On March 30th, CUPW is asking you to show your solidarity with people in Palestine and Israel who are struggling to end Israel’s Occupation in the West Bank and Gaza. I am asking you to participate in the Global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS Day of Action).
The announcement of the first Global BDS Day of Action came after Israel’s 23 day military offensive “Operation Cast Lead”, during which it killed more than 1,400 and injured over 5,000 Palestinians in the occupied and besieged Gaza Strip. Israel is still continuing its suffocating blockade of the entire Gaza Strip in what has been described by human rights experts and analysts as an act of “slow genocide”.
In 2009, the BDS Day of Action took place in 40 cities worldwide. BDS activities on that day targeted, among others, companies such as Chapters Indigo bookstore, whose profits fund “lone” Israeli soldiers; and Motorola, supplier of telecommunications and electronic systems for the Israeli occupation forces.
Since then, the Global BDS campaign has grown. Students, trade unions, and other social justice organizations worldwide have come to see that Israel’s oppression of the Palestinian people cannot be tolerated any longer and have adopted diverse forms of BDS against Israel until it ends its oppression of the Palestinian people and fully complies with international law.
CUPW has joined this movement. At the 2008 CUPW National Convention, CUPW delegates overwhelmingly passed a motion endorsing boycott, divestment, and sanctions in support of the struggle of the Palestinian people.
I am asking CUPW to show their solidarity on this day by boycotting Ahava Cosmetics, Chapters Indigo Bookstore and Mountain Equipment Co-op.
Ahava Cosmetics: Ahava manufactures products using minerals and mud from the Dead Sea. Ahava’s products – such as Grape & Avocado Body Wash, Dead Sea Mineral Mud and Mineral Foot Cream – are widely available. The company’s main factory and its visitors’ center are located in the Israeli settlement of Mitzpe Shalem in the Occupied West Bank. Ahava products are labelled as of “Israeli origin”, but according to international public law, the West Bank cannot be considered to be part of the State of Israel. Ahava uses in its products mud from the Dead Sea, excavated in an occupied area, and thus it exploits occupied natural resources for profit, which is a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention.
Chapters/Indigo Bookstores: The controlling owners of this bookstore chain founded the HESEG foundation. This provides scholarships and other support to former “lone soldiers” in the Israeli military – individuals from outside Israel with no family in the country who join the Israeli military and participate in all aspects of its repression of Palestinians. In January 2009, HESEG Representatives handed out $160,000 worth of “thank you” gifts to Israeli soldiers participating in the attacks on Gaza.
Mountain Equipment Co-op: currently sources 19 individual products from Israeli companies. These include products made by Source‑Vagabond, an Israeli military contractor whose founder, Yoki Gill, and most of its management is “experienced ex-officers of elite IDF (Israeli Defence Forces) units.” MEC also partners with Israeli factories in the production of its “house brand” line of seamless undergarments.
For justice, freedom, peace and self determination of the Palestinian people:
Join the Global BDS Day of Action on March 30, 2010