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Holiday Caroling for Justice: Boycott Ahava and SodaStream

December 9, 2011
Los Angeles, CA

It only takes a few people to cause a ruckus – really only one, but we were lucky then to have five.

Although it was barely 5pm on a Friday the West LA sky was dark, pierced by streetlights, advertisements, the high beams of traffic. But we were visible under the neon glow of the Bed, Bath & Beyond sign and that harsh glow of a box store.

Alongside our cohorts from Jews for Peace-LA, we CODEPINKs were decked out in our caroling gear with cardboard placards expressing clear messages to Bed, Bath & Beyond: “Dump Illegal Israeli Settlement Products Ahava and SodaStream”, “There is Nothing Friendly about Occupation – Boycott SodaStream”, “Ahava is Dirty Business.”

Both SodaStream and Ahava are produced in Israeli settlements, illegal as all are in the occupied West Bank. However, both products are marked made in “Israel” while Bed, Bath & Beyond stocks both.

We are not strangers to the store, having delivered our letters urging store managers and the CEO to discontinue carrying the illegal products. We have also performed our BDS marriage ceremony there, committing ourselves to a life dedicated to peace and justice while pledging to boycott the bridal registry until Ahava and SodaStream are gone.

This evening the store manager, one I had never seen and looking annoyed, asked, “May I help you?” Oh, yes, you may…

Our carols ranged from the somber to the hilarious.

This was our Jingle Bells:

Building settlements
On confiscated lands,
Selling beauty creams,
Blood mixed in with mud.
No No No!
Making lots of dough,
Ignoring human rights
What a shame it is to shop
for Ahava tonight! -HEY!

Hanukkah Oh Hanukkah became:

Ahava oh Ahava
Destruction you're sowing
Stealing the land
where the crops all are growing
Mining from the Dead Sea, is
theft and deceit
You know ethnic cleansing is
hardly a treat

Although passersby did not join in the singing, a woman who was en route to buy SodaStream as a holiday gift for her nephews told us they would be getting marshmallow shooters instead.