SodaStream, the home beverage company that has been targeted by critics of Israel, has offered jobs to 1,000 Syrian refugees.
The manufacturer of sparkling water and soda makers said it would hire the refugees to work at its new plant in the southern Israeli town of Rahat, according to I24News.tv.
SodaStream and the city of Rahat can absorb 1,000 individuals or 200 families, and “provide them with an opportunity to build a new life in Israel, pending Israeli authorities' approval,” according to a press release from the company.
Authorities are unlikely to grant approval. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has so far rejected all previous proposals for the country to take in refugees from Syria's civil war.
SodaStream CEO Daniel Birnbaum said that the proposal is genuine and designed to pressure the government to rethink its stance on offering asylum to Syrian refugees.
"As the son of a Holocaust survivor, I refuse to stand by and observe this human tragedy unfold right across the border in Syria," Birnbaum said in the company’s press release. "Just as we have always done our best to help our Palestinian brothers and sisters in the West Bank, the time has come for local business and municipal leaders to address the Syrian humanitarian crisis and take the initiative to help those in need. We cannot expect our politicians to bear the entire burden of providing aid for the refugees."
The mayor of Rahat -- a city of 55,000 and the largest Bedouin city in the world—said the city collaborated with SodaStream on the proposal because they share progressive ideals and respect for culture and tribal traditions.
"Human dignity and hospitality are core values in our culture and we will not allow indifference to the suffering of others,” Rahat Mayor Talal Al-Krenawi said according to the press release. “In this first stage, we will be able to receive 1,000 refugees, and then through ongoing collaboration with SodaStream, we plan to help more. Our hope is that the government will then support our joint effort."
SodaStream made headlines earlier this year after it was targeted by an international boycott movement for operating a plant in the West Bank. The company claimed that it was providing work for hundreds of Palestinians and promoting co-existence with the Israeli people but eventually, the company caved from pressure and was forced to close the facility.