2011 Actions


December 10, 2011

BDS Brides Ahava and SodaStream flash mob at Bed, Bath & Beyond in Marin, California: On Saturday, December 10, International Human Rights Day, 2011, a flash mob took over the wedding registry section of the Bed Bath & Beyond in Larkspur, CA. The flash mob consisted of a mock wedding in which four brides committed to boycott illegal Israeli settlement products, namely Ahava cosmetics and SodaStream home carbonation systems, and local Reverend Dr. Walt Davis pronounced the brides "married to a life of peace and justice." The Justice Voices choir sung a parody of "Ode to Joy" that asked Bed Bath & Beyond to deshelve these products. Store employees asked the flash mobbers to leave the store and called the police. No arrests were made. Caroling continued outside the store where the group received positive feedback from holiday shoppers.

The goal of the action was to raise public awareness and ask Bed Bath & Beyond CEO Steven Temares to stop selling products that are in clear violation of international law. Consumers have a right to know the ugly truth behind Ahava beauty products: they're stealing Palestinian land! SodaStream is marketed as an environmentally responsible product, but the destruction of life, land and peace brought about by this settlement industrial zone is anything but environmentally responsible. Save a few plastic bottles at the expense of trashing Palestinian land and people? We don't think so.

December, 2011 marked three years since the Israeli assault on Gaza that killed 1,400 innocent civilians. To end the Israeli occupation, our best hope is supporting the inspiring nonviolent Palestinian movement for justice, the Global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.

“I invited the CODEPINK women to Marin so that we could do a boycott action at our local Bed, Bath, and Beyond,” said Jane Jewell, founder of 14 Friends of Palestine and Justice Voices. “BDS is one of the most important non-violent activities we can do to oppose the cruel Israeli Occupation of Palestine that causes such terrible suffering to the Palestinian people. I consider it the duty of those of us who enjoy a life of freedom and privilege to help those who do not. If I lived under horrendous oppression like the Palestinians do, I would like to think that somewhere in the world there were people looking out for me. "

The action was coordinated by 14 Friends of Palestine, CODEPINK Women for Peace, and Keep Hope Alive.

December 9, 2011


Los Angeles Caroling Action: It only takes a few people to cause a ruckus – really only one, but we were lucky then to have five. Although it was barely 5pm on a Friday the West LA sky was dark, pierced by streetlights, advertisements, the high beams of traffic. But we were visible under the neon glow of the Bed, Bath & Beyond sign and that harsh glow of a box store. We were decked out in our caroling gear with cardboard placards expressing clear messages to Bed, Bath & Beyond: “Dump Illegal Israeli Settlement Products Ahava and SodaStream”, “There is Nothing Friendly about Occupation – Boycott SodaStream”, “Ahava is Dirty Business.”

Both SodaStream and Ahava are produced in Israeli settlements, illegal as all are in the occupied West Bank. However, both products are marked made in “Israel” while Bed, Bath & Beyond stocks both. We are not strangers to the store, having delivered our letters urging store managers and the CEO to discontinue carrying the illegal products. We have also performed our BDS marriage ceremony there, committing ourselves to a life dedicated to peace and justice while pledging to boycott the bridal registry until Ahava and SodaStream are gone. This evening the store manager, one I had never seen and looking annoyed, asked, “May I help you?” Oh, yes, you may… Although passersby did not join in the singing, a woman who was en route to buy SodaStream as a holiday gift for her nephews told us they would be getting marshmallow shooters instead.

Our carols ranged from the somber to the hilarious:

This was our Jingle Bells:

Building settlements
On confiscated lands,
Selling beauty creams,
Blood mixed in with mud.
No No No!
Making lots of dough,
Ignoring human rights
What a shame it is to shop
for Ahava tonight! -HEY!
Hanukkah Oh Hanukkah became:

Ahava oh Ahava
Destruction you're sowing
Stealing the land
where the crops all are growing
Mining from the Dead Sea, is
theft and deceit
You know ethnic cleansing is
hardly a treat

July 7, 2011

Ahava boycott action in New York City: We started with about 30 people outside the Ricky's store on 14th Street, where Adalah-NY's inimitable Alexis, Allison and Riham lead us through the BDS Song Sheet. After about a half hour, the Stolen Beauty Bikini Brigade (the fabulous Alli, Cristina, Melanie and Malak) and Todd on drums lead our march to Union Square South. Meeting up with the Women in Black vigil already under way, more supporters joined us, swelling our numbers to about 60. For the final half hour, a small group of about 15 followed the Bikini Brigade over to another Ricky's store on 6th Avenue and 11th Street. Over the course of the protest, we handed out 1,000 fliers and talked with dozens of people who wanted to understand the connections between our protest, Ricky's NY, Ahava cosmetics and violations of international law. Our amazing coalition included members of Brooklyn for Peace, CODEPINK NYC, Jewish Voice for Peace, Jews Say No, and Women in Black Union Square who came out to help take the profit out of occupation.

