Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights University of Ottawa (SPHR) is a student run, non-profit organization that advocates on a strong social justice platform to uphold the rights of the Palestinian people in the face of human rights violations and all forms of racism, discrimination, misinformation and misrepresentation.

December 8, 2009

Top Ten Brands to Boycott This Holiday Season

The Bay Area Campaign to End Israeli
Apartheid has created a list of the top ten companies to avoid during the holiday
season in support of the Palestinian-led call for boycott, divestment and
sanctions of Israel. The list is also available on its website:

While there are many Israeli and multinational companies that benefit from
apartheid, we put together this list to highlight ten specific companies to
target. Many of these produce goods in such a way that directly harms
Palestinians — exploiting labor, developing technology for military
operations, or supplying equipment for illegal settlements. Many are also
the targets of boycotts for other reasons, like harming the environment and
labor violations.

*1. AHAVA*

This brand’s cosmetics are produced using salt, minerals, and mud from the
Dead Sea — natural resources that are excavated from the occupied West Bank.
The products themselves are manufactured in the illegal Israeli settlement
Mitzpe Shalem. AHAVA is the target of CODEPINK’s “Stolen Beauty”

*2. Delta Galil Industries*

Israel’s largest textiles manufacturer provides clothing and underwear for
such popular brands as Gap, J-Crew, J.C. Penny, Calvin Klein, Playtex,
Victoria’s Secret (see #10) and many others. Its founder and chairman Dov
Lautman is a close associate of former Israeli President Ehud Barak. It has
also been condemned by Sweatshop Watch for its exploitation of labor in
other countries such as Egypt, Jordan, and Turkey.

*3. Motorola*

While many of us know this brand for its stylish cellphones, did you know
that it also develops and manufactures bomb fuses and missile guidance
systems? Motorola components are also used in unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs
or “drones”) and in communications and surveillance systems used in
settlements, checkpoints, and along the 490 mile apartheid wall. The US
Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation
<>has launched the “Hang
Up on Motorola” campaign <>.

*4. L’Oreal / The Body Shop*

This cosmetics and perfume company is known for its investments and
manufacturing activities in Israel, including production in Migdal Haemek,
the “Silicon Valley” of Israel built on the land of Palestinian village
Al-Mujaydil, which was ethnically cleansed in 1948. In 1998, a
representative of L’Oreal was given the Jubilee Award by Israeli Prime
Minister Netanyahu for strengthening the Israeli economy.

*5. Dorot Garlic and Herbs*

[This entry contains Bay Area-specific information] These frozen herbs that
are sold at Trader Joe’s are shipped halfway around the world when they
could easily be purchased locally. Trader Joe’s also sells Israeli Cous Cous
and Pastures of Eden feta cheese that are made in Israel. QUIT, South Bay
Mobilization, and other groups have targeted Trader Joe’s with a “Don’t Buy
into Apartheid” campaign.

*6. Estee Lauder*

This company’s chairman Ronald Lauder is also the chairman of the Jewish
National Fund, a quasi-governmental organization that was established in
1901 to acquire Palestinian land and is connected to the continued building
of illegal settlements. Estee Lauder’s popular brands include Clinique, MAC,
Origins, Bumble & Bumble, Aveda, fragrance lines for top designers, and many
others. They have been the target of QUIT
<>’s “Estee
Slaughter Killer Products”

*7. Intel*

This technology company that manufactures computer processors and other
hardware components employs thousands of Israelis and has exports from
Israel totaling over $1 billion per year. They are one of Israel’s oldest
foreign supporters, having established their first development center
outside of the US in 1974 in Haifa. Al-Awda (the Palestinian Right to Return
Coalition) <>has urged action against Intel for
building a facility on the land of former village Iraq Al Manshiya, which
was cleansed in 1949.

*8. Sabra*

This brand of hummus, baba ghanoush and other foods is co-owned by Israel’s
second-largest food company The Strauss Group and Pepsico. On the “Corporate
Responsibility” section of its website, The Strauss Group boasts of its
relationship to the Israeli Army, offering food products and political

*9. Sara Lee*

Sara Lee holds a 30% stake in Delta Galil (see #2) and is the world’s
largest clothing manufacturer, which owns or is affiliated with such brands
as Hanes, Playtex, Champion, Leggs, Sara Lee Bakery, Ball Park hotdogs,
Wonderbra, and many others. Similar to L’Oreal (see #4), a representative of
Sara Lee received the Jubilee Award from Netanyahu for its commitment to
business with Israel.

*10. Victoria’s Secret*

Most of Victoria’s Secret’s bras are produced by Delta Galil (see #2), and
much of the cotton is also grown in Israel on confiscated Palestinian land.
Victoria’s Secret has also been the target of labor rights’ groups for
sourcing products from companies with labor violations, and by environmental
groups for their unsustainable use of paper in producing their catalogues.
That’s not sexy!

Remember, it’s also important to let these companies — and the stores that
sell them — know that we will not support them as long as they support
Israeli apartheid!

From all of us at SPHR, best wishes for a wonderful holiday season.

In solidarity,
SPHR @uOttawa

1 comment:

Katherine said...

Thanks for posting this! A small correction though - Motorola no longer makes/sells bomb fuzes or guidance systems and never supplied surveillance along the apartheid wall. Motorola sold the department that made the bomb components this past April. Elbit systems does most of the surveillance infrastructure along the apartheid wall. Motorola DOES provide "virtual fences" and surveillance equipment to dozens of settlements in the West Bank. Go here for more details: