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Cartoonists, illustrators protest SodaStream sponsorship of Angouleme comic festival

And speaking of the Angoulême comic festival, over 70 artists and illustrators have joined to protest one of the festival’s sponsors, SodaStream. SodaStream is a maker of a home carbonation product that makes soda, but the artists object to its “factory built in Israeli illegally occupied land in Maale Adumim” and alleged exploitation of Palestinian workers.

Here’s the letter that was signed from Bleeding Cool:

We, cartoonists and illustrators from all countries, are surprised, disappointed and angry to find out that SodaStream is an official sponsor of the Angoulême International Comics Festival.

As you must know, SodaStream is the target of an international boycott call for its contribution to the colonization of Palestinian land, due to its factory in the illegal settlement of Ma?ale Adumim, its exploitation of Palestinian workers, and its theft of Palestinian resources, in violation of international law and contravening international principles of human rights.

Angoulême has had an important role in the appreciation of comics as an art form for over 40 years. It would be sad if SodaStream were able to use this event to whitewash their crimes.

We ask you to cut all ties between the Festival and this shameful company.

Sincerely,

Khalid Albaih (Sudan)
Leila Abdul Razzaq (USA)
Avoine (France)
Edd Baldry (UK/France)
Edmond Baudoin (France)
Steve Brodner (USA)
Berth (France)
Susie Cagle (USA)
Sue Coe (USA)
Gianluca Costantini (Italy)
Jennifer Camper (USA)
Carali (France)
Chimulus (France)
Jean-Luc Coudray (France)
Philippe Coudray (France)
Marguerite Dabaie (USA)
Eric Drooker (USA)
Elchicotriste (Spain)
Jenny Gonzalez-Blitz (USA)
Ethan Heitner (USA)
Paula Hewitt Amram (USA)
Hatem Imam (Lebanon)
Jiho (France)
Ben Katchor (USA)
Mazen Kerbaj (Lebanon)
Lolo Krokaga (France)
Nat Krokaga (France)
Peter Kuper (USA)
Carlos Latuff (Brazil)
Lasserpe (France)
Lerouge (France)
Matt Madden (USA/France)
Mric (France)
Barrack Rima (Lebanon/Belgium)
James Romberger (USA)
Puig Rosado (France)
Mohammad Saba?aneh (Palestine)
Joe Sacco (USA)
Malik Sajad (Kashmir)
Amitai Sandy (Israel)
Siné (France)
Seth Tobocman (USA)
Eli Valley (USA)
Willis From Tunis (Tunisie/France)
Jordan Worley (USA)
Hilary Allison (USA)
Luigi Filippelli (Italy)
Nicole Burton (Canada)
Pino Creanza (Italy)
Marty Qatani (USA)
Dan Carino (USA)
Faujour (France)
Sarah Glidden (USA)
Dan Archer (USA)
Daniel Wernëck (Braxil)
Katie Miranda (USA)
Sean Ford (USA)
Jacques Tardi (France)
Dominique Grange (France)
Maximilien Le Roy (France)
Rym Mokhtari (Algérie), Carlo Benini (Italy)
Rosalba Ambrico (Italy)
Sofiane Belaskri (Algeria)
Faiza Benaouda
Shane Patrick Boyle (USA)
Seoud Messadi, Redouane Assari (Algeria)
Pasquale ?Squaz? Todisco (Italy)
David ?Diavù? Vecchiato (Italy)
Faujour (France)
Marcel de la Gare (France)
Naïm Boukir (Algérie)
Sarah Khoury (Italy)
Derrouazin Alla Eddine

Community Comments

#1 Justin Riley
February/3/2014
@ 12:50 pm

I’m sure the Palestinians employed by SodaStream are glad to have jobs, but the anti-Israel crowd and the anti-capitalists don’t really care about that. Oh, well… not everyone is a clear thinker.

#2 Bearman Cartoons
February/3/2014
@ 12:59 pm

Interesting the “alleged exploitation” Several articles I read say the workers themselves say they earn 3-4 times what other jobs offer in the area and it would be upsetting if they moved the factory jobs elsewhere. Seems the company already has plants in other places and could probably shift production easily.

http://www.ibtimes.com/sodastream-boycott-west-bank-factory-palestinian-workers-reveal-what-they-think-about-their-employer

http://gawker.com/what-sodastreams-palestinian-employees-think-about-sca-1513475552

#3 Rich Diesslin
February/3/2014
@ 8:25 pm

I wonder if they hire Scarlett Johansson to do plant security there?

