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SodaStream Boss Admits West Bank Plant Is 'a Pain'

By Nathan Jeffay

Posted on 01/29/14 | News Source Forward |

“We’re here because we’re here — for historical reasons,” Birnbaum told the Forward in an exclusive interview Tuesday, when asked about the public row that has erupted over the controversial location of his company’s main facility.

The decision to locate SodaStream’s now contentious plant in this industrial park within the boundaries of the West Bank settlement Ma’ale Adumim, about 10 minutes outside of Jerusalem, did in fact predate Birnbaum’s arrival. It was a choice made by company founder Peter Weissburgh, back in the 1990’s, long before SodaStream was taken over by the Fortismo Capital Fund, it current owners, who appointed Birnbaum to head the firm in 2007.

But though he wouldn’t have opened the factory at its current site, Birnbaum said that its presence here is now a reality, and he won’t bow to political pressure to close it — even though the company is about to open a huge new plant in the Negev, within Israel’s internationally-recognized boundaries, which will replicate all functions of the West Bank plant, and dwarf it.

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Read More: Forward

Photo Caption: The decision to locate SodaStream


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