IKEA, international law outweighs local laws and rules

Statement by the Palestine Solidarity Association of Sweden
Original statement in Swedish

Open letter to IKEA:

On 23 June, Swedish Radio revealed that IKEA Israel delivers goods to Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank. By delivering furniture to settlements, IKEA contributes to legitimising and upholding the settlements, which according to a unanimous international opinion are illegal and constitute one of the most severe obstacles to a peaceful solution of the conflict. Shortly thereafter, Ove Bring, a Swedish expert on international humanitarian law, confirmed that this procedure violates the spirit of the universal human rights and that IKEA cannot dismiss their responsibility for this. The Palestine Solidarity Association of Sweden early on encouraged IKEA to immediately cease with these deliveries and offered advice and guidance on the issue.

On 23 June and on 4 July, IKEA issued statements that in our opinion were highly unsatisfactory. In both these statemements, IKEA dismissed having any responsibility and referred to the local franchisers having to comply with local laws and rules in the countries where they conduct business. Does IKEA mean that its policy is to accept local laws and rules that violate international law, UN resolutions and the Swedish government’s guidelines?

We once again call on IKEA to assume its responsibility and act decisively to rectify this by (i) immediately stop offering home deliveries to settlements on occupied territory and (ii) correct the Israeli map that is used in the IKEA stores in Israel and documented by Swedish media, where the occupied Palestinian territory does not exist and appears to be a part of Israel. It is very easy to identify the illegal settlements and the internationally recognised border between Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory.

A broad campaign is already under way to inform IKEA’s customers about the current delivery policy and this campaign is spreading internationally. We have no interest in advancing this campaign if IKEA assumes its responsibility and ensures that clear violations of international law are no longer carried out in IKEA’s name. We welcome IKEA to keep us updated on the measures taken and any changes in IKEA Israel’s procedures.

The Palestine Solidarity Association of Sweden, PGS
12 August 2010

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