Macy’s SodaStream Decision Unrelated to Anti-Israel Campaign

Scarlett Johansson
Scarlett Johansson / AP
October 28, 2014

Macy’s decision to yank Israeli-made SodaStream products from its shelves is unrelated to pressure from the anti-Israel boycott movement, a source familiar with the decision told the Washington Free Beacon.

Activists with the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement—which seeks to target Israel through economic boycotts—recently claimed victory after the Wall Street Journal reported that Macy’s would no longer sell SodaStream merchandise.

The BDS movement often calls on stores to drop products such as SodaStream that are manufactured in Israeli settlements.

"BDS Victory! Macy’s on the right side of history," raved the group BDS South Africa on Twitter, while the "Boycott Soda Stream" Facebook group declared it a "WIN."

Code Pink and other anti-Israel activists also trumpeted the news on Twitter and tied it to the boycott movement.

While Macy’s has officially stayed mum on the controversy, a source familiar with the decision confirmed to the Free Beacon that the store would no longer carry the products. The source also told the Free Beacon that the decision was based strictly on sales performance and was not connected to the BDS campaign.

"We had carried Sodastream for a number of years and promoted it regularly," said the source. "But over time, sales had diminished. Our decision to discontinue selling the product is as simple as that."

The Wall Street Journal reported in early October that the at-home soda-maker had shown disappointing sales numbers in the past year, and one analyst told the paper that he had heard Macy’s would stop stocking the product.

Pro-Israel activists treated the BDS campaign’s latest claims of victory with skepticism, noting that Macy’s store continues to stock the Israeli-made Ahava skincare products, another high-profile target of the boycott movement.

The BDS movement has had several prominent setbacks in recent years. Last January, Scarlett Johansson stepped down from her role as an Oxfam ambassador after the organization and BDS activists tried to pressure her to resign as a spokesperson for SodaStream.

In August, a press release purporting to come from Intel Corporation was sent out that claimed the company was cutting ties with Israel due to the military intervention in Gaza. Business Insider later reported that the press release was a hoax, as was the fake website that had been set up to mimic Intel’s media page.

And in June, the Rolling Stones played their first concert in Israel, despite outcries from BDS activists.

Published under: Israel