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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Arab SodaStream workers applaud their CEO

The Forward went to the SodaStream factory in Mishor Adumim and spoke to the CEO, Daniel Birnbaum.

Birnbaum is not at all a right wing fanatic. Far from it. He is as liberal a person as you can find. He does not support Israel's claim to Judea and Samaria. He would not have set up the factory in Mishor Adumim, but it was there when he took over the company. And he shows that he is far more pro-Palestinian than all of the "pro-Palestinian activists" combined.
[T]hough he wouldn’t have opened the factory at its current site, Birnbaum said that its presence here is now a reality, and he won’t bow to political pressure to close it — even though the company is about to open a huge new plant in the Negev, within Israel’s internationally-recognized boundaries, which will replicate all functions of the West Bank plant, and dwarf it.

The reason for staying is loyalty to approximately 500 Palestinians who are among the plant’s 1,300 employees, Birnbaum claimed. While other employees could relocate on the other side of the Green Line if the plant moved, the West Bank Palestinian workers could not, and would suffer financially, he argued.

We will not throw our employees under the bus to promote anyone’s political agenda,” he said, adding that he “just can’t see how it would help the cause of the Palestinians if we fired them.”

...Birnbaum’s advisor, Maurice Silber, said that within the company “everybody is against the occupation.” But it does not follow, he said, that because SodaStream operates in an occupied area, it violates human rights. Eventually, he said, SodaStream could become the “seed of the future Palestinian economy.”

The Arab workers clearly support Birnbaum - showing that claims to the contrary from Israel haters are a lie.

At the plant’s cafeteria, awareness of the current international controversy over Scarlett Johannson’s new role at the company was clearly widespread among employees. During the Forward’s visit, Birnbaum took to the cafeteria floor to give some 250 Palestinian workers a kind of pep talk about the issue, urging them to ignore the political attacks. “We are making history for the Palestinian people and the Israeli people,” he told them in Hebrew, followed by a translator who rendered his comments into Arabic. Birnbaum reassured the workers about their jobs and said he wanted to bring “more and more hands” into the factory as SodaStream grows.

The Palestinians applauded these comments. But then Birnbaum added with a flourish: “Scarlett Johannson would be proud of you!” And at the sound of Johannson’s name — even before the translation — applause among the assembly of mostly male, 30-something Palestinian workers burst out again, palpably louder.

During discussions between a Forward reporter and about a half-dozen of these Palestinian employees, conducted out of earshot of Israeli managers, none complained of labor abuses, or of receiving pay below the Israeli minimum wage. Asked about the calls by anti-occupation activists to boycott SodaStream, one spoke about the dearth of jobs in the Palestinian Authority economy.
So who cares more about Palestinian Arabs - SodaStream or the Israel haters?

With each passing day, the answer becomes more and more obvious.

This SodaStream "controversy" was manufactured out of whole cloth by people with an anti-Israel, not a pro-Palestinian, agenda.

It is backfiring on them, as the world sees that the people obsessed over SodaStream don't care one bit about real live Palestinians.

The Arabs who work for SodaStream make it clear whose side they are on. And their actions and words show just how much the anti-Israel crowd lies.

The world is waking up to these lies.

Expect to see some furious logical obfuscation in the hate sites as they try to pretend that they know better than Palestinians what Palestinians want.