Posts Tagged ‘bds’

IKEA attempts to dodge responsibility for Israel store’s discriminatory delivery practices

January 3, 2013

Article in Electronic Intifada, 28 December 2012
Original article in English

Ikea shows no intention of ending delivery of its products to Israel’s illegal settlement colonies in the West Bank, a 10 December letter from the furniture giant shows.

For years, Ikea has been facilitating the delivery of products from its Israeli stores to residents of Israel’s illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank. Ikea has been informed several times that facilitation of such transport services boils down to complicity with Israel’s settlement colony enterprise.

Ikea was asked by the London-based Business & Human Rights Resource Centre to respond to the fact that Ikea in Israel’s transport company, Moviley Dror, delivers to Israeli settlements but refuses to deliver products to Palestinian population centers in the occupied West Bank, as I reported on my Electronic Intifada blog last month.

In its response (which can be downloaded fromt the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre website), Ikea attempts to evade responsibility for this blatant discrimination and normalization of an illegal situation and fails to address its delivery to Israel’s West Bank settlements. The company simply states that its local franchisee is responsible for the local management, investments and business decisions related to the Ikea stores in Israel.

Ikea repeats its claim that in 2010, the Israeli franchisee arranged for home delivery of Ikea products to people living in the areas controlled by the “Palestinian Authorities.” But as The Electronic Intifada reported last month, Moviley Dror refuses to deliver to Beit Sahour, claiming that the Bethlehem-area Palestinian village was too dangerous (but passing through Israeli checkpoints to deliver to the Beitar Illit settlement proved to be no problem).

“If there has been occasions when the delivery service has not worked as intended it is regrettable and something we will look into,” the company states in its 10 December letter. Although Ikea regrets the discriminatory practices of its Israeli franchise it offered no remedy.

It seems as if Ikea refuses to understand the difference between the indigenous Palestinians who live in their West Bank under Israel’s illegal occupation, and the Israeli settlers who illegally reside in that area.

Ikea “not convincing,” says expert

I asked Dr. Jeff Handmaker, senior lecturer in law, human rights and development at the International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam, for a comment on Ikea’s response. He wrote me in a 20 December email:

Inter IKEA Systems B.V., in their response to Business and Human Rights, only address half of the problem, namely their differential treatment of settlers living in illegal settlements and Palestinians living under occupation.

But even this is not convincing. Even if the IKEA franchisee were to resolve the issue of delivery to Palestinians, most are not be able to visit their stores to Israel’s control of movement into and out of the occupied territories and so they are excluded either way.

However, IKEA Systems B.V. are not addressing the main problem, namely their franchisee’s overt complicity in a serious human rights violation, lending support to the settlement enterprise.

Unless IKEA’s franchisee refuses to sell, let alone deliver products to settlers living in the occupied Palestinian territories, IKEA Systems B.V. is still fully complicit in violations of international law.

Despite claims, IKEA Israel refuses to deliver to Palestinians in West Bank while serving settlers

January 3, 2013

Article in Electronic Intifada, 4 December 2012
Original article in English

Ikea publicly claims its Israeli store delivers to anyone regardless of race, religion or nationality. But new evidence shows that Ikea’s claim is false.

At my request, Iyad Misk, a Hebrew-speaking Palestinian living in the West Bank, called Ikea to ask about home delivery to the Palestinian village of Beit Sahour near Bethlehem.

In a 3 December email I was told the phone call was transferred to the store’s delivery company Moviley Dror. The company’s representative “Sholy” said that while delivery to the checkpoint near Bethlehem would be possible, Moviley Dror would not enter the Palestinian Authority areas because they are dangerous, Sholy claimed.

Sholy clarified that Moviley Dror would not pass the checkpoint, even if the area is classified as Area C under the Oslo accords (part of the village of Beit Sahour is in Area C). This covers over 60 percent of the West Bank, under full Israeli military control.

