Norwegian Retail Chain Boycotts Ahava Cosmetics

April 2, 2012  

A major Norwegian pharmaceutical retail chain announced that it will be halting the sale of all “products originating from settlements in occupied territories,” including Ahava Dead Sea cosmetics.

Pharmaceutical chain VITA has been the main retailer of Ahava products in Norway, according to a statement issued by the Norwegian People’s Aid and the Norwegian Union of Municipal and General Employees on the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement website.

According to groups, the production of Ahava cosmetics takes place in the Mitzpe Shalem “settlement” and the company is owned by “settlers.”

“The principled decision by VITA not to buy products from Israeli settlements in the West Bank is based on a position of not wanting to contribute to violations of international law,” the statement said.

“We consider it difficult to buy goods from the occupied area from the 1967 war and will from this date suspend the purchase of goods from the occupied territory,” said Vita CEO Roar Arnstad.

The London branch of Ahava closed last September, due to demonstrations that the company said hurt its profits.

In response to the recent development, a pro-Israel group created a Facebook page calling to boycott VITA’s 160 store branches in Norway.

The Israeli Embassy in Oslo issued a statement saying, “The only way to resolve the painful conflict between Israelis and Palestinians is through direct negotiations and dialogue between the parties. A boycott in this case is counterproductive.”

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