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Occupation magazine - Commentary
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The "Intercosma" company left the Occupied Territories and was removed from the settlement boycott list
By: Gush Shalom
1 May 2010
The Gush Shalom Settlement Boycott Team decided to remove the name of the cosmetics company `Intercosma` from its list of settlement products, following confirmation that the company finally left the Atarot Industrial Zone on the West Bank.
We oppose all settlements in the Occupied Territories and all industries facilitating these settlements` growth, which are a violation of International Law as well as a major obstacle to peace with the Palestinians. We are in particular opposed to the Atarot Industrial Zone, whose main purpose is to drive a wedge between the Palestinians in Ramallah and those in East Jerusalem.
When Gush Shalom started compiling its boycott list some fifteen years ago, Intercosma had both its manufacturing plant and its management in a 3,700 sqare metres structure at Atarot, and it was put on the blacklist of companies whose products Gush Shalom calls upon consumers in Israel and worldwide to avoid.
At the beginning of the Second intifada in 2001, when the Atarot area became a virtual battleground, the company moved the factory to Beit Shemesh and then to Ashdod. It did, however, keep possession of the Atarot structure and established there `a distribution center`, so `Gush Shalom` maintained the boycott campaign against this company. Last year, however, `Intercosma` finally closed down the distribution center and sold the Atarot building.
As there are many cases of fraud, designed particularly to deceive the European Union customs authorities, we check it out before removing companies from our boycott list. However, in the case of Intercosma we became convinced that this was indeed a genuine and complete disengagement from the Occupied Territories.
The sale of Atarot land was specifically declared by Intercosma in its annual report published on 31 December 2009, an official report in which any false statement would constitute a serious criminal offense by the company directors. The move was further verified by `Who Profits from the Occupation`, the corporate research project of the Coalition of Women for Peace. We are therefore happy to take the company off our boycott list and make this fact known to our supporters in Israel and worldwide.
We call upon all companies still located in the Occupied Territories to follow the Intercosma example - for business considerations. Directors should realize that a company which is helping to block the way to peace is not stimulating peace-seeking Israelis to purchase its products, and that violating International Law would narrow their access to international markets. Investing in settlements in Occupied Territory is simply bad business.
Contact: Adam Keller 054-2340749
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