Around 150,000 Palestinians live in Area C, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. In total, over 650,000 Israeli settlers live in the occupied West Bank, including 300,000 in East Jerusalem, reported British newspaper The Guardian in July. It is obvious that the settlers represent a substantial market for Ikea.

Apartheid practices by Ikea delivery

The same day, I asked Who Profits (a research project from the Tel Aviv-based Coalition of Women for Peace) to also contact Ikea by phone and see what happened when they were asked to deliver to an Israeli settlement, also in the West Bank.

Who Profits said an email to me that it had asked Ikea about home delivery to the settlement of Beitar Ilit — in order to get to Beitar Ilit you also have to pass through checkpoints. Like the other settlements in the West Bank, Beitar Ilit is in Area C.

The call was also transferred to Moviley Dror. Asked if Moviley Dror delivers Ikea products to Beitar Ilit, the response was “yes.”  Moviley Dror’s answer shows that Ikea passes through checkpoints to deliver its products to Israeli settlers in the West Bank but not to indigenous Palestinians in the West Bank.

Settlements illegal under international law

Following Israel’s announcement of the construction of 3,000 new settler homes in the occupied West Bank Friday, the United Kingdom, France, Sweden, Denmark and Spain summoned Israeli ambassadors to protest the decision, reports British newspaper The Guardian. In a press statement, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed his grave concern and disappointment about Israel’s plan, reiterating that settlements are illegal under international law.

Despite international law’s clear position on the illegality of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, for years Ikea has been providing home delivery from its stores in Israeli to settler homes. Moreover, Ikea spokesperson Ulrika Englesson Sandman said in an email to me on 28 November that Ikea “does not want to exclude any individual or group of individuals from being an IKEA customer.”

In the past, the local transport company could not “deliver to areas controlled by Palestinian authorities.” The local transport company has “arranged for that home delivery of Ikea products can take place to people living in the areas controlled by Palestinian Authorities,” claimed Englesson Sandman.

She appears not to be living up to this commitment.

Dr. Jeff Handmaker, senior lecturer in law, human rights and development at the International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam, confirmed in an email to me on 4 December 2012 that the new information which has emerged confirms that Ikea and its delivery subcontractor are complicit in violations of international humanitarian law and human rights by actively supporting the transfer of Israelis to illegal settlements and reinforcing the closure of Palestinian areas”.

Moreover, IKEA is complicit with Israeli apartheid by blatantly discriminating in favor of the Jewish-only settlers of the West Bank, ignoring the oppression of the majority Palestinian population who are unable to even shop in IKEA’s store, let alone have products delivered to them.”

IKEA laments use of East German forced labor in past, but remains complicit with Israeli illegality in present

January 3, 2013

Article in Electronic Intifada, 29 November 2012
Original article in English

In the 1970 and 80s, political prisoners of East Germany’s feared secret police were forced to work on Ikea furniture, says a recent study by accountancy firm Ernst and Young.

After reports in the media, the Swedish furniture giant commissioned the firm to research the matter. The study revealed that Ikea representatives at the time knew that political prisoners were possibly used, reports the BBC. The company has expressed its deep regrets at a press conference and in a press statement.

But while Ikea has apologized for involvement in human rights abuses of the past, it is complicit with Israel’s unlawful acts of the present.

When Who Profits (a research project of the Tel Aviv-based Coalition of Women for Peace) checked Ikea Israel’s website recently it noted in a 23 November email to me that little has changed  in Ikea’s long-standing policy of offering transport services to Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

On the website, customers can calculate the delivery costs to the illegal Israeli settlements of Ariel, Beitar Ilit, and Kalia, all located in the West Bank. Moreover, Ikea confirmed this week in an email to me that it still delivers its products to settlements in the occupied Palestinian West Bank.

Complicit in Israel’s settlement enterprise

Ikea also continues to assist settlers in the West Bank with a delivery service.

