When our ZOA chapter was advised by the Jewish Community Relations Council or an attempt by an anti-Israel organization named Sabeel to organize a boycott of a Silver Spring, MD store which sells AHAVA Israeli brand skin care products, we immediately began organizing our members and other supporters of Israel to counter their effort with what our Chapter President called a “buycott.”
In what Sabeel called a “Boycott to End the Occupation,” protestors picketed and distributed fliers on Saturday, July 17 in front of the store in an effort to discourage customer from buying AHAVA products. They referred to the AHAVA product line as “stolen beauty” products, which they claimed are “illegally produced by Israeli settlers colonizing the West Bank on land stolen from Palestinian families in violation of international law.”
This local effort is part of a global movement called BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions), an internationally organized and promoted effort to delegitimize Israel.
Our members mobilized with others in the local Jewish Community to visit the store, not only buying up the store’s entire supply of Israeli-made products, but encouraging the management to continue selling them despite calls for to boycott. The management responded by immediately ordering an expedited shipment to restock their shelves.
In addition, the local media carried the story of the “buycott” and it has inspired other communities to follow our example, galvanizing their own communities to actively oppose the BDS movement.