Dead Sea firm boycotted? Their lease was up

By Robyn Rosen, February 4, 2011

The manager of a shopping centre in Ireland has attacked claims by anti-Israel protesters as "complete fabrication," after they said he had promised that a Dead Sea cosmetics company would not be allowed to trade on the premises.

Protesters from the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign demonstrated by the Premier Dead Sea Cosmetics stall in the Johnston Court shopping centre in Sligo on January 22. They claimed the company "helps fund the Israeli apartheid regime, its brutal occupation of Palestine and its illegal settlements in the West Bank".

The IPSC claimed: "The manager of Johnston Court also gave a commitment yesterday that this company and their Dead Sea Cosmetics would not be allowed to return and trade in the shopping centre."

But Jon Dunt, centre manager, said: "This is a long way from the truth.

"There were only two activists. We called the Garda (Irish police) who escorted them from the premises.

"The stall was a temporary let. It was leased and operated by a couple of young Irish lads, who on their own initiative were generating an income for themselves, hardly big business.

"I can confirm that some major stores in Sligo continue to sell Israeli products without any hassle from the dynamic duo. Perhaps a couple of young lads working at a stall are a softer target than an established store."

"If the young men selling the creams wanted to come back, we would use them again."

Last month, John Lewis criticised the Palestine Solidarity Campaign for sending "false and misleading" information after it published a triumphant press release incorrectly linking John Lewis's withdrawal of Israeli cosmetics, Ahava, with its boycott campaign.

Jon Benjamin, chief executive of the Board of Deputies, said: "This shows the desperation of the PSC in claiming credit for events that have nothing to do with them or their misguided efforts."

Last updated: 10:31am, February 4 2011