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July 28, 2015 / 12 Av, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘BDS’

Israeli Christian Group Publishes Anti-BDS Guide

Friday, July 17th, 2015

The Christian Empowerment Council, an Israeli Christian group headed by Father Gabriel Naddaf, has released a new guide to help Christians better understand the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

The 12-page guide titled “Test the Spirits: A Christian Guide to the Anti-Israel Boycott Movement” seeks to challenge Christian anti-Zionism “on an ideological level” following the “recent discussions concerning BDS in global churches,” including in the Mennonite and Episcopalian churches and the United Church of Christ.

The Christian Empowerment Council is focused on working to integrate Israel’s Christian community into the wider Israeli society and to support young Christians looking to serve in the Israel Defense Forces.

The guide tackles a wide array of questions, such as “How does a boycott of Israel impact the church?” and “Does the Bible encourage boycotting nations?” In answering the questions, the book draws from both the Hebrew and Christian scriptures.

“As the spiritual leader of the Christian Empowerment Council here in Israel, it is my responsibility to encourage Christians across the world to think about Israel in Biblical and moral ways,” Father Naddaf writes in the introduction. “As you consider personally your own spiritual towards Israel, it would be prudent to consider these points. I pray God will guide you in great wisdom.”

Bono Kisses Off BDS with Kiss on Shimon Peres’ Cheek [video]

Friday, July 10th, 2015

Rock singer Bono, who came to Israel three years on a private visit, gave the Boycott Israel-BDS movement a royal slap in the face week when he kissed former President Shimon Peres and praised him for his efforts for peace.

He told the cheering crowd:

Nobel Peace Prize winner Shimon Peres is with us this evening, and we understand, President Peres, you have tried to bring peace to be a voice of reason and have dedicated a great part of your life – all of your life – to try to bring peace to this really dangerous reason.

We wish you and your family safe and wish that you, who worked so hard in Oslo for the incredible Oslo Agreement, will not give up on the two-state solution.

At the age of 91, we know we can count on you, and we sing this song and dedicate it to you with two ancient peoples in mind. This song is called ‘One.’

Peres and Oslo bring to mind the Torah portion Jews read two weeks ago. The People of Israel wanted to pass through the land of ruled by Sihon on the way to the Promised Land.

Israel sent messengers to Sihon the king of the Amorites, saying: Let me pass through your land. We will not turn into fields or vineyards, nor drink well water. We shall walk along the king’s road, until we have passed through your territory….

But Sihon did not permit Israel to pass through his territory, and Sihon gathered all his people and went out to the desert toward Israel. He arrived at Jahaz and fought against Israel. Israel smote him with the sword, and took possession of his land from Arnon to Jabbok, as far as the children of Ammon, for the border of the children of Ammon was strong.

Pere has been a voice of illusion, but we really needed a “beautiful dreamer” to show the world that the Muslim mindset does not want peace with Israel, unless it means it will be a peace without Israel.

The Oslo Accords should not be dissociated from the “Oslo War,” the Second Intifada of terror that killed and wounded thousands of Israelis.

Peres is not Moses and the People of Israel today are not in the Sinai Desert waiting to enter the country, but the same God still is watching over the same People to save it from Sihon, the Arab League, the Oslo Agreement and BDS, which is welcome to stay away from Bono’s concerts if he performs in Israel.

Watch Bono kiss Peres in Toronto and praise him on stage.

This article was corrected to correct a previous version that wrongly identified Bono as Bon Jovi.

Irish Dance Festival Cancels Tel Aviv Event Due to BDS Threats

Thursday, July 9th, 2015

The first-ever Irish dance festival set to take place in Israel was terrorized away from Tel Aviv thanks to a campaign of threats to the performers, the school, and a “standard” BDS (boycott, divest and sanctions) petitions.

The Israeli Feis, scheduled to take place in Tel Aviv next month, was targeted by the Irish Palestinian Activists Collective who began the #DontDanceForIsrael campaign.

An online petition against organizers of the feis and supporting “the appeal of the Palestinian people to Boycott, Divest and Sanction, BDS, the Apartheid state of Israel” was also launched by Amanda Crawford in Dublin.

The Irish Friends of Palestine, whose Facebook page had garnered 12,575 “Likes” by Wednesday, posted a statement calling the cancellation of the event a #BDS Victory Ireland.

In a statement announcing its cancellation of the event, the Carey Academy explained, “Not long ago the feis [FaceBook] page started to be attacked by a radical political group called Irish Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC) led by Raymond Deane, Kevin Squires and Amanda Crawford. Threatening messages were sent not only to our teachers, but also parents and students.

