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Quakers call for boycott of Brighton store
Religious groups have called for their members to boycott goods sold in a Brighton store.
A new report published by a consortium of 22 organisations across Europe says the EU should discourage businesses from economic, commercial and investment links with Israeli settlements in the West Bank.
The report, called Trading Away Peace: How Europe Helps Sustain Illegal Israeli Settlements, highlights the SodaStream factory in the industrial zone of Mishor Adumim, part of Maale Adumim, one of the biggest settlements in the disputed region.
SodaStream recently opened its flagship Ecostream store in Western Road, Brighton.
Anti-Israel activists in the city say that the shop’s eco-image is a mask which disguises the fact that it has set up a factory on land confiscated from Palestinians west of the Jordan River.
Suzanne Ismail, spokeswoman for the Quaker Peace & Social Witness Group, said Quakers in Britain have made a commitment to boycott goods produced in the settlements and that would include SodaStream products.
She said: “I would encourage shoppers to ask questions about the origin of Sodastream products sold in the Brighton Ecostream store or anywhere else.”
A working paper published by SodaStream claimed that the report was drafted to influence the EU to change its regulations with Israel on settlements products.
It said: “It has no legal authority and contains numerous mistakes and irregularities. “This report addresses so called human rights concerns in the West Bank only, and totally ignores all the real human rights issues in different countries around the world.
“This by itself proves that the report is biased and intends to delegitimise the state of Israel.”
A spokesman for SodaStream added: “This statement reflects a one-sided position from the Quaker movement, we decline to comment further.”