Lush: “We aren’t anti-Semitic”.

Lush flying the Saudi flag on their site.

Lush flying the Saudi flag on their site.

Here we go again. Yet another claim that “We aren’t anti-Semitic” by someone attacking Israel in the most crudest terms.

Lush’s website is still promoting a song that claims that there are “more than six million (Palestinian) refugees”, that Palestinians were forced from their homes and history, that Gaza is a prison camp, that the wall that keeps Israelis safe from suicide bombers is an “apartheid wall”, and that blames only Israel for violence and accuses it of racial segregation.

And they have just released another statement (see end) part of which reads:

Standing for the human rights of one does not undermine calls for the human rights of others. Likewise, criticising Israeli government policies is not akin to being anti-Semitic or anti the Israeli state. We do not tolerate racism or any other form of discrimination.

So Lush might not like it that Iranian gays are hanged for wishing to express their sexuality, or that women are not allowed to drive or work in Saudi Arabia or that Syrian civilians are being massacred en masse, it’s just that singling out the Jewish state is more important.

Lush even has shops in Saudi Arabia, so they are actually contributing to a government with a totally deplorable human rights record!

The statement continues:

“We believe that the occupation exacerbates violence in the region and therefore bringing it to an end is a vital step in the peace process.”

So it’s all about “the occupation”, stupid.

It has nothing at all to do with Hamas’ desire to kill Jews as stated in their Charter (Article 7), or that Hamas believes Israel is an “Islamic waqf” (Article 11), or that Hamas has no plans for any “peaceful solutions and international conferences” (Article 13), or that every Muslim’s duty is one of Jihad to fight the “Jews’ usurpation of Palestine” (Article 15).

The Charter also claims that Jews proclaimed “Mohammad is dead” and that “Israel, Judaism, Jews, challenge Islam and the Muslim people”.

Despite all this Lush claim they are just criticising “the occupation” and Israel’s alleged breaches of international law.

And when the leader of the EDL, Tommy Robinson, said last week that what happened recently in Norway could happen in the UK, he was accused of making threats and condoning violence.

Well, by stating “the occupation exacerbates violence” hasn’t Lush now done a similar thing?

Robinson argues that increased Muslim immigration will bring more violence to our streets from those opposed to it, but Lush are allowed to get away with “understanding” why the Palestinians are so violent against Israelis.

I have tried speaking to Lush for the last week and a half, but they refuse to return calls.

In exhasperation I called Norman Black, the head of marketing at Brent Cross, who said that there was nothing Brent Cross could do about Lush’s campaign. He said it was a Lush issue, not a Brent Cross issue.

He also said that Brent Cross would not allow any sort of peaceful protest against Lush as “this would mean introducing politics into Brent Cross”, nevermind that Lush introduced the politics. This also explains Lush’s “bold” statement, reported in the Jewish Chronicle, that “we would not ask Brent Cross to move people on if they came to protest”.

They know that Brent Cross security will do it for them!

When I spoke to Lush last week I suggested they could be more objective and instead promote the the Parents Circle – Families Forum, an organisation where bereaved Israeli and Palestinian relatives meet and also speak in schools and universities about their tragic experiences due to the conflict. These are people who really have suffered. But Lush refuses to take anything on board, except the anti-Israel propaganda they are constantly fed by War on Want.

Another of Lush’s “ethical campaigns” was to help free Binyam Mohamed from Guantanamo Bay. But what about Gilad Schalit, kidnapped by Hamas nearly five years ago and kept in solitary confinement in Gaza with no access to doctors or his family?

So, singling out the Jewish state only for criticism while staying silent about Muslim countries executing gays and slaughtering their own people, as in Syria, is not, according to Lush, anti-Semitic.

Sticking up for Binyam Mohamed, while staying silent about Gilad Schalit is ok. They will get around to Gilad eventually, I’m sure.

When I spoke to Norman Black he said he totally understood our position but that he also admired Lush’s single-mindedness of purpose.

More pertinently, he said he was relieved that the section of society that was outraged by Lush’s campaign was not one that was prone to anything more than peaceful protest.

So, there you have it in a nutshell: British Jews are a benign lot, whereas some members of certain other minority groups might not be so forgiving.

