February 11, 2009
Ahava Dead Sea Laboratories, an Israeli cosmetics company, promises "Beauty Secrets from the Dead Sea." But wait until you hear those secrets! Ahava is hiding the ugly truth--its products come from stolen Palestinian natural resources in the Occupied West Bank, and are produced in the illegal settlement of Mitzpe Shalem. Don't let the "Made in Israel" sticker fool you--when you buy Ahava you help finance the destruction of hope for a peaceful and just future for both Israelis and Palestinians.
This Valentine's Day, have a heart and join us sending a CODEPINK-style valentine to the president of Ricky's NYC, a family-owned chain store here in New York City, to tell them 'Stop carrying AHAVA cosmetics! AHAVA means love in Hebrew, but there is nothing loving about the company's practices.' Help put the pressure on Ricky's to stop carrying the products and we can add it to the other successes from this campaign!
Lately, the Stolen Beauty Ahava boycott campaign has been feeling like a snowball that we started rolling, and that is now moving with heft and speed that we could never have predicted. In January, "The Case Against AHAVA,"was disseminated by the U.K. based Business and Human Rights Resource Centre to its list of 50,000 businesses and non-profits. In January, an autonomous Facebook Group, Ask Costco to remove AHAVA Products from Their Shelves sent hundreds of letters to Costco and finally received confirmation that Costco would no longer stock the products. In the meantime, a British Minister of Parliament denounced AHAVA's fraudulent labeling at a hearing last month, and the Dutch Foreign Minister has initiated an investigation into the company's practices.
Keep the snowball rolling and join us in sending a special Valentine's Day message to Ricky's NYC president, Dominick Costello. Your email can make a difference. This past summer we delivered Stolen Beauty AHAVA boycott letters to store managers at fourteen of Ricky's outlets in the city. We followed up with letters and phone calls to the corporate headquarters and Mr. Costello's office. We also staged several in-store protests. In late August, Mr. Costello's assistant told us they had every intention of continuing to stock and sell AHAVA products. Let's see if we can't encourage a change of heart.
The situation on the ground in Palestine is dire--Gaza is still suffering under a crippling blockade, there are daily evictions and home demolitions in East Jerusalem, night-time raids and kidnappings in the West Bank have escalated against non-violent anti-wall organizers--but the growing strength and legitimacy of the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement gives us hope.
With all our hearts,
Nancy K and the Stolen Beauty AHAVA Boycott team
P.S. Spread the love and stop the hate: Join CODEPINK in DC in March for a national training and Congressional education day on Palestine, an Ahava boycott action, and to mark the seventh anniversary of the Iraq occupation with a rally and actions in Congress! Click here for more info and to sign up.