Thursday, October 30, 2014

SodaStream denies BDS involved in factory closure

A popular scapegoat for the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement, Israeli drink machine maker SodaStream International Ltd. announced it will close it's West Bank factory, but not because of ongoing pressure from pro-Palestinian activists.

SodaStream spokesperson Nirit Hurwitz said the decision to move the facility out of Maale Adumim in the West Bank and into Israel's southern Negev region, to the community of Lehavim near Be'er Sheva, came not because of the BDS movement but rather for "purely commercial" reasons.

The move will give the company more manufacturing space and save it two per cent on overhead costs.

The factory in the West Bank, however, employs hundreds of Palestinians, who get the same benefits as their Israeli colleagues. If they wish to move along to the new factory when it opens in a year's time, it will mean longer commute times and work permits to enter Israel.

In July, an Israeli-owned store in England selling replacement parts for the gadget, which allows users to make their own carbonated beverages, closed after two years of weekly protests.

Unlike in England, the latest SodaStream news wasn't a case of caving in to BDS pressure. Here's hoping the potential loss of Palestinian jobs does not further fuel the fires of BDS activists in the months to come.

1 comment:

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