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NYC Beauty Chain Targeted by Boycott

Code Pink continues anti-Ahava crusade

Marc Tracy
July 20, 2010

Ask New Yorkers: They love their Ricky’s. (Well, except this New Yorker, who will never forgive it for supplanting Morningside Heights’s movie-rental emporium.) But now an Israeli settlement-related boycott threatens to sever city residents’ link to their favorite beauty-store chain. The boycott targets Ahava, which produces skin moisturizers with materials from the Dead Sea and which women’s antiwar group Code Pink made a target, as Tablet Magazine’s Liel Leibovitz reported last year, because it is headquartered in a West Bank kibbutz. (“I knew there was a plastic bottle of Ahava Eucalyptus Mineral Bath Salts sitting on the windowsill next to the tub in my bathroom,” one activist memorably told Liel.)

The Israeli government notes that the kibbutz in question was settled on uninhabited land in 1970—that is, before the settlement project got underway—and that Ahava itself employs Palestinian workers. (The kibbutz is in one of the settlements abutting the Green Line, not in an illegal outpost, which may or may not be meaningful to you.)

Anyway, the boycott has now come home: Specifically, to Brooklyn’s Montague Street, where there is music in the cafes at night, revolution in the air, and protests the Ricky’s store. If you want to tell Ricky’s CEO Dom Costello to keep selling Ahava products, go here.

Mud-Slinging on Montague! [Brooklyn Paper]
Related: Pink Panthers [Tablet Magazine]

Marc Tracy is a staff writer at The New Republic, and was previously a staff writer at Tablet. He tweets @marcatracy.