Disney Family Member Denounces Ahava, Israeli Company Exploiting Palestinian Resources

In a major boost to the movement to boycott Israeli settlement products, Abigail Disney has denounced Ahava beauty products for exploiting Palestinian resources. Disney, the granddaughter of the co-founder of Walt Disney, is the latest high-profile figure to come out in support of a boycott related to illegal West Bank settlement products.

Abigail Disney is an investor in Shamrock Holdings, the Disney family investment fund, which owns a part of Ahava.

Ahava’s main factory is located in an Israeli settlement, and is owned by companies deeply invested in Israel’s illegal settlement project.

Here’s part of her statement:

While I will always hold my colleagues and coworkers in the highest regard, I cannot in good conscience profit from what is technically the “plunder” or “pillage” of occupied natural resources and the company’s situating its factory in an Israeli settlement in the Occupied West Bank. Because of complicated legal and financial constraints I am unable to withdraw my investment at this time, but will donate the corpus of the investment as well as the profits accrued to me during the term of my involvement to organizations working to end this illegal exploitation.

Ahava has been the target of a boycott campaign around the world. In the US, the anti-war group CODEPINK has been leading the charge with their “Stolen Beauty” campaign. Part of the global boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement targeting Israeli violations of human rights, the movement to boycott Ahava has racked up some impressive victories.

For example, recent decisions by South Africa and Denmark to label settlements products as “made in settlements” will affect how Ahava is sold in those countries. Before these decisions, products like Ahava were mislabeled as being “from Israel”--rather than illegal West Bank settlements built on confiscated Palestinian land. The Presbyterian Church also recently voted to boycott settlement products, and specifically named Ahava as a company for the church to shun.

For more information on Ahava and the movement to boycott the company, see AlterNet’s coverage here and here.

AlterNet / By Alex Kane

Posted at July 16, 2012, 9:47am