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Sunday, 9 September 2012

Israeli Shop Sodastream (Ecostream) Opens in Brighton to Large Picket

Zionists trying to avoid another Ahava-like humiliation

video


The stall did a roaring trade
 








One of the Bedouin slated for removal from the land



Today, was the beginning of a large picket and stall outside the Israeli shop Sodastream.  A number of our opponents, including two mad Christian Fundamentalists, were on hand, but the vast majority of Brighton people passing by gave us their support and we ran out in 2 hours of over 500 leaflets.  There are a number of pictures of our picket and also a video, whose quality leaves a lot to be desired but gives a flavour of the exchanges. 
So successful though was our first outing that we’ve decided that instead of mounting pickets every 2 weeks, as happened at Ahava, we are going to do weekly pickets of this Apartheid shop.

Its branding in Green Brighton is interesting.  It calls itself ‘Eco’ stream – part of an attempt to greenwash its activities just as the Jewish National Fund calls itself an eco-friendly organisation, building all those forests and parks, even if they are on top of razed Arab villages whose inhabitants have been expelled from the West Bank!  But there is nothing eco friendly about Ecostream’s base and activities.

As the information below shows, Sodastream is based in the Mishor Adumim industrial zone, which is part of the growing number of Jewish only settlements on the outskirts of Jerusalem, Ma’ale Adumim.

Amongst our opponents was a Christian Fundamentalist who claimed to live nearby, but was disturbed by our ‘offensive’ message.  His neigbours described him as a 'w*****' and a mad Black female fundamentalist who seems to think Apartheid was and is ok, and 2 or 3 Zionists who repeated the same hoary lines.  One of them at one point asked me ‘what about the 6 million’!  As if the dead at the hands of the Nazis justify further racism, as I asked what was the logical connection.

This is Sodastream’s first UK outlet and it is rumoured they have a 6 month lease.  It is incumbent upon us to ensure that it is not renewed and Sodastream get the message that stolen goods from stolen land are not welcome here.

Tony Greenstein

Israeli apartheid profiteer Sodastream opens new store in UK

August 22, 2012, Corporate Watch

Sodastream, a carbonated beverage manufacturer, is based in the Mishor Adumim settlement industrial zone. Mishor Adumim is an industrial area  attached to the residential settlement of Ma’ale Adumim, East of  Jerusalem in the Israeli occupied West Bank. Israeli company Soda Club, which owns the Sodastream brandname, has  opened a new store called Ecostream on Western Road in Brighton, UK.

However, Palestinians living in the villages around Mishor Adumim are prevented from building any permanent structure under Israeli military  orders. Their tents and huts, and even a primary school at Khan-al-Ahmar, are subject to demolition by the army

The Israeli army plans to forcibly evict and transfer 20 Palestinian communities, some 2,300 people, from their homes in the area of the Ma’ale Adumim settlement bloc in the occupied West Bank. The plan aims to relocate the communities, a majority of which are Jahalin Bedouin, to a site about 300m away from the Jerusalem municipal garbage dump.  Israeli authorities have not consulted with the communities and the residents oppose the move. Military officials have said that the army will begin implementing the plan in early 2012.  If carried out, this forced transfer would violate Israel’s obligations under international law and uproot some of the poorest communities in the West Bank.

These building restrictions prevent the establishment of any Palestinian businesses, meaning that local Palestinians are forced to work in the settlements. Palestinian agriculture is limited by the settlements monopoly on land and the restrictions placed on the grazing of cattle, often leading to the seizure of cattle by the army.

Palestinians working for Sodastream in Mishor Adumim are working in the context of the occupation. In January 2012 activists from Stop Sodastream Italy made the following statement in response to claims by the company that its workers were well treated: “the fact remains that, as subjects of an occupation regime, these workers do not enjoy civil rights (including the right of workers to organize) and are under constant threat of having their permits to work in the settlement revoked by the company at any moment.”

