CiF Watch prompts correction to false Guardian claim about SodaStream

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 , 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.


Ecostream story in Brighton

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. 

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    • Last Saturday was meant to be the PSC national UK day of action against Soda Stream . In the end about 30 -40 turned out in Brighton and a dozen or so in London .
      I decided to go to Brighton to show solidarity with the Sussex friends of Israel , an incredibly proactive mix of Jewish community and Christian friends of Israel . I had a feeling something special was about to take place and I was not to be disappointed . While the PSC were assembling at the clock tower , the community were busy setting up trestle tables outside the shop , full of food and of course Soda stream for the passers by . By the time the PSC finally arrived , the soda stream party was in full swing .
      PSC surprise at having their customary position commandeered quickly turned to anger and they repeatedly tried to break our ranks to get at the shop . But it was a question of no pasaran . They will not pass . They were marched across the street by the police where they used a bull horn to continue to scream their hate filled lies and propaganda but amazingly it was all but drowned out by the singing of David Melech Yisrael and other songs .
      Eventually the PSC slunk off disconsolately to the sound of Hava Nagila ringing in their ears .
      One of their number a member of Jews for justice blah blah naomi wimborne idrissi was last seen helping herself to a salmon beigel . She also knocked back a biscuit or three but turned green when she was told it was Osem Israeli made .
      Here is the Sussex friends of Israel face book wall . Please read and like

      This was a seminal moment in the battle with the PSC fascists . It s amazing that it should have happened in a small coastal town like Brighton but happened it did . Light verses darkness . Decency against ugliness
      Kol Hakovod Brighton
      Am Yisrael chai
      # BDS Fail