Some organisations get this which is why they single out Israel, while allowing other countries to get away with, quite literally, murder. They might also have done the maths. There are approximately 1.5 billion Muslims in the world and only about 14 million Jews. It could be great for business to be so anti-Israel these days.

Lush says there is no anti-Semitism at play, but that should be left up to people to decide for themselves.

Full Lush press release:

Lush supports the OneWorld Freedom for Palestine campaign because we believe in human rights and equality for all. Freedom for Palestine is a multi-cultural, multi-faith song that expresses the concerns some musicians across the UK and global community have about the denial of basic rights of the Palestinian people. The song calls for the end of the Israeli occupation of Palestine – which the United Nations has recognised as breaking human rights law.

Organisations such as the International Red Cross, Amnesty and Human Rights Watch have expressed concerns about human rights abuses and a resulting humanitarian crisis caused by the occupation. Areas of concern include poverty, unemployment, food insecurity, limited access to clean water and farmland and restricted access to healthcare and medicines.

Standing for the human rights of one does not undermine calls for the human rights of others. Likewise, criticising Israeli government policies is not akin to being anti-Semitic or anti the Israeli state. We do not tolerate racism or any other form of discrimination.

We believe that the occupation exacerbates violence in the region and therefore bringing it to an end is a vital step in the peace process. Calling for an end to the occupation is simply calling for adherence to international law in the hope that this will bring about security and peace for all in the region. The Israeli and Palestinian people must find a solution that respects human rights for both sides and adheres to international human rights law; it’s our job as part of the international community to do what we can to ensure this happens.

Kind regards,

Vicky Jansson
Customer Care Manager
Lush Ltd.

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28 responses to “Lush: “We aren’t anti-Semitic”.

  1. What I truly don’t understand is why racists aren’t proud of being racists? They march around all day cheering for the day Jewish blood runs in the streets which to them is a public service, and yet when you ask them directly they suddenly are afraid to stand up for the very beliefs they want to exterminate us with. Why is that? It’s like denying the Shoah and still worshiping Hitler. Wouldn’t that make him kind of piker by their own definition? This is why I can actually understand the Klan and Nazis who foolishly dress up in their full regalia and sieg heil for the cameras. There’s no fooling us what they stand for. In a weird way they have more integrity than the radical left, who, philosophically are no different.

  2. They sent me the exact same reply!
    So they support all these groups and pretend to really care about the cause, hike up their prices and stupid people buy the products. Clever.

  3. Biodegradable

    In my experience I’ve always found, without exception, that the ones who begin by saying, “I’m not (we aren’t) antisemitic” are the most virulent Jew-haters.

    If “Lush” aren’t antisemitic just imagine what they’d be saying if they really were!

    I’m reminded of the 1960s (yes I am that old) when it was common, when talking about blacks, to hear, “I’m not a racist but…”

  4. My first question is a simple one.
    Should I just boycott the company or should I boycott the company whilst telling them the reason why? In other words is it ethical to boycott them without them knowing the reason why?
    The reason I want to boycott them is mainly their inconsistent morals; accepting human right violations in some countries and not others as well as their deliberate ignoring of the viciousness in the Hamas Charter.

    My second question is to Brent Cross management
    Retail trading in North London has to be completely apolitical and neutral. Trade should not care; and shopping centres should not make any ethnic group uncomfortable. If Brent Cross management are happy to allow Lush there and alienate me as a Jew/Zionist, do they deserve my custom ?

  5. I have previously bought products from Lush on a number of times – I will not be buying from them again untill they stop engaging in this Anti-Israeli prejudice !

  6. There’s an interesting connection too between Lush and the Ahava protestors. Of course, the fact that they sell competing products has nothing to do with it……

    Seriously, though why are we so benign? Can’t we demonstrate outside their store in Brent X?

  7. Lesley Klaff

    Somebody should send the Lush Customer Care Manager the EUMC (European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia) 2005 “Working Definition of Anti-Semitism”. Perhaps then Lush will realise that its position on Israel goes beyond legitimate criticism and crosses the line into anti-Semitism. I’ve bought Lush products in the past but will not be doing so again.

