- 980 Low Altitude Proximity Fuses for
the MK-80 series of high-explosive bombs used against civilian
and other non-combatant targets with devastating effect;
-- the "Mountain Rose" secure
cell phone communication system, used exclusively in Occupied
-- Wide Area Surveillance System (WAAS)
to monitor and secure the Separation Wall, built on about 12%
of stolen West Bank land; and
-- radar detection devices and thermal
cameras for dozens of illegal West Bank settlements.
Morotola consumer products are sold globally,
including its cell phones, cordless and corded phones, the Droid
phone, accessories, cable modems, digital video equipment, and
more. "Hang up on Motorola" and get others to do it,
Board Member Ronald Lauder chairs the
Jewish National Fund and is former a JNF president. In 1901, the
Fifth Zionist Congress established it to "purchase, take
on lease or in exchange, or otherwise acquire any lands, forests,
rights of possession and other rights....for the purpose of settling
Jews on (Palestinian) lands." About 80% of the land was confiscated,
not bought from its rightful owners - expelled Palestinians in
Israel's "War of Independence."
JNF calls itself "Caretakers of the
land of Israel for over a century (and) a global environmental
leader by planting 240 million trees, building over 200 reservoirs
and dams, developing over 250,000 acres of land, creating more
than 1,000 parks, providing infrastructure for over 1,000 communities
(and) bringing life to the Negev Desert," exclusively for
Jews on stolen Palestinian lands.
JNF develops land. It doesn't sell it,
but can lease it to Jews or any Jewish-controlled company, organization
or entity. It holds these lands on behalf of "the Jewish
People in perpetuity." Non-Jews are entirely excluded from
renting or buying property, getting financing, opening a business,
or doing virtually anything on Jewish land under a strict apartheid
policy. JNF policies have been legally challenged, so far without
Besides Ronald, other Lauders are also
involved - Leonard, Evelyn and William. The company produces skin
care, makeup, fragrance and hair care products that include Clinique,
Aramis, Lab Series, Prescriptives and Origins. Acquired brands
include M*A*C, Bobbi Brown, La Mer, Jo Malone, Aveda, Bumble and
Bumble, Darphin, and Ojon. It's also the fragrance and beauty
products licensee for Kiton, Tommy Hilfiger, Donna Karan, Michael
Kors, Sean John, Missoni, Tom Ford, and Mustang.
Other products sold through alternative
channels include American Beauty, Flirt!, good skin, Daisy Fuentes,
Coach, and Eyes by Design. The company is headquartered in New
York, with many stores nationally and in Canada operating Estee
The Palestinian BDS National Committee
calls L'Oreal "Makeup for Israeli apartheid," and asks
consumers globally to boycott "the products of the French
cosmetics giant....due to its deep and extensive involvement in
business relations with Israel...."
There since the mid-1990s, its L'Oreal
Israel subsidiary operates a factory in Migdal Haemek in the Lower
Galilee where the Migdal Haemek settlement expelled Palestinian
residents, denies their right of return, and expropriated their
land for exclusive Jewish use.
L'Oreal Israel makes a line of Natural
Sea Beauty products using Dead Sea minerals. However, one-third
of its western shore is in the West Bank, and the entire area
and its resources are off limits to Palestinians to let Israel
exploit it for mining and international tourism.
In July 2008, the company also gave a
$100,000 "lifetime achievement" award to an Israeli
Weizmann Institute scientist, a research center that clandestinely
develops nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons for the IDF
In addition, L'Oreal Israel's chairman,
Gad Propper, is the founding chairman of the Israel-EU Chamber
of Commerce, and was heavily involved in promoting trade with
Australia and New Zealand. Since the mid-1990s, Israel has been
L'Oreal's regional commercial center.
Its brands include Maybelline, Lancome,
Matrix, Redken, Vichy/Dermablend, and Helena Rubinstein. It also
owns the Body Shop, a company reputed to be socially conscious,
except when it comes to Palestine.
