Israeli Cosmetic Technology Widely Used in Lebanon Despite Boycott
by Ezriel Gelbfish
Israeli cosmetics products have infiltrated the Lebanese market, despite the country’s boycott of products originating from Israel and other countries that are supportive of the Jewish state.
According to Arab news source Al Akhbar, cosmetic laser surgery is now an integral part of a booming medical tourism industry in Lebanon, whose beauty centers are sought after by locals and patients from throughout the Arabian peninsula. Many treatments offered in Lebanon, including types of laser hair removal, Botox, liposuction, and hair transplants, can only be facilitated through Israeli technology, leading to the import of black-market Israeli products.
The expose was conducted by the Campaign to Boycott Israel Supporters in Lebanon, an anti-Israel group that markets itself as functioning “in solidarity with the Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions” (BDS) and was involved in the attempt earlier this year to cancel a show by all-star rock band Red Hot Chili Peppers in Tel Aviv scheduled for this coming Semptember. The Campaign found that four cosmetic companies- Invasix, Lumenis, Alma, and Syneron – had penetrated the Lebanese market through disguising their origins, to prevent customers from taking issue with them.
Syneron, the most prominent of the Israeli products, is imported by Lebanese agent Medica, who claimed ignorance of the product’s Israeli origins. Medica would ship Syneron technology from Irvine California to Dubai, where goods were then re-shipped to Beirut, Lebanon’s capitol, for use in doctors’ offices. The products were promoted by media outlets including Lebanese MTV and the radio station Sawt al-Mada, who, in response to the Campaign’s report and subsequent calls to boycott the products, have promised to suspend their promotion of the cosmetics.
The Lebanese ministries of economics and health are expected to conduct a formal inquiry into the issue, indicated boycott campaigner Samah Idriss to Al Akhbar. The ministries will attempt to discover the extent of Israeli product use and confiscate the cosmetic products.