'Intelligent discontent is the mainspring of civilization.' -- Eugene V. Debs

Monday, August 02, 2010

Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions: How to Identify and Boycott Israeli Goods 

UPDATE: Sign the petition in support of the Olympia Food Co-op's decision to boycott Israeli goods. You can also send a letter as well.

INITIAL POST: From the Global BDS Movement website:

Individual consumers can show their opposition to Israel's project by participating in a consumer boycott of Israeli goods and services. A boycott can also put pressure on companies whose exports are linked to some of the most evident aspects of the Israeli occupation and apartheid.

The Israeli barcode starts with 729.

Agrexco export fruit and vegetables for sale all over Europe and the US under the trade name Carmel. Much of its produce is grown on confiscated Palestinian land in the Jordan Valley, and the Israeli government owns 51% of the company. Jaffa Oranges were famous for centuries before Israelis successfully colonised the Palestinian name along with the city of Yafa.

Motorola, as well as producing mobile phones, also manufacture wireless data networks for military bases and battlefield communications systems. Much of the cutting-edge technology contained in products such as mobile phones, computers and software is developed in the manufacture of military services and goods. Products developed to meet the needs of the Israeli military have a reputation for reliability, having been tried and tested on Palestinians.

For additional boycott targets, consider the following from Adalah-NY:


Sabra produces traditional Arab salads like hummus, baba ghanoush, and fried eggplant. Sabra is 50% owned by the Israeli company the Strauss Group, and 50% owned by Pepsico. The Strauss Group is the second largest Israeli food and beverage company and is widely touted as one of the great successes of Israeli industry. According to a Strauss Group report, Humus is one of our national foods, and can be found in just about every Israeli home.

On its website in the section on Corporate Responsibility, the Strauss Group emphasizes its support for the Israeli army, noting in a section entitled In the Field with Soldiers, 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. We have adopted the Golani reconnaissance platoon for over 30 years and provide them with an ongoing variety of food products for their training or missions, and provide personal care packages for each soldier that completes the path. We have also adopted the Southern Shualei Shimshon troops from the Givati platoon with the goal of improving their service conditions and being there at the front to spoil them with our best products.


According to the Jerusalem Post, Delta Galil is the nation's largest manufacturer and marketer of textiles and is one of the largest private-label underwear manufacturers in the world. The company was one of the first local firms to benefit from the peace process, as it moved manufacturing to neighboring countries with low labor costs. Delta currently manufactures in Egypt, Jordan, Turkey and Scotland.

Delta Galil provides clothing to, among others, Victoria’s Secret, the Gap, J Crew, JC Penney, Ralph Lauren, Wal-Mart Calvin Klein, Donna Karan, Hugo Boss and Playtex.

Finally, there is this from End the Occupation:

Join our boycott to pressure Ahava Dead Sea Laboratories to end its support for Israeli occupation and apartheid.

Ahava excavates resources and manufactures their products in illegal Jewish-only settlements in the occupied West Bank. These settlements, Mitpze Shalem and Kalya, collectively own 44% of Ahava's stock and thereby directly profit from Ahava sales.

Of course, a boycott of Motorola products, as suggested by many BDS advocates, is, like the campaign against Caterpillar, aimed at US corporate complicity in the occupation, but there is no reason why we cannot boycott both American and Israeli corporate interests associated with it. Note also that the BDS campaign does not take a stance on whether the occupation is best ended through either a two state or one state approach, although in my personal view, it generates momentum towards one secular state in Palestine. Despite the failure to resolve this question, BDS is a laudable attempt to demand humane treatment and political rights for the Palestinians.

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