  8. Daniel Marks

    Yup, you have produced another excellent page. We expect nothing less.

    I also don’t understand what all the anti-Semites are embarrassed about and why they have to hide their true feelings with Orwellian doubletalk. I realize that after the Second World War and the Holocaust their philosophy went out of fashion, but for heavens sakes! Almost seven decades have passed and if you don’t like us, just say so, nothing to be ashamed of.

    It’s reached the point where even suicidal terrorists deny, Allah forbid, being anti-Semites. They’ll lunge at us randomly with their daggers shouting Itbach al Yahud (Murder the Jews!), but if caught, will be at pains to explain that they have absolutely nothing against Jews per se; it’s only the Zionists among us they aren’t crazy about. All this deception can’t be healthy for anyone, so I say to them all, all my anti-Semitic former countrymen and current and cousins and neighbors, “Let it all hang out! If you don’t like us, don’t be shy to say so.”

    Nobody should be forced to pretend he likes us if he doesn’t. “Come out of your closet you heroes of Lush, the air is fresher and you’ll soon be wondering why you wasted so much time on the “Some of my best friends…” clap-trap. The truth will surely set you free.

  9. In case this hasn’t been linked to here yet

    Lush down under spurns UK campaign
    http://www.jewishnews.net.au/lush-down-under-spurns-uk-campaign/22160

    I found the link on this website which gives a list of shreholders scroll down, just in case any of these people is known to anybody.

    http://www.worksmart.org.uk/company/company.php?id=04162033

    And now NIVEA is caught with some very bizarre behaviour too, listing “Palestine Territories” but not Israel

    http://elderofziyon.blogspot.com/2011/08/nivea-website-excludes-israel-includes.html

    The company of NIVEA is called Beiersdorf and on their website they tell that they got their brandname back (after WW2) for Israel in 1992, which is a more than a bit mysterious information but I wonder how they expect Abbas will honour their brand-name

    http://www.beiersdorf.com/About_Us/Our_History/International_Development.html

  10. Sharon Klaff

    Well when I first came across a shop somewhere in London that was selling over scented soap cut from a block (like my grandmother used to buy from the same grocer who pickled cucumbers in a barrel and salted herrings in a jar) at grossly over inflated prices, I thought to myself what a rip off this is – no style, no slick packaging, no finesse, just crude stuff made for the mushy left wingers who reside adjacent to leafy suburbs lest they should be thought rich. Just such people who would have a chunk of soap in their downstairs loo with a scent so overpowering that it dilates the nostrils. Now several years later to my surprise I entered Brent Cross and there was the stink wafting round the place, spoiling the yummy aroma of those fruits and nuts sold just down the concourse, causing a headache that took days to leave. Nothing lush about this stuff and it seems nothing lush about its owners either.

    There is a rule of thumb that says if they get it so wrong about something you know about, how wrong do they get all those things you don’t know about. So here we have a company that by its own admission sells “ethical” soap made from “ethically” sourced materials and sold by “ethically” conscious people. However, if their “ethics” prevent them from differentiating between fact and propaganda, and allow them to overtly propagate hatred of Jews, how “ethical” then is the notion of their “ethical” soap? (Am I really regurgitating the use of the word “ethical” with rubbish soap!!) Remember another “ethical” cosmetic company that advertised its world searches for natural “ethical” products falling on its knees as evidence surfaced of their “unethical” testing practices? One can only wonder whether under the scum of that slush lies yet another breach of someone’s “ethics”. Perhaps someone with time on their hands would care to investigate?

  11. Maybe Lush should take note……… Sorry for the length of this.

    Anti-Semites? Anti-Zionists? Who US?

    By Prof. Steven Plaut

    We have nothing against Jews as such. We just hate Zionism and Zionists. We think Israel does not have a right to exist. But that does not mean we have anything against Jews as such. Heavens to Mergatroyd. Marx Forbid. We are humanists. Progressives. Peace lovers.

    Anti-Semitism is the hatred of Jews. Anti-Zionism is opposition to Zionism and Israeli policies. The two have nothing to do with one another. Venus and Mars. Night and Day. Trust us.

    Sure, we think the only country on the earth that must be annihilated is Israel. But that does not mean we have anything against Jews as such.

