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November 28, 2014 / 6 Kislev, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘BDS’

Controversy Bubbles Up in SodaStream Bid to Leave Samaria

Tuesday, November 4th, 2014

SodaStream International, an Israeli firm, has announced a deal has been finalized to close its factory in Mishor Adumim – an industrial park in the Samaria city of Maale Adumim, ten minutes north of Jerusalem – and move to southern Israel. Negotiations have been in the works for months.

The company and anyone associated has been harassed unmercifully by the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement due to the location of the factory, which was built in an area developed by Israel after the 1967 Six Day War.

That includes actress Scarlett Johansson, who quit her post as a spokesperson for the far left Oxfam International nonprofit organization after being hassled for her ties to SodaStream.

But BDS activists somehow missed the point that the factory emphasizes co-existence in its even-handed approach to hiring some 500 Palestinian Authority Arabs as well as Jews.

With the closure of the factory, PA Arabs are the ones whose livelihoods will be hurt the most; many will find it difficult to replace their wages and working conditions (on-site mosque, etc) locally. Most may be unable to cross into pre-1967 Israel to replace their current jobs within a reasonable distance.

Even more ridiculous is the fact that SodaStream never should have been a target in the first place. Mishor Adumim was always seen as a place that would remain under Israeli control, according to the 1993 internationally-recognized Oslo Accords, signed both by Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

Nevertheless, the international BDS movement has been tracking and harassing SodaStream for quite some time and apparently, it intends to continue despite the disappearance of any reason to harass its target.

One would think activists with the group would be lifting glasses of the bubbly to celebrate SodaStreams move across the so-called “Green Line” into pre-1967 Israel.

But not so. Now the group is claiming it will continue its boycott because SodaStream will move its factory next year to Lehavim, near Be’er Sheva, in the “Naqab.”

The move will bring the company a savings of two percent, officials say.

But BDS insists the factory will displace Bedouin residents of the “Naqab” – that is, the Negev. How the construction of a factory in Lehavim, an existing town, will displace Bedouin residents in the vast expanse of a region that comprises literally 60 percent of Israels land mass, is anyone’s guess.

But somehow, the BDS people have managed to twist their logic around that pretzel.

Israel, meanwhile, is providing an incentive grant of $20 million for the new factory as part of its effort to encourage revitalization in the south.

Will SodaStream try to obtain work permits for its current Arab employees? Yes, says CEO Daniel Brinbaum, of course. He will welcome them at the new plant as well – but they will face a daily trip of up to 60 miles from the original work site.

Co-existence does not go out of style in a corporate culture simply because a factory relocates. It just may be that those PA Arabs who are unable to move south with SodaStream into pre-1967 Israel will end up being replaced by Negev Bedouin.

Jews and Bedouin in southern Israel have been living and working together for decades, BDS notwithstanding. In the south, Israelis have no reason to prove anything to anyone, least of all to activists with an agenda to stir up trouble without necessity. Survival is everyone’s main priority, first and last.

SodaStream is Not a BDS Victim at Macy’s

Tuesday, October 28th, 2014

A recent remark buried in the business section of the Wall Street Journal that the New York-based Macy’s department store was no longer going to be stocking SodaStream set keyboards aclacking.

WHAT? Macy’s was caving to the anti-Israel scaremongering BDSers? When some tried to claim Macy’s decision as a victory, the pro-Israel folks reacted.

But the truth, as we currently can make out, is that Macy’s decision had nothing to do with politics and likely was exclusively a business decision based on market demand.

The folks at the lengthily-named “Bullying Is Not The Answer” site put on their Sherlock Holmes’ cap and sleuthed it out.

What BINTA found is that the crowing BDS sites all linked back to a three week old Wall Street Journal article about something else entirely, in which one sentence mentions SodaStream. Here’s that part:

“Jim Charnier, an analyst at Monness Crespi Hardt, said he had been expecting a poor quarter because he learned early in September that Macy’s Inc had stopped carrying SodaStream and saw other negative figures from the market… Macy’s did not immediately return requests for comment.”

