SodaStream under fire over West Bank factory

2014-01-31 07:04
Palestinian workers prepare boxes to pack products at a SodaStream factory on in the Mishor Adumim industrial park, next to the West Bank settlement of Maale Adumim. (Menahem Kahana, AFP)

Palestinian workers prepare boxes to pack products at a SodaStream factory on in the Mishor Adumim industrial park, next to the West Bank settlement of Maale Adumim. (Menahem Kahana, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

Mishor Adumim - SodaStream, the Israeli firm under fire over its manufacturing operations in a West Bank settlement, is a global brand that produces a device for making home-carbonated drinks.

Founded in Britain in 1903, it was purchased by Israel's Soda-Club in 1998 and went public on New York's Nasdaq stock exchange in 2010.

The company's share price dropped some 20% in mid-January after announcing it had failed to achieve its profit targets for 2013.

Based at Airport City near Tel Aviv, SodaStream operates 25 factories around the world, including one in Mishor Adumim industrial park near Maaleh Adumim settlement, east of Jerusalem.

The fact that one of its factories is located in a settlement seems to have gone more or less unremarked until SodaStream announced earlier this month it had signed Hollywood actress Scarlett Johansson as its "first-ever Global Brand Ambassador".

At the time, Johansson was also working as an ambassador for the international aid agency, Oxfam.

 ‘Pain in the ass’

Her nomination was immediately pounced on by Palestinian activists from the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, which has previously targeted the firm as an "occupation profiteer".

It demanded earlier this week that Oxfam immediately cut ties with the actress.

Johansson stepped down from her role at Oxfam on Thursday, with the aid agency saying her promotion of SodaStream was "incompatible" with her position as their ambassador.

The 29-year-old actress has defended the operations of the drinks firm.

"SodaStream is a company that is not only committed to the environment but to building a bridge to peace between Israel and Palestine, supporting neighbours working alongside each other, receiving equal pay, equal benefits and equal right," she said last week to the online Huffington Post.

"That is what is happening in their Maaleh Adumim factory every working day."

Aside from the West Bank factory, SodaStream operates out of two facilities in Israel. One is in Alon Tavor, near the northern city of Nazareth, and the other in the southern port city of Ashkelon.

And in 2012, SodaStream said it had begun constructing a new factory in Israel's southern Negev desert.

In a recent interview with New York Jewish weekly The Forward, CEO Daniel Birnbaum said the Negev factory would not mean the company would close its West Bank operations, which would put hundreds of Palestinians out of work.

"We will not throw our employees under the bus to promote anyone's political agenda," he said, adding that he "just can't see how it would help the cause of the Palestinians if we fired them".

But he described the plant's location as "a pain in the ass".

If the Palestinians achieve their goal of statehood, SodaStream would be happy to stay and pay its taxes to the new state, he said.

"We already have factories under the control of the Chinese, the Germans, the Americans and many other countries," he said.

"So what's the problem to have a factory in the Palestinian state-to-be? We don't give a hoot where the factory is going to be."

Read more on:    oxfam  |  scarlett johannson  |  israel  |  palestine  |  middle east peace
NEXT ON NEWS24X

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
74 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Tuesday Mitchells Plain - 19:35 PM
    Road name: M7 Vanguard Drive
    ROADWORKS - traffic restrictions between the R300 and Highlands Drive - expect delays
  • Tuesday Belhar - 17:58 PM
    Road name: Belhar Drive
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Alabama Drive
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Up to 60% off - clearance sale!

Save up to 60% on appliances, books, electronics, toys, movies and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Deal of the Week!

Get bestselling John Green novels now just R99 each! Hurry and get yours while stocks last. Shop here.

Mind blowing deals on beauty & fragrances

Save up to 30% off beauty and fragrances. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Apple iPad 2 White 16GB 9.7" Tablet With WiFi & 3G

Two cameras for FaceTime and HD video recording. The dual-core...

From R4300.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Something may come up to alert you of your security needs. It may be that you need to create a better structure for your finances...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.