CODEPINK & the BDS Movement

The Israeli assault on Gaza at the end of December 2008 and into January 2009 was a tipping point for many with regard to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. For CODEPINK it no longer felt possible to sit on the sidelines and do nothing while white phosphorous bombs rained down on the people of Gaza -- bombs paid for by American tax dollars. CODEPINK led several humanitarian delegations to Gaza, in March and June of 2009, where we witnessed the devastating wake of Operation Cast Lead, and saw the debilitating effects of a two-year blockade on the people of the Gaza Strip. We also went to Israel where we met with Palestinians and Israelis who were working for a just peace for both their peoples, and who invited us to join their struggle.

Decades of a so-called “peace process” have only resulted in further dispossession and oppression of Palestinians, both inside Israel and in the Occupied Territories: home demolitions in East Jerusalem, settlement expansion in the West Bank, the Annexation wall separating Palestinians from their land and from each other, and the terrorizing of Gazan fishermen and West Bank farmers. What recourse do we have as concerned citizens, whose tax dollars are subsidizing a brutal occupation and whose government blocks any meaningful international response to Israel's flouting of international law? We have at our disposal the non-violent tool of boycott, which was successfully used during the Civil Rights Movement here in the United States and against the Apartheid Regime of South Africa.

In June of 2009 CODEPINK launched its Stolen Beauty boycott campaign ( against the Israeli cosmetics manufacturer Ahava Dead Sea Laboratories. We chose Ahava because, although it labels its products as "made in Israel," its main manufacturing plant is located in an illegal settlement in the Occupied Palestinian West Bank; and its practice of excavating mud from the shores of the Dead Sea in the Occupied West Bank for use in its products is against international law. The settlements in the West Bank—all of which are illegal under international law—are an impediment to a just peace for both Israelis and Palestinians.

In September 2009, following the endorsement of CODEPINK's Stolen Beauty Ahava boycott by the U.S. Campaign Against the Israeli Occupation, CODEPINK Women for Peace signed onto the official Palestinian Unified Call for Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions. In so doing, we join with hundreds of Palestinian civil society groups and many international organizations committed to pressuring Israel into adherence with international and human rights law.


Sephora protest in Lille, France, March 17, 2012 (in French) 

SOUTH AFRICA: Move to Label Israeli Goods as "Bads," Globe & Mail Online, 16 September 2011

Global 'boycott Israel' campaign grows, Green Left Weekly, September 11, 2011 

Settlement Produce Exporter Agrexco Set for Liquidation, The Electronic Intifada, 1 September 2011

Is the BDS Campaign Working? Ynet, 31 August 2011

Israeli Civil Administration Report on the origin of Ahava mud(English) May 2011

Israeli Civil Administration Report on the origin of Ahava mud (Hebrew) May 2011

Boycott roundup: Canada campuses mobilize to divest, The Electronic Intifada, 18 March 2011

Battered By Boycotts, Wednesday, October 13th, 2010, The Jewish Week 

Ahava: a clarification, Wednesday, October 13, 2010, The Jewish Chronicle Online

CEO of Israeli Cosmetic Firm Ahava Rattled by Growing Boycott, Common Dreams, September 14, 2010

Ahava letter to business partners reveals settler company`s sensitivity to boycott campaign,, September 12, 2010

Crossing into Israel: ‘two highly-charged narratives', Mondoweiss, September 13, 2010

ISRAEL: Actors threaten settlement boycott, lawmaker acts up, September 8, 2010

Open Letter to the SA Zionist Federation: Why are you supporting occupation, settlement and oppression?, September 6, 2010

Anti-Israel economic boycotts are gaining speed, September 5, 2010

The Boycott Israel Movement Needs to Rethink Tactics, by Uri Avnery, August 30, 2010

Boycott Ahava: Wellness Warehouse Responds — Open Shuhada Street Plans protest, August 23, 2010

Why Boycott Ahava? An Interview With Anna Baltzer,

Legal victory for BDS campaigners, MiddleEastMonitor, August 18, 2010

Settlement trade in the spotlight, J News, August 16, 2010

Sabeel DC Boycotts Israeli-made Ahava Products in Sliver Spring, MD Protest, June 26, 2010

The Boycott Divestment Sanctions Movement, The Nation, June 9, 2010 (includes mention of our campaign)

Sephora taken to court over products from Israeli brand Ahava, By Katie Bird ,, 28-May-2010

