web analytics
April 21, 2014 / 21 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘BDS’

Israel Boycott Promoters Do Not Belong in Israel Day Parade

Monday, March 31st, 2014

It is incomprehensible. This year, the sponsors of New York’s annual Israel Day Parade are allowing organizations to march who actively promote a boycott of Israeli businesses and companies owned by Jews in Judea-Samaria.

The UJA-Federation, responsible for the annual parade, has given the Green Light to groups organizing boycotts against products of Jewish owners in Judea and Samaria. These groups work every day to isolate Israel and make her a global pariah, announcing to the world the names of specific Jewish-owned companies operating in Judea-Samaria they want punished.

Yet, these “Jewish” groups are being invited to infiltrate the Parade, either because of agreement with their tactics or as a way of affirming what the UJA-Federation calls an “open tent.”

Join us Tuesday, April 8, in Manhattan to tell the UJA: No. This cannot stand. Decent people cannot tolerate this perfidy. We will not accept such corruption of values, such appeasement, and public forfeiture of Jewish dignity. There is something sick about this. Imagine a St. Patrick’s Day Parade with Irishmen marching who call for boycotting parts of Ireland and Irish-owned businesses. These are marching orders no self-respecting Jew can countenance.

There is a fundamental principle involved here, which is: No Jew can accept the boycotting of Jewish businesses, the State of Israel, or the Jewish people. Period! Especially not Jewish organizations, founded to defend the Jewish people. Providing boycotters a public stamp of approval affirms and further enables the boycotting. Merely signing a paper of commitment to Israel’s existence in no way kosherizes the activists promoting the despicable, unacceptable category of anti-Jewish boycotts.

One dare not legitimize the boycotting of Jewish businesses or Jews, qua Jews, no matter his claim that he is doing it for the “right reasons” or to “effectuate necessary change.” If we do, then anyone can boycott Jews or Israel by simply stating they are “doing it for necessary and ‘moral’ reasons.”

To the world, a boycott is a boycott, east of the Green Line or west of it. Approving one leads to the other. Boycotting Israel will spur future boycotting of those “bad” Jews, for example, in Brooklyn or London.

Ironically, the ‘conscience-struck’ Jewish boycotters never boycott Arab or Moslem businesses, despite the ubiquitous terrorism and their violations of human rights. Their outrage is only against the Jewish state and its Jews.

Nazism began even before the implementation of the Final Solution. It began with boycotts against Jewish owned businesses, Jewish merchants, and Jews providing services. The Nazi idea of boycotting Jewish businesses was an essential component and standard of Nazism. Nazism was evil in all of its stages, including the limited earlier stages of anti-Jewish boycotts of the 1930s. It remains just as evil today, even when done by Jews; enthusiastically done in concert with non-Jewish anti-Semites and those arrayed against the State of the Jews, Israel.

UJA’s desire for an ‘open tent’ should not devolve into the destruction of the tent. The purpose of Jewish organizations is to promote and defend Jewish interests, not provide credence for the unacceptable, nor be part of a slow, step-by-step destruction of Jewish sovereignty. There is a big world out there where one can easily find all the available “OPEN” forums blaming Israel and seeking its destruction. Too often, we are hoodwinked by this pernicious notion that “Jewish values” demand we see only our opponent’s and enemy’s viewpoint and forgo our own Jewish survival. Strange, very strange indeed.

Besides, we know the Jewish establishment’s call for an “open tent” does not include many they consider too “right wing.” They select those with whom they ultimately share some simpatico.

Courage is not found in condemning Israel. The whole world does that.

Courage is found in standing up to in-house Jewish boycotters for the sake of something greater than their feigned liberalism, to wit, the defense of the Jewish people and Israel. We expect that from UJA-Federation. That is their duty! But too often the Jewish establishment will not to do that which goes against leftwing, politically-correct thinking. They camouflage their timidity, or concurrence, by intoning lofty but phony clichés.

Look how far some Jewish people have fallen: That which their destroyers did to them, they are now doing to their own brothers and sisters. It stems not from a higher sense of morality but a lower regard for Jewish peoplehood and nationalism….. and noxious self-righteousness. Out of a need to be accepted in their leftwing circles, as well as their unwillingness to stand up and fight the unpopular fight of our day, many are riding the fashionable bandwagon against Israel.

Too many Jews are now part of the herd sport of anti-Semitism, previously forbidden to them but now permitted under forms of anti-Israelism. Many are simply what used to be called: traitors. Traitors should be shunned, not given prominence as desired partners in our parades.