    Sure, we think that the only children on earth who are being blown up is ok if it serves a good cause are Jewish children. But that does not mean we have anything against Jews as such.

    Sure we think that if Palestinians have legitimate grievances this entitles them to mass murder Jews. But that does not mean we have anything against Jews as such.

    Naturally, we think that the only people on earth who should never be allowed to exercise the right of self-defense are the Jews. Jews should only resolve the aggression against them through capitulation, never through self-defense. But that does not mean we have anything against Jews as such. We only denounce racist apartheid in the one country in the Middle East that is NOT a racist apartheid country. But that does not mean we have anything against Jews as such.

    We refuse to acknowledge the Jews as a people, and think they are only a religion. We do not have an answer to how people who do NOT practice the Jewish religion can still be regarded as Jews. But that does not mean we have anything against Jews as such.

    We think that all peoples have the right to self-determination, except Jews, and including even the make-pretend Palestinian “people”. But that does not mean we have anything against Jews as such.

    We hate it when people blame the victims, except of course when people blame the Jews for the jihads and terrorist campaigns against them. But that does not mean we have anything against Jews as such.

    We think the only country in the Middle East that is a fascist anti-democratic one is the one that has free elections. But that does not mean we have anything against Jews as such.

    We demand that the only country in the Middle East with free speech, free press, or free courts be destroyed. But that does not mean we have anything against Jews as such.

    We oppose military aggression, except when it is directed at Israel. But that does not mean we have anything against Jews as such.

    We really understand suicide bombers who murder bus loads of Jewish children and we insist that their demands be met in full. But that does not mean we have anything against Jews as such.

    We think the only conflict on earth that must be solved through dismembering one of the parties to that conflict is the one involving Israel. But that does not mean we have anything against Jews as such.

    We do not think that Jews have any human rights that need to be respected and especially not the right to ride a bus without being murdered. But that does not mean we have anything against Jews as such.

    There are Jewish leftist anti-Zionists and we consider this proof that anti-Zionists could not possibly be anti-Semitic. Not even the ones who cheer when Jews are mass murdered. These are the only Jews we think need be acknowledged or respected. But that does not mean we have anything against Jews as such.

    We do not think murder proves how righteous and just the cause of the murderer is, except when it comes to murderers of Jews. But that does not mean we have anything against Jews as such.

    We do not think the Jews are entitled to their own state and must submit to being a minority in a Rwanda-style “bi-national state”, although no other state on earth, including the 22 Arab countries, should be similarly expected to be deprived of its sovereignty. But that does not mean we have anything against Jews as such.

    We think that Israel’s having a Jewish majority and a star on its flag makes it a racist apartheid state. We do not think any other country having an ethnic-religious majority or having crosses or crescents or “Allah Akbar” on its flag is racist or needs dismemberment. But that does not mean we have anything against Jews as such.

    We condemn the “mistreatment” of women in the only country of the Middle East in which they are not mistreated. But that does not mean we have anything against Jews as such.

    We condemn the “mistreatment” of minorities in the only country in the Middle East in which minorities are NOT brutally suppressed and mass murdered. But that does not mean we have anything against Jews as such.

    We demand equal citizen rights, which is why the only country in the Middle East in need of extermination is the only one in which they exist. But that does not mean we have anything against Jews as such.

    We have no trouble with the fact that there is no freedom of religion in any Arab countries. But we are mad at hell at Israel for violating religious freedom, and never mind that we are never quite sure where or when it does so. But that does not mean we have anything against Jews as such.

    So how can you possibly say we are anti-Semites? We are simply anti-Zionists. We seek peace and justice, that’s all. And surely that does not mean we have anything against Jews as such.

    • Shirl, as soon as I read Richard’s post I thought of that Plaut piece. It’s an oldie, but still as on-target as ever it was.

  12. Like I said, our message to our anti-Semitic brothers should be:

    “Come out of the closet, it’s okay not to like Jews. You can still be an anti-Semite and a good parent, child, or friend.

    There are many people in the world who don’t like other nations for all kinds of reasons and that is alright. Government should not dictate to us how to feel about other people or peoples, but how to behave towards them.

