As one famous Israeli politician once said, “The Palestinians never miss the opportunity to miss an opportunity,” and the recent SodaStream debacle, involving Scarlet Johansson, was no exception to that rule.
There has been controversy for a while now, surrounding the SodaStream factory in the West Bank, a territory which is disputed between Israel and the Palestinians, since their 1967 war.
A campaign against the SodaStream factory was launched by the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee, (BDS) which works to ruin prospects of peace in the Middle East, by unhelpful boycotts, such as the SodaStream one.
While the group works to isolate the Jewish State what it actually does, as this case proves, is to cause unnecessary trouble and the loss of hundreds of Palestinian jobs for the workers from surrounding Palestinian towns who were employed by the company.
Land disputes are nothing new in the world and there are surely two sides to the argument when it comes to who the West Bank “belongs” to. Nevertheless, the status quo has been maintained on an everyday level for many years there, with Israelis and Palestinians working sid-by-side and even drinking coffee together on breaks.
The boycott is clearly counter-productive, no matter what your view on the Israeli-Palestinian dispute of land is, as it has directly caused a massive loss of income for hundreds of Palestinians who cannot travel over 100 Kilometres to the relocated SodaStream factory in Israel.
Despite a statement by Rafeef Ziadah, a spokesman for the Palestinian boycotters on Facebook, saying.
“SodaStream’s announcement today shows that the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement is increasingly capable of holding corporate criminals to account for their participation in Israeli apartheid and colonialism. BDS campaign pressure has forced retailers across Europe and North America to drop SodaStream, and the company’s share price has tumbled in recent months as our movement has caused increasing reputational damage to the SodaStream brand.”
So one cannot fail to say “well done” Mr Ziadah and the BDS, you have made your point loud and clear, there is a political dispute over the tiny West Bank, but now hundreds of Palestinians will need to find new jobs as their source of livelihood was moved 100 Km away due to the BDS.
The company, which is a multi-million dollar, global business, is saddened that it can no longer employ Palestinians due to the relocation as a result of the boycott, as SodaStream Chief Executive Daniel Birnbaum said.
“We are offering all employees the opportunity to join us in Lehavim, and specifically, we are working with the Israeli government to secure work permits for our Palestinian employees,” but practically speaking, 100 Km is far to travel, especially with all the vital security checkpoints in place.
SodaStream representative Nirit Hurwitz said the new factory received a generous $20 million grant from the Israeli government, saying that the new location, “will become our flagship manufacturing site and is expected to deliver operational excellence and result in savings of 2 percent across our entire cost base.” she said.
In other words, Israeli Jews from the local area will take the jobs of the Palestinian workers who can no longer make it to work. And it’s all thanks to the BDS, who also clearly “never miss the opportunity to miss an opportunity.”