April 20, 2010
Letter from a consumer disappointed that Nordstrom will remain in violation of its own Social Responsibility Guidelines by continuing to carry a product that violates human rights and international law.
Dear Blake Nordstrom,
I'm a longtime Nordstrom shopper who is recently disappointed to hear from Nordstrom management (Tara Darrow in Publicity and Linda Peffer in Social Responsibility) that Nordstrom will remain in violation of its own Social Responsibility Guidelines by continuing to carry a product that violates human rights and international law. And fraudulently labels its products.
The company in question, Ahava Dead Sea Laboratories, mislabels its products as being from "Israel" when, in fact, the products are made from stolen Palestinian resources in an illegal Israeli settlement, Mitzpe Shalem, in the Occupied West Bank. All Israeli settlements are illegal according to Article 49 of the 4th Geneva Convention. Plundering the resources of occupied people is prohibited as well.
When I learned that Nordstrom "had no plans to make changes in [its] relationship with Ahava" (Tara's response to me is inserted in-between my two email letters), CodePink Women for Peace called on people of conscience to similarly appeal to Nordstrom to stop carrying Ahava products. To date, more than 2,700 emails have been sent to Linda and Tara.
I hope you will hear, and respond affirmatively, to the appeal.
Additional to the scrutiny Ahava has received by the UK parliament and the Dutch Foreign Ministry for "fraudulent labeling", the European Union recently handed down a decision that settlement products, such as Ahava, are not covered by trade agreements between the E.U. and Israel.
I recently learned that the Ecumenical Council for Social Responsibility is appealing to retailers in the UK to stop carrying settlement products because those products are "undermining peace efforts". You can read about the Ecumenical Council for Social Responsibility here.
I also recently learned that Ahava failed to respond to violations of international law and human rights that were registered with the Business & Human Rights Resource Center.
I today emailed the info in the two paragraphs immediately above to Tara and Linda.
I urge you to walk the talk of Norstrom being a socially responsible business. Please, stop carrying Ahava Dead Sea Laboratory products.
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