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Israel: "Settlement Products"

Sunday 17 April 2016, by siawi3

Source: http://settlement-products.wikia.com/wiki/Settlement_Products_Wikia

via Gush Shalom

17 April 2016

What is Wiki Settlement Products?

Wiki Settlement Products is a project by the Gush Shalom Movement (Israeli Peace Bloc). Its goal is to organize and make available to the public, in the most systematic and up to date manner possible, information about the factories and businesses that operate in settlements beyond the Green Line (pre-1967 border) and the products that they produce.

In 1996-97, not long after the establishment of Gush Shalom, we publicized information about settlement products, based on data gathered by our activists. In the intervening years that information, for which we did not claim any copyright, was widely disseminated – not only in the print and online versions that we publicized ourselves, but also by many other individuals and organizations. The information was copied and disseminated by various groups in the broad Israeli peace movement and abroad, and it was even read from the Knesset podium by Knesset Member Tamar Zandberg of Meretz.

http://israblog.nana10.co.il/blogread.asp?blog=283767&blogcode=12617348
http://mekomit.co.il

Moreover – on several occasions the settlers themselves, and their allies, when calling upon their supporters to use settlement products, also used the information that was publicized by Gush Shalom - verbatim, including several typos…

http://www.kr8.co.il/BRPortal/br/P102.jsp?arc=52441

Constructing the Project

Over the years, many changes have taken place in the economic, political and legal situation in general and in particular in the composition of the factories and businesses active in the settlements. A considerable number of businesses that were located in the settlements in the 1990’s have since moved to within the Green Line, or have ceased to exist. Some of these cases earned extensive media publicity. Many other cases were not as famous. In recent months our activists undertook a systematic examination.

It should be stressed that all of the information that appears here was gathered by means of the voluntary activity of activists from Gush Shalom, an NGO with limited resources and funds and which (attn. Justice Minister Shaked) receives no government support – neither from the government of Israel nor from any foreign government.

We used the Wikipedia software which is freely available online to anyone wanting to open their own Wiki on any subject and in any field they wish. We are grateful to Wikipedia for providing us with this opportunity. Clicking on any word that appears in blue leads to a webpage with additional information.

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2399582,00.asp
http://www.wikia.com/Special:CreateNewWiki

It should be mentioned that this is an ongoing project, as the Settlement Products Team continues its activity. On this page you can view information about common settlement products and links to more extensive information about factories and businesses in settlements, divided into subjects as well as according to areas of economic operations. Also available is other relevant information, such as companies that are located within the Green Line but are active in marketing settlement products.

Sources and Methods of Gathering Information on Settlement Products

To the material that was publicized by Gush Shalom in 1996-97 and which was updated from time to time since then, data was periodically added as it was provided to us by members and supporters who discovered settlement products in the course of their daily lives (we are deeply grateful to everyone who has helped us in collecting this information).

In the framework of Settlement Products Wiki we present below links to information that was gathered about factories that have left their locations in settlements and moved to within the Green Line, businesses that have gone out of business, and those whose continued existence and location remain in doubt. We thank everyone who has helped us with these issues.

In the course of our work we found material that was previously gathered and publicized by other peace groups, especially the "Who Profits From the Occupation?" project. We are also grateful to Peace Now for the information that Modan Bags has closed down its plant in the settlement of Shaked.

http://www.whoprofits.org/
http://peacenow.org.il/content/modan

In the course of gathering the data it was found that much, varied information is publicized online by the settlers themselves. Not only do businesses and factories maintain their own websites, there are two online directories that specifically cover factories and businesses in the settlements – "Dapei Katom" (Orange Pages) and "The Business Community of Samaria, Ariel, Jordan Valley, Binyamin". The editing and presentation of these directories have a clear and prominent ideological slant. At the same time, we saw fit to refer to them frequently in the course of our work and to cross-reference the listings concerning different factories and businesses. Generally speaking we consider the listings of a business in those directories to be a reliable testimony to its existence and to its being active in a settlement. And vice versa – when a business which is known to have been located at a certain settlement no longer appears in the current directories that are publicized by the settlers, that constitutes evidence that the business has relocated or has ceased to exist.