Ulrika Englesson Sandman, Media Relations Manager of Inter Ikea Systems B.V, owner of the Ikea Concept and worldwide Ikea franchisor, sent me an email on 28 November saying:

It is unthinkable for us to exclude any individual or group of individuals from being an IKEA customer. We welcome all people to the IKEA stores, independent of religion, political view, ethnic background or where they come from.

In the past, the local transport company could not “deliver to areas controlled by Palestinian authorities. The local transport company has, however, during 2010 arranged for that home delivery of Ikea products can take place to people living in the areas controlled by Palestinian Authorities.”

Ikea’s statement shows a failure to distinguish between the indigenous Palestinians who live in their West Bank under Israel’s illegal occupation, and the Israeli settlers who illegally reside in that area. By facilitating services to Israeli settlements in the West Bank, Ikea is directly implicated in maintaining the settlements.

Daniel Machover wrote in an email to me on 24 November that “by providing delivery services to illegal settlements Ikea is indeed complicit with unlawful Israeli acts.”

Jeff Handmaker, senior lecturer in law, human rights and development at International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam, added in an email to me on 26 November that: “Ikea is fully complicit with Israel’s violations of international law by creating a situation of normalcy in relation to the illegal settlements.”

For years Ikea provided transport service to illegal settlements

Over 650,000 Israeli settlers live at present in the occupied West Bank, including 300,000 in East Jerusalem, reported British newspaper The Guardian in July. For a detailed map of the location of the settlements click here.

Numerous UN resolutions and the 2004 advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice on Israel’s wall in the West Bank have confirmed that settlements violate Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention — which states: “The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.”

However, Ikea has been facilitating delivery services to Israeli settlements in the West Bank for many years.

Already in 2008, the company informed Who Profits by fax about its service to settlements. Two years later, Swedish Radio reported that Ikea in Israel shipped to Israel’s illegal settlements but not to Palestinian cities in the West Bank.

Following this report, the Palestine Solidarity Association of Sweden called on Ikea to stop offering home deliveries to Israeli settlements on occupied territory. Ikea responded to the call in an open letter of August 2010, stating that it could not prevent such deliveries due to EU competition legislation. However, Swedish professor of international law Ove Bring refuted such claims. International law on occupation “can never be eroded by regional or other agreements,” he informed me in an email of 12 December 2010.

Ikea should act upon its stated principles

In the 1970 and 80s, Ikea’s cooperation with East German authorities lead to the use of forced labor of prisoners including political prisoners. The BBC reported:

conditions in the Stasi prisons were horrific. One near Berlin, for example, had a room encased in thick rubber so that no sound or light could get in. It was designed to break people’s mental health. One former prisoner at the press conference said these rooms were used sometimes for people who hadn’t worked hard enough.

According to Stasi documents cited by German television channel WDR, Ikea’s founder Ingvar Kamprad found the cooperation with the East German authorities to be “completely in the interests of society,” reported British newspaper The Independent on 1 May. At present, Ikea’s code of conduct (“IWAY Standard” [PDF]) excludes the use of forced, prison, bonded or involuntary labor.

Moreover, it recognizes the fundamental principles of human rights as defined by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It also says it adheres to the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact 2000 – a strategic policy initiative for businesses that are committed to operating in an ecologically and socially responsible manner. The first two principles state that businesses should support and respect the protection of international human rights within their spheres of influence, and make sure they are not complicit in human rights abuses.

Ikea should take its principles seriously by adopting and applying a fair and lawful policy, which also matches any human rights guidelines it has signed up to. Ikea has distanced itself from forced labor and child labor. The next step would be to immediately end its delivery services to illegal settlements in the West Bank.

IKEA in Israel sells wine from occupied land

January 3, 2013

Article in Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet, 24 September 2012
Original article in Swedish

Swedish

Ikea säljer vin från ockuperad mark i Israel
Korkat av svenska möbeljätten

Vinet Fylla? Det vore kanske ett lämpligt namn för ett vin som säljs på Ikea. Eller skulle Flykting passa bättre?