“Palestinian workers often have no choice but to work in the settlements, with high unemployment rates that are a direct result of the Israeli occupation. The 2011 United Nations Conference on Trade and Development report explicitly links the decline in Palestinian agricultural and industrial sectors and the dire humanitarian conditions with Israeli government policies, in particular the confiscation of land and natural resources, restrictions on movement of people and goods, and isolation from international markets. Only a colonial mindset could claim to provide jobs to the very same people whose land and freedom have been stolen.”
Bedouin tent slated for removal
The Palestinian call for boycott, divestment and sanctions urges a boycott of all Israeli companies until Israel complies with international humanitarian law, recognizes the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality, the rights of return of refugees and ends the siege of Gaza and the occupation of all lands occupied in 1967.

Sodastream products are sold in the UK at Robert Dyas, John Lewis, Argos, Comet, Lakeland and some Sainsbury and Asda stores.

For more information on Soda Club see here, pages 96-102.

Original link:

25 comments:

Bill Friend said...

Well, I guess after pretty much failing in the market over on our side of the lake, Sodastream now wants to test the waters on your side, Tony.
Over a year ago they did some very heavy marketing in the US, esp. in the "big box" stores such as Costco and BJs, just before the Christmas holidays. Many fell for their claims, but it was amazing that in a matter of weeks the returns of their product was legion. My younger son and his wife were initially intrigued by the product and thought it was terrific, and I was persuaded to purchase one. At the consumer level, it never lived up to its claims. The sodas rapidly lost their fizz; the machine itself was awkward and cumbersome, and the tastes of their own concentrates were "chemical" in nature. But the most glaring problem with it was that getting a refill canister was a difficult and trying process, even in a major consumer market such as Metro NY. On top of that it was very expensive. Apparently Sodastream was following the dictum of copier companies and decided the real money was to be made in the purchase of new cartridges. The point that was missed is that a business NEEDS a copier. NO ONE NEEDS SODA.
So just on a business level, my opinion is that the entire product is a lousy choice for those who do need soft drinks. But on a political level, the company seems to go out of its way to hide the fact of where the machine and its accessories are produced. "Made in Israel" or more accurately "Made in the West Bank" are no where to be found. The shillers pushing it at the stores make no mention of it. Had I even known that, I would have never purchased it in the first place, as you certainly know my position on that matter.
At this point Sodastream products are not that easy to find at the stores in which they were originally marketed, which were many major chains. Frankly I believe the marketplace is taking care of this product and sinking it. I think it will quickly go the way of such other home use devices as the Fondue Pot and the automatic Waffle maker. CocaCola and Pepsico have nothing to fear from Sodastream.
I personally recommend fresh juice plus seltzer as a wonderful and better home alternative, if one really really needs to consume soda products.
Best regards,
Bill Friend

Albert said...

Well I would thank you for the free promotion of the product.....
I just wish you had more presence and make more noise......

Anonymous said...

Bill - I suggest you check your facts.
SodaStream has been very successful in the USA over the last 4 years, and the trend continues. They are in over 13,000 doors across the USA, including such names as Wal Mart, Target, Bed Bath and Beyond, William Sonoma, Costco, Macys just to name a few. Their business has gone from almost nothing 4 years ago to over $100m per annum this year and continues to grow.
Testament to the fact that the consumer likes the products, and can find the products all over the States pretty easily. If you ever used a machine, you would find it is not cumbersome, nor does the soda rapidly lose its fizz. The cola flavour and ginger ale flavour won blind taste tests on CNBC, so no one agrees with you on taste.

Tony - as to you - have you even been to visit SodaStream's factory. Have you ever been to Mishor Adumim. Maybe you should? You will find over 500 Palestinians, all of whom are working in better conditions than any local Palestinian employee can gee them. They are paid 5-6 times as much as they can get anywhere else.
They receive health and social benefits. In fact, if your actions were even taken seriously and SodaStream decided to close this factory, you would have ruined the livelihood of all these Palestinians and damaged their economy.

Tony Greenstein said...

I can't comment on Sodastream's presence in the USA but if Albert wants us to have a greater presence and make more noise then sure, we'll do our best to help out!

andgdjdk said...

