On the sands of the Israeli Ministry of Tourism’s Tel Aviv Beach in Central Park last Sunday, bikini-clad activists from the women’s group CODEPINK covered themselves in mud to expose the truth behind the event: as a tool to clean up Israel’s reputation in light of its dirty policies toward Palestine, including West Bank settlements, a border blockade of Gaza and this winter’s devastating 22-day war on Gaza that killed more than 1,400 civilians, injured 5,300 and destroyed approximately 4,000 homes.
The activists have seen for themselves the devastation caused by the assault, and Israel’s continuing blockade of the Gaza border. Within the past two months, five CODEPINK delegations of more than 150 American and international activists traveled to Gaza, Egypt and Israel and delivered medical supplies, humanitarian aid and playgrounds for Gazan children.
The bikini-clad CODEPINK women also distributed information exposing Israeli Dead Sea cosmetics company AHAVA (“love” in Hebrew), which uses mud illegally extracted from and packaged in the occupied territories.
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“Despite its name, there is nothing loving about a company that profits from stolen resources and oppressed people,” said CODEPINK coordinator Rae Abileah, who organized a protest of AHAVA in Tel Aviv last week. “We will paint ourselves with mud to show AHAVA’s dirty side.”
CODEPINK’s “Stolen Beauty” AHAVA boycott campaign is part of the International Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement for Palestine to economically pressure the Israeli government to end its assault on Palestine and comply with international law.
More photos are found here.
Also, following is a video clip from the protest: