We sometimes notice that headlines, or strap lines, used to illustrate Israel related stories at the Guardian or ‘Comment is Free’ are not supported by the subsequent text, and often serve, intentionally or otherwise, to sensationalize or even distort news items which are already critical of the Jewish state.
A case in point is a Sept. 29th Guardian report by Leo Benedictus, titled ‘SodaStream: the Israeli-run shop dividing Brighton‘, about a small number of Palestine Solidarity Campaign protesters outside of an environmentally friendly Ecostream refill store – a division of the Israeli company SodaStream – which opened recently in the UK.
As Guardian reports on fledgling BDS efforts against Israel go, Benedictus’s article isn’t too bad. However, the strap line falsely claimed that SodaStream’s company headquarters was in “the occupied West Bank”, when in fact only one of their factories (in Mishor Adumim) is in the disputed territory. The company’s corporate headquarters is located in Airport City, adjacent to Ben Gurion Airport and not on the “wrong side” of the green line.
After contacting Guardian editors the strap line was corrected, and the false claim about SodaStream’s company headquarters was removed.
Additionally, whilst the Guardian report on BDS efforts did include a quote by SodaStream CEO Daniel Birnbaum, here’s an extended response to the boycott question by Birnbaum which a colleague and I recorded when we visited the company’s offices in July and interviewed both Birnbaum and one of the Mishor Adumim plant managers.