Nordstrom promotes itself as a socially responsible company that supports “quality business principles” but is it really socially responsible when it profits by selling AHAVA products that are made from stolen resources in a factory on occupied land?
Confronting Nordstrom”s support and sale of AHAVA products is our current action to “boycott, divest and sanction” companies profiting from the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian West Bank.
After receiving over 2000 emails this past weekend from concerned members of the community, Nordstrom spokesperson Tara Darrow defended selling AHAVA products, stating that Nordstrom “can”t please everyone and are bound to disappoint some customers.” She also held that AHAVA is not violating any labeling rules in the United States.
But the question is not whether AHAVA is following United States “labeling rules,” which is another debate altogether, but whether Nordstrom is being socially responsible by insisting on continuing to profit from selling products made in illegally occupied territory. AHAVA is getting away with selling products from occupied land because it is headquartered in Tel-Aviv. But make no mistake: AHAVA”s main factory is located in the Israeli settlement of Mitzpe Shalem in the occupied West Bank.
Ahava also harvests mud from the shores of the Dead Sea north of the internationally recognized Green Line that delimits Israel from the Occupied Territories. According to the Geneva Conventions it is illegal for an occupying power to exploit the natural resources of the occupied land. Additionally, 44% of Ahava”s stock is collectively owned by the settlements of Mitzpe Shalem and Kalya. Because of this, Ahava sales mean a direct financial benefit for illegal Israeli settlements. All Israeli settlements in the West Bank are illegal under international law, and are an impediment to a just and lasting peace for Israelis and Palestinians. Hence, by continuing to stock Ahava”s products, Nordstrom fails its own socially responsible test.
As part of the Second Global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Day of Action for Palestine supporters of the Stolen Beauty AHAVA Boycott Campaign have organized protests in New York City, Washington, D.C., Chicago, Montreal, Austin, Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles.
Five Actions You Can Take For the the BDS Movement Today
1. Sign Our Letter to Nordstrom asking them to stop selling AHAVA stolen beauty products from occupied lands
3. Participate in BDS Day of Action on March 30 to boycott products like AHAVA all across the United States.
5. Organize an action of your own at a Nordstrom or other store in your city that carries Ahava. Email rae[at]codepinkalert.org with your action idea or info and she can send you a list of stores in your area that carry AHAVA.