Posted by: Lister | September 27, 2008

Barkan Wineries and Boycotts

Gush Shalom has a settlement boycott list of Israeli companies who are based in the West Bank/Golan Heights. Barkan is one such, but they have moved out of the West Bank:

The Gush Shalom Movement congratulates the Barkan Wineries for moving away from the industrial zone of Barkan settlement in the northern West Bank, to Kibbutz Hulda within the internationally-recognized territory of Israel. This is an important act, removing one of the major economic mainstays of the settlements.

[…] About four years ago the Barkan Wineries started a process of moving their operations over to Kibbutz Hulda, a process monitored by Gush Shalom. The soft drinks company “Tempo” which holds ownership of the Barkan Wineries entered into a close partnership with the large Dutch beer company “Heineken” , became part of the worldwide Heineken Group and created a new company called “Tempo Drinks” of which the Dutch Heineken holds 40% ownership.

As is well-known, the Dutch government is firmly opposed to Israeli settlement in the Occupied Territories and therefore was far from happy about a close partnership between a Dutch company and one based at a settlement. Moreover, continued links with a settlement company might have exposed the Heineken Company to considerable criticism in the Dutch public opinion and to a boycott campaign, in the Netherlands themselves as well as in other countries.

[…] The company directors’ report to their stockholders stated: “In the past, the location of the company’s winery at the Barkan area caused a negative image and made difficult the exporting of the Barkan brands.

[…] Nevertheless, while the Barkan Wineries have completely cut off any association with West Bank settlement ativity, the company – which owns many vineyards in various locations – still owns a vineyard at Avney Ethan on the occupied Golan Heights. Therefore, the Gush Shalom Boycott Committee decided, for the time being, to retain the company on its boycott list.

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