Unsettling Goods – a consumer choice

Once upon a time – no scratch that. That suggests a fairy tale, and this is no fairy tale. This is reality. This blog posting is about a reality that is “unsettling”…. To be unsettled, though, is not a bad thing. That feeling can move us into identifying hope and taking steps toward that hope (see Active Hope). Please see the end of this posting to learn about “Unsettling Goods: Choose Peace in Palestine and Israel” (click here). Learn how you can take action.          ~~~~~~~~~~

We live in an increasingly politically and economically interdependent, global society. This means that what we purchase in one part of the world will have an effect in another part of the world.

For example, yesterday (‘Black Friday’), I, in a western Canadian city, was presented with an advertisement, in a Hudson’s Bay flyer, for SodaStream – “Appealing to foodies and environmentalists alike, SodaStream’s simple-yet-sleek system makes perfectly carbonated water and soda at the touch of a button.”

For ‘only’ $199.99, a consumer can buy this NEW Revolution Black by SODASTREAM. It’s a sleek, compact, and fancy looking appliance that appears to carbonate water. Add a bit of SodaStream cocktail syrup and voilà – you have a fancy, fizzy drink. No plastic bottle to deal with. All in the comfort of your own home.

Here’s the reality check:  SodaStream is a company that manufactures its products in Israeli-government occupied Palestinian territory but labels these products as though they’re made in Israel. Nothing on that sleek Revolution Black indicates that it was made in illegally occupied territory. Nothing indicates that that Revolution Black was made just east of Israeli-occupied East Jerusalem, in the occupied West Bank – next door to where my friends, long-displaced Bedouin families, have been relegated to live (next to the reek of the Jerusalem garbage dump) . Because the Israeli government wants the land. For political and economic gain (click here).

Much like the British Empire wanted ‘the land’ of Turtle Island a few centuries ago and granted the Hudson’s Bay Company rights to occupy that land. Building up trade for products that citizens might buy.

How would anyone know that by ‘taking advantage’ of “Black Friday” (weekend) sales of snazzy looking items that are mislabeled, that that would help to shore up the Hudson’s Bay in Canada and SodaStream in the occupied West Bank and the Israeli government?

Yet, this is the reality. Now what do we do?

Why not re-claim the name of that Revolution Black? On this “Black Friday” weekend, let’s join a new consumer revolution. Consider the following hopeful shift.

Imagine that consumer conscience will grow and consumers will refuse to buy Revolution Black because it is not properly labeled. They/We will realize that we are able to influence Hudson’s Bay to pressure the Canadian government to require the Israeli government to label all products accurately – whether from Israel or from the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories.

Who would have thought that by refusing to buy mislabeled products, people in one part of the world could join a revolution in another part of the world – to grow a just peace in Palestine and Israel?

How to join this hopeful revolution? Check out the action list at the end of this posting and listen to this new song (click here): Unsettling Goods  by Tony Quarrington

“This soda machine was made in a factory
Which stands in an old land where olive groves grew,
Made in a place where homes were was ploughed under
That now is a settlement, thriving and new.
Built on a site from which people were scattered,
Driven away from their history and place,
Whose traces have vanished, whose name is deleted,
Whose story is written in each suffering face

CHORUS
Unsettling goods that are not good for all,
Made in the shadow of checkpoint and Wall,
Built with guns and with prisons, bulldozers and fists,
Justice means crossing these goods off your list …”

ACTION LIST:

The United Church of Canada’s campaign, Unsettling Goods – Click here.

A fact sheet about SodaStream, from the Unsettling Goods resources – Click here.

Contact Hudson’s Bay to ask them to stop selling SodaStream products and to ask Hudson’s Bay to ask SodaStream to label clearly the products it makes in Israeli settlements. Invite Hudson’s Bay to join The United Church of Canada in asking the Canadian government to require all settlement-made products that are sold in this country to be labelled clearly. Click here.

The United Network for a Just Peace in Palestine and Israel (UNJPPI) launch of the Unsettling Goods campaign is on December 3, 2013. Please participate as you can! See how here.

Canadian Boycott Coalition for Justice in Palestine/Israel – Re: settlement products. Click here.

“I do not like SodaStream [with apologies to Dr. Seuss].” Click here.

Boycott SodaStream – Click here.

Global Exchange – Click here.
Postcard – Click here.

Joint Tweet – Click here to participate in a joint Tweet to Target which distributes SodaStream in the US. The joint Tweet “will automatically be sent out on the last day of [this] action — December 10, Human Rights Day — by all who sign up. This will help amplify the message to Target that buying products that profit from abuse of Palestinian rights isn’t our kind of holiday.”

One thought on “Unsettling Goods – a consumer choice

  1. great post! thanks!! … would you mind if i repost on my blog? do you know how to do this?? hope all is well. love ,d

      “In the best of struggles, our lives must be lived.” Carolyn McDade

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