The technology giant produces computer
processors and other hardware components employing thousands of
Israelis. It's been one of Israel's major supporters since opening
its first development center outside America in Haifa in 1974.
Ever since, it's heavily invested in the country and operates
an annual billion dollar export business. It has a microprocessor
plant in Har Hotzvim, Jerusalem, another development center there
as well, a plant in Lachish-Qiryat Gat, a branch for the development
of network communications products in Omer, close to Beersheba,
as well as other operations.
Its Qiryat Gat plant lies on Iraq al Manshiya
village land where 2,000 Palestinians were expelled to construct
the illegal settlement that replaced it. Al-Awda (the Palestinian
Right to Return Coalition) urges legal action against Intel for
Intel Israel also supports apartheid education,
saying the company:
"promot(es)....higher education (through)
scholarships for (Israeli) students (and) allocates considerable
resources to funding research and purchasing laboratory equipment."
The company disdains Palestinian rights
by supporting Israeli apartheid, lawlessness, and repressive policies.
It's the world's largest fast food retailer,
operating in about 120 countries globally, including in Israel
since 1993, with about 150 restaurants and a policy of firing
Arab workers caught speaking Arabic.
McDonald's is also a major partner of
the Jewish United Fund (JUF) and Jewish Federation. Through its
Israel Commission, JUF "works to maintain American military,
economic and diplomatic support for Israel; monitors and, when
necessary, responds to media coverage of Israel." JUF is
also a major fundraiser, and, through its "Partnership to
Israel" program, contributes large sums annually to further
illegal settlement development on occupied Palestinian land.
The company is the world's largest soft
drink maker, with numerous brands sold virtually everywhere globally.
Since the mid-1960s, it's been been a staunch Israel supporter,
and in 1997, the country's Chamber of Commerce and Economic Mission
praised its chairman, Roberto Goizueta, for 30 years of support
and for refusing to honor an Arab boycott at the expense of lost
regional business. In 2002, Coca-Cola announced plans to build
a Kiryat Gat plant on stolen Palestinian land, and in 2005, raised
its investment in the Israeli-based Tavor Winery to 51%.
In 2002, the company also helped fund
a pro-Israel propaganda lecture by National Public Radio's Linda
Gradstein, claimed to be unbiased.
The company's Florida Epcot Center Millennium
exhibition depicts occupied Jerusalem as Israel's capital, a joint
effort by Tel Aviv and Disney to Judaize the city preparatory
to legitimizing Israel's claim.
Israel's Foreign Ministry, in charge of
the exhibit, says it highlights the city's importance to Muslims,
Christians and Jews alike, but a formal statement asserts:
"There is no doubt that Jerusalem
is the capital of Israel (and) the position of Jerusalem as the
key component to the Israeli pavilion....speaks for itself without
a clearer or stronger statement being necessary."
Of the exhibit's $8 million cost, Israel
paid less than one-fourth, Disney the rest.
As the world's largest home improvement
retailer, it's second only to Wal-Mart in total retail sales.
Its founder and former chairman, Bernard Marcus, actively supports
Israel, including through the Marcus Foundation promoting Jewish
In addition, he's a board member of Emet
(Hebrew for "truth") News Service, reporting pro-Israeli
propaganda, analysis and commentary to ensure all US media are
on board, and why not with a board of directors including Marcus;
Lex Wexner, The Limited's founder; Edgar Bronfman Sr., Seagram's
former head; Lou Ranieri, a major Wall Street figure and Israeli
bank owner; and former UN ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick. Before
he died, Jack Kemp also served on the board.
