BOYCOTTING PALESTINE

Here’s a new one…. IKEA ships their goods to the illegal settlements in the West Bank….. but NOT to Palestinian cities.

There’s only one way to fight this policy….. IKEA MUST BE ADDED TO THE BOYCOTT LIST!

IKEA furnishing the occupation
Adri Nieuwhof

Swedish Radio reported on 23 June that home furnishings retail giant IKEA in Israel discriminately ships to Israel’s illegal settlements but not Palestinian cities in the occupied West Bank.

Swedish Radio’s correspondent in Israel, Cecilia Udden, explained that she was moving to the Palestinian city of Ramallah in the occupied West Bank and asked the staff at IKEA Israel if her furniture could be delivered there. She reported that behind the store’s counter was a huge map of Israel that showed no boundaries for the occupied West Bank, Gaza Strip, or the Syrian Golan Heights. Although IKEA’s cost of transport is calculated according to distance, to Udden’s surprise, transport to Ramallah was not possible. However, the store did inform her that furniture could be delivered to various Israeli settlements throughout the occupied West Bank.

Ove Bring, a professor of international law, explained to Swedish online magazine Stockholm News that IKEA’s policies discriminate against Palestinians. In addition, the shipping policies violate the company’s code of conduct, which is published on its website (”

IWAY Standard” [PDF]).

IKEA stated in Udden’s report that because it relies on local transport companies for deliveries it is bound by local rules. However, Bring challenged the company’s assertion and stated that IKEA must examine whether the transport companies are truly unable to deliver to all customers who request the products. Indeed, when Udden insisted on an answer from the transportation company about why her furniture could not be delivered to Ramallah, she was informed that the Israeli military prohibits the deliveries to customers in Palestinian communities in the occupied West Bank.

In its historic 2004 advisory opinion, the International Court of Justice emphasized the illegality of activity that normalizes Israel’s illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank. Indeed, Rabbi Abraham Cooper of the Wiesenthal Center — which is building a Museum of Tolerance on a historic Muslim cemetery in Jerusalem — told the California-based Jewish weekly J. that the opening of an IKEA store in Israel “will be another chink in the attempts that are still out there to boycott Israel” (”

“IKEA’s 1st Israeli store to open in spring,” 12 January 2001).

Ironically, before the opening of an IKEA store in Israel in 2001, the retailer was threatened with boycott by the Wiesenthal Center because the company’s founder, Ingvar Kamprad, was a member of the fascist New Swedish Movement in the 1940s. The Wiesenthal Center also suspected IKEA of complying with the Arab League boycott of Israel because it appeared to avoid commercial involvement in Israel despite possible opportunities. In a December 1994 letter to the Wiesenthal Center, IKEA President Anders Moberg stated that IKEA had not participated in the Arab League boycott and that company was in the process of investigating the possibility of opening an IKEA store in Israel.

Today IKEA’s empire boasts 300 stores in 35 countries, including two stores in Israel; the company intends to open a third store in Haifa in 2012. The IKEA brand survived the revelations of its founder’s links to fascism during his youth and the company demonstrated its sensitivity to a possible consumer boycott.

In yet another irony, the boycott, divestment and sanctions of Israel movement is already mobilizing in Sweden. At the end of June, the Swedish Dockworkers Union began a week-long blockade of goods to and from Israel. The action by the SDU was in response to a call by Palestinian trade unionists in the context of Israel’s three-year blockade of the Gaza Strip and its attack on the Mavi Marmara aid ship on 31 May. In this context, it remains to be seen whether IKEA will rectify the racist policies of its store in Israel before such practices inspire a new consumer boycott threat.

Adri Nieuwhof is a consultant and human rights advocate based in Switzerland.



More companies to boycott can be found HERE

10 Comments

  1. July 6, 2010 at 01:15

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  2. identalias said,

    July 6, 2010 at 03:48

    You just made the list, IKEA. I will enjoy watching your business suffer.

  3. July 6, 2010 at 06:13

    […] BOYCOTTING PALESTINE « Desertpeace. July 5th, 2010 | Category: Uncategorized | Comments are closed | […]

  4. Elsa said,

    July 6, 2010 at 12:33

    I shall be writing to Ikea shortly regarding this news but believe that the list of companies to be boycotted needs updating. I understand that the Israeli who owned 40% shares in Arsenal FC and was encouraging tourism to Israel has sold his shares to an Uzbek and an American who owns Colorado Rapids and Denver Nuggets.

  5. B.Benhamid said,

    July 6, 2010 at 13:21

    I shall forward this information to all my friends in Europe whom are buying things from IKEA. Hopefully they will pass it on to more friends and families all over Europe and adding IKEA to their Boycott list.

  6. Truith said,

    July 6, 2010 at 14:39

    IKEA… I will miss your cheap shitty furniture which breaks and rusts often…. : (

  7. neodsa said,

    July 6, 2010 at 18:33

    Ikea , overpriced junk . I bought some once , never again .a
    Anyone who boycotts this wont be missing much.

  8. j r said,

    July 6, 2010 at 20:35

    I always boycotted Ikea because all they sell is overpriced, ugly crap.

  9. Sleazy P. Martini said,

    July 7, 2010 at 02:01

    Hey , I work in the furniture industry . I’ve thrown out nicer furniture than that IKEA crap when customers ask us to take their old furniture to the dump . I take some of it home , it’s way more solid furniture . Trust me , I’m an expert on furniture and IKEA is the worst junk out there , just take a closer look at it if you don’t believe me.

  10. July 8, 2010 at 16:49

    You don’t have to be an expert in anything to recognize that IKEA – or the majority of ‘flat-pack’ furniture – is crap. Furniture that you put together on your living room floor with a single tool will NEVER have the same finish or quality as professionally manufactured – or crafted – furniture. I’m looking at our entertainment center – which has a side cabinet that has NEVER hung properly (I didn’t put it together), and it just looks cheap, even though it is made from real wood – it sucks (it’s NOT IKEA).

    IKEA has struck on a winning formula – make a prototype, design the pattern, fill boxes with the pieces, get people to make their own. No workers needed to assemble. How many man-hours are saved? Hundreds? Thousands? Hundreds of thousands? The cost is directly transformed into profit – what could be better … for IKEA?

    It is unlikely that you will find less expensive, hand made, alternatives in the market that are new – however – if you go to a ‘thrift shop’, something like the Salvation Army or something along those lines, you could probably find a very affordable chair, bookcase, or something else made out of real wood – not clap-board or fiber-board – and, just maybe, a genuine antique. You might even find a genuine comfy chair that will only cost about $30 – OR LESS!

    Aside from avoiding IKEA, by purchasing from thrift stores you recycle items that still have several good years of use to them – and that is good for everyone as well. New is not necessarily better (especially when you consider the amount of chemicals and poisons in new things). Think about it … break out of the paradigm that to be a success everything you own has to be fresh off the storeroom floor and No. 1 … that’s just a load of crap from the advertisers – it’s the lie that they (the people that want you to buy their products) use to generate a false sense of demand for their products (iPads, for example – talk about HYPE!).

    Wie viel ist Aufzuleiden!


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