July 7, 2011


Bed, Bath & Beyond: Honor international law by dumping illegal settlement products AHAVA and SodaStream in Los Angeles, CA! After delivering a letter to Nordstrom on the 7th of July asking that it stop stocking illegal Israeli settlement product AHAVA, we moved on to Bed, Bath & Beyond.The box store continues to face pressure from the Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions movement, and the Stolen Beauty Campaign, for its disregard of human rights when sourcing its products. We found a great location in West Los Angeles for getting public engagement on our boycott of settlement products campaign, including AHAVA & SodaStream, including lots of foot traffic from Cedar's Sinai Medical Center. Our amazing signs created by LA's Art Intern Dara and our simple question engaged passersby: would you like to know why we're standing here…The LA chapters of Jews for Peace and Jewish Voice for Peace are staples at these co-sponsored events and held their signs decrying occupation as “not kosher”.

February 10-15, 2011

AH_feb_14_DC.jpgAs part of our second annual Valentine's Day of action for Palestinian rights and against Ahava's occupation profiteering, and in conjunction with Stop the Wall's day of remembrance of Jawaher Abu Rahme, Stolen Beauty activists on both coasts held events. See reports below:

Washington, D.C. (2/10/11)

Washington, D.C. participated in an AHAVA action at a local Bed Bath & Beyond. A small group of us entered the stores all decked out in pink bathrobes. We announced that AHAVA products are made on illegal settlements, before breaking into song and dance in front of the customers. We concluded with a conversation with the manager. He was welcome to hearing more about the situation in Palestine and the truth about AHAVA products.

New York, New York (2/14/11)

AH_feb_14_NY.jpgOn the evening of Valentine's Day, six of us, representing CODEPINK NYC, Adalah-NY, Jewish Voice for Peace, and Women in Black/Union Square, gathered for an Ahava boycott online action party in a Morningside Heights apartement. We visited the sites of online retailers that sell Ahava products and added customer comments explaining the details of Ahava's illegal practices.

We were inspired by our sisters in the Dutch Bathrobes Brigade, who started these online action parties last year as a fun, easy way to help educate consumers and to take the profit out of occupation.

Los Angeles, California (2/15/11)

Stolen Beauty Online Action House Party: “What an amazing way of doing activism!” This exclamation came from one of the CODEPINK crew who showed up for justice on a dreary Venice afternoon. We gathered at the CODEPINK House holding our laptops next to tables of candles, humus (not Sabra!), and fruit. The living room was decorated in pinks and purples for our “day after Valentine's” Stolen Beauty online house party. The target was Ahava Dead Sea Laboratories, the Israeli settlement-based cosmetics company that stamps “Made In Israel” on its Dead Sea products that are in fact manufactured in the Occupied West Bank. For two hours we visited websites such as Amazon, Rite Aid, drugstore.com, Zappos, etc, that sell Ahava cosmetics online. We wrote reviews for products, helping to expose Ahava for making money off the occupation of Palestinian land.

Messages included:

  • “Ahava Mud Exfoliator can't strip away Ahava's ugly occupation profiteering. Support human rights. Don't buy Ahava. www.stolenbeauty.org”
  • “Ahava is based in an illegal settlement in the Occupied West Bank. Even Israeli peace groups have called for a boycott of settlement products. Don't buy Ahava's occupation profiteering.”
  • “Ahava means love in Hebrew, but Ahava cosmetics are made in a factory on occupied land. There is no love in occupation.”

Finding comments like these posted online by other activists around the country was so exciting; we were all connected in this simple online action.

San Francisco, California (2/15/11)

AH_feb_14_SF.jpgOn Tuesday, February 15th, four Bay Area CODEPINKers and one lovely volunteer from Jewish Voice for Peace gathered at Dolores Park Cafe in San Francisco for an hour of Ahava boycott online activism. With help from the Online Action Toolkit and our own wit, the five of us visited sites like Amazon.com, Ulta.com and several beauty blogs, we conveyed the message that "no one should love Ahava products.” In an attempt to have some fun with the situation, and perhaps aided by the lingering sugar rushes from Valentine's Day, we added our own "Con" categories on websites, writing that "violation of international law" and "bad karma" are attached to the purchase and manufacture of Ahava.
As an added bonus to the surge of delight felt post-boycott action, we were able to attend a "Pinkwashing" event hosted by the Arab Resource Organizing Center featuring Queer Palestinian Youth. The event highlighted the struggles this community feels not only because of their status as Palestinian in a hostile environment, but because of their sexuality in a hostile world. Both events, the online boycott party and the "Pinkwashing" event, were extremely successful in enlightening people about the reality of the world around us.

January 10, 2011

On January 10, Bay Area activists created a "bathrobe brigade" action to ask Bed Bath & Beyond to stop carrying Ahava products, which the store recently started carrying during the holiday shopping season. The group of women donned bathrobes and towels and performed a flashmob dance and song to the tune of South Pacific's "Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair". They delivered the letter to the store manager and she said she would pass it on to corporate HQ. See video and check out photos. The action was covered on KTVU Channel 2 news. The story was also posted to Demotix.com.




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