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Why Boycott Aroma Espresso Bar?

Aroma Espresso Bar is part of an Israeli-owned chain, Aroma Espresso Bar. One of Aroma’s branches is in Ma’aleh Adumim, a large Israeli settlement in the occupied West Bank. Several Palestinian and Bedouin villages were destroyed so that it could be built. Only Jews are allowed to live there, not the indigenous Palestinian population. It is strategically situated just outside of Jerusalem on the road to Jericho, and is part of a clear plan by Israel to expand and annex East Jerusalem and beyond, driving out the Palestinians who have lived there for hundreds of years.

Settlements like Ma’aleh Adumim, and there are many, are in clear violation of international law. They are made possible by continual ethnic cleansing and home demolitions.

The Jewish residents of Ma’aleh Adumim and other West Bank settlements are subject to a different system of law from the one that governs the Palestinians. For example, Palestinians are subjected to searches and checks at hundreds of checkpoints. There are roads which they cannot drive on, or even cross. They are subject to military law. Their water supply is severely restricted, while in Ma’aleh Adumim there are irrigated gardens and a large swimming pool. As for Gaza, one Israeli refers to it as ‘the largest open air prison in the world.’

In South Africa, such a system was called apartheid. The Hebrew word that the Israelis use is ‘hafradah,’ meaning ‘separation.’

Our call to boycott Aroma is part of a larger movement by Palestinian civil society to find non-violent means to end the occupation and apartheid. The Boycott Divestment Sanctions (BDS) campaign was launched in 2005 with the initial endorsement of over 170 Palestinian organizations. They include refugees in exile, Palestinians under occupation in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, and the subjugated Palestinian citizens of the Israeli state.

Palestinians carry out many actions of non-violent popular resistance. There are weekly demonstrations against the Wall and the Occupation in villages throughout the West Bank. Growing numbers of Jewish Israelis and people from other countries join in solidarity with Palestinian activists. They are often met with violence from the Israelis. Many have been killed or wounded by the Israeli police and military. Many, including children, have been detained without charges, sometimes for months.

For the most part, the Western media only cover violent incidents and so most people in Canada know nothing about Palestinian non-violent resistance. We hope you will inform yourself about what is going on. We ask you to join the growing, world-wide BDS campaign to boycott Israeli goods, including Aroma. We ask you also to learn about Canada’s role in supporting the occupation.

For more information, here are a few resources:

Canada’s role:

General website for alternative media and information:
Connexions Israel/Palestine resources -

Information on BDS itself: &

To get involved:
Coalition Against Israel Apartheid:
Independent Jewish Voices:

Video of Aroma protest in Toronto:

Video of Aroma protest in Toronto Eaton Centre:

BDS action at Aroma Cafe:

Related topics in the Connexions Subject Index

Apartheid  –  BDS (Boycott Divestment Sanctions)  –  Israel  –  Boycotts  –  Israel/Investing in  –  Israeli Apartheid (Hafrada)s  –  Israeli Settlements  –  Non-violence  –  Palestine  –  Palestine/Occupation  –