Sodastream International Ltd. (Nasdaq: SODA) CEO Daniel Birnbaum has told the US media that the BDS movement against Israel is anti-Semitic. Birnbaum was speaking as the carbonated drinks company transferred its plant in Ma'aleh Adumim in the West Bank to the Negev. He added that the Ma'aleh Adumim plant will be closed in two weeks time.
Birnbaum pointed out that many Palestinians worked in the Ma'aleh Adumim plant so that the BDS movement had harmed those Palestinians. However, he added that the decision to move to the Negev did not take into account political considerations but rather purely business reasons.
He said that the BDS movement had done "marginal" damage to Sodastream, "It's propaganda, it's politics, it's hate, it's anti-Semitism. It’s all the bad stuff we don’t want to be part of."
Sodastream hit the headlines last year when it ran an ad campaign with actress Scarlett Johansson, who refused to withdraw from the ads despite presuure from the BDS movement.
Sodastream's carbonated drinks are sold in 70,000 stores worldwide. Some stores in Sweden and France refused to sell Sodstream products after pressure from BDS.
“Sodastream should have been encouraged in the West Bank if (the BDS movement) truly cared about the Palestinian people. We were the biggest private employer of Palestinians in the world.” Birnbaum said.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on September 3, 2015
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