For someone against racism, firstly a term that in itself is ridiculous. Who is actually pro racism? I find it odd you chose to mention the colour of the lady but didnt mention the rest of them being white? I would love an answer for that? I also belive that your efforts were counter productive as the store by all reports actually took more money than usual. Well done tony and your group of narrow minded followers. I hope that if you manage to put innocent people out of a job in a time where jobs are difficult you can sleep easy at night. Why not take this to the main factory and stop it there if your so worried?

Tony Greenstein said...

Who is pro-racism? Your friends in the EDL for one. True the fascists used to be openly racist and say they were proud to be so but nowadays they have to be circumspect. Other examples include Zionists who defend the renting of land to Jews only or the dismissal of Arabs only from a job. Plenty of examples of pro-racism.

The woman was Black and one would expect Black people to be opposed to Apartheid, so the use of the term is quite relevant. Just as, if a Jewish person had opposed a Boycott of Nazi Germany and demonstrated in favour of trading links that would have been highly relevant.

But I forget. The Zionist Organisation did indeed conclude a trading agreement (Ha'avarah) with Nazi Germany which allowed the Nazis free reign to intimidate and murder Jews prior to 1939.

Ah jobs. The last resort of the desperate. Jobs based on injustice aren't worth the candle. You are just echoing what Norman Tebbit, Thatcher's Employment Minister said about the fact that British companies were manufacturing equipment used for torture - 'if we don't do it someone else will'.

So yes I shall sleep easily tonite knowing that we are making a stand against a company which illegally trades in the resources of the Occupied Territories.

As for the shop having taken more money than as usual (it's only just opened) I remember the same argument advanced in respect of Ahava - and look what happened there!

Bill Friend said...

8Interestingly, someone by the name of Anonymous, who sounds like either one of the owners of Sodastream or a very strong supporter, has tried to refute all of my comments. He tries to refute my claim that the machine is cumbersome saying, "if I ever used a machine..." Point in fact, if he bothered to read what I had written was that I DID purchase a machine at COSTCO. About 25% of the time, while trying to fill it, the soda spilled out of the sides of the machine or the bottle. This was because if it wasn't screwed in exactly right, this was what happened. Moreover, doing so required a bit of digital gymnastics which is why I stated it was cumbersome.
Moreover, I did also mention that this machine was marketed, and sold as Anonymous mentions in those major name stores. However, REFILL CANISTERS in many instances were not, which required mailing the empty away to the manufacturer and getting a new one. This alone would be time consuming and annoying which was why we simply chucked the whole unit.
Now I also don't care what blind person tested the flavors on cable station CNBC. I personally tested them on my own tastebuds and found more than one flavor to have a "chemical" backnote, and another one was absolutely vile.
Now I want to emphasize that I noticed this BEFORE I even knew this product was manufactured on the occupied West Bank, so my criticisms of this product ARE NOT BASED on my point of view with regard to Israel and how it treats the Palestinian people.
While this product was initially heavily promoted at the stores Anonymous mentions, I have found that they no longer are, and are kind of relegated to the fondue pot part of small appliances.
I will say, that once I learned where it is manufactured, I have divorced myself from using this product or endorsing it. The fact is that I simply wouldn't recommend it based on my own personal consumer experience with it.
Lastly Anonymous ought at least have the balls to state who they are, since apparently he or she is in the employ of the SodaStream corporation, and the reply to me sounds as if it came out of the propaganda division of corporate headquarters.
I remain,

Bill Friend

Bill Friend said...

The comments that Anonymous made to Tony in his/her reply to me regarding how well "their" Palestinians are treated at the Mishor Adumin factory, reminds me of the arguments of the slave holders in the anti-bellum South, about how much better off their slaves were, as well as how happy they were, not to be living in Africa.
It also harks back to the Israeli occupation argument used over 35 years ago, as to how much better the captive Palestinian population was than other Arabs living in (pick an Arab country), and how grateful they were to their Israeli occupiers.
Arbeit Macht Frei, Zionists?

Bill

Anonymous said...

Shameful behaviour destroying someones business. Having witnessed your behaviour in all its glory I look forward to supporting the store by purchasing a soda stream machine next time I am in town.

Tony Greenstein said...

Thanks Bill for the clarification on how unwieldy their products are. What they promise isn't what you get - which is the story of Zionism all over.