The company invests heavily in Israel,
and according to former executive, Lawrence Ricciardi, "This
wedge of land and the huge ideals it represents are very important
In June 2001, the American-Israel Friendship
League praised the company and two others at its Partners for
Democracy Award dinner. In May 2002, the Israel-America Chamber
of Commerce gave IBM the Ambassador's Award "in recognition
of its outstanding contribution to the development of the Israeli
high-tech industry and (for) advancing trade between the US and
IBM began its regional operations in 1949
and was the first large US company with a wholly owned Israeli
subsidiary. Its Haifa Research Laboratories employs over 2,000
people doing extensive research cooperatively with the US-based
operations. For decades, it's also been involved with Israeli
start-ups and venture capital funds.
Billionaire Ronald Perelman controls the
company, a major producer of cosmetics, skin care, fragrance and
personal care products. He also supports Israeli causes, and is
a trustee of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, the notorious pro-Israel
front group with over 300,000 global members and support from
prominent figures like himself, George W. Bush, Barack Obama,
Senator Charles Schumer, Hillary Rodham Clinton, and many others.
Chairman Howard Shultz is staunchly pro-Israel.
In 1998, the Jerusalem Fund of Aish HaTorah gave him "The
Israel 50th Anniversary Friend of Zion Tribute Award" for
"playing a key role in promoting a close alliance between
the United States and Israel." In 2002, Israel's Foreign
Ministry praised him for being key to the country's long-term
PR success, through his provocative speeches accusing Palestinians
of terrorism, calling intifada resistance anti-semitism, asking
Americans to back Israel against a common enemy, and sponsoring
fund raisers for Israeli causes.
Jointly with the Israeli-based Delek Group,
Starbucks Coffee International operated a joint venture in Israel,
opened six stores, then shut them after heavy losses.
The company is a major retailer with five
specialty brands, including Express, The Limited, Lane Bryant,
Lerner New York and Structure as well as the major ownership of
Its founder and CEO, Leslie Wexner, is
a board member of the pro-Israeli Emet News Service, and through
his Wexner Foundation promotes "strengthening Jewish Leadership
in North America and Israel." One of its initiatives finances
up to 10 Israeli officials at Harvard annually for a year-long
Master in Public Administration program (MPA) combined with intensive
leadership development. Many alumni return home to high ministerial
positions and similar IDF ones.
Wexner also sponsors "Birthright
Israel" that brings young American Jews to the country for
intensive indoctrination. He supports Hillel, Israel's bastion
on college campuses, and in April 2003, a leaked Wexler commissioned
Luntz Research document revealed Israel's propaganda strategy
following the Iraq war. The report titled, "Wexler Analysis:
Israeli Communications Priorities 2003" had 11 key recommendations
"on behalf of Israel....in a post-Saddam world."
It called Saddam Hussein "two of
the most hated words in the English language" and the ones
(tying) Israel to America....The day we allow Saddam to take his
eventual place in the trash heap of history is the day we lose
our strongest weapon in the linguistic defense of Israel."
Replacing him are Al Queda, Hamas, Hezbollah,
and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's Iranian government as designated "terrorists,"
propagandized against to portray Israel as surrounded and threatened
by hordes of hostile Muslims bent on its destruction, when, in
fact, the Jewish state is the main regional threat.
The Luntz report also called the illegal
settlements Israel's "Achilles heel" against which there's
no good defense. Wexner is one of its best.
It's the Rupert Murdoch-owned media giant
that includes dozens of print publications, motion pictures, book
publishing, and Fox News, what Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting
(FAIR) calls "the most biased name in news....with its extraordinary
right-wing tilt" that includes one-sided Israeli support,
and no wonder.
Murdoch invests heavily in Israel and
was one of three US companies the American-Israel Friendship League
honored for their support at their June 2001 Partners for Democracy
Awards dinner. Murdoch, in fact, co-chaired the dinner, was a
close friend of Ariel Sharon, calls himself a lifelong ally of
Israel, and shows it through one-sided reporting allowing no wiggle
room for staff deviation.
