Top Brands to Boycott
Since 2005, the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement (BDS) has called on the international community to pressure Israel economically as “a form of civil resistance to Israeli occupation, colonialism, and apartheid.”
Sources and other useful websites:
- Who Profits
- BDS Movement
- Bay Area Campaign to End Israeli Apartheid (BACEIA)
- End the Occupation
- 10 brands you’ll have to give up if you’re boycotting Israel
1. Sabra and Tribe hummus. A Philadelphia-based BDS campaign drew attention to Israeli hummus makers Tribe and Sabra. Sabra parent company Strauss supports the Israeli military, specifically the Golani and Givati Brigades, both of which are heavily involved in the Gaza massacre. Tribe’s owner Osem’s supports the Jewish National Fund, which displaced Bedouins with development projects in the Negev desert.
2. Dorot Garlic and Herbs. These 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: www.quitpalestine.org/dbia.
3. SodaStream: The Israeli company, which runs a factory in the industrial park connected with the Israeli settlement of Maale Adumim, has become a lightning rod for BDS criticism since releasing an ad featuring Scarlett Johansson. Palestinian residents in the area and international activists issued a press release on Jan. 30 calling on Ms. Johansson to stop promoting SodaStream, saying that such companies “directly support Israel’s illegal occupation and colonization of Palestinian land by paying taxes to municipal settlement governments, employing local settlers, and providing the economic infrastructure for Israel’s settlement expansion.”
4. Ahava: This 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: www.stolenbeauty.org.
5. L’Oreal / The Body Shop: This 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.
6. Estee Lauder: This 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: www.quitpalestine.org/esteeslaughter.
7. Delta Galil Industries: Israel’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 #8) 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.
8. Victoria’s Secret: Most of Victoria’s Secret’s bras are produced by Delta Galil (#7), 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 contracting with companies known for labor violations, and by environmental groups for their unsustainable use of paper in their catalogues. That’s not sexy! More info: www.quitpalestine.org/actions/victoria/whoseunder.htm
9. Pampers: Procter & Gamble, which produces Pampers, is one of the largest clients of an Israeli company that supplies diaper products, Avgol Nonwoven Industries. P&G accounts for nearly half of the company’s sales, according to the pro-boycott research group Who Profits. Avgol Nonwoven Industries runs a plant in the Barkan industrial complex, located near the West Bank settlement of Ariel.
10. Motorola: While 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: www.hanguponmotorola.org.
11. Intel: This technology company that manufactures computer processors and other hardware components employs thousands of Israelis and its exports from Israel total 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: www.al-awda.org/alert-intel.html.
12. Hewlett-Packard: Hewlett-Packard, the maker of computers and printers better known as HP, has come under fire for its involvement in biometric technology at Israeli checkpoints and for Israeli identification cards. BDS supporters have also criticized them for using service providers based in Israeli settlements.
13. Caterpillar: The most destructive weapon of the Occupation may not be an F-16 or helicopter gunship, but rather, an armor plated D-9 or D-11 Caterpillar bulldozer. These are the machines that have demolished thousands of homes, uprooted countless olive trees, and carved gaping holes in roads, making them impassable. Even when used in Israel’s colonial intrusions on the land through construction of illegal housing or bypass roads, CAT equipment is being used daily in the commission of war crimes and violations of human rights.
14. Veolia: Veolia continues to own and operate the Tovlan landfill in the occupied West Bank, which collects and dumps refuse from Israeli settlements using illegally captured Palestinian land and natural resources — a form of pillage; it provides wastewater services to settlements; and Veolia Transdev still operates the Jerusalem Light Rail, which deeply entrenches and normalizes Israeli illegal settlements in East Jerusalem.
15. McDonald’s: BDS supporters have targeted McDonald’s for its partnership with the Jewish United Fund, which, among other things, promotes visits to Kiryat Gat, built on top of a destroyed Palestinian village. Critics have also targeted McDonald’s for discriminating against Arab workers at its restaurants in Israel.
16. Garnier: makes shampoos and other beauty products. Parent company is L’Oreal (#5)
17. Nestle: Nestle is the world’s largest food company. Nestle’s main presence in Israel is in Sderot, a settlement founded in 1951 one kilometer from the Gaza Strip which is built on the lands of the Palestinian town Al-Najd, which was ethnically cleansed in 1948. Brands under the Nestle company: Nescafé, Perrier, Vittel, Pure Life, Carnation, Libby’s, Milkmaid, Nesquik, Maggi, Buitoni, Crosse & Blackwell, Milkybar, KitKat, Quality Street, Smarties, After Eight, Shreddies cereal, Quality Street, Baci, After Eight, Baby Ruth, Butterfinger, Lion, Aero, Polo, Frutips, Felix (cat food),