#4 Carl Moore
February/3/2014
@ 10:30 pm

A beautiful example of the leftist herd instinct.

#5 Mike Cope
February/4/2014
@ 6:58 am

There are three things I have learned never to discuss with people: religion, pop machines, and the Great Pumpkin.

#6 Terry LaBan
February/4/2014
@ 10:32 am

Giving people who would otherwise be subsisting on UN charity decent jobs is a “crime”? I guess when it comes to Israel, the bar for outrage is pretty low. It’s sad to see so many cartoonists whose work I greatly respect on this list. Whatever the status of the land SodaStream sits on, it’s difficult to see how throwing its employees out of work would help them or Palestinians generally. And if a peace settlement ever is reached, companies like SodaStream will be important sources of income in the new Palestinian economy. It only makes me more proud to be a SodaStream customer. I think I’ll have a soda right now.

#7 Dave Stephens
February/4/2014
@ 1:22 pm

They employ PALESTINIANS.

They pay a decent wage to those Palestinians.

And this is a “bad thing?”

And if those Palestinians were suddenly without an income for their families, then THAT would be a “good thing.”

Ain’t politics a trip?

#8 Ethan Heitner
February/4/2014
@ 1:29 pm

It may be perfectly true that SodaStream provides good jobs to Palestinian workers.

However, the goal of the boycott movement is to end the military occupation of Palestinian land that forces Palestinian workers to depend on Israeli companies for good jobs.

Palestinian workers at SodaStream may have higher wages than their Palestinian neighbors, but they do not have the right to vote, freedom of movement, freedom of association, freedom from unreasonable search and seizure, freedom from arbitrary arrest and detention that their Jewish coworkers in the same plant have.

SodaStream built its factory on land expropriated by the Israeli military from a half-dozen Palestinian villages. It operates in an environment with little or no labor and environmental regulation, due to the occupation. Its workers are entirely at the mercy of the factory bosses: to enter into a labor dispute, for example, is grounds for losing their “security clearance”– which is determined by the Israeli army, and is the only thing that allows them to pass through multiple checkpoints run by that army to get to their jobs.

The arguments of Laban, Bearman and Riley mirror those used by the Apartheid South African government and its right-wing allies abroad to justify breaking the boycott of South Africa, which eventually brought the Apartheid regime to an end. As will, eventually, the boycott of Israeli goods bring the regime of racial injustice there to an end.

#9 Karsten Schley
February/5/2014
@ 4:20 pm

Hmmm… when this factory closes it’s doors and the workers are jobless the “military occupation of Palestinian land” will end?

Political propaganda on the back of workers who need their jobs to feed their families.

#10 Terry LaBan
February/5/2014
@ 10:34 pm

@Ethan Heitner “The arguments of Laban, Bearman and Riley mirror those used by the Apartheid South African government and its right-wing allies abroad to justify breaking the boycott of South Africa, which eventually brought the Apartheid regime to an end. ”

Really? How’s that? All I said was that SodaStream was providing it’s Palestinian workers with better opportunities than they’d otherwise have. The situation of the SodaStream employees is no different than that of any Palestinians on the West Bank. It isn’t SodaStream’s fault and wouldn’t be improved if SodaStream was shut down.By any measure it would be worse. The petition makes no sense

I don’t approve of everything Israel does, but comparing it to apartheid South Africa is just ignorance. No doubt soon you’ll trot the Nazis out as well. It’s deeply ironic that the only country in the Middle East that has a truly functioning democracy and guarantees freedom of religion, equal rights and political representation for women, gays and ethnic minorities is the one that self-righteous lefties circulate petitions about. Meanwhile just to the north Syria’s butchering and displacing thousands of it’s own citizens every week and to the south the Egyptians are jailing journalists and burning churches. And France, home of Angouleme, is, in addition to having a long history of treating its Muslim immigrants and their kids as second-class citizens, widely regarded as the most antiSemitic country in Western Europe. Have a soda, buddy. It might clear your head.

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