In January 2012, ELLE Magazine ran a piece on “Sea Salt Benefits” that featured Ahava and described the company's plant near the shores of the Dead Sea as being in Israel. We wrote a response to correct this erroneous assertion.
Senior Writer, ELLE Magazine
1271 Avenue of the Americas
New York, New York 10020
18 January 2012
Dear April Long,
In “Sea Salt Benefits” in ELLE's January 2012 issue, you describe Ahava Dead Sea Laboratories' production facility as located in Israel. In fact, while Ahava's corporate headquarters are based in Holon, Israel, Ahava's plant is in the West Bank settlement of Mitzpe Shalem. All Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian territory of the West Bank, including Mitzpe Shalem, are illegal under international law according to the International Court of Justice, all major human rights organizations, the Israeli human rights organization B'Tselem, the UN, and almost all governments worldwide. Not only is Ahava's factory based in an illegal settlement, but also the company's profits subsidize Mitzpe Shalem and the settlement of Kalia, both of which are co-owners of the enterprise. Even worse, we have documentation showing that the Israeli Civil Administration has allowed Ahava to source the mud used in its products from the occupied shores of the Dead Sea in direct contravention of the Geneva Convention's ban on the pillage of occupied natural resources. By misleading your readers about the location of the plant, you deprive them of the details they would need to make an informed decision about whether or not they want to purchase Israeli settlement goods—products supporting a vast, illegal settlement enterprise that is widely regarded around the world as an impediment to peace in the region.
I have enclosed a map of Israel and the West Bank so you can see the exact location of Mitzpe Shalem and Kalia (where the mud is harvested). I have also included some recent press clips regarding a controversy in which Ahava is embroiled in the U.K. If you should want to learn more about the international boycott campaign against Ahava Dead Sea Laboratories because of the company's illegal practices, you can visit our web site www. stolenbeauty.org. You are also welcome to contact me directly.
Campaign Manager, Stolen Beauty Ahava Boycott