Designer Yves Béhar has teamed up with Sodastream, an Israeli company operating in violation of international law, and will be presenting a new design for the company next week in Milan, Italy. Human rights groups from Canada to New Zealand, from the US to Europe signed the letter below from Stop Sodastream Italy calling on Béhar to terminate collaboration with Sodastream.
Let @yvesbehar know you agree. Tweet the following messages.
hey @yvesbehar Don’t let #Sodastream use your talents to #greenwash complicity with Israeli occupation. bit.ly/HuJI80 #BDS
hey @yvesbehar “Design for Good” can’t include human rights violations. End collaboration with #SodaStream bit.ly/HuJI80 #BDS
Tell @yvesbehar End complicity with Israeli occupation, stop collaborating with settlement company #SodaStream bit.ly/HuJI80 #BDS
Tell @yvesbehar #Sodastream is not ethical, so it cannot be beautiful! bit.ly/HuJI80 Be an agent for change. #BDS
Tell @yvesbehar Sustainability cannot be detached from respect for human rights. bit.ly/HuJI80 #Sodastream #BDS
Dear Yves Béhar,
We recently learned of your collaboration with Sodastream, the Israeli producer of home carbonation devices, and that you will be presenting a new design for the company at MOST in Milan.
As human rights activists and supporters of the BDS campaign, the 2005 Palestinian call for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel, we feel compelled to inform you that behind the image promoted by Sodastream of a socially responsible, eco-friendly business is actually a company operating in blatant violation of human rights and international law.
As evidenced in the company’s own annual report, Sodastream’s main manufacturing facilities are located in an Israeli settlement built illegally in the occupied Palestinian territories.
Since 1996, Sodastream has been directly supporting the illegal settlement of Ma’aleh Adumim, via municipal taxes it pays, taxes used exclusively for the settlement’s growth and development.
In addition, Sodastream is contributing to the pollution of Palestinian land and water. Ma’aleh Adumim manages the infamous Abu Dis landfill, and also built on land confiscated from Palestinians, where over 1,100 tons of waste from Jerusalem and Israeli settlements are dumped every single day. The Israeli Ministry for the Environment has stated that the landfill is “polluting nearby streams and land”.
To use one of your mottos, this is not ethical, so it cannot be beautiful!
We, therefore, urge you terminate your collaboration with Sodastream, thereby giving credit to your concept of “Design for Good” with “a responsibility to the world around us.” A commitment to sustainability cannot be detached from respect for human rights and international law.
Due to facts detailed above, Sodastream has become the object of an international boycott campaign, from North America to Europe and Oceania. In Italy, a letter calling on retailers to suspend sales of Sodastream has been signed by over 1100 individuals, together with over 30 groups, NGOs and associations.
Italy’s largest environmental organization, Legambiente, which had previously agreed to sponsor Sodastream products, canceled the contract in 2010 upon learning of the company’s grave violations. In February of this year, following the continued improper use of the organization’s logo, Legambiente sent formal notice to Sodastream warning that legal action would ensue if use of their logo did not cease immediately.
It is conceivable to think that Sodastream chose to engage your talents not only for the unquestionable quality of your award winning designs, but also for your commitment to “creating projects that are deeply in-tune with the needs of a sustainable future,” using your commendable convictions to greenwash the company’s complicity with the Israeli government’s brutal occupation.
If you truly believe “design is a real agent of change,” then we call on you to be that agent of change and terminate your relationship with Sodastream.
Stop Sodastream Italy
CODEPINK: Women for Peace (USA)
Sacramento BDS (USA)
Veterans for Peace, Chapter 87, Sacramento, CA (USA)
Critical Jewish Voice (Austria)
Women in Black Vienna (Austria)
Arab American Student Union, Wayne State University (USA)
Palestine Human Rights Campaign, Auckland (Aotearoa-New Zealand)
Auckland University Students for Justice in Palestine (Aotearoa-New Zealand)
Students for Justice in Palestine, Victoria University, Wellington (Aotearoa-New Zealand)
Jews for Israeli-Palestinian Peace (Sweden)
Adalah-NY: The New York Campaign for the Boycott of Israel (USA)
Sacramento Area Peace Action (USA)
Philly BDS (USA)
Boycott Israeli Apartheid Campaign – Vancouver (Canada)
US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (USA)
Canada Palestine Support Network (Canada)
Palestine Israel Action Group of Ann Arbor Friends Meeting, Ann Arbor, Michigan (USA)
InterDenominational Advocates for Peace (IDAP) of Ann Arbor, Michigan (USA)
Boston Coalition for Palestinian Rights (USA)
BDS Group Berlin (Germany)
German Palestinian Association (Germany)
International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network
University of Toledo Students for Justice in Palestine (USA)
Jewish Voice for Peace-Detroit (USA)
Vermonters for a Just Peace in Palestine/Israel (USA)
 Introducing the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement, http://www.bdsmovement.net/bdsintro
 Sodastream International Ltd. Annual Report for the Fiscal Year Ended December 31, 2010, http://tinyurl.com/3hngfxp
 SodaStream: A Case Study for Corporate Activity in Illegal Israeli Settlements, Coalition of Women for Peace – Israel, January 2011, http://tinyurl.com/czlyzso
 Ma’aleh Adumim Industrial Park, http://tinyurl.com/c7okl8u
 Jerusalem refuses to stop using Abu Dis landfill , 14.06.2011, http://tinyurl.com/cxu56v6