    Maybe you don’t like Judaism or Jewish law, don’t worry. Many perhaps most Jews don’t either. Maybe you don’t like Jewish food or music or culture – fear not, you aren’t alone. When was the last time anybody went to a Jewish party and ate Jewish food or listened to Jewish songs?

    Maybe you don’t like our sense of humor or our self righteousness or our constant need to expand and be seen and heard. Once again, you are one of many.

    My only request would be that you do not give expression to your dislike of us in any way that breaks the law or causes us harm. Otherwise – you old anti-Semites – the best of luck to you all!”

    • When was the last time anybody went to a Jewish party and ate Jewish food or listened to Jewish songs?

  13. I went to Brent Cross looking for Lush and couldn’t find it! I wanted to go inside and tell them that I was going to boycott them. I shall have to go again. Obviously I wasn’t looking hard enough. Just sent an email to Nivea telling them that unless they list Israel as one of countries where their products are sold, I shall boycott them! I hope that Ahava opens up at BX soon.

    • richardmillett

      They are definitely there. On the upper mall it is called (which i think means first floor). People should definitely go in and tell the manager what they think of Lush’s policy towards Israel.

    • Sharon Klaff

      Follow the stench!

    • Demand that the shop sends you clear directions. How can you be expected to run a boycott if you can’t find the damned shop?

      • richardmillett

        I’ve asked Lush to confirm whether or not they practice gender apartheid in their outlets in saudi arabia. Saudi Arabia doesn’t allow women to go to work. A company that practices such a thing can hardly be credible in accusing another country of practising apartheid.

  14. Richard, I look forward to how they respond. They would of course have to practise gender apartheid, as it is a legal requirement.

    I wonder how many Jews (and Christians for that matter) are allowed to live and work in Saudi Arabia.

  15. I suggest a campaign against Lush on this very point. They will either have to climb down regarding Israel, or they will have to close operations in Saudi.

    Or they can just remain hypocritical Jewbashers.

    • richardmillett

      Exactly, Adam. Sophie at Lush told me she’s sure Lush wouldn’t practice gender apartheid. But I told her to get back to me on that.

  16. ” The Israeli and Palestinian people must find a solution that respects human rights for both sides and adheres to international human rights law; it’s our job as part of the international community to do what we can to ensure this happens.”

    Fine. What are you doing at Lush to ensure the Palestinian side respects the human rights even of their own people, far less the Israeli humanity? The Palestinian governments are targeting Christians, bulldozing legally owned homes (not after years of strategic delay in the Israeli courts and admitting the tenants stopped paying rent because the landlord is a Jew), grabbing people off the street and torturing and murdering them in jail, forcing women to wear full burqas which is not a Palestinian tradition (particularly not for the Christian ladies), keeping people from crossing checkpoints to leave even when Egypt is game for it, teaching children in school the Jews are animals, beating the media (in the ltieral sense) to stop them from reporting independently, refusing to allow charitable aid to enter (Gaza), well, shall I continue?

  17. Michael Goldman

    I think it might even be fun to boycott and demonstrate outside Lush because of their continuing support of Saudi Arabia.
    Forget the Jewish angle.
    You could have pictures of people having hands cut off etc.
    It could be a lot of fun and a lovely day out for the family.

  18. Ideas:

    Put Goldman there, holding a banner, “I’d rather just stay ugly than buy your anti-Jewish make-up!”

    Put Michael Goldman there, wearing a tee-shirt, “I prefer to remain dirty than buy your racist soap!”

    I don’t know if they sell perfume. If they do, well, you can guess (hint – you’ll need Goldman for that one too.)

    On the other hand, you could you a reverse psychology approach and put Michael Goldman there with a poster, “Buy Lush make-up! I did – look at me.”

  19. Lush are not anti-Semitic. They even say so themselves.

    Yeeeees ……………………….

    Am I allowed to say that they are scum?

  20. Carl Nemonisky

    So what is being done about it.
    It would make more sense to have a general campaign.
    FLUSH LUSH -they support oppressive regime of Saudi Arabia and Sri Lanka. I cant believe they are in the top 5 ethical companies

    http://www.ethicalconsumer.org/Discuss/Forums/tabid/61/aff/6/Default.aspx