Monday, 27 January 2014

Oxfam and Channel 4 - Say No to Occupation, No to Sodastream..

One of the main reasons that people don't like Oxfam and Channel 4's ( who are currently promoting Sodastream via their programme ' The Jump' ) association with this company is the fact that Palestine Solidarity activists across the globe are  currently boycotting  it, because it is produced in an illegal Israeli settlement, on stolen Palestinian land. This is why Oxfam, a charity I volunteer for,must disassociate itself from their current ambassador Scarlet Johannson, who has recently also been seen promoting this soft drinks firm, who despite valid  criticism has continued her support in a display of casual disregard to the core issues at stake. I respect Oxfams recent statement in response to the bad publicity to  one of their ambassadors seemingly endorsing a product that for many is complicit in profits made from occupation and apartheid.
Oxfam and Channel 4  I believe should drop their association, they cannot be allowed to  cosy up to this unethical  company.
SodaStream is made in the Mishor Edomim industrial zone, that is part of the illegal Israeli settlement Ma'aleh Adumim, which cuts deeply into Palestine's West Bank, severing Palestinian towns and devastating their economy and daily lives, Sodastream's factorty is built on stolen land, on seperated Ramallah, Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Jericho.

The fact remains that daily, Palestinian workers in  factories  like this  are underpaid, denied basic rights such as holiday or sick pay, denied the riht to organise into unions, and are left to fend for themselves if injured at work, and lets remember that the  Israeli government encourages companies like this to locate within its illegal settlements by allowing less environmental and labor standards than those required in Israel., allowing a complete disregard for human rights and international law to continue.
I believe it is impossible to be an 'ambassador'  or pretend to be a respectable Public broadcasting Company whilst at the same time through association  promote what in my eyes is a  human rights abuser. Businesses that operate from illegal settlements further the ongoing poverty of the Palestinian Communities,  we should keep up the pressure on Oxfam and Channel 4, any one of value really, to  dissasociate from a company that  profits from the exploitation of Palestinain land, labour and resources. Sodastream tries to garner repectability,  but under international law, operates illegally , exploiting the poor of this region, whilst promoting a dubious ecological agenda, and while it remains constitutes as a barrier to peace in this region.
There is nothing clean about SodaStreams product, parroting  its message does not build bridges, it is time to let it's bubbles free.

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