“Age, nationality, or religious beliefs do not matter to us. Unfortunately, there was a protest outside of our dance studio. We do not want to risk safety of anyone connected to the Carey Academy. The feis was not meant to be anything more than what it really is – a celebration of dancing, friendship and joy.

“We are sorry for any inconvenience caused to people who may have already booked tickets, but I am sure you understand the safety of our dancers is our number one priority.”

The Academy had previously stated that “running a feis in Israel does not mean we support or are involved with the Israeli government or any extremist groups in any way shape or form.”

BDS Trying to Stop Bon Jovi from Performing in Israel

Tuesday, July 7th, 2015

The “Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI)” is petitioning anti-Zionists to sign up in a bid to force the rock group Bon Jovi from performing for the first time in Israel.

The petition states:

World renowned band, Bon Jovi, is scheduled to perform in Israel on October 3rd. We ask the members of the band, Jon Bon Jovi, David Bryan, and Tico Torres, to reconsider their concert in apartheid Israel, until Israel complies with international law and respects the rights of the indigenous Palestinian people.

Israel’s crimes against the Palestinian people have caused enormous despair, death, injury, and displacement, to millions of people.

The boycott group also warned that Israeli company producing the show also has clients such as Motorola whose “crime” is that it provides Internet access on the Tel Aviv-Jerusalem train that will pass through a small area in Samaria. In the petition’s language, the “train which cuts through stolen Palestinian village land in the occupied West Bank.”

Equally “worse,” according to PACBI, the production company also does business with Hewlett-Packard, which provides biometric control systems at checkpoints.

The attempt to stop the rock group is on the road to another failure. Bon Jovi’s producer in Israel told the group , “Bon Jovi couldn’t care less.”

This question has been asked thousands of times, but it still needs to be presented: Why doesn’t PACBI and other boycott groups stop using computers made with chips at Intel, whose employees include people living in Judea and Samaria?

United States’ Episcopal Church Rejects Boycott of Israeli Goods from Judea and Samaria

Saturday, July 4th, 2015

SALT LAKE – The General Convention of the Episcopal Church in the United States met in Salt Lake City yesterday, Thursday, July 2 and rejected in a voice vote the proposal to divest from businesses that have operations in Judea and Samaria and to boycott products from the region.

At the Church’s 78th General Convention, the House of Bishops, led by Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, overwhelmingly defeated the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions resolution. The Episcopal Church has around 1.8 million members across the United States.

Commenting on the text of the resolution, Bishop Ed Little of Northern Indiana said that it was “clearly and unmistakably advocates boycott and divestment, and we must reject it,” according to a news report by the Episcopal News Service. “As Anglicans, we have the gift and ability to reach out to people on both sides in the conflict. That is what the Episcopal Church is doing in the Middle East. Our current leadership under the presiding bishop is allowing us to be peacemakers.”

Another bishop, Leo Frade of Southeast Florida said in the Episcopal News Service report that his experience of embargoes and blocking, in particular the embargo of Cuba, backfire. “It hurts the same people we think we are helping. Palestinian jobs depend on investment, not on divestment.”

In addition, delegates at the Mennonite Church USA in Kansas City, Missouri, decided to delay a vote on divestment from Israel until their next assembly in 2017. Ronald Lauder, the president of the World Jewish Congress (WJC) hailed the decision by the General Convention of the Episcopal Church to reject themotion endorsing the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

“We wholeheartedly thank the Episcopal Church convention for lending its support to Israel on this issue, and for taking a moral stand. We sincerely hope that other major church denominations in America will follow this example and stop the BDS movement in its tracks.”

Earlier this week, the General Synod of the United Church of Christ (UCC) voted in favor of divestment from Israel.

“Endorsing BDS does nothing to improve the plight of the Palestinians, in particular not of those employed by Israeli companies in the West Bank. Endorsing BDS also doesn’t contribute to ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. All it does is to sow division and hatred,” added Lauder.

The WJC president said the real motive of the BDS movement was “to put into question the existence of Israel as the democratic nation-state of the Jewish people.”

“The BDS movement won’t bring peace and justice to the Middle East; that will only come once the Palestinians and their supporters choose cooperation over confrontation.”

This week, Malachi Rosenfeld, 26, of Kochav Hashahar in the Binyamin region, was killed in a terror attack on Monday when Palestinian terrorists fired upon him and other passengers while they were driving back from a basketball game.

