Disney relative announces anti-Ahava stance

By Jamie Michaels, July 18, 2012

A little known member of Hollywood's Disney family has said she is disclaiming her share in Israeli cosmetics firm, Ahava Dead Sea Laboratories.

Abigail Disney, 52, the grand-daughter of Roy O Disney, who co-founded the Walt Disney Company, said this week that she would donate profits she earns from her investment in Ahava to organisations "working to end this illegal exploitation."

The Disney family's Shamrock Holdings Inc owns an 18.5 per cent share of Ahava and is believed to have an investment worth $12 million in the company and a further $400 million in other Israeli companies. The move by Ms Disney, therefore, may not have financial implications, but rather a symbolic one.

Ahava, which is based in the Mitzpe Shalem settlement in the West Bank, is renowned internationally for making skin-care products that originate from the Dead Sea. It has stores around the world, including Israel, Germany and Singapore.

Stefan Kerner, director of public affairs at the Zionist Federation, was unimpressed with Abigail Disney's declaration. He said: "This is just another in a series of attempted publicity stunts against Ahava and is unwarranted and unhelpful in efforts for peace within Israel."

Last updated: 10:40am, July 18 2012