http://www.shopil.co.il/
http://www.dkatom.co.il/

In addition to the above, industrial zones in the settlements publicize detailed lists of the factories located within them. The Barkan industrial zone specifically publicizes a detailed and user-friendly list of the factories located there, including their area of business, contact people and telephone numbers.

http://www.shomron.org.il/_Uploads/dbsAttachedFiles/mifalim(1).pdf

However, it was found that such lists are not necessarily fully updated. Several phone numbers that appear on the Barkan Industrial Zone’s website yield the automatic message "the number you have reached has been disconnected". The telephone number of the Bar Chairs/United Systems furniture company is answered with a recording that announces that the company "has moved to it’s new location in Tel-Aviv".

Finally, we must mention the immense benefit that our team reaped from Dunsguide, "Dun and Bradstreet"’s online directory of companies as well as from judicial portal Takdin which comprises an extensive collection of court rulings in civil proceedings, including those in which settlement companies are involved. More than once, details were found in these two resources that the companies themselves chose not to reveal in their websites and in the information that they provide to the media.

http://www.dundb.co.il/prod9.asp
http://www.takdin.co.il/

How to send us questions, corrections and additional information

The purpose of this project is not to harm anyone, but rather to provide the public with accurate as possible information. The information that appears in this project was collected by volunteers and although we made immense efforts to avoid mistakes, it is possible that the project is not devoid of such. In the event that any mistakes are found in the information, they were done inadvertently and with no malicious intent.

Anyone wishing to correct mistakes, add details and/or share new information can do so by emailing us at the address below. In the event that new information is found to be reliable, we undertake to correct any mistake and to add relevant information, so that each and every user can make independent and informed decisions.

We can be contacted by email at the address:

settlement.products gmail.com

Findings

Findings: Misleading and Concealing the Location of Factories

Many factories and businesses that are located in settlements try to conceal or obscure their location – especially companies that export to other countries or maintain other international relations. The information on the companies’ websites, their advertisements in newspapers and on the packaging of their products, is often incomplete or misleading. Many companies provide two addresses, one in a settlement and one within the Green Line, in a manner that makes it very difficult to ascertain their actual location.

Click here for the compilation of the findings:

Businesses that Provide Dual Addresses - In Settlements and Within the Green Line

Settlement Businesses that Conceal Their Location - in Advertisements, on Websites, and/or on Packaging

Following are several examples:

The Frid blanket manufacturing company is located in the Barkan Industrial Zone. The company publicizes a list of shops all over Israel where its products are sold, yet without mentioning the location of the factory where the blankets are made. The same tactic is used by the furniture chain store Beitili, by Keter Plastic and by additional companies.

The Meshek Zuriel dairy markets products that come in part from the settlement Shadmot Mehola in the Jordan Valley, and part come from plants in the Galilee and the Negev. In many cases there is no transparency and no mention of the source of the product on the package.

Another method of misleading is concealing the source of the product under a "manufacturer’s code". For example, General Mills Ltd., the Israeli branch of a large US manufacturer of baked goods, manufactures the brand Pillsbury. The package of the product "Pillsbury Brownies – Chocolate Flavored Balls" reads: "Produced for General Mills Ltd., Ramle, by manufacturer’s code SLGL."

A website operated by the Ministry of the Economy enables deciphering manufacturer’s codes of this type, leading to the discovery that in the case at hand the product comes from the Shalgal Food Ltd. Factory, located in the Atarot Industrial Zone, in an area that was annexed to Jerusalem (in fact, it is much closer to Ramallah than to the center of Jerusalem, and is the site of numerous conflicts between the Israeli military and the Palestinian residents). Even though the code can be deciphered, it is obvious that there is a huge discrepancy between the information provided in this manner on a product label and the fundamental commitment of a commercial company to provide the consumer with reliable and transparent information on the products that it markets.

