Thursday, December 18, 2014

Will 2015 be a better year for SodaStream?

SodaStream International, producer of the Israeli drink machine that lets you carbonate and flavour beverage bottles in your own home, is a popular product sold in leading home and department stores worldwide.

The company finds itself as a perennial target of the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement against Israel.  Last month we posted that SodaStream announced it would close its West Bank factory and move it to Israel's southern Negev region, to the community of Lehavim near Be'er Sheva, by the end of 2015.

While there was no direct evidence the BDS movement influenced the company's decision, JTA reported today that Harvard University's dining service has chosen to stop purchasing SodaStream equipment for its facilities several months after university officials met with anti-Israel groups on campus, who requested that SodaStream labels be removed existing machines.

The meeting last April was between Harvard's administration, the College Palestine Solidarity Committee and the Harvard Islamic Society. According to the Harvard Crimson, the school's student newspaper, the two groups expressed their discomfort over the use of the technology and the "potential of the machines to offend those affected by the Israel-Palestine conflict."

The Ivy League school's dining services will reportedly be sourcing new machines from American companies.

Harvard's code of arms features the Latin word veritas, which means truth. Could the school's leaders really believe there is truth in the small-mindedness of the BDS movement?

What say you?

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