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Shares of carbonation machine maker SodaStream took a massive dive recently, closing at an all-time low of $21.25 on disappointing earnings reports that cited reduced consumer demand for carbonated beverages and other sugary drinks. But is that the real reason, or does it have more to do with pressure from the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign?
SodaStream, which has been the target of an anti-Israel BDS bullying campaign ever since their Super Bowl commercial featuring Scarlett Johansson, recently made headlines when word leaked that it may be closing its Ma’ale Adumim factory and moving its entire operation to the Israeli desert. This factory, allegedly the reason for the anti-Israel boycott campaign directed against it, employs approximately 850 Palestinians. If closed, it is unclear what would happen to these workers, making the goal of this boycott campaign (which claims to be in favor of “Palestinian rights”) puzzling to say the least.
Chief Executive Daniel Birnbaum blamed “lower-than-expected demand for our soda makers and flavors” in the United States for the lowered revenue expectations. The company made no mention of whether or not this lower demand was due to the BDS boycott.
Market analysts at Forbes, Yahoo Finance and the Wall Street Journal noted that competition with SodaStream is growing as Coca Cola (also a target of anti-Israel bullies) prepares to enter the market. Both publications cited the American public’s growing disenchantment with high-calorie beverages, framing SodaStream’s woes as indicative of the overall decline in the soda industry.
Furthermore, other data is pointing in the opposite direction, with trade between Israel and the United Kingdom actually increasing by 28% despite recent hostilities.
Predictably though, the anti-Israel bullies were out in full force trumpeting their “victory” over an Israeli company that pays its Palestinian workers more than they make anywhere else in the Middle East.
The incessant Israel haters over at Mondoweiss were particularly gleeful, doing the usual internet bullying routine of putting up photoshopped images of a worried-looking Scarlett Johansson standing in front of a negative sales chart and anonymously cheering from behind their computers.
So the question is, has the BDS boycott been successful in reducing demand for SodaStream? That does not appear likely as the major analysts have only expressed the overall downward trend in soda consumption as the primary reason for the decline. News reports dating back to April cite reduced demand across the soda spectrum as worrying signs for giants like Coca Cola, Pepsi and Dr. Pepper. Unless the boycott brigade has been SO SUCCESSFUL that they have managed to turn Americans off to ALL soda, the likelihood of their efforts being the primary driver behind SodaStream’s crash is pretty slim.
Still SodaStream does employ many people who would otherwise be impoverished and the negative publicity/bullying cannot be good for them. Their products are also very good for the environment as they reduce waste from disposable bottles. And it seems that no matter what happens, the Israel-hating Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign will take credit for any bad news about SodaStream and Scarlett Johansson. Therefore, we are featuring them as our top products in our new “Buycott” campaign! We will be featuring products from people and businesses we are already supporting as well as others who have been attacked by bullies for their political or religious beliefs.
We encourage you to please share this post and encourage your friends to join in the counter-movement!