Women's peace group launches boycott campaign of Israeli Ahava cosmeticsJuly 21st, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE July 21,
Women's peace group launches boycott campaign of
Israeli Ahava cosmetics
Company violates international law for use of West Bank resources
NEW YORK -- Following a dramatic, bikini-clad demonstration yesterday inside the beauty industry's annual major Cosmoprof conference in Las Vegas, the leading women's peace and justice group CODEPINK announces the launch of "Stolen Beauty," a boycott campaign against the Israeli cosmetics company, Ahava Dead Sea Laboratories. Through this campaign, CODEPINK plans to move the company -- which sells its products in upscale shops, spas and salons worldwide -- to end its exploitative, illegal practices and pressure Israel to end its violations of international law against Palestine and its people.
"Ahava, which means 'love' in Hebrew, is hardly loving in what it's doing in the Occupied West Bank," said Nancy Kricorian, main organizer of the "Stolen Beauty" campaign. "With its misleading packaging, shady exploitation of West Bank resources and more, Ahava violates international human rights' laws and makes its profit on dirty products. By boycotting Ahava, one supports human rights and an end to a brutal occupation."
CODEPINK, which in the past two months has already staged three demonstrations against Ahava in Israel and New York City (view photos and video here and of yesterday's actions here), recently sent a fact-finding mission to the Ahava headquarters in the Israeli settlement of Mitzpe Shalem in the Occupied West Bank. What they found made their skin crawl: its products produced on site in the Occupied West Bank are labeled of 'Israeli origin' even though, according to international law including the relevant UN Security Council Resolutions, the West Bank cannot be considered to be part of the State of Israel. The company also exploits occupied natural resources for profit, which is a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention.
Ahava does its best to hide its
dirt of exploiting the Occupied West Bank for profit and funding
illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank, even hiring Oxfam
Ambassador and 'Sex and the City' star Kristin Davis as its
spokesperson. As a women's group, CODEPINK felt itself an apt group to push Ahava to come clean, shut down its factory in the
Palestinian West Bank and move the Israeli government to end its inhumane policies toward Palestine.
"We are here to tell AHAVA, which claims to be devoted to beauty and purity, that you cannot cover up occupation and violation of international law," said Jodie Evans, CODEPINK co-founder, who led the demonstration yesterday at Cosmoprof. "We call on AHAVA to come clean."
'Stolen Beauty' is CODEPINK's contribution to the international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Movement against institutions and corporations that give tacit or material support to the Israel's occupation of the Palestinian Territory, designed to pressure the Israeli government to end the occupation of the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem. The boycott became more urgent following Israel's brutal assault in Gaza in January that killed more than 1,300 Gazan civilians, injured 5,300, destroyed approximately 4,000 homes and displaced 50,000 people into temporary U.N. shelters. Conditions have since worsened because of Israel's 21-month blockade of Gazan borders, Israel's continued demolition of Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem, and land appropriations and violent repression in the West Bank.For more information, please contact Jean Stevens, CODEPINK national media coordinator, at 508-769-2138 or Nancy Kricorian, Stolen Beauty campaign coordinator, at 646-234-8529. For more information on the campaign, recent protest events and more, visit www.stolenbeauty.org; on the manufacturer and its involvement in the occupation, visit “Who Profits from the Occupation?” (a project of The Israeli Coalition of Women for Peace): http://www.whoprofits.org/