If you can’t attend Tuesday’s gathering, send your protest to UJA- Federation. There are additional instances where Federation-affiliated agencies are inviting speakers who are known to be anti-Israel, against any self-defense measures, and even anti-Jewish, posing simply as “temporary” opponents of Israel with differing views.

Let the directors of UJA-Federation and other Jewish organizations know of your concern about their silence over the beating of Jews across Europe by Moslem gangs and Knockout gangs here. Directors are not necessarily leaders. Real Jewish leaders should not be indifferent, silent, nor lend support to boycotters and others wishing to tear us down.

The directors of our Jewish organizations are not infallible. They certainly weren’t during the 30s and 40s. We’ve seen this before: blind obedience is foolish and leaving our destiny and safety to those who claim they “know best” often can be devastating. This time in history, we must not make the same mistake.

Rabbi Aryeh Spero is author of “Push Back” and was a pulpit rabbi for almost forty years. He can be reached at rabbispero@yahoo.com.

Vassar and the BDS War on Campus

Thursday, March 27th, 2014

The anti-Zionist – and sometimes also anti-Semitic – website Mondoweiss recently published a lengthy report by the site’s founder Philip Weiss about a meeting that took place at Vassar in early March.

According to Weiss, the meeting had been scheduled by the school’s Committee on Inclusion and Excellence in order to discuss guidelines for activism after persistent protests by Vassar’s Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) against a trip to Israel planned by Vassar’s International Studies program.

VASSAR BDS WAR

Weiss began his report by quoting Jill Schneiderman, the professor who had apparently initiated the trip and who had mentioned the meeting in a post on her blog, where she wrote that she “was knocked off-center by a belligerent academic community dedicated to vilifying anyone who dares set foot in Israel.”

Weiss confirmed that the meeting “was truly unsettling,” that “torrents of anger ripped through the gathering” and that “rage against Israel was the theme.” He contrasted this atmosphere favorably with the broad popular support for Israel in the US, asserting that it was very different at Vassar, where “the spirit of that young progressive space was that Israel is a blot on civilization, and boycott is right and necessary. If a student had gotten up and said, I love Israel, he or she would have been mocked and scorned into silence.”

But according to Weiss, Israel’s supporters should expect not just more of the same, but worse to come, because in his view, the “battles we’ve seen so far on campus are just preliminaries.” He predicted that “things are going to get much more belligerent” and asserted that “belligerence may be necessary to the resolution.”

At the end of his detailed report, Weiss offered something like a declaration of war:

“If the SJP students can be obnoxious, their manner is just what feminist Margaret Fuller saw in abolitionists during slavery: tedious, rabid, narrow, prone to exaggeration. And dedicated to a principle worth living and dying for.

Expect many more rage-filled meetings in years to come as the left is broken over this question. How long before students occupy administration buildings of liberal arts colleges that work with Israel? How long before students chain themselves to bulldozers at the Cornell-Technion project in New York city?”

According to Weiss, this militant conduct is also endorsed by BDS leader Omar Barghouti:

“That is what Omar Barghouti is saying to people in the middle now, Get out of the way. The intellectual labors are done, the activists are moving. The public square will increasingly belong to the warriors of both sides. And Vassar shows us clearly which side will win.”

This “war” rhetoric is also reflected in a new book by Ali Abunimah, another leading anti-Israel activist, who is currently touring the US to promote “The Battle for Justice in Palestine” which contains a chapter on “The War on Campus,” and his book tour includes numerous events on campuses.

To understand the growing militancy of anti-Israel activists it is useful to consider for a moment what it means when Weiss declares that the “intellectual labors are done.”

In order to justify the targeting of Israel with campaigns calling for boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS), anti-Israel activists have to exaggerate and magnify every failing of the Jewish state in ways that demonize Israel as an evil entity comparable to apartheid South Africa or even Nazi Germany. This demonization is also necessary in view of the fact that all leading BDS advocates insist that Israel has no right to exist as a Jewish state.

The inevitable result of this indoctrination by activists – and all too often also by professors who support the BDS agenda – is a radicalization of students. As professor Alan Johnson recently noted after an encounter with a group of BDS bullies at an Irish university:

Divestment Resolution Passes Again at Loyola, Falls at Michigan

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

The student government at Chicago’s Loyola University passed an Israel divestment resolution for a second time, while a similar resolution was defeated at the University of Michigan.

