Dutch government to investigate Israeli settler products

Dutch government to investigate Israeli settler products

Amsterdam : Netherlands | Nov 14, 2009 at 6:05 AM PST
Views: Pending
Road restrictions for West Bank Palestinians - 13 Nov 09

The government of the Netherlands has agreed to conduct an investigation into the conditions under which Ahava beauty products are manufactured in the illegal Israeli settlement of Mitzpe Shalom in the occupied Palestinian West Bank.

Ahava has been the subject of an international boycott campaign and actions over its appropriation of Palestinian resources. In the most high-profile news of the campaign, Sex & the City star Kristen Davis was fired from her role as an ambassador for Oxfam USA, which opposes illegal settlements, for appearing as the 'face' of Ahava. She was then subsequently sacked by Ahava because of the controversy this aroused in its key US markets.

In the Netherlands a group called the Badjassen Brigade - which translates as Bathrobe brigade - organises protests against the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory and has held demonstrations outside the shops where AHAVA products are sold, under the campaign title 'Gestolen Schoonheid', Stolen Beauty. The action group is also trying to prevent AHAVA from developing a network of sales points in the Netherlands, an endeavour in which the firm enjoys the cooperation of a weekly television programme, Health Angels, broadcast on commercial television channel RTL4. It has been a thorn in the side of human rights activists for some years that many products from the Occupied Territories are exported under the Israeli flag, making profits for the occupier. The sale of products from illegal settlements under the 'Made in Israel' label has also been raised as a trade agreement infringement with the European Union.

Dutch Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen was said by international solidarity sources to have agreed to a request from Socialist foreign affairs spokesman Harry van Bommel to begin an enquiry into the import of cosmetic products from Israeli firm AHAVA. The company manufactures cosmetics in the Mitzpe Shalem settlement on the West Bank, using minerals and mud from the River Jordan. The products are exported under the label 'Made in Israel’.

“I'm pleased that this enquiry is to be conducted," says Van Bommel. "If it confirms all we've been told, then I'll be calling for a boycott of these products. This sort of practice is in conflict with international law, which forbids an occupying power from selling the products of an occupied people under its own name. It stands in the way of a fair, honest and just solution to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.”

Sarah Irving is based in Manchester, England, United Kingdom, and is a Stringer on Allvoices.
Report Credibility
  • Clear
  • Share:
  • Share
  • Clear
  • Clear
  • Clear
  • Clear

News Stories

  • Palestinians denied access to water

      Al Jazeera
    A World Bank report has accused Israel of using four times more water than Palestinians from the so-called Mountain Aquifer that bridges Israel and the territory and runs along the West Bank. Israel disputes that claim and says the Palestinians are...
  • Israel army punishes troops for settlement protest

      Seattle Times
    The Israeli army has punished a group of soldiers for protesting the forcible evacuation of settler homes in the West Bank. The army says the troops refused to follow orders during the military's evacuation of settlers on Monday at an unauthorized...
  • Israel approves 900 settler homes

      Australian Broadcasting Corporation
    The decision threatens to further hamper efforts to restart the peace process...Israel has offered only a temporary restraint in settlement expansion. Out of frustration, Palestinian leaders this week flagged a request to the United Nations to...
  • Mideast: EU rejects calls for a Palestinian state

    The European Union on Tuesday rejected calls by the Palestinian Authority to declare a Palestinian state in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Swedish foreign minister Carl Bildt, whose country currently holds the presidency of the EU, said conditions...
  • UN chief asks Israel to end Gaza blockade; stop rights violation

      Daily News & Analysis
    In his latest report on human rights of the Palestinians, Ban stressed that the blockade of Gaza, which is in its third year amounts to "collective punishment", and is violation of right to food, water, health, work and adequate standard of living of...
  • Israeli soldiers protest razing of settler homes

    A group of Israeli soldiers disobeyed orders on Monday to help in the dismantling of several structures that Jewish settlers had built without government authorization in the occupied West Bank. An army spokeswoman said several soldiers were...



More From Allvoices

Related People

Report Your News Got a similar story?
Add it to the network!

Or add related content to this report

Most Commented Reports

Use of this site is governed by our Terms of Use Agreement and Privacy Policy.

© Allvoices, Inc. 2008-2014. All rights reserved. Powered by PulsePoint.