På Ikea utanför Tel Aviv står en pall med vinflaskor nära kassorna. Priset är bra, knappa femtiolappen för ett hyfsat boutiquevin. Problemet var bara att det hade producerats i Kidmat Zvi, en av de israeliska bosättningarna på Golanhöjderna.

Den globala bojkottkampanjen mot Israel har haft effekt. I Sydafrika får varor från bosättningarna på Västbanken inte saluföras som Made in Israel utan märks i stället Made in Occupied Palestinian Territory. De stora butikskedjorna i Sverige har inte längre produkter från de ockuperade områdena i sitt sortiment. Det är förhoppningsvis få svenskar som skulle vilja stödja de judiska bosättningarna på Västbanken, som inte bara är illegala enligt internationell lag utan också utgör ett av de största hindren mot en tvåstatslösning på konflikten.

Men det är nog inte lika många som vet att på Golanhöjderna finns inte bara oröjda minfält och de bästa äpplena i Israel, utan också ruiner av övergivna byar. Före sexdagarskriget 1967 bodde runt hundra tusen syrier på Golanhöjderna. De flydde när den israeliska armén invaderade och bor i dag på den syriska sidan av gränsen. De har aldrig kompenserats för de liv och den egendom de lämnade bakom sig.

Golanhöjdernas flyktingkatastrof är i det närmaste bortglömd men fråntar inte Ikea dess folkrättsliga ansvar: att stödja bosättningarna i Kidmat Zvi är moraliskt lika förkastligt som att stödja bosättarna på Västbanken. Om de envisas med att sälja produkter från Golanhöjderna bör de åtminstone ha korrekt ursprungsmärkning: Made in Occupied Syria.

Canadian consumer boycott target of the month: IKEA

June 18, 2011

Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East have selected IKEA as their consumer boycott target of the month. Their campaign spreads awareness to Canadian consumers about IKEA’s delivery service to illegal Israeli settlements, and protests to IKEA store owners and executives. CJPME has produced a factsheet about why IKEA needs to be boycotted, letter templates targeting store owners and executives, an email template, and a letter to the president of IKEA Canada Operations.

IKEA’s answer to the 12 August open letter

August 24, 2010

Statement from IKEA on 23 August 2010

IKEA® is for the many, respecting individuals with different views and opinions. IKEA® stands neutral on political, religious or ethnical views. It is unthinkable for us to exclude any individual or group of individuals from being an IKEA® customer. We welcome all people to the IKEA® stores, independent of religion, ethnic background or where they live.

Inter IKEA Systems B.V. is the worldwide franchisor of the IKEA Concept and the owner of the IKEA brand. IKEA operations are today carried out in 314 IKEA Stores in 38 countries including Israel and a number of Arabic countries. All IKEA operations are carried out under franchise from Inter IKEA Systems B.V. and focus on serving the customers irrespective of religion and ethnicity. This is also valid for our local franchisee in Israel – Northern Birch Ltd – which is an independent company operating the two IKEA Stores in Israel.

The IKEA Concept is the same all over the world. It is a retail concept for selling furniture and home furnishings from an IKEA store, i.e. it is not a mail order or e-commerce concept. One of the fundamentals of the IKEA Concept is immediate take away and cash and carry.  An essential part is that the customers themselves bring home the products they bought in the store. IKEA customers who have purchased IKEA products and cannot bring them home themselves can turn to a local Israeli transport company to have their purchased products delivered to their home.

International Law Professor Ove Bring has in an interview stated that IKEA in Israel discriminates Palestinians by not delivering to Ramallah on the West bank. Currently there are restrictions set by the government in Israel on crossing the border between the state of Israel and territories controlled by Palestinian Authorities. Such restrictions prevent people living in these territories to visit the IKEA Stores in Israel and prevent transportation companies from delivering hereto. We as well as our Israeli franchisee regret any limitations preventing any customer from visiting the IKEA stores or from using the services offered by the IKEA partners.