http://israelnewtech.gov.il/findManufacturerCode/Pages/default.aspx

In the case of foods, we often used the location of the rabbinate that issued the kosher certificate for products – information which the companies must provide on the package if they want to reach consumers who observe kashrut. We adopted the reasonable surmise, that the rabbinate that issues the certificate for a product is the rabbinate in the location or the area where the product was manufactured (except in cases of ultra-Orthodox kashrut, in which case the certificates are nation-wide). A kashrut certificate that was issued by the rabbinates in West Bank locations such as Ariel, Hebron, the Samaria Region Rabbinate, the Jordan Valley Rabbinate, etc., is reliable evidence that the products come from settlements at these locations. Thus, for example, a container of hummus produced by Achva may provide an address in Nes Tsiona, but the kashrut certificate from the Ariel Rabbinate testifies to the location of the factory where the hummus was manufactured.

JordanValleyDates

The most blatant deception that our team found has to do with dates – especially Medjool dates, which are a major economic branch in the Jordan Valley settlements and a large portion of which are designated for export. For example, the Jordan River company markets dates from the Jordan Valley in carton boxes on which there is no printing in Hebrew nor any mention of the origin of the dates. The writing on the boxes of dates is in English, sometimes in other European languages (German, French, Spanish, Italian) and sometimes also in Arabic. Some of the Jordan River boxes bear "Orientalist" illustrations of camel-riders against the background of an exotic city with mosque minarets, which might create the impression for a superficial observer that they are an Arab product. However, when marketed in Israel, a Hebrew-language sticker is added to the packages that notes the origin of the dates as the Jordan Valley, the name of the packaging plant (Gilgal, Tomer, etc.) and the rabbinate that certified kashrut – the Jordan Valley Rabbinate.

Click here for more information about dates:

Supplementary Table: Dates

As opposed to the examples above, we should note the transparency policy of the Sasson Levinsky company, which markets assorted dried fruits, some of which are produced at its plant in Kiryat Gat and some at the packaging plant in the settlement Gilgal in the Jordan Valley. In this case the origin of the fruit is clearly noted on each and every package, in a manner that allows – at least a knowledgeable consumer who checks labels – ascertaining the source of the product before purchasing.

Findings: Companies that have left the settlements or have closed

In recent years there have been several prominent examples of companies that were located in the settlements (especially in the Barkan industrial zone) and relocated to within the Green Line, often in connection with forming international relations and specifically the purchase of the company by an international company. These examples include the Barkan Winery, which moved from the industrial zone from which it takes its name, to Kibbutz Hulda; Yardeni Locks, which moved from Barkan to the Bar Lev Industrial Park in the Galilee; Multilock,which moved from Barkan to Yavne; Bagel & Bagel, which moved from Barkan to Safed; and recently Soda Stream, which relocated from Mishor Adumim to the Negev, following an unsuccessful attempt at a PR campaign starring Scarlett Johansson. Soon afterwards the cosmetics firm Ahava announced that it was relocating from the Mitspe Shalem settlement to Kibbutz Ein Gedi, within the Green Line.

Other cases which were less prominent in the media included Intercosma Cosmetics (Atarot industrial zone to Ashdod); children’s furniture company Ikoo Designs (Barkan to Ashdod and Nesher); MBT Biological Laboratories that is owned by the pharmaceutical giant Teva, which quietly relocated from the Atarot industrial zone to Beit Shemesh; and the Delta textile company, which moved its warehouses from the Atarot industrial zone to Cesaria. As mentioned above, these companies are joined by the furniture company Bar Chairs/United Systems, which still appears in the Barkan industrial zone directory, but has set up an automatic message notifying of its relocation to Tel-Aviv.

See here for the full list:

Factories/Businesses that have left the settlements

Another prominent case that has not yet been covered in the media is that of the Adanim Tea company, which was established and operated in its first years in the settlement Ofra, the "flagship" of the national-religious ideological settlements. According to the information that the team was able to gather, around 2002 the company moved from Ofra to Bethelehem-in-the-Galilee, then from there to Upper Nazareth, That was the time of the second intifada, and at that time the company was starting to develop widespread activity in Europe, especially in France and Germany.

Information that we found online testifies to the long history of shoe polish company Mavrik Industries, which was founded in the 1930’s in Tel-Aviv, became the largest factory of its type in Israel and in the entire Middle East and engulfed 28 competing factories. The company moved to the Mishor Adumim settlement industrial zone – which turned out to be an unlucky business choice that ended in its folding during the second intifada. Similarly, Atlas Sweets, which was one of the leading manufacturers of chewing gum in Israel since the 1970’s, relocated to the Atarot industrial zone in East Jerusalem and there faced serious business difficulties when the second intifada broke out. The company ultimately folded and its equipment and brand were purchased by the Mastix company from Beit Shemesh. Documents from the Companies’ Registrar and court rulings tell the story of Abir Textile Industries, Abir Thread Industries, Sabrilon Thread Technology and Hadoron Textile Marketing, which were located in the Barkan industrial zone, became intertwined, conducted intricate power struggles and ultimately nearly all of them went bankrupt and entered into receivership. We can mention information that was uncovered about additional settlement companies that faced bankruptcy, receivership and closure – including Ariye Plast from the Ma’aleh Efraim industrial zone, Mey Tsurim from Rosh Tsurim in Gush Etzion, the Hebron Settlers’ Carpentry, and several others.

For details click here:

Settlement Businesses that have Folded or Disappeared

Findings: "Hebrew Labor" and Palestinian Workers

Since 1967 the State of Israel has maintained control over the Palestinian economy. The policies concerning economic development, taxation, customs, import and export – are all controlled by the Israeli government according to the economic interests of Israel in general and of Israeli companies in particular, without the Palestinians having any way to exert influence. Even the Gaza Strip, from which the State of Israel "separated", is still included within the "Customs Envelope" and constitutes a captive market. Israeli companies reap significant profits from exporting to the Gaza Strip. Part of the economic dependence which Israel has enforced on the Palestinians is the situation in which many Palestinian workers must seek work in the settlement industrial zones, where they serve as a pool of cheap labor (even if the salaries are sometimes higher than those paid by Palestinian employers).

In recent years the settlers have been portraying themselves as the patrons of the Palestinian workers. Spokespersons for the settlers in the political arena routinely bemoan the fate of the Palestinian workers in the settlements, who might lose their jobs as the result of steps such as marking settlement products in Europe. However, perusing the Orange Pages directory, which is published by the settlers for the purpose of their own internal communications, reveals a picture that is quite opposite.

http://www.dkatom.co.il/

Many businesses that operate in the settlements prominently proclaim their policy of not employing Palestinian workers. This is done by means of employing the term "Hebrew labor", and sometimes in a more blatant manner, such as "the work is performed by Jewish workers only". Among the expressions used by settler businesses to describe themselves our team found "Hebrew labor!!!" (exclamation points in the original), "Hebrew labor from A to Z", "Produced by high quality Hebrew labor", "Do you require Hebrew labor? You’ve come to the right place!", "Reliability, dedication, good service and Hebrew labor", "Gracious service, Hebrew labor from the heart", and also paradoxical statements, such as "Hebrew labor, French speaking". It is obvious that among the target audience of this directory, a business that employs only Jews and has a policy of excluding Arabs is attractive to potential clients.

In the framework of the consumer information here we saw fit to gather in a special table the settlement businesses that advertise and take pride in "Hebrew labor".

Settlement Business Declaring ’Jews Only’ Employment Policy

Definitions and the Political and Legal Background
What is a Settlement? Who is a Settler? Who is listed here and why?

Since 1967 the terms "settler" and"settlement" have become prevalent in the public and political discourse in Israel. However, there is disagreement concerning the exact meaning of those terms. Often, the word "settlers" is used to describe people who hold a religious, radically nationalist outlook, bordering on messianic, who consider settling in "Judea and Samaria" to be a religious and national mission of the first order, the realization of a divine promise, and who set themselves apart by means of characteristic dress and lifestyle, which are very different from the norm in Israeli society in general.

As far as we are concerned, settlements of this type are merely one type of the settlements that were established in the Occupied Territories since 1967. Our definition, on the basis of which we decided which factories and businesses would be included in this project, is: a settlement is any civilian community that is designated for the residence of Israeli citizens in the territories that were occupied by the IDF in June 1967 and which the State of Israel continues to hold to the present day. A settler is any person residing in such a settlement. And especially relevant for the information that appears here – an industrial zone that is designated for Israeli entrepreneurs and business people and which was established in the occupied territories is a settlement industrial zone.

We do not ignore the fact that the settlers are not a homogeneous public. There are secular settlers, pretty ordinary Israelis, who were drawn to locations such as Ma’aleh Adumim or Ariel mainly because of the generously government-subsidized housing there; orthodox settlers in places like Beitar Elite and Modi’in Elite, who would have just as easily moved to orthodox towns within the Green Line, if any were built; and "Labor Movement settlers" in the Jordan Valley and the Golan Heights, who live in kibbutzim and moshavim. There are secular settlers and religious settlers, ideological settlers and non-ideological settlers, violent settlers who personally use force against their Palestinian neighbors and non-violent settlers who leave it to the IDF soldiers to employ force in order to maintain settlements in occupied territory.

However, all of the settlers – regardless of their personal motivation – are complicit in the settlement enterprise by the fact of their living there. The settlement enterprise’s fundamental and proclaimed goal is to create "facts on the ground", to perpetuate Israel’s rule over the territories that were occupied in 1967 and to prevent the Palestinian residents in those territories from establishing an independent state and living as a free nation in their land – without there being any intention of ever granting them Israeli citizenship, or the right to vote for the parliament and government that control their lives. Thus, all of the settlers, by the fact of their residing in settlements, are complicit in violating international law which prohibits an occupying power from settling its citizens in the occupied territory. All of the settlers are complicit in establishing and maintaining an obstruction that prevents Israel and its citizens from achieving peace with our Palestinian neighbors and with the Arab states. All of the settlers – whatever their personal motivation – are complicit in the continued deterioration of Israel towards the future of an apartheid state, a state that is quagmired in endless wars and bloodshed, and which is denounced and treated as a pariah around the globe.

Sometimes we are asked, "Why do you hate the settlers?" The answer is unequivocal: we do not hate the settlers. The settlers are human beings just like us and Israeli citizens just like us. They love their families no less that we do ours. Like most human beings, the settlers are fully and honestly convinced that their actions and lifestyle are right and just. We do not hate the settlers. We do consider them to be people who are performing an extremely significant political act by residing in occupied territory. In our view, that action is extremely damaging and dangerous to the future of all of us (and especially to the future of the settlers themselves!). If the settlers cease and desist from this political act, then from that moment on we will have no reason to argue with or confront them.

The lists here also include businesses that are physically located within the Green Line, yet which contribute significantly to the settlement activity. For example, the Shufersal supermarket chain, which is a nationwide chain, yet under its brand Green, it markets numerous products that originate in settlements, or the Meiron & Salman Law Office, which is located in Tel-Aviv but which describes itself thus: "Our office specializes in real estate, especially in the Judea and Samaria district. Our office has vast experience in handling issues vis a vis the authorities that regulate assets in Judea and Samaria, including the Civil Administration."

"The Boycott Law"

In 2011 an event shook the political and legal systems in Israel. Late at night and following an explosive debate, the Knesset passed the law known as the Boycott Law, which prohibits Israeli citizens from calling for a boycott of settlement products. Only a boycott of settlement products was prohibited, not calling for any other type of boycott.

Israeli citizens who are religious Jews are permitted to call for a boycott of non-kosher restaurants (the Chief Rabbinate of Israel and the municipal rabbinates do this all the time, on a large scale and with public funding). Social justice movements can call for boycotting products that are exorbitantly priced (as they did in the course of the social protest in 2011). Vegetarians can call for boycotting animal products. Even the extreme right wing is allowed to call for a boycott against the Arab citizens. A settler organization called The Samaria Settlers’ Committee recently did just that, including publicizing a detailed list of the names and addresses of Arab-owned shops which the organization called to boycott – without the law enforcement authorities in Israel considering taking any action against them.

http://www.haaretz.co.il/blogs/misgav/.premium-1.2827062

http://www.ynet.co.il/articles/0,7340,L-4710133,00.html

As opposed to all the types of boycotts that are legal, calling for a boycott of settlement products, and only that specific call, became the grounds for being sued for damages under Israeli law.

