AHAVA occupied for a second time in support of Palestine

Report from “Stolen Beauty from Stolen Land”


At 11am on the 18th September two members of the International Solidarity Movement entered Ahava cosmetics in Covent Garden, London and closed the shop by locking themselves inside. Under the banner of “Stolen Beauty from Stolen Land”, the action was in support of the International Day of Action Against Ahava which had been called for by a number of international groups inclusive of Code Pink, International Solidarity Movement, Palestine Solidarity Campaign and the Boycott Israeli Goods Campaign.

Ahava’s cosmetic products are manufactured in the illegal settlement of Mizpe Shalem. Based inside Occupied Palestinian Territory, the Israeli Settlement has stolen land and natural resources away from Palestinians. Furthermore, the sale of these products acts to finance and support war crimes committed by the Israeli state.

Under international law, including the Fourth Geneva Convention and the International Criminal Court Act 2001, Israeli settlements are illegal. They have drawn significant condemnation internationally and are seen as a key obstacle to realising any peace agreement.

The day of action -19th September 2009 – supports Palestinian non-violent efforts at resisting the ongoing Israeli occupation of Palestine through the international movement for boycotts, divestments and sanctions.

The two people locked inside were eventually cut out of the concrete blocks they had been attached to at around 4:30pm. They have since been bailed and are due to appear in court on the 29th September. Supporters outside undertook significant outreach with passers by explaining what was going on and why, which generated lots of interest — a key success of the day.

On the 10th January 2009, during the height of Operation Cast Lead in Gaza, three people had locked themselves inside Ahava for 6 hours. Despite arrest, all charges were eventually dropped. Since then, there have been a series of pickets and protests outside the London store. There have also been protests, pickets and actions internationally against Ahava for their complicity with war crimes and the sale of stolen goods.

Following the efforts of Code Pink to highlight the use of Sex and the City star Kristin Davis, as the face of Ahava, Oxfam finally suspended Kirsten Davis from being a goodwill ambassador in August 2009.

Kristin Davis is no longer the face of Ahava.