However Anonymous (they never put their names to their opinions) says it is 'Shameful behaviour destroying someones business... I look forward to supporting the store by purchasing a soda stream machine next time I am in town.'

No doubt when the Boycott of Nazi Germany was at its height, our anonymous Zionist would have deprecated the 'destruction' of good German businesses too. Never mind the Jews, what matters is the free flow of commerce. Never mind the theft of Palestinian land in the West Bank and its utilisation by Sodastream or their greenwash front 'Ecostream' what matters is the business.

And that is the logic of imperialism - be it of the Nazi or the Zionist variety or indeed the South African Apartheid variety. Injustice to the occupied matters not a jot, hence just like many in 1933 onwards, anon is happy to do his little bit to help the ethnic cleansers.

What goes around comes around

Anonymous said...

I look forward to coming over to Brighton this Saturday in support of Eco-Streams new shop, not because I endorse their product, but because I don't believe it is right to attempt to vilify this Israeli product in this way.

Ours is supposed to be a free country, and their brand has been legally accepted here despite any misgivings over what is happening in Israel where this one factory is located in 'disputed' land.

Make no mistake this attempt to boycott Eco-Stream comes in the guise of seeking justice for some displaced Bedouin, and there might well be some relevant points to this, but underneath the surface is the whole promotion of the so-called 'Palestinian cause' and a determination to force people to accept they have a legitimate right to demand Israel surrenders her security, her capital and her dignity to a group whose record of human rights abuse makes anything ever done by Israel pale into utter insignificance...and now people are being implored to support the goals and aims of this callous and merciless regime in the name of some sort of justice or fair play...it would be laughable if it wasn't so serious.

Do not be fooled by what on the surface seems a legitimate argument, as it is a smoke-screen for a far wider and more sinister method of attacking Israel through a sort of passive Jihad, and unfortunately many well-meaning people are buying into it without truly understanding the nature of the beast.

Jim Henry

Anonymous said...

Always glad to help in my humble way when injustice is involved Tony. One last point, and this has nothing to do with Sodastream, Zionists or Israel but does have to do with individual health matters.
No one ought to drink soda, any soda. The phosphoric acid inherent in the carbonation process contributes to osteoporosis, esp. in pre-menopausal, and menopausal women, but also is not helpful to men either.
No one should use any artificial sweeteners because they wreck havoc with the human body's metabolism. Nutritional scientists believe they are a contributing factor in the obesity epidemics in Western countries esp. the USA and the UK. Don't even get me started on High Fructose Corn Syrup the invention of which and incorporation into the food supply coincides with the start of the obesity crisis.
If you must drink soda on occasion I would recommend either seltzer or club soda (the latter of which has salt) combined with fresh fruit juice and perhaps a little Stevia for extra sweetness.
For further information on this and other personal health matter I recommend either NaturalNews.com or Mercola.com

Best regards
Dr. Bill

Bill Friend said...

The amount of faulty logic in Jim Henry's comments above are staggering beginning with calling the West Bank "disputed territory". But I'm not going to refute the entire post since my good friend and colleague Jaffer Ali finally convinced me that it is a useless exercise trying to have a cogent debate with any Zionist since there is always an agenda attached. One may as well go pee in the ocean to increase the water supply for all the good that it does.
However, I know all of you Brits love a good debate, and I'm sure Tony might be chomping at the bit to pick this particular piece of humbug (that's britspeak right? and it's a nicer word than what we'd say in Americanese) totally apart.
I would like to just end by saying that Israel's treatment of the native Palestinians from the time of the Balfour Declaration [ an excellent case can be made for blaming the entire middle east mess on you guys with a soupcon of help from our French allies] to the present day has been a shameful blot on the history of Jewish people everywhere, and Jews worldwide will not achieve "normalcy" until the latest in a long line of Jewish heresies goes into the dustbin of history. That Zionism as the working philosophy of the self-described "Jewish State" is an abomination on both secular and religious levels is becoming more and more apparent to most of the civilized world each day and even young Jews are starting to realize this fact. In that regard I highly recommend the recent book by Norman Finkelstein titled "Knowing Too Much."

