Update: The map was removed from the Gaza Coca-Cola bottling factory premises following our intervention (read below)
“UNESCO-sponsored Palestinian teachers NGO visited the Coca-Cola bottling plant in Gaza, to present the management with a map made out of plastic bottle-caps given to them by the company as part of the corporate initiative: "Beauty of your environment from the bin of your home…
But this was not an innocent environmental exercise: This map shows a “Palestine” totally obliterating the State of Israel with the beverage logo as backdrop.”
“Each of the so-called ‘rumors’ listed on the Coca-Cola website, claimed as ‘offensive to Muslims’, have led to an immediate Coca-Cola investigation, condemnation and apology… We call for no less in this case of offence to Israel and the Jewish people.”
Paris, 14 May 2017
In a letter to Coca-Cola President and CEO, James Quincy, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, drew his attention to “a disturbing abuse of your corporate good name.”
Samuels continued, “please view the attached photos of a team from the Teacher Creativity Center (TCC), a UNESCO-sponsored NGO based in Ramallah and Gaza. The TCC was visiting the Coca-Cola bottling plant in Gaza, to present the management with a map made out of plastic bottle-caps given to them by the company as part of your corporate initiative: ‘Beauty of your environment from the bin of your home’ (May 4, 2017). But this was not an innocent environmental exercise.”
Source of photos and event - Teacher Creativity Center Facebook page
“This Coca-Cola bottle-cap map shows a ‘Palestine’ totally obliterating the State of Israel with the beverage logo as backdrop,” emphasized the letter, adding, “TCC’s General Director and founder, Refaat Sabbah, serves on the Coordination Group of UNESCO’s Collective Consultation of Non-Governmental Organizations on Education for All (CCNGO/EFA) and was just re-elected at the current meeting in Cambodia on 8 May 2017.
Source: UNESCO Coordination Group 2016-2018
Arab States / Etats Arabes / Estados Árabes
Mr Refaat Sabbah
Teacher Creativity Center, Palestine
The Centre noted how “the 2015 audited financial statement released on May 10, 2016 (English), reveals either Refaat Sabbah and/or the TTC’s betrayal of its Mission Statement:
“The Teacher Creativity Centre (TCC) is a Palestinian, non-profit, non-governmental organization, established in May 1995, by a group of teachers working in schools in the government, private and UNRWA schools.
“Since its inception TCC has worked to ensure a peaceful and secure environment within schools. TCC’s goal is to eliminate violence from schools by means of encouraging human rights and civic education culture. TCC has been in the forefront of organizations calling for the integration of civic education and human rights concepts into the entire school curriculum; not only at the Palestinian level but also at the wider Arab World Level.
“TCC has successfully implemented a number of studies and training programs in the fields of human rights, democracy and civic education targeted at educators, especially teachers, in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.”
Mr. President, “it is apparent that, this time in the name of Coca-Cola, TCC is hell bent on sabotaging any vestige of hope in a Middle East peace,” argued the Centre, continuing, “we are aware that your company’s standard response to Palestinian ID theft of Jewish/Israeli heritage has been summed up as in:
- ‘For example, in the Palestinian Authority, The National Beverage Company, our Company’s authorized local bottling partner, is an independent, privately held company, managed by local Palestinian businesspeople, who operate a Coca-Cola bottling facility located in Ramallah and distribution centers in Gaza, Hebron and Nablus...’”
The Centre expressed surprise that “each of the so-called ‘rumors’ listed below on the Coca-Cola website claimed as ‘offensive to Muslims’, have led to an immediate Coca-Cola investigation, condemnation and apology,” stating, “We call for no less in this case of offence to Israel and the Jewish people.”
2. Rumor: The Coca-Cola Company is a Jewish company
4. Rumor: Coca-Cola contains material making it unsuitable for vegetarians and Muslims
5. Rumor: Coca-Cola contributes profits to Israel
6. Rumor: Coca-Cola runs advertising that is offensive to Muslims
7. Rumor: Anti-Muslim messages appear in graphics (No Mohammed, No Mecca)
8. Rumor: Statement on NBC Rumor [Coca-Cola Company is donating profits to Israel]
“The Wiesenthal Centre calls on your leadership to take appropriate corporate measures against ‘Coca-Cola -Palestine’ in Gaza and demand that they create a Coca-Cola bottle-cap map of Israel to place alongside a Palestinian peace-map… That would be a great Coca-Cola message against hate and violence and belie all the ‘rumors’ you face from ‘Coca-Colonization’ to the ‘Palestinization’ of Coca-Cola,” concluded Samuels.