British Retailer John Lewis Stops Stocking Ahava Products

PNN – Palestine News Network – 17.01.11 – 14:35  London – PNN  – This week, leading British retail business John Lewis is refusing to stock goods from Israeli cosmetics company Ahava. Canadian retailer The Bay also confirmed that it has discontinued sales of Ahava products.



Ahava’s goods – Archive

John Lewis’ decision signifies yet another victory for the growing Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement in Europe.  John Lewis’ Managing Director, Andy Street, wrote to the Palestine Solidarity Campaign in a letter dated January 7:

“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.”

Ahava Dead Sea Laboratories, an Israeli cosmetics company, has its manufacturing plant and visitors center based in the Israeli settlement of Mitzpe Shalem in the West Bank, considered illegal under internaional law. The company is 44 per cent owned by Mitzpe Shalem and another settlement, Kalia.

Sarah Colborne, PSC’s Director of Campaigns and Operations, said, “PSC welcomes John Lewis’ decision to stop stocking Ahava products. Israel’s continued attacks on the Palestinian population – whether living under a brutal blockade in Gaza, under illegal occupation in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, or under constant assault inside Israel, has led to a seismic shift in public opinion, with the movement for peace and justice for Palestinians gaining massive support internationally.”

There are half a million Israeli settlers living in West Bank settlements like Mitzpe Shalem and Kalia, in contravention of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which prohibits transfer of civilian populations to military-occupied territories.

In 2005, Palestinian civil society issued a call for international boycott, divestment and sanctions on Israel. PSC launched its national boycott campaign in 2002, and supports bi-weekly protests outside an Ahava store in Covent Garden, London.

Last year the Palestinian government of Salaam Fayyad made a law prohibiting Palestinians from buying or selling products made in Israeli settlements.

Related news items:

PNN – Palestine News Network – British Retailer John Lewis Stops Stocking Ahava Products.

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