On Tuesday, the Loyola United Student Government Association in a revote from a week ago passed the measure by a vote of 12-10 with nine abstentions. The resolution, which was proposed by the Loyola chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine, calls on the university to remove its holdings from eight companies that provide equipment to Israel for use in the West Bank.

The association had voted 26-0, with two abstentions, to pass the resolution on March 19.

Student government president Pedro Guerrero can veto the resolution, but the student senate can override the veto with a two-thirds majority vote, which is doubtful considering the small margin in favor of the boycotters. If the approval remains in place, the resolution becomes the official position of the student body and is presented to the administration.

The university in a statement issued last week said the resolution is not its position and it has not adopted the proposal.

“As a university, we welcome open dialogue and debate on differing points of view,” the statement said. “Proposals like this one benefit from broader campus discussion.”

Pro-Israel students, who have been assisted in their efforts to overturn the measure by the Metro Chicago Hillel and the Israel Education Center, reportedly may challenge the vote on procedural grounds since nine of the student senators who voted on the proposal also are members of Students for Justice in Palestine. They believe the senators should have recused themselves in keeping with the student honor code.

Also Tuesday, the Central Student Government of the University of Michigan reversed a decision to postpone indefinitely consideration of a divestment resolution before voting it down.

The vote, in front of hundreds of students, was 25-9 with five abstentions, the Michigan Daily reported.

Rolling Stones Finally Choose Israel over BDS

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

It’s all over but the singing.

The long-rumored but often-doubted appearance of the Rolling Stones now is official. Mark the calendar, June 4, just about the same minute that the holiday of Shavuot ends.

The timing with the end of the holiday which celebrates the giving of the Torah to the People of Israel is one of the greatest contrasts of values possible. Moses’ going up on Mt. Sinai to receive the Torah is one of the most remarkable and holy events in the history of the world.

It would be nice if the Rolling Stones would begin their concert with Havdalah, the prayer that signals the end of a holiday or Sabbath, but ”but you can’t always get what you want.”

Without any sneers at the quality of the Rolling Stones’ music and multi-media extravaganzas, their lyrics and antics are not where I would want my good Jewish children to be, but then again, I would have a problem with Frank Sinatra, also.

Israel really can do without the Rolling Stones although it will bring in a lot of shekels for the agents, parking attendants, transportation companies and hawkers.

June will not be a quiet month in Tel Aviv, which also has scheduled a two-day rock festival in mid-June with the Pixies, making their first appearance in Israel, the Hives and Soundgarden, whose lead singer Chris Cornell’s has performed solo in Israel.

Lady Gaga, Beyonce, Neil Young and Miley Cyprus also are scheduled to appear in Israel this year.

Avraham Fried also will probably be around, but how can he be mentioned in the same breath with degeneration, with the exception of Neil Young.

Speaking of degenerates, the Boycott, Disinvestment and Sanction Movement must be having conniptions at the thought of the Stones performing in Israel and not Gaza.

The Israeli producer of the concert will be Shuki Weiss, who told a press conference Tuesday, “It’s the first time in 35 years that I have no words to describe the enormity of this event. This is a historic moment.”

A ticket will cost somewhere around $175 for the plain folks, and a bit more than $800 for the VIPs.

I think I will skip it, thank you. I covered the Stones’ concert back in the 1970s with a freebie ticket. I admit it was an extravaganza, but beyond that, I think I would rather be part of the throng at Mt. Sinai.

Rest assured, the Boycott Israel crowd won’t be in synagogue on Shavuot and won’t be at the Stones concert in Tel Aviv when the holiday is over.

Last week, The Jewish Press dared the BDS Movement to boycott Whirlpool, the giant appliance conglomerate whose subsidiary KitchenAid is working with SodaStream, one of the favorite targets of Boycott Israel.

Okay, BDS, show your stuff and boycott the Stones.

Jimmy Carter Says Boycotting Israel Is ‘Too Much’

Monday, March 24th, 2014

Former President Jimmy Carter said Monday he does not support the leftist-Arab “boycott, divest, sanction” campaign against Israel but added that products made in Judea and Samaria should not carry a “Made in Israel label.”

He told the Associated Press in an interview that he and other “elders,” a group of retired senior leaders, “decided not to publicly endorse any kind of embargo, or so forth, against Israeli invasion, or occupying troops in Palestine.”

“Israeli invasion?”