Being a European company operating under EU legislation, Inter IKEA Systems B.V. is subject to competition legislation in Europe. This means that we are forbidden to instruct anyone to prevent delivery of goods to end-consumers located in other countries/territories when the end-consumer has visited the IKEA Store to make their purchases. This is a Competition Law principle which we apply in every franchise agreement with franchisees globally.

We regret that the map used by the local transportation firm has been interpreted as a political statement and we are sorry if anyone has been offended. The map is just intended as a factual description of the areas to which the transportation company is able to deliver home transportation. We want to assure you that the map is not meant as a political statement by either Inter IKEA Systems B.V. or Northern Birch Ltd. and we regret if it has been perceived in such a way.

Best regards,

Corporate Communications
Inter IKEA Systems B.V.

IKEA, international law outweighs local laws and rules

August 16, 2010

Statement by the Palestine Solidarity Association of Sweden
Original statement in Swedish

IKEA in Israel

IKEA, international law outweighs local laws and rules

Open letter to IKEA:

On 23 June, Swedish Radio revealed that IKEA Israel delivers goods to Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank. By delivering furniture to settlements, IKEA contributes to legitimising and upholding the settlements, which according to a unanimous international opinion are illegal and constitute one of the most severe obstacles to a peaceful solution of the conflict. Shortly thereafter, Ove Bring, a Swedish expert on international humanitarian law, confirmed that this procedure violates the spirit of the universal human rights and that IKEA cannot dismiss their responsibility for this. The Palestine Solidarity Association of Sweden early on encouraged IKEA to immediately cease with these deliveries and offered advice and guidance on the issue.

On 23 June and on 4 July, IKEA issued statements that in our opinion were highly unsatisfactory. In both these statemements, IKEA dismissed having any responsibility and referred to the local franchisers having to comply with local laws and rules in the countries where they conduct business. Does IKEA mean that its policy is to accept local laws and rules that violate international law, UN resolutions and the Swedish government’s guidelines?

We once again call on IKEA to assume its responsibility and act decisively to rectify this by (i) immediately stop offering home deliveries to settlements on occupied territory and (ii) correct the Israeli map that is used in the IKEA stores in Israel and documented by Swedish media, where the occupied Palestinian territory does not exist and appears to be a part of Israel. It is very easy to identify the illegal settlements and the internationally recognised border between Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory.

A broad campaign is already under way to inform IKEA’s customers about the current delivery policy and this campaign is spreading internationally. We have no interest in advancing this campaign if IKEA assumes its responsibility and ensures that clear violations of international law are no longer carried out in IKEA’s name. We welcome IKEA to keep us updated on the measures taken and any changes in IKEA Israel’s procedures.

The Palestine Solidarity Association of Sweden, PGS
12 August 2010

IKEA contributes to a better everyday life for the many settlers

July 15, 2010

Statement by the campaign “IKEA don’t buy into occupation!”

English

IKEA contributes to a better everyday life for the many settlers

IKEA delivers goods to illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory. IKEA’s answer to the critique is that “IKEA stores have existed in Israel for the many people since 2001” and that “IKEA’s vision is to contribute to a better everyday life for the many people.”

They are certainly many, the settlers. Half a million more exactly, who live on stolen Palestinian land. And certainly the many settlers have a better everyday life when they can get furniture home-delivered.

IKEA goes on: “We of course welcome everyone to our stores and treat everyone equally, regardless of ethnic background, religion, gender, political affiliation or residential area.”

IKEA welcomes everyone, regardless of whether they are involved in occupation, apartheid and oppression. Regardless of whether their residential area is illegal and the land they built their houses on is stolen from expelled Palestinians. IKEA does more than that; IKEA delivers furniture to the settlers’ homes, on roads that have also been built on occupied Palestinian land and that only Israeli Jews can use.

IKEA’s direct assistance to settlements violates both international law, UN resolutions, the EU’s and the Swedish government’s guidelines. UN Security Council Resolution 465 obligates states not to provide assistance to settlements on occupied land [1]. The International Court of Justice in its Advisory Opinion of 2004 clarified that the wall on occupied land, along with its associated system and the settlements, are illegal and that all states are obliged not to recognize and not render aid or assistance in maintaining this illegal situation [2].