While apparently no one was successful at getting Macy’s to respond, BINTA noticed something which should have silenced the crows, and lifted the fury being directed at Macy’s by the pro-Israel community.

BINTA saw that Macy’s was still promoting another Israeli product which the BDS crowd includes in its targets: Ahava. And Ahava has been in the bulls’ eye of Israel haters for even longer than SodaStream has been around.

Here’s some more useful information and a suggestion from BINTA:

trade with Israel has actually increased significantly since the summer. BDS targets like Lady Gaga, Scarlett Johansson and Neil Young are having some of their most successful years ever. It is high time we stopped rewarding bullying organizations such as the BDS movement by attributing every negative development to their efforts. Their impact on the bottom lines of celebrities and businesses who work in or with Israel has thus far never been proven.

However, if you are TRULY concerned about the health of a business or celebrity that has been targeted by the BDS bullies, you should head over to our Buycott page and show your support with a purchase of one of their products! Rather than lamenting their false success, contribute to their very real failure and show them that bullying is NOT the answer.

And here’s some more good news for SodaStream. As revealed in a recent article in The Jewish Press, Pepsi seems to think that SodaStream may be the product to help it beat out Coca-Cola.

 

SodaStream Bubbling with Pepsi Pairing Trial

Sunday, October 26th, 2014

SodaStream’s stock price bubbled up, after fizzing out for a while, when they announced they will be doing a 10 week trial with Pepsi.

Both Pepsi and Coke are exploring the DIY soda market, made popular by SodaStream.

Pepsi’s trial run with SodaStream gives Pepsi a chance to beat Coke in the market.

The tests will take place in Florida.

Politically Correct Krimkeit

Friday, October 24th, 2014

I have focused my last few columns on what I feel is the bane of human existence – krim people. These are adult men and women who have a twisted ego: some unrealistically see themselves as being superior and Hashem’s gift to mankind – or conversely, they subconsciously have huge inferiority complexes. This unbalanced self-view can create individuals who are socially incompetent, deeply depressed and/or full of rage. Most act, react or relate in a way that is atypical and arguably pathologically abnormal.

In my opinion, two hard-to-ignore red flags that indicate the likelihood of noxious krimkeit are if someone is blatantly hypocritical and hypercritical.

As I’ve mentioned before, there is a classic Yiddish saying that nails the nature of hypocrisy. In English it translates to, “No one sees his own hunchback.” It means that people are quick to point out someone else’s flaws, but are unable or unwilling to see their own. They have the disgusting habit of constantly criticizing people for the very wrongs they themselves are guilty of.

Krimkeit, however,is not limited to the mindset and actions of just individuals. Whole groups of people, or even organizations can be disturbingly krim – especially when it comes to Jews and the State of Israel. As reported this summer in Canada’s Jewish Tribune, “the Presbyterian Church USA (PCUSA) voted to divest from three companies that do business with Israel while claiming its action does not signify an alignment with the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement… The PCUSA focused on Caterpillar, Hewlett-Packard and Motorola this year because the three companies refused its requests to conform to its ‘policy on socially responsible investing.’”

This action parallels that of the United Church of Canada. As reported in May 2013 in the Huffington Post Canada, “Canada’s largest Protestant Church has identified three Israeli companies it may target for a boycott over the firms’ operations in the occupied Palestinian territories. The United Church of Canada has identified cosmetics company Ahava and home and gardens goods manufacturer Keter Plastic as companies doing business in “illegal Israeli settlements,” along with SodaStream, a company that makes home carbonation equipment for soft drinks…The church’s General Council approved a report last summer (2012) that called the Israeli occupation ‘the primary contributor to the injustice that underlies the violence of the region’ and called the settlements ‘a serious obstacle’ to peace.”

