Recently, the U.K.-based Lush Cosmetics — known for their ‘ethical’ manufacturing and sales of handmade soaps and cosmetics products — endorsed a charity rap single by OneWorld entitled “Freedom for Palestine,” a song that calls for removal of Israel’s West Bank barrier, and refers to Gaza as a “prison camp”, and accuses Israel of promoting “apartheid.”
In addition to promoting a wide range of charities that are engaged in the Boycott-Divestment-Sanctions campaign against Israel, proceeds from the OneWorld’s release go toward the U.K.’s anti-Israel charity, War on Want, an organization that wants to ban the sale of arms to Israel and refers to Israel’s Gaza checkpoints — the ones the mainstream media refers to as illegal blockades — as examples of a “military siege.”
It’s worth nothing that War on Want was — coincidentally I’m sure — formerly headed by Hamas benefactor and former British Member of Parliament George Galloway.
Lush’s ethically approved song also accuses Israel of “illegal occupation” and “racial segregation.”
While rappers are typically the first place I would go to seek profound foreign policy insights, “Freedom for Palestine” is filled not only with objectionable accusations about Israel, but blatant lies as well.
Israel is not illegally occupying anywhere.
To accuse Israel of racial segregation is clearly ignorant of the 1.5 million Arab residents of Israel (predominantly Muslim) or the 130,000 Ethiopian Jews who call Israel their home.
Lush U.K.’s ethical director, Hilary Jones ruled out the possibility that Lush would ever do business in Israel, saying “We don’t feel it’s a safe environment to have a store. Would we want a shop where we couldn’t have a mix? We have a multicultural attitude to everything we do; we want everyone in the country where we are trading to be on an equal footing as far as basic human rights go.”
Perhaps the “mix” of religions and ethnic backgrounds in Israel is not as vast as, perhaps, one would find in Canada or France, but I believe that there is slightly more religious diversity in Israel than in Turkey, with its 99.8% Muslim population, or Saudi Arabia, which boasts having 100% of its citizens as practicing Muslims, and carries the death sentence for those who dare to leave the peaceful religion.
Saudi Arabia and Turkey are both home to several Lush Cosmetics outlets.
A spokesperson for Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics, the North American subsidiary of Lush U.K., declined to support or condemn their parent company’s stance on Israel, saying, “Each LUSH country runs its own campaigns, and in this particular case, the One World campaign is coming out of the UK not the North American business therefore we don’t have an official position on the issue.”
While Lush has every right to support whichever causes they wish to, they must also be accountable for their hypocrisy in claiming that Israel is somehow less diverse a place than Saudi Arabia.
As a message to the young jihadists preparing for their mandated pre-terrorism ritual cleansing, I strongly recommend Lush’s ethical, environmentally-friendly, not-tested-on-animals handmade soap.