Posts Tagged ‘Coca Cola’
The CEO of the Cola-Cola franchise in the Palestinian Authority has publicly called for a boycott of Israel, in violation of Coca-Cola’s policy and recent Congressional amendments to trade laws.
The holder of the franchise is Zahi Khouri, who heads the “Palestinian National Beverage Company.” He has written in U.S. media:
Non-violent efforts of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) advocates make sense as a means to force Israel to recognize that the occupation is not cost-free … countries, like those in the European Union, could enforce their own laws against doing businesses with countries that violate human rights.
Khouri signed his op-ed article as a “Palestinian-American businessman” but carefully omitted that he owns the Coca-Cola franchise in the Palestinian Authority.
Hei moved to the United States in 1967 and built a successful business until 1993, when the Oslo Accords attracted him to live in the Palestinian Authority.
The mega-businessman is one of the Palestinian Authority’s billionaires. Besides holding the Coca-Cola franchise, he runs the PA’s only mobile phone company.
Khouri, born in Jaffa next to Tel Aviv, also has frequently met with American government officials to lobby against Israel’s presence in Judea and Samaria.
His call for a boycott follows the Orange company’s debacle that started out with a death wish for its franchise with Israel’s Partner Communications and ended up with a “We love Israel” act to climb down from a falling BDS tree.
Khouri faces the same fate.
Coca-Cola’s Code of Business Conduct for franchisees states:
Because The Coca-Cola Company is incorporated in the United States, our employees around the world often are subject to U.S. laws.
Shurat HaDin (Israel Law Center) has sent a warning letter to Coca-Cola that it will sue the firm if it does not rescind Khouri’s franchise. The letter also states:
The Coca-Cola Company should not affiliate itself with any person or entity calling for a boycott or similar effort against the Israeli government or the nation’s manufacturers, companies, products or services
Recent amendments by Congress require U.S. trade negotiators to ‘discourage politically motivated actions’ by foreign countries and international organizations that aim to ‘penalize or otherwise limit’ commercial relations with Israel or ‘persons doing business in Israel or in territories controlled by Israel.’
The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has condemned Khouri’s call for a boycott of Israel as “outright anti-Semitism” and called on Coca-Cola to immediately and publicly condemn and repudiate his remarks.
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said:
Zahi Khouri’s anti-Semitic remarks confirm him as an opponent of the Jewish State of Israel’s existence, one who seeks to ostracize, damage and ultimately overcome Israel by means of the BDS campaign of continual, progressive delegitimization of Israel so as to compel it to make untenable concessions to a Palestinian movement that has no intention of living in peace with Israel.
The support of BDS by the owner of the Coca-Cola franchise in the Palestinian Authority has done Israel a big favor because it is going to be another big boomerang for BDS and the Ramallah regime.
The U.S. House of Representatives last Friday approved a bill that would prohibit the United States from being a part of free trade agreements with the European Union if its participates in the Boycott Israel campaign.
Khouri’s call for a boycott will stir up more anger among Congressmen who already have passed measures to restrict aid to the Palestinian Authority.
The Democratic and Republican parties;’ campaigns for the 2016 presidential elections are moving not high gear, and each candidate will try to scream louder than the other against BDS.
It is reasonable to assume that Khouri will receive a phone call from Coca-Cola’s headquarters today telling him to keep to put the cap on his mouth.
Ten truckloads of machinery for a new Coca-Cola plant in Gaza have been shipped from Jordan this week, under the watching eyes of Israel, for a new plant to employ approximately 350 Gazans.
Pepsi already operates a bottling plant in Gaza, and Coca-Cola plans to launch operation this coming year.
The equipment was shipped from Germany and Turkey and then to Gaza via Jordan.
Total investment for the operation is estimated at $20 million.
Construction for the factory has continued for two years, interrupted by last summer’s war when Hamas launched missiles and rockets deep into Israel, reaching Jerusalem and north of Tel Aviv.
Hamas broke the cease-fire, once again, last week with a rocket attack on the Gaza Belt in Israel. The IDF responded with a direct hit on a Hamas weapons factory built with concrete that Israel allowed to be imported, supposedly under United Nations supervision so that it would not be used for military purposes.
The prospect of a future with 3,000 new jobs and the sparkling fizzle of sweet chocolate-colored liquid might finally tame the Gazans.
At least, one can always hope.
Coca Cola was given a green light to build a new factory in the Karni industrial area, thanks to the courage of a Palestinian Authority Arab entrepreneur and Israel’s willingness to risk it.
Although “dual use” materials have in the past been stolen by Hamas in order to be used for construction of terrorist tunnels, this time it is hoped supplies will be more closely controlled.
In order to build the factory, its franchise owner and operator had to first submit his request to Israel’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, Maj.-Gen. Yoav Mordechai.
Mordechai then made his recommendation to Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, who gave final approval for the construction, which is expected to take only six months.
The initiative will ultimately bring up to 3,000 new jobs to Gaza for residents of the enclave.