 

The majority of those who voted for these measures (to be fair, many members were greatly dismayed by the passing of these resolutions) are descendants of Christian Europeans and oblivious of their own “hunchback.” Each of them who owns a house or business or any property in North America is actually occupying land that was forcibly taken away from its true owners, the Native Americans, who lived on the land for centuries before the “pale faces” showed up.

These church-going hypocrites have not even for a moment considered that from an impartial observer of history, they could be viewed as occupiers who are continuing the tainted legacy of their ruthless, thieving ancestors. They would be howling with rage and demanding revenge and retribution if rockets and missiles from Indian reservations (in my view, a polite word for ghettos) were raining down on their country clubs and churches and schools and if suicide bombers detonated themselves in their restaurants and buses.

I imagine that it would be accurate to describe them as Christians who believe in the Bible – including the Old Testament, where it clearly states that G-d promised the Land of Israel to the Hebrews – the Jewish people – and it is their ancestral home. There was always a Jewish presence there over the centuries.

I Wanted to Boycott Something Palestinian, Here is Why I Failed and So Will You!

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014

Spending my days on Twitter as @israel_shield protecting Israel from rabid Palestinian, Arab and anti Israel propaganda, I often deal with the infamous #boycottIsrael hashtag.

Organizations such as BDS and other anti Israel, terror supporting groups use every tactic under the sky to scare, threaten and sometimes even violently frighten people into boycotting Israeli goods.

Profanity, violence and the blatant disregard for freedom of speech are all “kosher” when it comes to anti Israel hooligans.

Another example of a violent anti Israel demonstration took place on the streets of LA as a lone 16 year old Jewish boy named Daniel proudly marched wearing an IDF shirt and waving the blue and white flag of Israel while being verbally attacked by the pro Palestine mob.

The only reason Daniel was not slaughtered by the pro Palestine “peace activists” was because he was being protected by the LAPD

These are not isolated incidents but rather recurring situations. Palestinian activists believe in the destruction of Israel and will stop at nothing to silence those who dare to tell the truth and support the Jewish State.

The most recent fiasco by the infamous BDS movement came about as they lied about a recent Delta airlines decision to boycott Israeli goods. The BDS bullies posted, tweeted and reported a supposed victory as they announced that Delta airline will no longer serve an Israeli made snack.

The truth? BDS LIES!

Read here what really happened on Delta airlines

This however REALLY happened on Delta. Be forewarned, you will crack up laughing when you watch this!

When it comes to pro Palestine demonstrations, these activists demand freedoms that they themselves do not offer others. Even in the Israeli parliament, anti Israel members of Knesset constantly bash Israel while praising the work of blood thirsty Arab Muslim Palestinian terrorists and then have the Chutzpah (audacity) to call Israel an Apartheid as they are spewing their hate from the Knesset podium.

I wonder what would happen to a Jew who would criticize the government in Iran, Syria, Iraq or any of the 22 Arab countries like Achmed Tibi does in Israel.

My first reaction to these biased anti Israel boycotts was to show these movements just how many services, products and goods the Jewish State has contributed to the world. If you’re going to boycott Israel, you better do it right!

The Potential Impact Of BDS On American Jewry

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

A friend of mine posed an interesting question to me in light of a vote on a divestment resolution at the CUNY Doctoral Students’ Council several weeks ago:

What effect, if any, might BDS have on college credits issued by yeshivot and seminaries in Israel?

As I thought about it, I realized the boycott and divestment movement actually does have the potential to do considerably more damage to Jews in America than it does to Jews in Israel.

Consider a scenario where a few American colleges cut ties with Israel. In practice, this means they don’t allow Israeli lecturers to teach from their lecterns, bar Israeli research and researchers from their laboratories, and end study-abroad programs in Israel.

A likely consequence of the discontinuation of Israeli study abroad is that colleges that divest would stop accepting “yeshiva credits,” as they’re known colloquially.

If that happens, many young Jewish adults in Brooklyn and beyond will feel the effects of a forced change in trajectory.

