James Godfrey (NSW) writes to Frankie Press re ad featuring ‘Israeli Girls’ 5Sep12 September 5, 2012

Dear ‘Frankie’,

I just saw a copy of your November 2011 issue in a waiting room. On your website you say that “We love receiving pretty thoughts and ideas from all our frankie friends.” (http://frankie.com.au/contact).

I was staggered to see a back page advertisement advertising American.apparel.com.au and its ‘Israeli Girls’. These girls were workers in its Tel Aviv store and were apparently on a Dead Sea road trip prior to one of them, Shai (18 years old then), joining the “Israeli Defence Force”.

How does this fit with the rights of the Palestinian people whose resources have been stolen as reported in today’s Sydney Morning Herald (http://www.smh.com.au/world/cosmetics-firm-accused-of-plundering-dead-sea-20120903-25afd.html) and also at http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=516726?
Are you aware of the international campaign for boycotts, divestment and sanctions which has been called for by Palestinian people and civil society (http://www.australiansforpalestine.com/)?
Although this is far from an equal debate or struggle, I am also interested if you have covered or are intending to cover issues concerning the forced removal of Palestinians from 1947 which continues to today, the theft of Palestinian land and resources and the demolition of their homes (http://icahdusa.org/), the imprisonment of thousands of Palestinians, or the Apartheid laws and policies that the Israeli State imposes on non-Jewish people in Palestine?

This was perhaps even more perplexing given the full page advert of Oxfam’s on page 81. Have you seen the Oxfam reports available on its websites (I have pasted some below). I shall write separately to Oxfam to ask if it has seen your advertising policy?
http://www.oxfam.org/en/emergencies/gaza
http://www.oxfam.org/en/policy/israel-palestine-on-the-brink
http://policy-practice.oxfam.org.uk/publications/breaking-the-impasse-ending-the-humanitarian-stranglehold-on-palestine-114098
http://www.oxfam.org/en/pressroom/reactions/oxfam-welcomes-europes-unprecedented-criticism-israeli-government-west-bank-policies

Shai and Shelley on their Dead Sea Road Trip aims to legitimise an occupying state that continues to break international law and human rights conventions. No amount of apparel can dress that up to be pretty.

Yours sincerely.

James Godfrey

Free Gaza Australia (freegazaoz.org)
Gaza’s Ark (gazaark.org)


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