Dr.Bill

Anonymous said...

Your hatred is overwriting logic. Simply look at EVERY arab country surrounding Israel. Israel treats Arab citizens far better than any Arab nation on this planet. If companies like soda stream close down - there will simply be more terrorists - as this is the only contribution to job creation the palestinian government offers.
I urge anyone who wants to know what the truth about this conflict, to go to the library and simply read history books. It is as simple as that.

Gert said...

'some displaced Bedouin', eh Jim?

Most Zionists need a little more rope to hang themselves with. You managed it a lot quicker, well done Jim!

Tony Greenstein said...

Well this particular blog post has hit this week's Jewish Chronicle. Literally it would appear. http://www.thejc.com/news/uk-news/75085/board-demands-meeting-south-africa-envoy-after-israel-boycott-move

Anonymous suggests that hatred is overwriting logic. Not a bit of it. Since when was opposing a shop based in the Occupied Territories trading an act of hatred?

Ah yes Israel treats its Arab citizens better than any Arab nation, (I think he means state) does. I seem to remember that this kind of logic was once employed to defend Apartheid South Africa. And not unnaturally Israel and South Africa then were best of friends.

But employing all his logic anon says that if soda stream closes down there will be more terrorists. No as long as the occupation of the West bank and the internal colonisation i.e. Zionism in Israel continues it will produce people willing to fight against it (one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter - Lord Carrington).

We are urged to go to the library and read some history. I think Anon means fiction because any decent history of the foundation of the Israel state e.g. Noah Lucas's The Modern History of Israel or even Walter Lacquer's A History of Zionism (actually 5 long essays) - both Zionists - tell the story that anon has probably not even read.

You expel a people or 90% of them from their lands, create refugees, in order to 'purify' the state of non-Jews and then of course you get 'terrorism'. It really is that simple and you don't need to read history to understand it. Ireland provides its own examples a plenty.

As for Jim Henry. No of course we should not villify German (Israeli) goods just because a few Jews (sorry Bedouin) were displaced. That after all is the natural order of things.

And to add to the cliches, being a 'free country' we have the right to support dictatorships (which is what the Occupied Territories are - Arabs have no right to vote on the nature of the Occupation.

And the brand is legal. Well all brands are. It's called capitalism, though some are more kosher than most.

But I missed Jim's central point. This is 'disputed' land. So Israel conquers territory, settles it and starts plundering the natural resources. Limiting the amount of water Palestinians can drawer whilst the settlements have unlimited amounts. But everything is disputed. I believe that Sudetenland was also 'disputed' and Chamberlain was quite happy to go along with that at Munich.

Indeed all empires have disputed what they stole, that is why they were empires. So naturally Israel steals the land and then 'disputes' it with reference to a work of fiction called the bible. Appparently a god promised it to his people a couple of thousand years ago and being a good fairy tale the European settlers who came decided that it would be as good a means to base their claims on as any other.

Apparently demanding Israel accepts that you cannot settle and exploit conquered territory is a threat to 'her security, her capital and her dignity'.

Well yes. I believe the Nazi Germany termed its armed opponents in Yugoslavia 'bandits' and 'terrorists'. Strange how the language and concepts haven't changed much.

As for not understanding the nature of the beast, I think we understand it all too well - even if it doesn't have 666 emblazoned upon it!

IsraelRocks said...

You are actually a racist bigot, hiding behind the skirts of daft middle aged women, who are silly enough to be taken in by your rants.

It is totally out of order for you to be calling anyone a mad christian fundamentalist...perhaps they are christian by admission, perhaps fundamentalist, because that implies passion for their cause, but mad? Think that's court case material.

You are about as interested in the plight of palestinians as my left foot. Why don't you just admit that you are driven by a hatred of the jews, and are anti semitic.

And while we're at it, why , why, why, do your type of people always look so unseemly. Slightly dirty, slighty scruffy...the yellowing toenail brigade.

Will you allow this message to be printed? I very much doubt it. Your sort never do.

Gert said...