Furthermore, IKEA makes itself complicit in Israel’s apartheid system. The fact that the majority of Palestinians lack freedom of movement and thus cannot visit IKEA stores nor are offered home deliveries by IKEA, is a piece in the puzzle of segregated areas, segregated judicial systems, and segregated economic conditions. The system is manifested in walls, roadblocks, confiscated water resources and agricultural lands, home demolitions, Israeli control over the Palestinian economy, arbitrary arrests, curfews, etc.

Judging by IKEA’s answer, the company has not yet understood the seriousness of the situation. It is time that we consumers make it clear to IKEA that we do not accept their actions. It is also high time that our politicians act forcefully to ensure that IKEA immediately ceases a conduct that violates international law.

[1] http://unispal.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/0/5AA254A1C8F8B1CB852560E50075D7D5
[2] http://www.icj-cij.org/docket/index.php?p1=3&p2=4&code=mwp&case=131&k=5a

Swedish

IKEA bidrar till en bättre vardag för de många bosättarna

IKEA levererar varor till illegala israeliska bosättningar i det ockuperade palestinska området. IKEAs svar på kritiken är att “IKEA varuhus har funnits i Israel för de många människorna sedan 2001” och att “IKEAs vision är att bidra till en bättre vardag för de många människorna.”

Jovisst är de många, bosättarna. En halv miljon närmare bestämt, som bor på stulen palestinsk mark. Och visst får de många bosättarna en bättre vardag när de kan få möbler hemlevererade.

Vidare svarar IKEA: “Vi välkomnar naturligtvis alla till våra varuhus och behandlar alla lika oavsett etnisk bakgrund, religion, kön, politisk tillhörighet eller bostadsort.”

IKEA välkomnar alla, oavsett om de är inblandade i ockupation, apartheid och förtryck. Oavsett om deras bostadsort är illegal och marken de byggt sina bostäder på är stulen från fördrivna palestinier. IKEA gör mer än så; IKEA kör hem möbler till bosättarna, på vägar som också anlagts på ockuperad palestinsk mark och som bara israeler får använda.

IKEAs direkta stöd till bosättningar bryter mot både internationell rätt, FN-resolutioner, EUs och den svenska regeringens riktlinjer. FNs säkerhetsråds resolution 465 förbinder stater att ej tillhandahålla stöd till bosättningar på ockuperad mark [1]. Internationella domstolens utlåtande 2004 klargör att muren på ockuperad mark, med dess åtföljande system och bosättningar, är olagliga och att stater är förbundna att ej erkänna samt ej stödja denna olagliga situation [2].

Dessutom gör sig IKEA delaktiga i Israels apartheidsystem. Att majoriteten av palestinierna saknar rörelsefrihet och därmed inte kan besöka IKEA varuhus och ej heller erbjuds hemleveranser av IKEA, är en bit i pusslet av segregerade områden, segregerat rättsväsende, och segregerade ekonomiska förhållanden. Systemet yttrar sig i murar, vägspärrar, beslagtagna vattenresurser och jordbruksmarker, husrivningar, israelisk kontroll över den palestinska ekonomin, godtyckliga arresteringar, utegångsförbud, etc.

Att döma av IKEAs svar tycks företaget ännu inte ha förstått allvaret i situationen. Det är dags att vi konsumenter gör det tydligt för IKEA att vi inte accepterar deras agerande. Det är också hög tid att våra politiker agerar kraftfullt för att se till att IKEA omedelbart upphör med ett förfarande som bryter mot internationell rätt.

[1] http://unispal.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/0/5AA254A1C8F8B1CB852560E50075D7D5
[2] http://www.icj-cij.org/docket/index.php?p1=3&p2=4&code=mwp&case=131&k=5a

IKEA’s answer to the open letter

July 4, 2010

4 July 2010

English

To the Palestine Association of Sweden,

Regarding your open letter to IKEA:

IKEA’s vision is to contribute to a better everyday life for the many people. We of course welcome everyone to our stores and treat everyone equally, regardless of ethnic background, religion, gender, political affiliation or residential area.

