Abigail Disney, Walt’s great-niece and heiress, has just withdrawn her 12 million dollar investment in the Israeli Company Ahava because, she says, it is “stealing minerals” from an “Occupied West Bank.” Ms. Disney believes this violates both the 1970 Hague Convention and the Geneva Convention “by exploiting natural resources in occupied territories.”
Well–not exactly, and not so fast.
Disney is not actually withdrawing a penny for “complicated financial reasons.” She has decided to “donate the profits, as well as funds equal to the value of her shares in the Dead Sea minerals cosmetics firm Ahava, to groups working to end this illegal exploitation.”
Serious Israeli (and non-Israeli) legal experts view the territories as “disputed” not “occupied“–but let’s not quibble.
Ms. Disney may not know it, but she has now become an honorary member and poster child for the anti-peace women’s “peace” group: Code Pink. This is a group which supports the government of Iran, the Taliban, the Muslim Brotherhood, the Fort Hood shooter, and many other such “peaceful” groups and individuals. One of their more high-profile targets is Ahava Cosmetics.
Perhaps Ms. Disney does not fully understand who her new allies really are.
For at least six-seven years, the Boycott, Sanctions, and Divestment campaign has targeted Israel’s beauty and cosmetic line, Ahava. Code Pink jumped right in and launched many creative and obnoxious demonstrations. In 2009, Code Pink members demonstrated in the Ahava store in the Tel Aviv Hilton. They smeared mud on their chests and holding signs that read: Stolen Beauty and “There is Nothing Beautiful About Occupation.”
In 2011, Code Pink was successful in getting The Bay, a large Canadian chain of stores, to drop Ahava Products. Their campaign is global and ongoing, and often successful. Their first victory consisted of having Oxfam’s Goodwill Ambassador, Kristin Davis, (Sex and the City), suspend her publicity work for them given her affiliation with Ahava; they have gotten London to investigate the “legality” of Ahava’s labeling, blockaded Ahava’s flagship store in London more than five times; and convinced the Dutch Foreign Ministry to launch an investigation of Ahava’s “business methods.”
The ironic thing is that West Bank companies tend to employ Arabs (both Israeli citizens and Palestinians). When such firms are boycotted, their employees suffer.
Soda Stream, another Israeli company situated in the West Bank, employs 950 Arabs (450 Arab Israeli citizens, 500 Palestinians). In 2014, after protests about not being allowed to bring in their own food after Ramadan– home-bought food is prohibited for everyone– sixty of the 950 Arabs were fired.
I mention this because Israeli companies actually employ Arabs (Israeli citizens and West Bank Palestinians); and Israelis start successful companies (Yes, they are the descendants of Jews who cleared the swamps and build a modern nation out of sand and rock).
We all know what the Gazan Palestinians did to the greenhouses that Israel left standing when it pulled out of Gaza completely. They destroyed them. They did not continue to use them to supply food to their people or to export food for commercial gain.
I hope Ms. Disney changes her mind. In fact, I hope all Hollywood changes its mind about who the real “Nazis,” fascists, totalitarians, barbarians, misogynists, and racists really are today.
And it is not Israel.