Presbyterian Church (USA) General Assembly Votes to Boycott Israeli Settlement Products

Boycott Specifies Ahava Dead Sea Cosmetics and Hadiklaim Dates

For Immediate Release: July 6th, 2012


Nancy Kricorian, Stolen Beauty campaign manager, 646-234-8529

Rev John Anderson, co-author of the overture, (415) 786-4489

On Friday, July 6 the Plenary of the 220th Presbyterian General Assembly voted to boycott all Israeli settlement products, including Ahava Dead Sea cosmetics and Hadiklaim dates, which were specified by name in the overture. The vote is consistent with decades of Presbyterian opposition to Israeli settlements in and the occupation of the West Bank.

Overture 15-02 “On Boycotting Ahava Dead Sea Laboratories and Hadiklaim (an Israeli Date Growers Cooperative)” ( was expanded to include all settlement products, and then passed by a vote of 457-180.

“We are thrilled that plenary voters followed the lead of the Middle East and Peacekeeping Committee and the recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Racial and Ethnic Concerns in supporting the boycott of Israeli settlement companies, which are in violation of international law,” said Rev. Dr. Walt Davis, Israel Palestine Mission Network Education Co-Chair. “No one should profit from the suffering of the peoples of the Holy Land.”

“Thank you Presbyterians for following G-d's teaching ‘You shall not steal,' in passing this overture. As a Jew, I am inspired by the Presbyterian faith-based decision to align words with action for justice,” said Rae Abileah, member of Young Jewish Proud, the youth wing of Jewish Voice for Peace, and co-director of CODEPINK.

Three years ago CODEPINK launched the Stolen Beauty boycott of Ahava cosmetics ( Since then, Ahava has been targeted by human rights activists around the world, from Capetown to London to Los Angeles, because of the company's flagrant violations of international law.

Boycott of settlement goods, including Ahava cosmetics, has become an increasingly popular way for global citizens to help take the profit out of Israel's occupation of the Palestinian territories. Jewish support for settlement boycott is increasing. Over a dozen rabbis signed a letter to Presbyterian delegates explaining their support for the Ahava boycott overture. During the past few months, several prominent Israelis and Jews have endorsed settlement boycott, including former Speaker of the Israeli Parliament and World Zionist Organization leader Avraham Burg, former Israeli Foreign Ministry director Alon Liel, and Jewish-American political pundit Peter Beinart. 

The Presbyterians join the Methodists who voted in May to boycott settlement goods. The church boycott comes in response to the pleas of Palestinian Christians, as outlined in the Kairos Palestine document.




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