IKEA Israel is a franchise with Inter IKEA Systems BV as franchisor. Inter IKEA Systems BV owns the IKEA concept and franchises it to the IKEA Group and to external franchisees in certain countries, among them Israel. In matters regarding IKEA Israel you should thus turn Inter IKEA Systems BV. Their Information Manager is Sophie Cedervall and she can be reached by phone at +31 621 240 618.

Kind regards,

Corporate PR, IKEA Group

Swedish

Till Palestinagrupperna i Sverige,

Med anledning av ert öppna brev till IKEA:

IKEAs vision är att bidra till en bättre vardag för de många människorna. Vi välkomnar naturligtvis alla till våra varuhus och behandlar alla lika oavsett etnisk bakgrund, religion, kön, politisk tillhörighet eller bostadsort.

IKEA Israel är en franchise verksamhet med Inter IKEA Systems BV som franchisegivare. Inter IKEA Systems BV är ägare av IKEA konceptet och franchisar ut detta dels till IKEA Gruppen dels till externa franchisetagare i vissa länder, däribland Israel. I frågor angående IKEA Israel bör ni därför vända er till Inter IKEA Systems BV. Deras informationschef heter Sophie Cedervall och nås på telefon +31 621 240 618.

Med vänliga hälsningar,

Corporate PR, IKEA Group

IKEA must immediately cease deliveries to Israeli settlements in Palestinian territory

June 30, 2010

When IKEA explains IKEA Israel’s policy they speak about “delivery difficulties” to the Palestinian areas and have apparently not understood that the critique is mainly about that they deliver goods to illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank which may not be counted as part of the state of Israel. Thus to clarify the Palestine Solidarity Association of Sweden has submitted an open letter to IKEA.

Statement by the Palestine Solidarity Association of Sweden
[Swedish] [French] [Arabic]

Open letter to IKEA

Swedish Radio has revealed that IKEA delivers furniture to illegal Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian territory, despite the fact that these settlements are illegal according to international law. Thus IKEA has no problem with delivering furniture to the area, as long as the furniture goes to illegal settlers and not to Palestinians.

In a comment, IKEA’s information manager in Sweden says: “IKEA is for the many people, regardless of in which country IKEA acts. IKEA stores have existed in Israel for the many people since 2001. All customers are welcome to IKEA stores in Israel, regardless of where they live and without discrimination based on religion, race or other issues and we want all to be able to get their IKEA furniture. (…) IKEA customers can choose to take the products home themselves or to use a delivery company.”

Palestinians in the West Bank are unable to reach IKEA stores because their freedom of movement is restricted by an occupying power that, among other things, has built a wall to make sure that Palestinians cannot enter Israel. 80 percent of this wall is built on Palestinian land and is illegal according to an advisory opinion by the International Court of Justice in 2004. When IKEA refers to practical difficulties in delivering to Palestinian areas, they make themselves complicit in upholding a system that is defined as illegal by ICJ. However, the problem is not mainly that IKEA does not deliver to the Palestinian areas – the first priority for Palestinians is not to buy IKEA furniture but to secure their human rights. A more serious problem is that IKEA delivers to the Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territory. The settlements violate the Fourth Geneva Convention, which prohibits the Occupying Power from deporting or transferring parts of its civilian population into the territory it occupies, and cannot be regarded as part of the state of Israel. Delivering furniture to the settlers means using roads exclusively reserved for Jews, for the comfort of settlers who live on stolen Palestinian land. IKEA thereby gives legitimacy to the dual system – called apartheid by many – operated by the Israeli government which through a number of measures, including thirty laws that give privileges to Jews over non-Jews, discriminates against the Palestinians in the occupied territories and Israel’s Palestinian citizens. If the connotations of this are not obvious to IKEA, the company should at least take into consideration the serious breaches of international law that this policy entails.