It's the world's largest clothing manufacturer,
owning in whole or in part familiar brands, including Hanes, Playtex,
Champion, Leggs, and Wonderbra. Its food brands include Sara Lee,
Ball Park, Hillshire Farm, and Jimmy Dean, and its global businesses
include Fresh Bakery, North American Retail, Foodservice, International
Beverage, International Bakery, and International Household and
Body Care. It also owns a 30% stake in the Israeli company Delta
Galil. More on it below.
In 1998, Israeli prime minister Benjamin
Netanyahu awarded Sara Lee Personal Products executive Lucien
Nessim (from its European subsidiary) its highest honor, the Jubilee
Award, in recognition of those individuals or organizations who've
helped Israel's economy most through trade and investments.
Many other companies and/or their officials
have also won it, including Johnson and Johnson, the UK retailer
Marks & Spencer, the French food company Danone, Kimberly-Clark,
L'Oreal, Nestle, Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Pratt & Whitney,
Volkswagon, De Beers, Goldman Sachs, Archer Daniel Midland, Cisco
Systems, Motorola, AOL, formerly AOL/Time Warner, and numerous
Major Israeli companies include:
Delta Galil Industries Ltd.
Israel's largest textile manufacturer
produces clothing and underwear for popular brands including,
Gap, J-Crew, JC Penny, Calvin Klein, Playtex, Victoria's Secret,
Hugo Boss, Banana Republic, Ralph Lauren, and others.
Dov Lautman founded and chairs the company,
is close to top Israeli officials, and achieved notoriety after
sweatshopwatch.org called him a "Sweatshop Czar" for
exploiting Arab labor in Egypt and Jordan. In March 2007, he won
the Israel Prize for lifetime achievement for his contribution
to the country and its people at the expense of neighboring Arabs
From its illegal Mitzpe Shalem settlement
facility, the company produces cosmetics using Dead Sea salt,
minerals, and mud, natural substances extracted from West Bank
Code Pink's "Stolen Beauty"
"Ahava promises "Beauty Secrets
from the Dead Sea." And wait until you hear those secrets!
Because Ahava is hiding the ugly truth - its products actually
come from stolen Palestinian natural resources....Don't let the
'Made in Israel' sticker fool you - when you buy Avaha products
you help finance the destruction of hope for a peaceful and just
future for both Israelis and Palestinians."
Avaha uses Palestinian resources without
their permission and pays no compensation for them. In addition,
Israel denies Palestinians access to the West Bank portion of
the Dead Sea so companies like Avaha can exploit it.
Dorot Garlic and Herbs
Established in 1992 in Kibbutz Dorot,
the company is now Israel's largest frozen seasonings supplier
to food retainers, hotels, and restaurants in America, Canada
The Strauss Group and Its Subsidiaries
Israel's second largest food and beverage
company supports the Golani reconnaissance platoon, infamous for
its decades of slaughtering Palestinians, most recently during
Operation Cast Lead.
In the "corporate responsibility"
section of its website, a sub-heading titled "In the Field
With Soldiers" states:
"Our connection with soldiers goes
as far back as the country, and even further. We see a mission
and need to continue to provide our soldiers with support, to
enhance their quality of life and service conditions, and sweeten
their special moments....at the front to spoil them with our best
products," including Max Brenner Chocolates - another brand
to boycott because the company backs Israel's killing machine.
Sabra is another Strauss company in a
joint venture with Pepsico. It produces traditional Arab salads
like hummus, baba ghanoush, and fried eggplant.
The company is half Israeli state-owned,
exporting fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs from Israel and
the Occupied Territories, operating under the Carmel, Jaffa and
Coral brands. In the West Bank, Agrexco exploits Palestinian workers,
including children, paying sub-poverty wages, no benefits, no
sick or holiday pay, no rights, and no union.
The Israeli Date Growers' Cooperative
sells 65% of all Israeli and West Bank settlement-produced dates
under the brand names King Solomon and Jordan River. They also
supply supermarkets and retail chains that market them under their
own private brands. Customers include UK-based Marks & Spencer,
Sainsbury, Tesco and Waitrose.
