July 15, 2009
We are writing to ask you to please take a deep look at the beauty company, Ahava, that you represent and resign your position as a spokeswoman for Ahava products.
We know how much you care about the environment and animals, and applaud your great work as an Oxfam Goodwill ambassador. That's why we were so shocked when we discovered that you were the spokeswoman for the Ahava Dead Sea Laboratories, an Israeli company that makes its products in the illegal settlement of Mitzpe Shalem, located in the Occupied Territory of the Palestinian West Bank, and uses stolen Palestinian natural resources.
We recently sent a human rights fact-finding delegation to Israel, and this delegation confirmed that indeed Ahava goods, while bearing labels saying that Israel is their country of origin, are being produced in violation of international laws that prohibit an occupying country, Israel, from taking the resources of the occupied territory, Palestine. Additionally, Ahava profits are going to support Israeli settlements that are illegal under international law. This is why our women's peace group, CODEPINK, is launching a campaign to encourage people to boycott Ahava products. (See http://www.stolenbeauty.org).
By hiring you as their spokeswoman, Ahava wants to use your pretty face and your image of purity and wholesomeness to hide its crimes.
Here's what Oxfam itself has to say about Ahava's deceptive packaging:
"The settlements on the West Bank are illegal under international humanitarian law and that creates a lot of problems for the Palestinians that live there."
"Consumers that are buying produce that are grown in illegal settlements need to have that information so that they can make an informed choice."
Ahava means love in Hebrew, but there is nothing loving about profiting from an illegal occupation. Kristin, don't let Ahava use you to cover up their crimes. Please reconsider your association with Ahava and resign. If not, we will urge our friends at Oxfam to ask you to step down and we will bring our Stolen Beauty campaign to your pubic appearances.
We hope you will join the growing movement---that includes former President Carter, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch-working for peace and justice in the Middle East.
CODEPINK Women for Peace