Sarah Irving

I do things with words, mainly English and Arabic

John Lewis ditches settlement cosmetics

Excellent BDS news: British retailer John Lewis has announced that it will no longer be stocking Ahava Dead Sea products. For the news announcement, see the Independent Middle East Media Centre here and Commondreams here. According to the latter, the MD of John Lewis wrote to the London PSC to say that:

As a socially responsible retailer, John Lewis takes very seriously the treatment of workers and their working conditions. We expect all our suppliers not only to obey the law, but also to respect the rights, interests and well-being of their employees, their communities and the environment… In relation to your specific enquiry about Ahava Dead Sea products, I can confirm that John Lewis has ceased stocking these particular products.

It would now be nice if Waitrose, John Lewis’ supermarket chain, stopped being quite so enthusiastic about stocking Israeli fresh produce (since Carmel Agrexco routinely mixes settlement stuff with its ‘standard’ Israeli imports to exploit EU tariff preferences, there’s no excuse not to).
If you’ve got no idea what I’m on about, the CODEPINK women’s anti-war campaign has a great campaign site entitled Stolen Beauty, here. Amongst their current action requests is the suggestion that readers should contact Lonely Planet to ask them to remove a quick visit to the Ahava factory Outlet (to buy illegal settlement products) from their ‘Israel and Palestine’ itinerary. Stolen Beauty recommend the following:

* Fill out a feedback form on the Lonely Planet Site
* Select Israel and the Palestinian Territories, Edition 6
* Follow options: Business or Service: Dead Sea, Palestinian Territories (Israel is offered–but type in Pal. Territories): AHAVA: Dead Sea, p. 335
* Choose an option: Warning: Health or safety risk; theft or scam

I’m currently spending my Friday evenings at Australian Friends of Palestine‘s weekly boycott leaflettings at the Myer Centre in Adelaide’s Rundle Mall. They’re protesting against another resource-and-land-thieving Dead Sea products company, Seacret. Excellent YouTube coverage here.

4 comments on “John Lewis ditches settlement cosmetics

  1. Anonymous
    January 16, 2011

    I notice you suggest filling out a Lonely Planet feedback form to let them know that listing the AHAVA tours is unacceptable. I looked in the white pages and their telephone number is (03) 8379 8000 and the postal address 90 Maribyrnong St Footscray VIC 3011 Maybe the Melbourne BDS mob could pay them a visit?

  2. Jennifer
    January 21, 2011

    This is the reply I got from Lonely Planet when I wrote to ask them to Lonely Planet to ask them to remove from their guidebook the information about visiting the Ahava factory Outlet to buy illegal settlement products:
    “Thanks for your message. We’ll make sure it gets to the right people.
    We really appreciate you taking the time to contact us. In return, we’d like to offer you 30% off your next purchase through the Lonely Planet Shop. Just enter the promo code LPCONTACT30 at the checkout. Conditions apply.
    Keep travelling – and keep us informed!
    Talk2Us – Lonely Planet support team ”

    PS I edited the reply slightly to remove their adverts

  3. Rinat
    January 23, 2011

    As you clearly choose to publish only what within the nature of the website, the fact that John Lewis no longer sells Ahava product got nothing to do with the alleged boycott – but a pure sales decision.
    But again, I won’t let facts confuse your blind hatred

    • admin
      January 23, 2011

      Hmm. It’s quite funny that Zionist desparation to reject the boycott has reached the stage of trying to claim that it’s a GOOD thing that settlement products are selling too badly to be worth stocking. Maybe that’s down to the boycott itself? Sad, of course, that John Lewis have (possibly, you never quite know with the JC) apparently felt the need to wuss out on this.

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