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict brings Sephora to court, May 27, 2010

Boycott gives Israel a taste of its own medicine, The Guardian, May 26, 2010

Yariv Oppenheimer in Ma'ariv: Palestinians Justified in Boycotting Settlements, PeaceNow.Org, May 25, 2010

The PA's disingenuous boycott campaign, Ali Abunimah, The Electronic Intifada, 25 May 2010

Boycott Targets Stars From Elvis to Elton, The Jewish Daily Forward, May 19, 2010 website issues a call to boycott Ahava, May 20, 2010

PA stepping up boycott of settlement products, Haaretz.Com, May 20, 2010

PA hands out blacklisted settlement goods list, Ma'an News, May 20, 2010 (See Ahava products in list here)

Settlers: PA boycott – economic terror, YNetNews, May 18, 2010

Palestinians turn to boycott of Israel in West Bank, Washington Post, May 16, 2010

Arab Israelis boycott W. Bank goods, The Jerusalem Post, May 5, 2010

At the end of March 2010 and as part of the Second Global BDS Days of Action for Palestine supporters of the Stolen Beauty AHAVA Boycott Campaign held protests in Arlington, VA, Washington, D.C, Montreal, Seattle, New York, and Los Angeles.

Anna Baltzer video: Why I Boycott AHAVA

Alice Walker supports boycotting Israeli Settlement Products

Support Our Troops: Boycott the Israeli Occupation, Huffington Post, March 15, 2010

Why boycott Ahava? An interview with Anna, March 9, 2010

Inside Story - Israeli apartheid week

Milestones in the history of the Israeli BDS movement: A brief chronology, By Rachel Giora, 18 January 2010

Top Ten Brands to Boycott, Bay Area Campaign to End Israeli Apartheid

The Case Against Ahava Dead Sea Laboratories, By Nancy Kricorian, December 1, 2009

Dutch probing Ahava's settlement status, By HERB KEINON, , December 1, 2009 

Palestinians: Dead Sea won't be a 'world wonder' Israel receives letter from Palestinian tourism minister, who threatens to withdraw consent to have Dead Sea participate in international competition due to Ahava company's activity 'on occupied Palestinian land' , By Roni Sofer, December 1, 2009

Attention Christmas Shoppers: Top Ten Brands to Boycott, USACBI, December 1, 2009

Read CODEPINK's Statement on the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement

Australian Radio: Boycotts grow against Israeli products from West Bank, ABC.Net, November 24, 2009

Holland to probe if Ahava products made on occupied land, YNet News, November 18, 3009

RESISTING THE CORPORATIONS: Interview with Nancy Kricorian, November 2, 3009, Corporate Watch

Dutch government to investigate Israeli settler products: The government of the Netherlands has agreed to conduct an investigation into the conditions under which Ahava beauty products are manufactured in the illegal Israeli settlement of Mitzpe Shalom in the occupied Palestinian West Bank. November 14, 2009

Palestinian-Led Movement To Boycott Israel Is Gaining Support
‘Our South Africa Moment Has Finally Arrived,' Says One Leader
By Gal Beckerman, September 16, 2009, The Jewish Daily FORWARD

Boycott - the Sane Response to Israeli Apartheid, 
The Palestine Telegraph - London,UK, August 24, 2009

US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation: Global Boycott Movement, By Katherine, EndTheOccupation, June 26, 2009

Israeli Cosmetic Company Is About to Learn It Can't Cover Up Its Role in the Occupation, By Nancy Kricorian, AlterNet, July 22, 2009.

Author Naomi Klein Calls for Boycott of Israel, Common Dreams, by Agence France Presse, June 26, 2009

Turning Up the Volume on a Boycott of Israel, by Anne Paxton, June, 2009.

"Boycotts work": An interview with Omar Barghouti, by Ali Mustafa, June, 2009.

Boycott Begins to Bite at Companies Supporting Israel's Military Occupation of Palestine, by Nadia Hijab, May, 2009.

The South Africa Moment in Palestine, by Omar Barghouti and Justin Podur, April, 2009.

Why Support the U.S. Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel? by Adrienne Rich, February 3, 2009

Israel: Boycott, Divest, Sanction, by Naomi Klein, Jan, 2009.

Why an Economic Boycott of Israel is Justified, by Norman Finkelstein, Jan, 2009.

Concern over Israel settlement exports, BBC, November 5, 2008

Why Boycott Israel? by Richard Cohen, April, 2007