It will also make things easier for local merchants who until this point have imported their Coca Cola from Ramallah.
Although the Karni crossing is now closed, its industrial area is being used as a storage site by PA Arab merchants and international organizations.
Next time you drink a can of Coca Cola in Israel at a kiosk or tourist spot, take into consideration you are swallowing six times more money than you would if you had bought it at an American outlet, such as Walmart, according to a survey conducted by the Globes newspaper.
Americans pay on average 4.5-5.5 shekels for a 1.5 bottle of the carbonated stuff, which works out to about 1.28-$1.56 in the United States. Israelis pay about 40 percent more on average, forking out 6.3-5.4 shekels for the same amount.
The difference in prices for Diet Coke is even higher.
According to Globes, a six-pack of Coca-Cola costs one-third more in Israel than in the United States, and c can costs on average 230% more.
Private sources have reported that the Israeli franchise of Coca-Cola has a profit margin of approximately 70 percent.
The Israel-based SodaStream is returning to the Super Bowl this with a sure-fire successful commercial starring Scarlett Johansson, billed as the world’s sexiest woman.
SodaStream won more publicity that it figured at last year’s Super Bowl when CBS rejected its scheduled commercial because it showed the environmental advantages of its product for making soda at home while crossing CBS’ red line by making fun of market monsters Coca Cola and Pepsi Cola.
A tamer commercial was broadcast during the Super Bowl, but SodaStream gained no less publicity from CBS’ surrender to the beverage giants.
The commercial and publicity helped out SodaStream all over the map, but this year’s plan is a blockbuster.
Johansson will show off herself and SodaStream in the fourth quarter of the Feb. 2 Super Bowl on Fox TV. Instead of putting down Coca Cola and Pepsi Cola, this year’s commercial is supposed “to demonstrate how easy it is, how sexy it is, to make your own soda,” Daniel Birnbaum, chief executive at SodaStream International, told The New York Times.
“It’s more of a love story between a brand with a purpose and a passionate user,” he said, explaining that Johansson has been using SodaStream at home for several years.
SodaStream also is known for something else besides its product – it operates a manufacturing plant near Maaleh Adumim, which the Boycott Israel movement considers the dreaded Occupied West Bank.
It has placed SodaStream on its black list, for whatever that is worth. And now that Johansson, who by the way is Jewish even if from a “Multi-cultural family” that celebrated Christmas and Hanukkah, is sipping SodaStream in front of millions of people, let’s see if the boycotters will be intellectually honest.
Will they demand that people not see Johansson’s “Her” movie? Will the ASA folks stop going to see her movies?
Sexiest woman alive or not, Johansson now is SodaStream’s first-ever ambassador, having signed a contract covering several years.
Unknowingly, she might be one of Israel’s best ambassadors for a Jewish presence in Judea, where SodaStream employees both Palestinian Authority and Israel workers with equal rights and conditions.
Maybe Johansson will even visit Israel and the Judean Desert factory one day.
That would really be sexy.
With SodaStream, we could have saved 500 million bottles on Game Day alone. If you love the bubbles set them free.”
PepsiCo is negotiating with Israeli-based SodaStream to buy out the firm for $2 billion, according to the Israeli Calcalist business newspaper. SodaStream’s shares in Germany shot up nearly 20 percent after the report.
SodaStream, listed on NASDAQ, manufactures machines that make carbonated drinks from tap water and also produces flavors, carbon dioxide refills and re-usable bottles.
Officials at the two companies refused to comment on the report or were not available.
SodaStream has become a big hit in the United States, where the company “stole the show” with its commercials during the Super Bowl this year, drawing bitter complaints from carbonated beverage companies, which applied pressure to CBS for SodaStream to tone down its message that buying carbonated beverages in plastic bottles is bad for the environment. Pepsi and Coke also did not like the idea of SodaStream making fun of their companies, and the original version of the commercial was canned but can be seen below
A buyout by PepsiCo, or possibly by Coca Cola if SodaStream wants to try for a larger purchase, could place the company’s facility in Maaleh Adumim, east of Jerusalem, in jeopardy.
Soda Stream is a favorite target of the Boycott Israel movement because of the plant’s location beyond the old borders of Israel. The rub, as Lori Lowenthal Marcus explained in an article Tuesday night, is that SodaStream’s American-born CEO Daniel Birnbaum promotes hiring and treating Palestinian Authority Arabs just like Jews.
Both Arab and Jews share the company dining hall in Maaleh Adumim, and there are facilities for both Muslim ands Jews to pray.
The Maaleh Adumim factory employs approximately 900 Arabs from Judea and Samaria. “Everyone works together – Palestinians, Russians, Jews,” a Palestinian employee named Rasim at the Maaleh Adumim site previously has been quoted as saying. “Everything is OK. I always work with Jews. Everyone works together, so of course we’re friends.”
The report of a possible buyout sent the shekel-dollar rate down approximately half a percentage point, to below 3.65 shekels to the dollar, because of the possible injection of $2 billion worth of shekels.