Harvesting dates is hard work and why
Israelis use cheap Palestinian labor for it - preferably children
who are small, agile, work for less, and are easier to cheat.
The job entails days beginning at 5AM, being hoisted atop date
palm trees up to 12 meters, left there for up to eight hours with
no break and no way down until mechanically returned at day's
end. Workers cling to trees with one arm, using the other for
their quota, with no break, and if they complain or fall behind,
Agrexco and Hadiklaim harvest and sell
most dates produced in Israel or on illegal West Bank settlements,
including brands mislabeled "West Bank."
Gush Shalom's BDS Support
Translated from Hebrew, Gush Shalom means
"The Peace Bloc" - hard core, especially in times of
crisis. Opposing the occupation, it supports an independent Palestine
"in all the territories occupied by Israel in 1967"
with East Jerusalem its capital and diaspora refugees free to
return or be justly compensated for lost land and property.
In July 2006, it listed settlement-made
products/factories to be boycotted, headed by the comment that
"A penny to the settlements is a penny against peace."
Consumer ones include:
-- Avaha cosmetics;
-- Aphrodite cosmetics;
-- AMB cosmetics;
-- Adora Screens;
-- Aladin cleaning products;
-- Abadi "Mizrahiot" salted
-- Ahva halva and candy;
-- Adanim Tea;
-- Arava Grapes;
-- Areva Herbs;
-- Barken Cellars wine makers;
-- Bel Efri jewelery;
-- Barken Sweets;
-- Barshap cosmetics;
-- Better and Different health food;
-- Beigel & Beigel pretzel bakery;
-- Beitili furniture and carpets;
-- Ben-Or toys;
-- Doron Furnitures;
-- Dotan leather goods;
-- Eden Springs Ltd. mineral water;
-- Edumim fish processed food;
-- Euro Veavers carpets;
-- Ever & Levin jewelry;
-- Gilad spices;
-- Golan Cheese;
-- Golan Wines;
-- Gush Ezion Wines;
-- Harduf Eggs;
-- Hebron Wines;
-- Hlavin Industries;
-- InterCosma cosmetics;
-- Kedem Herbs;
-- Keter Plastics plastic furniture;
-- Kravitz stationery;
-- Keisaria Carpets;
-- Lankry foods;
-- Luiza herbal tea;
-- Lital furniture;
-- Meirtecs blankets;
-- Motola Preservers pickles;
-- Malchi-Jourden Industries cosmetics;
-- Modan satchels and handbags;
-- Netanel Spices;
-- Nimrod Cheese;
-- Noah Winery;
-- Of Habira chicken;
-- Openheimer chocolate and sweets;
-- Organica spices;
-- Ramat Hagolan Cellars wine makers;
-- Ramat Hagolan Dairy;
-- Shamir Salads;
-- Sharp Delicatessens sausages;
-- Soda Club home soda water devices;
-- Shemesh Spices;
-- Shomron Meat;
-- Super Drink drinks;
-- Sus Etz toys;
-- Tekoa Mushrooms;
-- Tekoa Wines;
-- Tel Arza Wines;
-- Tohikon arts and crafts;
-- Winter Carpets;
-- Yenon processed food;
-- Zion Wines; and
-- Zivanit shoes and sandals.
To paraphrase Chicago community organizer
Saul Alinsky, the way to beat organized oppression is with organized
boycotts against Israeli companies and global corporate giants
allied with its government's war machine.
It's a democratic non-violent weapon of
the powerless against the powerful, the tactic Gandhi preferred.
It fights fire with activism. It's how South Africa's apartheid
was beaten, and it can end decades of Israeli lawlessness the
same way, bring peace and reconciliation, and give Palestinians
their long-denied rights in their own state or together with Jews
equally in one land, the way it should be in any just nation.
Stephen Lendman is a Research Associate
of the Centre for Research on Globalization. He lives in Chicago
and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.