IKEA’s ignorance regarding the realities of Israel/Palestine is astonishing. It is certainly worrying that a company with IKEA’s turnover and global presence is so unaware of the actual conditions in the areas where it operates. We attach to this letter a map that displays the borders of Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories as recognized by the UN. IKEA should make sure that this map is used instead of the one that IKEA stores in Israel are currently displaying, in which the occupied West Bank, Gaza and Golan Heights are included in Israel, and in which the Palestinian East Jerusalem is not marked.

The Palestine Solidarity Association of Sweden calls on IKEA to immediately stop deliveries to Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territory. By delivering furniture to illegal Israeli settlements, IKEA respects neither international law, UN’s Global Compact nor the guidelines of the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs. IKEA is thereby complicit in sustaining and legitimizing Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories.

30 June 2010

IKEA in Israel and delivery difficulties

June 24, 2010

IKEA have issued a response to the reports that IKEA delivers goods to illegal Israeli settlements, following a day of media headlines such as “IKEA transports furniture to the occupied West Bank”, “Only furniture delivery to Israeli settlements”, “IKEA furniture to illegal settlers”, “IKEA is accused of apartheid in the West Bank”, and “IKEA violates UN code of conduct”.

Statement by IKEA
Original statement in Swedish

IKEA in Israel and delivery difficulties
2010-06-23

All customers are welcome to IKEA stores in Israel, regardless of where they live and without discrimination based on religion, race, or other issues. There has come up a discussion about the difficulties in delivering IKEA products over the border between Israel and areas that are controlled by the Palestinian state. IKEA stores have existed in Israel for the many people since 2001.

Inter IKEA Systems B.V. which is franchise granter and owner of the IKEA concept, requires that all IKEA franchises follow local laws and rules in the countries where they are working.

The government and authorities of Israel have set limitations that affect traffic over the border between the state of Israel and the Palestinian areas. IKEA customers that have purchased products at IKEA stores can choose to themselves transport the products home or to turn to a transport company.

After we have checked with local, independent sources we have received information that no transport company can, due to prevailing legal restrictions, deliver IKEA products purchased at IKEA stores in Israel to places such as the city of Ramallah, which is within an area controlled by Palestinian authorities. We are now following the developments carefully.

Corporate Communications
Inter IKEA Systems B.V.

Unacceptable that IKEA delivers goods to illegal settlements

June 23, 2010

Statement by the Palestine Solidarity Association of Sweden
Original statement in Swedish

IKEA's map of Israel where the West Bank, Gaza, East Jerusalem, and Golan are included.

IKEA's map of Israel where the West Bank, Gaza, East Jerusalem, and Golan are included. Photo by Cecilia Uddén, Radio Sweden.

The image is from Radio Sweden’s website.

The information presented today by Radio Sweden concerning that the Swedish furniture corporation IKEA contributes to Israel’s apartheid politics is shocking and the Palestine Solidarity Association of Sweden now calls on the corporation to act responsibly and immediately change its policy.

IKEA in Israel delivers furniture to the West Bank – but only to illegal Israeli settlements, not to Palestinian inhabited areas.

IKEA’s map of Israel includes the occupied territories of the West Bank, Gaza, and the Golan Heights, without border markings. Neither is East Jerusalem indicated. 95 percent of Palestinians in the West Bank cannot visit the IKEA store because they live on the other side of the wall. The Israeli settlers also live there – and IKEA delivers to the illegal settlements.

According to the transport company that IKEA employs, Israel’s army prohibits the company to drive into the Palestinian areas. This means that IKEA is playing straight into the hands of the Israeli occupying power. IKEA’s actions conflict with international law as well as the Swedish Foreign Ministry guidelines and UN’s Global Compact. This is not only mixing politics and business; it is uppholding and legitimising an illegal occupation.

Listen to Radio Sweden’s programme here (Swedish).