US Mennonite Church Group Postpones BDS Vote

Friday, July 3rd, 2015

A third U.S. church group that was set to vote this week on a motion to divest from companies doing business with Israel has decided to table the resolution for two years.

The Mennonite Church USA had planned to vote on whether to sell off stock in firms “known to be profiting from the ‘Occupation’ and from ‘destruction of life and property’ in Judea and Samaria.

At its national meeting Wednesday in Kansas City, Missouri, however, delegates voted 418-336, with 28 abstentions, to table the resolution until the next assembly convenes – two years from now, according to a church spokesperson.

The vote to divest would have been the third this week by a U.S. church group; two others (the Episcopal Church and the Cleveland synod of the United Church of Christ, both held in Salt Lake City) passed a motion to support the BDS (boycott, divest and sanctions) campaign against the State of Israel.

The churches voted to sever ties with companies that do business with firms that have any connection with Judea and Samaria, many of which employ Arabs from the Palestinian Authority who would lose their jobs as a result.

Obama Won’t Enforce Anti-BDS Provision Language in Trade Bill he just Signed

Wednesday, July 1st, 2015

This week the United States officially put on notice its trade partners that it will not countenance boycotts or other economic warfare against Israel.

After signing the relevant trade legislation into law, however, the White House signaled to all its trade partners that they are still free to boycott goods made in the disputed territories, despite the clear language of the legislation the president signed.

This week the Trade Promotion Authority bill was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Barack Obama.

The TPA is primarily focused on international trade between the U.S. and Europe. It also included a section which addresses trade between the U.S. and Israel.

That part of the legislation, the U.S.-Israel Trade and Commercial Enhancement Act, bans boycotts and other means of economic warfare against Israel or the “Israeli-controlled territories.” This amendment, introduced by Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Ill-6) with bi-partisan co-sponsorship, was unanimously adopted into the PTA in April.

The passage of the TPA, including the anti-BDS section, should sound a death knell for the BDS (Boycott of, Divestment from and Sanctions against Israel) Movement. It should.

However, as pro-Israel Americans and Israelis learned only a few weeks ago in the Jerusalem passport case (Zivotofsky v. Kerry), there are certain spheres of international decision making over which the president has exclusive, or at least primary and controlling, control. Obama claims that international trade is one of those areas, even though Article 1, Section 8, clause 3, expressly gives Congress the power to regulate foreign commerce.

So even though the TPA is intended to act as a strong deterrent to European and other countries to pass and enforce boycotts of Israeli products, the White House has already signaled that it will not extend its protection to any goods produced in the disputed territories.

The anti boycott of Israel language in the TPA is: “actions by states, nonmember states of the United Nations, international organizations or affiliated agencies of international organizations that are politically motivated and are intended to penalize or otherwise limit commercial relations specifically with Israel or persons doing business in Israel or in Israeli-controlled territories.” [emphasis added.]

In a statement which Matt Lee of the Associated Press attributed to State Dept. spokesperson John Kirby, the administration made clear that despite signing the TPA, the position of the White House remains, as it has been, that the U.S. opposes boycotts of the State of Israel, but it also opposes the presence of Jews in the disputed territories of Judea and Samaria and the Golan Heights.

In the statement the administration argues that by “conflating Israel and ‘Israeli-controlled territories’ a provision of the Trade Promotion Authority legislation runs counter to longstanding U.S. policy towards the occupied territories, including with regard to settlement activity,” and says that every U.S. administration has opposed “settlement activity.”

It goes on to point out that the “U.S. government has never defended or supported Israeli settlements and activity associated with them and, by extension, does not pursue policies or activities that would legitimize them.”

The U.S. administration announced that it will not jeopardize the holy grail of the two-state solution by enforcing the U.S. law as written and which its leader signed. In the statement it claims that “both parties have long recognized that settlement activity and efforts to change facts on the ground undermine the goal of a two-state solution to the conflict and only make it harder to negotiate a sustainable and equitable peace deal in good faith.” It is on this basis, ostensibly to promote a peaceful solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict, that this administration

Professor Eugene Kontorovich of the Northwestern University School of Law analyzes several other provisions of the U.S-Israel trade aspect of the TPA which have been largely overlooked. In particular, Kontorovich points out, U.S. courts cannot recognize or enforce the judgment of any foreign court “that doing business in or being based in the West Bank or Golan Heights violates international law or particular European rules.”

 

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/obama-wont-enforce-anti-bds-provision-language-in-trade-bill-he-just-signed/2015/07/01/

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