These Popular Products Are Made on Israeli Settlements

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May. 18 2021, Published 11:56 a.m. ET

In 2020, there were 750,000 Israeli settlers on at least 250 settlements in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem. These Israeli settlements are largely considered to be illegal by international standards because they result in Palestinians being violently removed from their land.

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The rate of Israeli settler growth means Palestinians living in occupied territories are being forcibly removed from their homes now more than ever. Throughout the U.S., companies are selling products that are produced in this occupied territory, and many of those products are household names. 

"Made in Israel" labeling is controversial for companies manufacturing on illegal settlements.

Some companies who use a "Made in Israel" label actually produce their products in Israeli settlements, otherwise known as occupied Palestinian land. This is grossly misrepresentative because the Israeli settlements are considered illegal in most of the world. 

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In fact, the U.S. is the only country in the entire world that considers these settlements to be "not necessarily illegal," according to the United Nations. Every other U.N. country besides Israel considers it to be a breach of international law. 

Sabra Hummus is in the spotlight, and not for a positive reason.

Sabra Hummus is run jointly by PepsiCo and the Strauss Group, the latter of which is Israel's largest food and beverage company. Strauss Group monetarily supports the Golani Brigade, a sector of the Israel Defense Forces that works to construct Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

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Israeli settlement product Brooklinen Sheets probably advertises on your favorite podcast.

Luxury linen and bedding company Brooklinen isn't a stranger to influencer marketing success. The products are made by Israeli company Offis Textile, which is tied with another business called Ofertex. Together, Offis Textile and Ofertex are alleged to have taken advantage of illegal Israeli settlements and exploited captive Palestinian workers.

Last year, protesters made a statement at an NYC-based Brooklinen store by returning sheets painted with the words "Brooklinen in bed with Israeli apartheid" and "Brooklinen sews destruction in Palestine."

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Know about SodaStream, Hewlett-Packard, and more

SodaStream was purchased by PepsiCo in 2018. The company's main factory was located in the West Bank, but they officially closed it and moved to the Negev Desert prior to the PepsiCo acquisition.

Meanwhile, Hewlett-Packard has provided computer systems to illegal Israeli settlements. The company also outfits the Israeli army and police with server hardware, which many people view as direct support for the apartheid.

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Ahava is a natural mineral skincare product line made with materials from the Dead Sea. The company is headquartered in Holon near Tel Aviv-Yafo, but the primary manufacturing takes place in an Israeli settlement called Mitzpe Shalem, which is situated along the Dead Sea in the West Bank of Jerusalem.

MoroccanOil also uses the "Made in Israel" label (the hair products aren't, in fact, made in Morocco). The company hasn't disclosed the precise location of its manufacturing facilities, so many people have speculated that it might be working within illegal settlements.

Keter Plastic Products (which are sold at places like Costco and The Home Depot), Teva Pharmaceuticals, and even Wix.com (operating out of an early 20th century Israeli settlement in Tel Aviv) are also on global protestors' radars. 

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