Stolen Beauty

Report: Dispossession & Exploitation

Israel's policy in the Jordan Valley & northern Dead Sea

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The Dead Sea Cosmetics concern, better know by its brand name “Ahava,” is located within the Mizpe Shalem settlement. The business is the best known Israeli enterprise that uses the plentiful black mud on the shores of the Dead Sea to manufacture a variety of products. The mud has a rare high concentration of minerals – magnesium, calcium, sodium, and potash, which soak up water and maintain a liquid state, becoming a natural moisturizer. Throughout history, this natural mud has been thought to contain almost mystic therapeutic qualities, especially for persons with skin and joint ailments. The enterprise praises itself, on its website, as “the only cosmetics firm in its natural environment,” and, therefore, it protects the environment, “only taking what it requires, and enabling Nature to effortlessly replenish itself.”162

The company was founded in 1988. It is owned by the Mizpe Shalem and Qalya settlements and Israeli firms controlled by Gaon Holdings. The company does not provide figures on its sales turnover, the number of employees, or exports, but a press report valued the company in 2008 at $72 million. The report stated the company had 200 employees and operated a chain of shops marketing the “Ahava” brand in 29 countries.163 Tourists on their way to tourist sites in the area stop by to visit the company's visitors center. More...

Bt'selem on exploitation of Northern Dead Sea resources


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