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Embarrassment at Israeli President Shimon Peres' house

Daniel Birnbaum, CEO of SodaStream, explains to interviewer Shlomi Eldar why he challenged the rules of official protocol at the president's house, and protested on behalf of his Palestinian employees who were searched like criminal suspects before meeting the president.
Israeli President Shimon Peres looks on during a news conference with Russia's counterpart Vladimir Putin at the Kremlin in Moscow November 8, 2012.  REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin  (RUSSIA - Tags: POLITICS HEADSHOT)
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It was supposed to be a routine ceremony, just another one of those events that appear on the official calendar of the President’s House. People give speeches and applaud, someone receives a trophy or certificate, and the guests share in the excitement of participating in some official event or other. Then everyone goes back home to get on with their day-to-day business.

But just a few weeks ago, SodaStream CEO Daniel Birnbaum, who was selected to receive this year’s Outstanding Exporter Award from the president, turned one such ceremony into a thought-provoking occasion and the subject of considerable discussion and debate.

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