This week there was a visit of a Zionist Federation mission from the UK that included a visit to Soda Stream, the company targeted by boycotters in several countries around the world.
The group was addressed by senior managers and several interesting facts came to light which, perhaps should make BDS campaigners wonder if their boycott campaign is starting to backfire.
In the last 40 years of operation the company has been on a significant growth rate climbing from 8 to 46 markets and sales up to $500 mill per year. If that was not impressive enough, the business plan calls for sales to increase to $1 bill in the next 3 years, a truly exceptional rate of growth.
The BDS campaigners should eat their hearts out.
Out of a work force of 1300 employees. 600 are Palestinians who travel in daily from Palestinian Authority controlled areas and a further 450 are from East Jerusalem. Salaries are between 4 to 8 times higher than those in the Palestinian areas and health care is provided by the company. A pity that the so-called "human rights activists" minds are so closed to the reality of life here.
There was plenty of opportunity to talk to the employees and among the comments heard were "This is the greatest company" and "you wouldn't get treated like this anywhere in the Arab world".
For video of the visit see,
The group then moved on to Ma'ale Adumim and after the short tour around the city, we were addressed by the Mayor Benny Kastrel. The city is home to 40,000 residents of whom 1/3 are under 35 years old and 11,000 children are in the school system.
The city has been developed to minimise contact between pedestrians and vehicles. A total of 21 bridges and 14 tunnels allow safe passage of the residents.
The Mayor stated that although donors are hesitant to provide funds for further development projects, the USA and the EU have stated that they consider Ma'ale Adumim will remain with the future negotiated borders of Israel.