SWC Denounces Cosmetic Firm's 'Ethical' Campaign Demonizing Israel

July 11th, 2011

Urges LUSH North America to donate to humanitarian institutions that serve people in need in the Holy Land regardless of religious affiliation

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is urging the cosmetics chain, LUSH North America, to publicly disassociate itself from an anti-Israel propaganda campaign promoted by its parent company, LUSH UK, and to urge them to shift its support to any number of institutions in the Holy Land that focus exclusively on humanitarian activities, not political demonization.

Promoted by LUSH’s UK website as one of their “Ethical Campaigns,” a collective of musicians called One World have created a single called “Freedom for Palestine” that includes lyrics focusing not on humanitarian assistance for Palestinians but on denouncing Israel, using lyrics like “This is a crime against humanity/Gaza turned into a prison camp/Apartheid wall divide the West Bank.” The LUSH UK's website urges people to order the song with donations going “to the UK based charity War on Want to support projects in Palestine. But this is not primarily a fundraising exercise. This is OneWorld's attempt to do what Palestinian academic and activist Edward Said urged us to do - to use the power of culture against the culture of power.”

In a letter to Julia Woodbridge, a customer representative at LUSH North America in Vancouver, BC, Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Wiesenthal Center, wrote that, “People are right to be incensed when a video LUSH-UK presents under its "Ethical Campaigns" banner is a counterfactual assault on the State of Israel…” Cooper said that because of the promotion of extreme anti-Israel rhetoric by the parent group, the North American group needed to take action. He asked LUSH North America to support to organizations in the Holy Land like the Jaffa Center and Hadassah Hospital that provide humanitarian services to Christians, Jews, and Muslims without prejudice and who have both Jewish and Arab staff members.

“By taking the lead in this matter LUSH North America will encourage individuals from all walks of life, to help people in need in the Holy Land whatever their religious affiliation, and help counter the ugliness so arrogantly embraced by your corporate parent,” Rabbi Cooper concluded.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).

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