Not only did her use the phrase, the Associated Press did not have the decency to correct Carter’s perversions of history, For those under the age of 40 and who have never learned anything in the past beyond the Russian invasion of Ukraine, seven Arab countries tied to annihilate Israel in the Six-Day War of 1967. When they failed, they abandoned their second-class Arabs in Judea, Gaza and Samaria. So much for the “invasion.”

But Carter counts himself as pro-Israel because he does not support a boycott.

Thanks for no favors.

UK Architects Vote Against Israel

Monday, March 24th, 2014

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) is advocating to suspend the Israeli Association of United Architects (IAUA) from the International Union of Architects (IUA).

According to a report on the BDS movement website, RIBA voted 23-16 with 10 abstentions on March 19 to boycott the Israeli organization.

The motion called on the IUA to suspend the Israeli organization’s membership “until it acts to resist these illegal projects, and observes international law, and the IUA Accords and Resolution 13….[which] states that ‘The IUA Council condemns development projects and the construction of buildings on land that has been ethnically purified or illegally appropriated, and projects based on regulations that are ethnically or culturally discriminatory, and similarly it condemns all action contravening the fourth Geneva Convention.’ “

There is rich irony in that motion, given the definitions of “ethnic purification” and “cultural discrimination” and the countless examples of its lack of relevance anywhere in Judea and Samaria, let alone in Jerusalem.

The land referred to in the motion is polka-dotted throughout Judea and Samaria with Arab and Jewish farming villages and towns – so much so, in fact, that negotiators on both sides still cannot figure out a realistic way to separate them. That’s because they live ‘cheek-and-jowl’ – the truth is, many of those communities are close neighbors and if they would have been left alone, would have remained at peace.

Anyone who has driven through Judea via Highway 60 and stopped off to shop at the Rami Levi supermarket also knows how ridiculous the accusation is. The bustling enterprise, owned by Israeli Jewish businessman Rami Levi, employs both Palestinian Authority Arabs and Israeli Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria, most of whom are observant Muslims, Christians and Jews. Moreover, the store is crowded from morning till night likewise with shoppers of the same ilk: Palestinian Authority Arabs and Israeli Jews, all of whom are residents of Judea and Samaria – all intent on one thing: making sure they get what they need for their families and getting home in time for dinner.

In Jerusalem, the accusation of “discrimination” is even sillier: there is not one major Israeli hospitality industry institution in which Arabs do not play a major role. Step into any hotel, be it rated at two stars or five, and see if you can find any staff without at least several high-ranking Arab employees. Likewise the health clinics, hospitals and other offices in the holy city. Hadassah Medical Center is headed by an Arab professional, in fact.

The word “apartheid” in the British Oxford dictionary is defined as “a policy or system of segregation or discrimination on grounds of race” that historically began with South Africa. Although it has been flung at Israel over its security and defense policies, nevertheless the facts on the ground belie the charge – as anyone with clear eyes can see.

Perhaps United Nations personnel should step out of their white cars once in a while, rather than simply drive through Arab villages, and up and down Highway 60 in the night. Were they to do so, the BDS movement would have a lot less traction.

Will BDS Movement Boycott Whirlpool over Ties with SodaStream?

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

KitchenAid, a subsidiary of the giant Whirlpool appliance conglomerate, has announced it is working with the Boycott Israel-targeted SodaStream company by introducing its own countertop soda maker using SodaStream’s flavors.

That should make the BDS Movement bubble over with anger at KitchenAid’s hooking up with a company that exploits Palestinian Authority worked by employing them at five times the wages they could be making if they worked for their brethren.

SodaStream’s sin, in the eyes of the Boycott Israel squad, is operating a factory in the forbidden Occupied West Bank, otherwise known as the Mishor Adumim industrial area of the city of Maaleh Adumim, Israel.

SodaStream has become more of a household name thanks to its commercials that have run for two consecutive years during the Super Bowl break and more recently because of its hiring actress Scarlett Johansson as its world ambassador. Thanks to the Boycott Israel’s attempt to place an international embargo on SodaStream as well as Scarlett’s films, SodaStream won even more publicity.

The BDS crowd went after the lady for the alleged hypocrisy of promoting both SodaStream and Oxfam, one of the lovers of anti-Israel campaigns. Scarlett came out swinging for SodaStream and ditched Oxfam, ignoring charges that she did so only for the money, which she hardly is lacking. It never crossed the minds of the Israel haters that maybe, just maybe, she acted out of principle and not principal.