Gush Shalom considers this legal and public reality as being unfair and a grave blow to the freedom of expression of Israeli citizens. Together with many other movements and institutions we participated in protest demonstrations in the streets before and after the law was passed, and also in petitioning the High Court of Justice to support our campaign. Unfortunately, the judges of the High Court of Justice dashed our hopes and following deliberations that lasted several years, they rejected all of the petitions against the the Boycott Law.

http://zope.gush-shalom.org/home/he/events/1429200763
https://www.facebook.com/GushShalom.Heb/posts/461237847250919
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3NITH0QlgXA
http://www.haaretz.co.il/news/law/.premium-1.2615120

Considering this legal situation, Gush Shalom clarifies, for the avoidance of all doubt, that the action of gathering information about factories and businesses in settlements and publicizing same through the Settlement Products Wiki is by no means an intention to call for the boycotting of settlement products. The purpose of gathering and publicizing the information is to provide the most reliable and accurate consumer information that we were able to gather, in order to enable consumers – each and every one individually – to make wise and informed decisions according to their personal considerations.

As things stand in Israel in March 2016, there is no legislative or legal restriction on gathering and publicizing consumer information. The source of the products that are offered for sale on shelves is essential and relevant consumer information – no less than their chemical and nutritional contents, the working conditions of the workers who produced them, the effect of their production on the environment or on animals, and other factors that are currently considered to be material consumer considerations. Therefore, the Gush Shalom Movement takes full responsibility for the gathering and publication of the data that appears in Settlement Products Wiki, as a voluntary action for the public benefit.

Table of Common Settlement Products

Notes:

As far as we know, there is no connection between the Tvu’ot Bar company that appears in this list and is located in the Barkan Industrial Zone in the West Bank, and the Tvu’ot company, which is located in Kibbutz Ma’aleh Ha’chamisha, within the Green Line.

2) "Samaria Dairies" (Machlevot Ha’shomron) that manufacture Ha’shomron Cheeses, is not a settlement business and it is located in Binyamina, within the Green Line. The word "Samaria" (Shomron) in the name of the business does not refer to "Judea and Samaria" as this term has been used since 1967, rather to an earlier use, whereby Samaria was the term for the area of Emek Hefer, Hedera and Binyamina.

Note to English Version: These tables have been translated from the original Hebrew lists, which are organized alphabetically. The English version has retained the original order of the names in Hebrew.

View table here complete, with Company, Products, Location and Notes

Settlement Businesses, Institutions and Products - Sorted by Theme
Factories/Businesses that have left the settlements
Settlement Businesses that have Folded or Disappeared
Businesses that Provide Dual Addresses - In Settlements and Within the Green Line
Settlement Businesses that Conceal Their Location - in Advertisements, on Websites, and/or on Packaging
Israeli Business Groups and Corporations With One or More Members in Settlements
Companies Not in Settlements, that Market Settlement Products or Use Settlement Raw Materials
Settlement Businesses that Export or Maintain International Relations
Settlement Business Declaring ’Jews Only’ Employment Policy
Settlement Businesses, Institutions and Products - Sorted by Field of Activity
Food and Drinks
Supplementary Table: Wineries
Supplementary Table: Dates
Household Products, Cosmetics
Furniture, Carpentry
Textile, Linen, Shoes, Carpets
Industry, General
Minor Industry, Workshops, Factory Outlets, Services
Architecture, Construction, Real Estate
Vehicles, Moving, Transport, Supply
Printing, Computers, Video, Graphic Design, Electronics
Gardening and Plant Nurseries
Arts, Crafts, Books, Theater, Cinema, Religion
Lawyers
Miscellaneous