StandWithUs

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StandWithUs (SWU) is an international and non-partisan Israel education organization that inspires and educates people of all ages and backgrounds, challenges misinformation and fights antisemitism.

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© 2019 by StandWithUs

Factsheets

Sodastream

Print Version

 

Several groups have called for boycotts of Israeli company Soda Stream’s products because its major plant is located in the West Bank. This misguided effort does not help Palestinians or advance peaceful coexistence- in fact, this boycott does much the opposite. Soda Stream is a model of Israeli-Palestinian cooperation and social interaction that benefits both the Israeli and Palestinian economies.

 

 

Soda Stream is located in Ma’ale Adumim which all peace proposals have assumed would remain part of Israel in a future two-state solution.

  • Soda Stream is not in a residential community where people have built homes and schools.  It is a manufacturing plant.

  • If negotiations result in this area becoming part of a future Palestinian state, there is no reason the plant should not remain: many large companies have plants in foreign countries.

 

More importantly, Soda Stream has been helping Palestinians in the West Bank, and dramatically helping the Palestinian economy.   
 

  • 900 Palestinians work at the plant (400 from east Jerusalem and 500 from the West Bank) in addition to 200 Israeli Jews and foreign workers, including African refugees.
     

  • Soda Stream is the largest single employer in the West Bank outside of the Palestinian Authority itself.

  • The Palestinian workers effectively support their extended families, impacting approximately 5,000 West Bank Palestinians.
     

Soda Stream pays workers according to Israeli wage scales, which is two to three times more than average salaries in the West Bank. They in turn help fuel the Palestinian economy.
 

  • All employees get the same benefits, including transportation to the facility, subsidized daily meals, medical aid, maternity leave, vacation and a pension plan.
     

  • Several Palestinians are in management positions.
     

  • The plant has on-site prayer areas for both Muslims and Jews, and Jewish and Arab employees share meals in the dining hall.
     

Anti- Israel activists convinced one Swiss company to sever ties with Soda Stream, but after conducting its own investigation, the company reestablished the relationship.
 

Palestinian Soda Stream workers regularly express their satisfaction with Soda Stream:

 

  • “This is the greatest company,” one employee said in 2013, and another said, "You wouldn't get treated like this anywhere in the Arab world.”

 

  • “Everyone works together: Palestinians, Russians, Jews,” a Palestinian employee named Rasim at the Maale Adumim site told JTA. “Everything is OK. I always work with Jews. Everyone works together, so of course we’re friends.”

 

 

Boycotting Soda Stream is a destructive move.  It will hurt Palestinian and Israeli workers and the Palestinian economy, and undermine the successful cooperation and mutual understanding that are the building blocks to peace.

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