One way or the other, KitchenAid now has stepped up to the plate. Like any good corporation, it is interested in principal and certainly took into account that by teaming up with SodaStream it and its parent company Whirlpool could face the same boycott campaign that tried to bring SodaStream to its knees.

BDS took credit for the recent sharp drop in SodaStream’s stock, without noting that the shares sank because of a warning that earnings would not be up to snuff last quarter. Boycott Israel did not take the credit for the recent rise in the price of SodaStream shares after the actual earnings weren’t so bad after all.

So let’s see the BDS Movement do without KitchenAid mixers and blenders and announce a worldwide boycott on Whirlpool refrigerators and freezers until KitchenAid stops helping SodaStream markets its homemade sodas.

And coffee makers.

The Boycott Israel folks can get also get rid of their Maytag washing machines, their driers, Whirlpool BBQ grills, microwave ovens and trash compactors.

Whirlpool is a corporate giant, with nearly $19 billion sales last year, more than 35 times more than SodaStream’s revenues, so get going, BDS.

Whirlpool’s subsidiary KitchenAid was all bubbly over the new arrangement with SodaStream. “We are excited to expand our KitchenAid family of products and enter the growing category of home carbonation,” said David Elliott, general manager of KitchenAid small appliances. “Working with SodaStream brings together their best-in-class technology with our stylish design signature to offer a premium product for our consumers worldwide.

Daniel Birnbaum, CEO of SodaStream, chimed in and said, “KitchenAid is an iconic, global brand and we welcome them to the SodaStream revolution. Our unique platform will enable KitchenAid to provide its large and loyal consumer base with the many benefits of home carbonation. We look forward to leveraging the combined strengths of our two brands to advance the category and reach an even broader global audience.”

This Year’s Esther-Award Goes To…

Sunday, March 16th, 2014

It is easy to spot Haman in today’s world. The Iranian Mullah’s with their destroy-Israel infatuation, a few European NGOs who back killers with the slogan of human rights, a PA which teaches its children to hate Jews and to detest life, to name a few…

But who is this year’s Esther?

My vote is with Scarlett Johansson. Scarlett, a world renowned actress, and hidden Esther-like Jew, stood up against EU and UN-types when she said goodbye to Oxfam in favor of the Israeli SodaStream. There was an element of a Purim-like turn around, when Oxfam tried to pressure Scarlett to drop SodaSteram, but this time, it was they who got the cut.

Why did she do it? She could not bring herself to project the Oxfam narrative about Arab oppression because she had seen the factories which employ satisfied Arabs, and hearing from them directly she understood what it would mean to lose their jobs in the name of “liberation.”

In her own words she explained that, “SodaStream is a company that is not only committed to the environment but to building a bridge to peace between Israel and Palestine, supporting neighbors working alongside each other, receiving equal pay, equal benefits and equal rights. That is what is happening in their Ma’aleh Adumim factory every working day.” She defined Israel as the facilitator of normalcy while undermining the Israel-is–to-blame for everything account.

But what good could come to Scarlett by standing up for truth? On the face of it, very little. She could have gone on happily making movies without having to face the ire of bad guys, who no doubt, have the ability to threaten physical violence as well. Just stay out of it, its not your fight, why do you, a Hollywood starlet, need this Middle East headache?

And that is exactly why Scarlett wins the Esther Award – she did not need this headache, but still she used her position to publicly shame and expose the BDSers. As Mordechai said, “And who knows if for this time you were made queen?”

However, Scarlett’s actions did much more then defend the Jewish State. By said no to the narrative that Oxfam was drawing about Israel, she actually defended the world from accepting a general warped outlook which seeks to portray evil as good and good as evil. In Nazi Germany, it began by vilifying the Jew and extolling the Nazi party. Today, it begins by painting the oppressive Jihadists as freedom fighters, and Israel, the one shining light of hope for humanity in the Middle East, as the most evil force in the region. Experience shows that once these lies are accepted, the world is thrown into chaos and millions can die.

Scarlett bravely said no, and thereby stopped the lies from passing through her. Like Esther, she put herself on the line for truth, and like Mordechai, she would not bow down and give homage to the lies. And while it may have not seem like much, sometimes, just a sliver of courage is enough to put the bullies down, give the world another chance, and encourage a new generation to fight on for truth.

Happy Purim

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/this-years-esther-award-goes-to/2014/03/16/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: