Becky Griffin forces Nivea to place Israel on website

Actress uses Facebook to shame German cosmetics giant; "I don’t support racism and I don’t support anti-Israeli propaganda."

By JERUSALEM POST CORRESPONDENT
August 8, 2011 05:23
3 minute read.
Becky Griffin

Becky Griffin 311. (photo credit: Courtesy)

 
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BERLIN – Israeli-American actress and model Becky Griffin used her Facebook site and the power of social media last week to compel German cosmetic giant Nivea – and its parent company Beiersdorf AG – to place Israel on the list of countries where it sells products.

“I am an Israeli-American that used to use your products – but never again. I believe in ‘Never say Never,’ but in this case it is fair to say that I will never buy your products, and I will make sure that others don’t either,” Griffin wrote, according to her Facebook entry and letter of complaint to the Hamburg-based company.

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“‘Why?’ I hear you ask? Well, the answer is quite simple. I don’t support racism and I don’t support anti-Israeli propaganda.” She continued, “I was very surprised to find out that according to you, my country, Israel, is good enough to sell your products in, but not worth being a part of the rest of the world. When asked to select my location on your website www.nivea-international.com/pages/int-countryselection I couldn’t do so.

Israel, an entity recognized by the UN as a country, does not appear on your website. The Palestinian Authority, however, appears, even though it is not recognized as a country.”

A day after Griffin’s Facebook posting, Nivea listed Israel on its website.

Nivea was founded in 1911 by the German Jew Oscar Troplowitz.

He owned the Beiersdorf company and died in 1918 at the age of 55. Beiersdorf no longer has any connection with the Troplowitz family.

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The 33-year-old Griffin has appeared on Channel 1’s Erev Tov with Guy Pines program where she worked as a reporter. She was also a video jockey for MTV Europe and was featured in the 2003 movie Matana Mi Shamayim (Gift from Above).

In her letter to Nivea, she asked, “I would love to understand why you choose to eliminate us off the map of the world? Such behavior reminds me the history of your country, Germany, and the Nazi regime. Or is it the Iranian regime that denies the Holocaust and calls to wipe us off the map that you support? Is it the terror groups such as Hamas, Hezbollah and IHH to name just a few that you wish to keep happy? Or is basic business – there are more ‘Arab customers’ than Israelis, so you would rather risk losing our business than theirs?” She ended her letter with “I simply cannot believe that I am even writing such a letter in the year 2011. You should be ashamed of yourselves and yes, this will not go away quietly, or ignored. You make me feel scared, and sick to my stomach. I usually end letters with ‘Thank you,’ but I will not thank you for discriminating [against] me, my people or my country.”

An operator at the 128-year-old Beiersdorf company in Hamburg told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday that a spokesman would be reachable on Monday. The company added Israel to the list of its markets without an explanation for why Israel had been omitted.

It is unclear if Nivea failed to include Israel because it was worried about losing its customer base in the Arab world and Iran. Now, when a user clicks on Israel under the rubric Middle East, he is sent to a Hebrew-language Nivea website. Nivea products are widely sold in Israel.

According to the website The Blaze, a Nivea representative said, “The Israeli website is currently being constructed and is therefore not yet listed.”

The Blaze is operated by American talk show host Glenn Beck, who on Thursday discussed Nivea’s omission of Israel on his radio show.

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