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Claim: In 2002, bath products vendor The Body Shop gave a humanitarian award to a Palestinian group.
Example: [Collected on the Internet, 2004]
Origins: We first saw this call for a boycott of The Body Shop products in mid-August 2004, a circumstance we find somewhat puzzling given that the act decried therein took place in 2002. Was no one of
In 2000, in furtherance of its long-established policy of involvement in
Four groups fighting for housing and land rights in Israel, Kenya, Honduras and Bulgaria have won a $300,000 share of one of the top international human rights awards.(Although the press release excerpted above was at one time carried on the company's web site, it appears to no longer be housed there.)
On Tuesday 29th October 2002, The Body Shop Human Rights Award marked the achievements of these grassroots organisations who have each demonstrated exceptional bravery and creativity in protecting and promoting the housing rights of the marginalized.
[list of the four groups and descriptions of the other three recipients omitted]
Israel — National Committee for the Defence of the Rights of the Internally Displaced is a self-help and advocacy advisory service, and a network for all community-based organisations campaigning for the right of return of internally displaced Palestinians.
In 2004 The Body Shop answered e-mailed queries about the controversial choice of the National Committee for the Defence of the Rights of the Internally Displaced thusly:
The Body Shop does not have a position on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.Official statement from the company to the contrary, support of The Association for the Defense of the Rights of the Internally Displaced in Israel (which the
The four winners of the 2002 Human Rights Award, including the National Committee for the Defence of the Rights of the Internally Displaced, were chosen by an independent jury, including international human rights experts, for being the best examples of peaceful grassroots activism on the issue of housing within a human rights framework, regardless of their religion, ethnicity or nationality.
The Body Shop supports the integrity of the Award jury and the robustness of the selection process but played no direct role in choosing the winners themselves, other than providing four of the
The Body Shop is committed to the issue of human rights in a number of ways. For example, through The Body Shop Foundation, the company gives support to a broad range of small grassroots organisations, which are at the forefront of positive social and environmental change. This support is given for people of all races, gender, nationality and ethnic groups, without prejudice, and based on criteria including a project's demonstration of commitment, vision and sound management.
"Right of return" is a major bone of contention between Israelis and Palestinians, with many saying it is the only issue that matters. This simple and innocuous-sounding phrase is verbal shorthand for the demand for the repatriation of the 1948 Arab refugees and their descendants (estimated at
According to the e-mail quoted at the head of this article:
As most of you know, the"Right of return" is (and quite vocally too) equated with "the destruction of the Jewish state" by those looking at the matter from an Israel-sympathetic perspective. However, the linkage of "right of return" advocacy groups with terrorism is problematic in that the ties, if they exist, are not obvious. A less-than-careful reading of the statement above could leave recipients of the
Even so, one statement (found on
We warn of the consequences of conspiracies against Palestinian refugee rights, whether conducted openly or behind closed doors. We state with loud voice that there will be no just solution without a solution of-issue of the refugees and the internally displaced.Although the language of "warn of the consequences of conspiracies
The direction of one-quarter of its 2002 Human Rights Award to this "right of return" group was not the only time The Body Shop funneled financial aid to Palestinians or Palestinian causes. Through its May 2001 "Day For Palestine" project held at the chain's seven outlets in the United Arab Emirates, it donated one day's revenues from sales at those stores to support the people of Palestine. The resultant sum was forwarded to Palestine through the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Charitable and Humanitarian Foundation.
Barbara "added body" Mikkelson
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