CJPME Factsheet 148, published April, 2012: Naot Shoes is an Israeli company closely linked economically to Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories. This factsheet provides the links, and the legal reasons why boycotting Naot Shoes is the appropriate action to take to pressure Israel economically.
Boycott Campaign: Naot Shoes
What is Naot Shoes?
Naot Shoes (Teva Naot as the company is known in Israel) was founded in 1942 in Kibbutz Neot Mordechai, located in the Upper Galilee area of northern Israel.[i] Kibbutz Neot Mordechai still holds 17 percent of Naot Shoes.[ii] Eighty percent of Naot Shoes are distributed abroad,[iii] and there are six retail locations in Canada. As well, many other shoe stores in Canada stock Naot shoes and sandals.
How does Naot Shoes support Israel’s colonial expansion?
Naot Shoes is closely linked economically to Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories. Naot Shoes has a factory outlet store located in the illegal Gush Etzion colony (i.e. “settlement”) block located on ocuupied Palestinian territory between Jerusalem and Hebron in the West Bank. [iv] The Gush Etzion block is a group of 22 colonies with about 70,000 Jewish Israeli colonists.[v] A few of the communities were established in the 1920s, 30s and 40s, in part by Yemenite Jews, on land purchased from Palestinians well before the founding of the state of Israel. However, prior to the first Arab-Israeli war, the total population of these communities was only 450. Therefore, the vast majority the Gush Etzion block colonies have been illegally established on the land that had been allocated to the Palestinians under the 1947 UN Partition Plan—land from which Palestinians have been evicted to enable the establishment of Jewish-only colonies.
The Naot Shoes factory outlet store plays a role in strengthening and legitimizing the Gush Etzion colony. The Naot Shoes Outlet provides employment for the colony’s residents, and attracts both international tourists and Israeli customers to the Gush Etzion complex. The Naot Shoes Outlet thereby not only serves to legitimatize the colony and sustain its economic growth, but also enables the colony to absorb new colonists.
Almost 66 percent of Naot Shoes is owned by Shamrock Holdings,[vi] which also owns nearly 18 percent of AHAVA Dead Sea products, currently being boycotted as well.[vii] Shamrock Holdings is the investment branch of Disney enterprises and is a large holding firm committed to Israel’s growth. Shamrock Holdings is further entangled in not only other illegal Israeli colonies, but also invests in the construction of Israel’s Wall. Israel’s Wall has had massive repercussion on the humanitarian welfare of Palestinians living in the West Bank, and was unequivocally condemned by the International Court of Justice in 2004.
Under international law, the establishment of colonies and colonial infrastructure on occupied territory is illegal. This is codified in the Fourth Geneva Convention (Art. 49, p. 6), and in the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (section b [viii]), which prohibit “The transfer, directly or indirectly, by the Occupying Power of parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies, or the deportation or transfer of all or parts of the population of the occupied territory within or outside this territory.” Furthermore, the continuing establishment and expansion of colonies on Palestinian land significantly hinders the achievement of a “comprehensive, just and lasting peace deal in the Middle East,” as described in UN Security Council Resolution 446 (March 22, 1979).
Why boycott Naot Shoes?
In July 2005 over 170 Palestinian civil society organizations issued a call asking the international community to boycott Israeli products in order to promote recognition of the Palestinians’ right to self-determination. The Palestinian call asked the international community to impose broad boycotts and implement divestment initiatives against Israel similar to those applied to South Africa in the apartheid era.
In addition to economically bolstering the existence and expansion of one of Israel’s largest illegal colony blocks in occupied Palestinian territory, Naot Shoes is “normalizing” this expansion by choosing to locate an outlet store within this illegal colony, rather than in Israel proper.
Israel’s current colonization of the West Bank violates the 1993 Oslo Accords. The post-1993 expansion of existing colonies, construction of new colonies, dramatic increase in the settler population, and surge in government investment in the colonies all violate the Accord’s prohibition on changing the status of the occupied territories, outlined in Annex II (p 6).14
When should the boycott of Naot Shoes end?
The boycott will end when Naot Shoes dismantles its operations in the illegal colonies located in the occupied Palestinian territories and Israel ends its occupation of Palestinian territory.
How else can I pressure Naot Shoes to dismantle its operations in the illegal colonies?
CJPME’s boycott campaign is calling upon all individuals to press for the Israeli government to withdraw from the occupied Palestinian territories. All concerned citizens can visit the CJPME Website at www.cjpme.org/bds.htm for additional tools to pressure Naot Shoes Canada to dismantle its operations in the illegal colonies and encourage the Israeli government to end its occupation and colonization of the Palestinian territories.
- CJPME encourages individuals to go to its Naot Shoes boycott action alert at www.cjpme.org/consumerboycott.htm, to send their complaints and questions to the head distributor in Canada.
- A selection of letter templates is available on the CJPME Boycott site at www.cjpme.org/consumerboycott.htm.
[i] About.” Teva Naot Website. http://www.tevanaot.co.il/en/%D7%90%D7%95%D7%93%D7%95%D7%AA. Accessed January 17, 2012.
[ii] “Teva Naot.” Who Profits? Accessed March 9, 2012. http://whoprofits.org/company/teva-naot
[iii] “The Naot Feel Free Guide: About Naot.” p 2. Accessed March 9, 2012. http://www.naot.com/pdfs/FeelFreeGuide.pdf
[iv] “Teva Naot.” Gush Etzion Website. http://www.gush-etzion.org.il/tourism%5Cteva.htm. Accessed January 17, 2012.
[v] AFP."West Bank settlers shrug off Obama call", Khaleej Times online, May 25 2011
[vi] “Shamrock Holdings” Who Profits Website. http://www.whoprofits.org/company/shamrock-holdings. Accessed January 20, 2012.
[vii] For more information see CJPME Factsheet No. 98, Boycott Campaign: AHAVA DSL Ltd.
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