No Business as Usual with Apartheid Israel

7 December 2009 — Palestine Think Tank

Leviev.jpgAt Leviev Store, Protesters Tell Business Leaders “No Business as Usual with Apartheid Israel”

New York, NY, December 4, 2009 – 25 New York City human rights advocates caught the Israel Business Leaders Delegation to the United States by surprise this morning with a noisy protest outside their “breakfast reception amidst the Leviev jewelry collection” at the Leviev store on Madison Avenue. Groups worldwide have conducted a successful campaign for the boycott of Leviev’s companies due to their involvement in Israeli settlement construction in violation of international law, and human rights abuses in the diamond industry in Angola.

In addition to businesspeople, among the guests present at the breakfast was TV personality Dr. Ruth Westheimer who tried unsuccessfully to avoid notice as she left. Guests watched from the second floor of Leviev’s store as protesters chanted and sang outside. Some attempted to defend Israel’s dismal human rights record when they left. The protest came as Leviev is struggling in court in Israel to save his company Africa-Israel from bankruptcy and from creditors, and to retain ownership.

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Not so Swift, Hackers: Why the scandal sometimes called “ClimateGate” is overblown

2 December, 2009 — Science Progress

And now, the climate change deniers will claim a scalp.

Yesterday, climate researcher Phil Jones, director of the Climate Research Unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia in the UK—which is responsible for one of three important datasets tracking global temperature trends—announced he would be stepping aside pending an independent review of allegations that have emerged in the scandal variously referred to as ‘ClimateGate’ and the ‘SwiftHack.’ It’s just the latest development in a saga that began when a boatload of CRU emails and documents, obtained through an illegal computer hacking, made their way into the public arena last month. The files were instantly seized upon by climate change skeptics and deniers, who touted them—with a combination of glee and histrionic outrage—as evidence of mainline scientists conspiring to quash legitimate dissent, and to conceal problems with the data and analyses used to demonstrate human-caused global warming.

The truth, however, is that while the CRU emails don’t always look very good—and not all of them can necessarily be defended—in the end this saga amounts to little more than a distraction from the real and burning issues in climate science and climate policy. Moreover, its suspicious timing—coming just weeks before the U.N. Copenhagen climate conference—suggests a strategic attempt to undermine those international deliberations by once again casting doubt on the scientific basis for concern about climate change—a tried, true, and seemingly unending political strategy.

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Palestine: Top Ten Brands to Boycott this Christmas & all year

3 December, 2009 — Right Of Return Coalition

USCBI (U.S. Campaign for the Academic & Cultural Boycott of Israel)

While there are many Israeli and multinational companies that benefit from apartheid, we put together this list to highlight ten specific companies to target.

Many of these produce goods in such a way that directly harms Palestinians — exploiting labor, developing technology for military operations, or supplying equipment for illegal settlements. Many are also the targets of boycotts for other reasons, like harming the environment and labor violations.


image001[25].jpgThis brand’s cosmetics are produced using salt, minerals, and mud from the Dead Sea — natural resources that are excavated from the occupied West Bank . The products themselves are manufactured in the illegal Israeli settlement Mitzpe Shalem. AHAVA is the target of CODEPINK’s “Stolen Beauty” campaign.

2. Delta Galil Industries

image033.jpgIsrael’s largest textiles manufacturer provides clothing and underwear for such popular brands as Gap, J-Crew, J.C. Penny, Calvin Klein, Playtex, Victoria’s Secret (see #10) and many others. Its founder and chairman Dov Lautman is a close associate of former Israeli President Ehud Barak. It has also been condemned by Sweatshop Watch for its exploitation of labor in other countries such as Egypt , Jordan , and Turkey .

3. Motorola

image003[17].jpgWhile many of us know this brand for its stylish cellphones, did you know that it also develops and manufactures bomb fuses and missile guidance systems? Motorola components are also used in unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs or “drones”) and in communications and surveillance systems used in settlements, checkpoints, and along the 490 mile apartheid wall. The US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation has launched the “Hang Up on Motorola” campaign.

4. L’Oreal / The Body Shop

image034.jpgThis cosmetics and perfume company is known for its investments and manufacturing activities in Israel, including production in Migdal Haemek, the “Silicon Valley” of Israel built on the land of Palestinian village Al-Mujaydil, which was ethnically cleansed in 1948. In 1998, a representative of L’Oreal was given the Jubilee Award by Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu for strengthening the Israeli economy.

5. Dorot Garlic and Herbs

dorot.jpgThese frozen herbs that are sold at Trader Joe’s are shipped halfway around the world when they could easily be purchased locally. Trader Joe’s also sells Israeli Cous Cous and Pastures of Eden feta cheese that are made in Israel . QUIT, South Bay Mobilization, and other groups have targeted Trader Joe’s with a “Don’t Buy into Apartheid” campaign.

6. Estee Lauder

lauder.jpgThis company’s chairman Ronald Lauder is also the chairman of the Jewish National Fund, a quasi-governmental organization that was established in 1901 to acquire Palestinian land and is connected to the continued building of illegal settlements. Estee Lauder’s popular brands include Clinique, MAC, Origins, Bumble & Bumble, Aveda, fragrance lines for top designers, and many others. They have been the target of QUIT’s “Estee Slaughter Killer Products” campaign.

7. Intel

intel.jpgThis technology company that manufactures computer processors and other hardware components employs thousands of Israelis and has exports from Israel totaling over $1 billion per year. They are one of Israel ’s oldest foreign supporters, having established their first development center outside of the US in 1974 in Haifa . Al-Awda (the Palestinian Right to Return Coalition) has urged action against Intel for building a facility on the land of former village Iraq Al Manshiya, which was cleansed in 1949.

8. Sabra

sabra.jpgThis brand of hummus, baba ghanoush and other foods is co-owned by Israel ’s second-largest food company The Strauss Group and Pepsico. On the “Corporate Responsibility” section of its website, The Strauss Group boasts of its relationship to the Israeli Army, offering food products and political support.

9. Sara Lee

sara-lee.jpgSara Lee holds a 30% stake in Delta Galil (see #2) and is the world’s largest clothing manufacturer, which owns or is affiliated with such brands as Hanes, Playtex, Champion, Leggs, Sara Lee Bakery, Ball Park hotdogs, Wonderbra, and many others. Similar to L’Oreal (see #4), a representative of Sara Lee received the Jubilee Award from Netanyahu for its commitment to business with Israel .

10. Victoria’s Secret

image002[15].jpgMost of Victoria’s Secret’s bras are produced by Delta Galil (see #2), and much of the cotton is also grown in Israel on confiscated Palestinian land. Victoria ’s Secret has also been the target of labor rights’ groups for sourcing products from companies with labor violations, and by environmental groups for their unsustainable use of paper in producing their catalogues. That’s not sexy!

Remember, it’s also important to let these companies — and the stores that sell them — know that we will not support them as long as they support Israeli apartheid!

To report more Product Sightings, email products[at]