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OFFICIAL RELEASE: TODAY: Bikini-clad activists protest Israeli cosmetics at stores in Santa Monica, Marina del Rey

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Tue, Jul 28, 2009

Ahava, Gaza, Local press releases, Local Updates

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SANTA MONICA — Inside upscale cosmetics stores here and in Marina del Rey in a two-hour “tour,” bikini-clad activists streaked with mud of the women’s peace group CODEPINK will rally with chants and signs to expose the dirty truth of the Israeli cosmetics company, Ahava Dead Sea Laboratories: that it profits from its exploitation and illegal practices of the Occupied West Bank.

“We are here to tell Ahava, which claims to be devoted to beauty and purity, that you cannot cover up occupation and violation of international law,” said Paris Marron, CODEPINK’s national online organizer. “We call on Ahava to come clean.”

The action, which follows four others in Israel and New York of the past two months, is part of CODEPINK’s “Stolen Beauty” boycott campaign against the Israeli company — which sells its products in upscale shops, spas and salons worldwide — designed to pressure the company to end its illegal practices and pressure Israel to end its violations of international law against Palestine and its people. CODEPINK also plans to educate consumers about Ahava’s dirty secrets and encourage consumers to boycott Ahava products.

CODEPINK recently sent a fact-finding mission to the Ahava headquarters in the Israeli settlement of Mitzpe Shalem in the Occupied West Bank. What they found made their skin crawl.

“Its products produced in the Occupied West Bank are labeled of ‘Israeli origin’ even though, according to international law including the relevant UN Security Council Resolutions, the West Bank cannot be considered to be part of the State of Israel,” said Medea Benjamin, CODEPINK co-founder. “The company also exploits occupied natural resources for profit, which is a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention.”

Ahava does its best to hide its dirt, even hiring Oxfam Ambassador and ‘Sex and the City’ star Kristin Davis as its spokesperson.

Stolen Beauty’ is CODEPINK’s contribution to the international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Movement against institutions and corporations that give tacit or material support to the Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian Territory, designed to pressure the Israeli government to end the occupation of the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem. Conditions there have since worsened because of Israel’s 21-month blockade of Gazan borders, Israel’s continued demolition of Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem, and land appropriations and violent repression in the West Bank.

For more information and exact schedule, please call Jodie Evans, CODEPINK co-founder, at 310-621-5635.

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  • BB

    I was shopping at one beauty store in Santa Monica when some women came in wearing bikinis and protesting for Ahava products. That was shocking for every one who was on the store. The were chanting inside and putting stickers on Ahava products against the occupation. I always supported the Pink Code but this time I was really angry. First at all, that was trespassing to a private place. Second it was vandalism to damage some products that the beauty owner PAID for them.

    Speaking about “occupied territories”? You were occupying beauty stores by force. You are blaming Israel but your behavior it’s not different than them.

    I would support you if the situation would be more professional . Instead, I saw a bunch of women on bikinis acting like cheerleaders from Hooters. Just pathetic.

  • Lisa

    Well-behaved women seldom change anything.

  • Jean

    Thanks, BB, for your comment. We appreciate the input!

    As you pointed out, our occupation was offensive and shocking — and that was our point, to illustrate how Israel’s occupation is extremely offensive and shocking, and Ahava’s exploitation of Occupied West Bank resources is shocking and illegal (in fact, it violates many international laws). While we left the store, however, Ahava’s illegal and exploitative practices in the Occupied West Bank will not end anytime soon (though we hope they will). It will continue, and as long as it does, anyone who opposes it must do what they can to spread the word about how awful it is.

    As for us women acting professional, over time, American women have achieved the right to vote, the right to work, the right to choice and more by behaving unprofessionally (chaining themselves to the White House fence, being arrested at the ballot box for illegally voting, for rallying with signs and banners in city streets and private spaces). To really make change, being professional or polite never works — and bikinis make it fun.

  • BB

    Jean, you are saying that Pink Code wanted to show how offensive and shocking is the Israel occupation by going to beauty stores and occupying them by force. With your logic, your next step is to go to Iraq and protest in every store for selling AMERICAN products.

    Oh! I don’t recommend to your girls to wear bikinis over there. In Iraq it’s not “fun”. It’s insulting.

  • nathalie

    cant understand what is the “peace chain reaction” that is supposed to come from these attacs against an israeli compagnie?
    (or is it against israel in general)? How can a boycott against Israel or any country at all -can bring a peacefull attitude for palestiniens or israelis ?
    please note that the same action in paris was added to your official link list ,and with all the respect for your actions for peace – i doubt the real intentions of some of the “supporters” -that use this project as a “war action teaser” at least that’s how its sound and look like !

  • NancyK

    Nathalie,
    A boycott is a peaceful way to take the profit out of occupation. Ahava’s practices are against international law, and people should know that. In 2005 Palestinian civil society groups called for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israeli institutions and corporations as a way to pressure Israel into compliance with international law. Just a few months ago Israeli peace activists–both Jewish and Palestinian–put out a call to the international community to join the BDS Movement–it was entitled “The Boycott from Within.”

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