By Wallace Bruschweiler & Alan Kornman
The definition of peace between the Palestinians and Israelis is when the two can work alongside each other, earning equal wages, benefits, and economically energizing their neighborhoods, in a ‘so called’ peaceful environment.
Peace broke out in Maale Adumim, West Bank at the SodaStream factory 15 minutes west of Jerusalem. 600 West Bank Palestinians, 300 East Jerusalem Arabs, and 300 Israeli Jews entered, without knowing, into a voluntary peace deal at SodaStream. All this achieved without outside interference from the United Nations, United States, and UK.
The SodaStream factory had an on-site synagogue and mosque. Jew and Palestinian break bread everyday sharing the same cafeteria in peace and harmony. The economy of Maale Adumim, West Bank was benefiting from the positive financial benefits as SodaStream’s Palestinian workers were building homes, buying local goods, and saving money for their future.
How Did This Peace Work?
Al Monitor asked SodaStream’s President Daniel Birnbaum to explain how this peace worked between Israeli and Palestinian.
“You know, as far as many of them(Palestinians) are concerned, the only Israelis they know are settlers and the policemen at checkpoints. Most of them had never even been to Israel until I took them on a tour last summer. Then they saw Israelis on the beach and in the street. They saw plain, ordinary people.
On the other hand, it was also an opportunity for us to break through the barriers of hatred and to get to know the other side, so that we could finally recognize that not every Palestinian is a terrorist. I’m proud of that. I want people to finally realize that we’re talking about people and that peace is possible, despite the politicians. If there were another hundred companies like us extending a hand to the other side, we would have a peace agreement, because everybody wants it, including the Palestinians.”
This SodaStream economic peace effort was a glimmer of light at the end of a very dark and bloody tunnel. Then, out of nowhere, Oxfam and BDS Movement came into play with a world wide action which at the end of the day is hurting over 3,500 Palestinians.
900 Palestinians and Arabs Betrayed By Oxfam and BDS’ Nonsense
The Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement (BDS) is a global campaign to increase economic and political pressure on Israel i.e. branding Israel as an apartheid state. BDS puts public pressure on companies like SodaStream by protesting and intimidating retailers around the world for selling their products.
The BDS movement has evolved into a non-affiliated arm of Palestinian terrorism. Oxfam/BDS are hell bent on Israel’s economic destruction. Sacrificing the economic future of 900 Palestinian workers was a very small matter to the BDS movement.
Oxfam’s mission statement: “Working with thousands of local partner organizations, we work with people living in poverty striving to exercise their human rights, assert their dignity as full citizens and take control of their lives.”
Oxfam International in its zeal to hurt SodaStream violated its own mission statement.
Oxfam went on a personal rampage mission to destroy SodaStream, in January 2014, after their international spokesperson, Ms. Scarlett Johansson, appeared in a SodaStream worldwide TV ad campaign.
Oxfam got hot under the collar when Ms. Johansson’s publicist gave this reason for leaving Oxfam. “Ms. Johansson, respectfully decided to end her ambassador role with Oxfam after eight years… She and Oxfam have a fundamental difference of opinion in regards to the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement.”
In a January 30, 2014 Oxfam press release the ‘aid’ groups politics become crystal clear, “Oxfam believes that businesses, such as SodaStream, that operate in settlements further the ongoing poverty and denial of rights of the Palestinian communities that we work to support. Oxfam is opposed to all trade from Israeli settlements, which are illegal under international law.”
Oxfam International, with an operating budget of $1.2 Billion US and net assets of $396 Million, decided to exact their pound of flesh from SodaStream. Ms. Scarlett Johansson publicly exposed Oxfam’s political bias against the State of Israel in favor of the BDS Movement. The only one’s who got hurt at the end of the day were the 900 Palestinian and Arab workers who were earning four times more than the average wage in the West Bank (Judea and Samaria).
Back To Square One
JTA reports, Daniel Birnbaum, SodaStream CEO said, “We are committed to continue serving as a bridge and to sowing hope” The flames of that hope were extinguished because of outside influences from Oxfam International and BDS, both showing their anti-semitism.
“SodaStream’s case, some say, is one example of how boycotting an Israeli company doing business in the West Bank can end up hurting the very goals that boycott proponents say they are trying to achieve: Palestinian rights and Israel-Palestinian peace.”
SodaStream will soon be closing their West Bank plant and moving it to the Be’er Sheva area in the Negev. With an average of 4 people per household approximately 3,600 Palestinians and Arab workers are being directly impacted by the SodaStream West Bank plant closing.
Many of these Palestinian and Arab workers had been earning enough money with SodaStream to apply for mortgages and building homes. When those mortgage payments can’t be paid and the foreclosures start there will be much anger and frustration in these West Bank communities. There is no work in the West Bank for these Palestinians to move into comparable earning jobs and support their families.
Now there are 3,600 additional frustrated and angry Palestinians in the West Bank. Their anger, strangely enough, will not be focused on Oxfam International and the BDS Movement who are responsible for them losing their livelihood.
That anger will be focused like a laser on the Jews and Israel. If I was a Palestinian community organizer I would be channeling this anti Jew/Israel anger by building more violent terrorist cells in the West Bank and East Jerusalem with all these now unemployed SodaStream workers.
Qatar would be smart to give these families a little bit of money and food to tide them over for a short time instead of financing a Gaza weapons buying spree. When the money and food runs out, desperation sets in. Generosity in the Arab world comes with a very high price tag.
The payment will almost certainly be the radicalization of these once proud Palestinian SodaStream workers.
Sadly, there are no profits in peace between the Palestinians and Israelis for groups like Oxfam and the BDS Movement who thrive on poverty and misery.
The Big Picture
The idiocy of Oxfam BDS campaign created a situation where some EU and USA large wholesalers had to cancel orders of Israeli products. The unintended consequence is that Russia is now buying up from Israel what the EU and USA are unfortunately boycotting.