Here’s what Evildoer (JsF) had to say about ‘Sarah AB’ over at the Brown Sauce:

”These numbs are always there. There are part of the inertial forces that always stir when people are rising up against injustice. It's pointless to pay them that much attention. They can't really help themselves as the most important force that guides their thought is inertia. They will have to be dragged into any political change kicking, screaming and splitting hairs every step of the road.”

Applies to Jimbo, to a tee…

Tony Greenstein said...

Of course I'm happy to print your message Israeli rocks. It just makes u look more stupid than you probably are.

Zionists accusing someone of being a racist bigot is akin to Goebbels preaching racial harmony. Doesn't work does it?

Of course you don't like it pointed out that the same Christian fundamentalists who opposed the immigration of Jews to the US and Britain in the Hitler period, who believe in Rapture and the perishing of most Jews when the chosen souls float to heaven are also the most avid supporters of Zionism.

Why? Because they are anti-Semitic. Like Pastor John Hagee of Christians United 4 Israel who believes that Hitler was god's messenger, sent to drive the Jews to Palestine! Nice friends, eh?

They can take me to court but what for? The truth is not libellous.

I know it's difficult for someone who believes he's c hosen to understand by my support for the Palestinians derives from the same anti-racist and anti-fascist sentiments that most Jews shared until the creation of Israel. Zionism drew the conclusion not that racism was wrong but racism against Jews.

The rest of your message is on a par with the intellect of a malformed slug.

Gert said...

IsraelRocks:

”Will you allow this message to be printed?”

Over at my place I delete comments whenever I see fit (albeit rarely) but a comment like your just would just have to be allowed to stand. The sheer idiocy of it speaks for itself and demonstrates what I see time and time again, with regards to Israel supporters: ‘by its friends you shall know it’. See also John Hagee's CUFIs and assorted antisemitic supporters of Israel, material and otherwise.

Anonymous said...

I notice the dignified very peaceful and picket has been targeted by the Zionists, what a surprise lol! However,don't let that put you off, many Israelis are decent people and not Zionists like these. Most people in the world in fact are against the illegal settlements that produce the goods of this shop and the exploitation of the native Palestinians on their own colonised land! I hope the picket shuts down this business, built on the suffering of the Palestinian people, we don't want racist businesses in Brighton!

Mick said...

Firstly, as a Christian- to the Christians. I am embarrassed and disappointed that as a Brighton witness to Christianity that you would spend time actively supporting a shop which engages in supporting the Israeli occupation and oppression of the Palestinian people. The Bible can be read through a 'lens of prophecy' or a 'lens of Justice' and Jesus talks incessantly about setting captives free and speaking out for the marginalised and oppressed. Do you agree the Palestinian people are marginalised and oppressed in their own country?? Maybe you haven't taken the time yet to research what is really going on as we can not rely on our Western media. Can I recommend anything by Fr Elias Chacour, a Palestinian 1948 refugee, now the Archbishop of Galilee-best book Blood Brothers. Palestinian Christians are dying out due to the pressures of living under the Occupation. As Christians, we are called to be Peacemakers,Bridge-Builders.
To Tony - we're not all 'Fundies' ;-)

Prunesqualer said...

Israeli settlements in the West bank are considered illegal by the international court. British governments both Labour and Tory have acknowledged this and have repeatedly and publicly stated that these settlements are illegal. I cannot understand why goods which are produced in settlements considered illegal by our own government are allowed to be sold here.

Jennifer Bodnaruk said...

Hi Tony,
I just want to thank you so much for everything you have done to oppose SodaStream and illegal West Bank settlement goods. I noticed that you signed our petition, Say No to SodaStream Say Yes to Human Rights on gopetitio.com and I really appreciate that. We are a very small, grassroots movement in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada and people are afraid to speak for fear of being labelled anti-Semitic. The other issue is people don't really understand the occupation or why this product is so harmful to democracy and the Palestinians. We have a lot of work to do here. Any suggestions on how we can get more people to sign our petition? Our initial goal is to get stores to take this off their shelves and we have also written to politicians at various levels asking them to address the fraudulent labels on these products. The other interesting note is that the Canadian distributor for SodaStream lives here in Winnipeg so we are also trying to address it from that standpoint.

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