For about a month now there have been protests on Montague Street in BrooklynHeights calling on a local retailer to stop selling Ahava brand Israeli cosmetics, because some of Ahava items are produced or packaged in a Kibbutz in the southeast corner of the West Bank on the shore of the Dead Sea. Local rabbis have drafted the following response (click on the letter and adjust the size):
The rabbis who signed the letter are neither right-wing nor pro-settlements. In fact one of them, Ellen Lippman, serves on the Executive Committee and board of Rabbis for Human Rights-North America. Does the fact that the production facility is in a part of the West Bank abutting the Israeli border which the Palestinians agreed to be administered by Israel in the short-run and further agreed in principle to eventually become part of Israel in exchange for land swaps in other areas as part of a future peace agreement render the “made in a West Bank settlement” objection a red herring? Perhaps. But it also highlights the urgency of actually reaching a peace agreement. Agreements in princlple are hypothetical. A signed and ratified peace agreement would deligitimize the deligitimizers.