Aug 9, 2010

‘NYT’ piece from Dead Sea ‘kibbutz’ ignores int’l boycott of its products

In “As it Shrinks, the Dead Sea Nourishes Promises of an Economic Bloom,” [New York Times, yesterday, p. A8], Isabel Kershner presents a rosy picture of what she calls the Israeli “kibbutz” of Kalia, situated on the shores of Dead Sea. Kalia is, in actuality, an illegal Jewish-only settlement implanted in the Occupied Palestinian West Bank by Israel. (All settlements in the Occupied Palestinian West Bank are illegal under international law.).

But Kalia is not just any settlement: Kershner fails to mention that it is a co-owner of Ahava Dead Sea Laboratories (Kalia holds 7.5% of the company’s shares), a cosmetics firm whose main factory is also located on stolen Palestinian territory. Ahava is the target of a growing international boycott campaign because of its illegal practices, including the sourcing of raw materials from from Palestinian land. Indeed, sources inside Israel allege that Ahava excavates mud used in its products from the shores of the very settlement of Kalia described in Kershner’s article. This excavation and export of minerals in occupied territory is against international law (the Geneva Conventions explicitly forbid the “exploitation of occupied resources by the occupying power”).

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