Granted, we’re probably still a long way from that kind of thing happening, but it’s not all that farfetched a possibility.

In our hypothetical scenario, a group of students convinces another group of students that Israel is the devil. They stop doing research or business with Israeli universities. Next, the anti-Israel crowd moves up from doctoral students to the student senate. Suddenly, none of the student groups at CUNY wants to do business with Israel.

And while faculty members are often split on issues, it’s entirely conceivable that the faculty under these circumstances might approve some kind of divestment. And once the adults in the room decide they don’t like Israel, it’s only a matter of a few bureaucratic cycles before the entire university implements a boycott – bells, whistles, and no more seminary credits.

Now, I realize I’m “catastrophizing” here, as my father would call it. It’s not clear to me that the BDS movement is strong enough politically to convince ivory-tower movers and shakers to boycott the only democracy in the Middle East.

Nor is it a given that a standard BDS policy would, in fact, invalidate credits earned while studying in Israel. It is, however, a possibility that should be carefully weighed.

In a world where a gap year between high school and college would no longer earn a student between 26 and 30 credits of electives, an entire additional year of classes would be required to compensate.

For a college student like me, that’s a terrifying thought.

In communities where marriage during one’s early 20s is common and getting an education and a job is top priority for young people, the credits amassed in that gap year are extremely important. If universities were to stop accepting them as a result of backhanded politics, the educational – and, ultimately, vocational – progress of many young people would be unfairly delayed.

Although Israelis are, as I understand it, entirely confident the BDS movement will have no effect on Israel and its economy, American Jews need to consider the possible repercussions over here.

Depending on a student’s background, a full additional year at a university may have unintended and perhaps deleterious consequences. That extra year could delay marriages and families from being built. It could also result in an increase in the number of religious students who see their commitment to Judaism weaken in the diverse and secular environment of a college campus. There’s a good reason why many students fortify themselves spiritually by immersing in religious study for a year prior to college.

The CUNY Doctoral Students’ Council has postponed the divestment resolution vote, but it isn’t dead yet.

We should make it clear to elected officials, university administrators, and professors that we support Israel’s right to educate American Jews who choose to study there. Let’s talk to them and urge them to do the right thing: Say no to BDS. 

SWIFT Refuses to Suspend Israel, Russia

Tuesday, October 7th, 2014

The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) has announced it will not buckle to pressure to disconnect Israel – or for that matter, Russia – from its international transaction system.

“SWIFT regrets the pressure, as well as the surrounding media speculation, both of which risk undermining the systemic character of the services that SWIFT provides its customers around the world. As a utility with a systemic global character, it has no authority to make sanctions decisions,” the group said in a statement released on Monday.

“SWIFT services are designed to facilitate its customers’ compliance with sanctions and other regulations, however SWIFT will not make unilateral decisions to disconnect institutions from its network as a result of political pressure,” the communique said.

The international Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions (BDS) movement has been trying to pressure the system – as well as numerous corporations and other systems – to boycott Israel in an attempt to destroy its economy. BDS supporters are hoping that through economic destruction, Israel will be forced to withdraw from territory it won in the defensive war forced upon it by Arab nations in 1967 – including numerous Jerusalem neighborhoods restored to the Israeli capital since that time.

Disconnecting Israel from SWIFT would isolate its economy from international trade. However, the Brussels-based SWIFT is incorporated under Belgium law, the system noted, blocking it from making such unilateral decisions.

“Any decision to impose sanctions on countries or individual entities rests solely with the competent government bodies and applicable legislators. Being EU-based, SWIFT complies fully with all applicable European law,” the statement said.

Last month, the SWIFT system transmitted more than 21 million financial messages per day between more than 10,500 financial institutions and corporations, in 215 countries, according to the RT news site.

Over the summer there were discussions among EU leaders on whether to consider disconnecting Russia from the SWIFT system as means of pressuring Moscow into backing away from the Ukraine conflict.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/swift-refuses-to-suspend-israel-russia/2014/10/07/

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