15 March, 2012
Mr. Terry Lundgren, CEO
7 West Seventh Street
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202
Dear Mr. Lundgren,
I am writing to you today about Ahava Dead Sea Laboratories, an Israeli cosmetics concern with its main factory and visitors center in an illegal settlement in the Occupied Palestinian territories. It has come to our attention that Macy's is now carrying Ahava products in some of its retail locations and in its online store. Macy's explicitly says in its mission statement: "We subscribe to ethical business practices in every facet of our business," "We will obey all laws" and "We will respect the rights and properties of others." Given your commitment to socially responsible, ethical and legal methods, as well as your admirable "Paths to Peace" program, we thought we should let you know that Ahava is the subject of an international boycott campaign because of its illegal practices.
All Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian territory of the West Bank, including Mitzpe Shalem, where the Ahava factory is located, are illegal under international law according to the International Court of Justice, all major human rights organizations, the Israeli human rights organization B'Tselem, the UN, and almost all governments worldwide. Not only is Ahava's factory based in an illegal settlement, but also the company's profits subsidize Mitzpe Shalem and the settlement of Kalia, both of which are co-owners of the enterprise. Even worse, we have documentation showing that the Israeli Civil Administration has allowed Ahava to source the mud used in its products from the occupied shores of the Dead Sea in direct contravention of the Geneva Convention's ban on the pillage of occupied natural resources. In addition, Ahava labels its goods "Product of Israel" when they are in fact manufactured in the Occupied West Bank. It is our belief that if some of your customers were aware of the actual provenance of these cosmetics, they would choose not to purchase them. By carrying Ahava products at Macy's you are in fact underwriting a vast, illegal settlement enterprise that is widely regarded around the world as an impediment to peace in the region.
I have enclosed a map of Israel and the West Bank so you can see the exact location of Mitzpe Shalem and Kalia (where the mud is harvested). I have also included some recent press clips regarding a controversy in which Ahava is embroiled in the U.K. If you should want to learn more about the international boycott campaign against Ahava Dead Sea Laboratories because of the company's illegal practices, you can visit our web site www. stolenbeauty.org. You are also welcome to contact me directly at [email protected].
We hope that you will abide by your own mission statement and show your support for international law and human rights by choosing to no longer stock Ahava Dead Sea Laboratories products in your store. Thank you for your attention and consideration.
2010 Linden Avenue
Venice, CA 90291
CC: Jeffrey Gennette, Chief Merchandising Officer; Julie Strider; Alison Kmiotik; Macys.com
Encl: map, Independent article
For more information on the manufacturer and its involvement in the occupation, go to "Who Profits from the Occupation?" (A project of The Israeli Coalition of Women for Peace)
Link to map:
Link to Independent article: