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October 1, 2014 / 7 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘BDS’

Self-Acclaimed Jew Pleads ‘Not Guilty’ to Assaulting MP George Galloway

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

A caretaker who says he is Jewish and was charged with pushing anti-Semitic British Member of Parliament George Galloway in the face last Friday has been remanded to prison, without bail, after pleading not guilty .

Neil Masterson, a former manager for the BBC, allegedly assaulted Galloway when the MP was posing for pictures. Galloway was hospitalized for broken ribs and bruises, including a lump on his head, before being released the following day.

The prosecutor in the case told the court that the Jewish suspect told police, “I didn’t want him to think I’m scared, Galloway is anti-Semitic, and I am Jewish.” However, a post on his Facebook page states he is Catholic.

He is a caregiver for a middle-aged woman, and his defense lawyer told the court that she “would be lost without him.”

One tweet called him a “Zionist terrorist.”

Masterson pleaded not guilty to the charge of an assault that was “religiously aggravated” on Galloway, who recently declared that the city of Bradford that he presents will be an “Israel-free zone.” Police have investigated Galloway for the remarks.

The court denied Masterson bail, and his trial is scheduled for later this month.

Galloway is far from the most popular politician in Britain and is such an embarrassment to the government that the assault was ignored by politicians.

The silence led a London Telegraph columnist to complain, “Galloway has received no public message of sympathy from a single MP from any party – nothing from Speaker Bercow, from the Prime Minister, or from any of the other elected political leader.“

The writer called the assault an ”attack on democracy,” but public figures apparently figure Britain was better off with Galloway out of action, even if for only a day.

SodaStream May Close Maaleh Adumim Factory

Monday, September 1st, 2014

The Israeli firm SodaStream, which has been a target of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, is considering closing its factory in Maaleh Adumim when its spanking new plant north of Be’er Sheva begins operation next year.

CEO Daniel Birnbaum told the Israeli economic publication The Marker that the company, which makes home soft drink machines, will make a decision in the next two months.

Birnbaum said the decision would be based solely on economics.

“The considerations will be purely financial, and do not include the European boycott on manufacturing in the territories,” he told the Marker. “Nor will they include the various calls to boycott products of the company because of its location in Maaleh Adumim. The boycott is a nuisance, but does not cause serious financial damage. We are not giving in to the boycott. We are Zionists.”

Birnbaum is not throwing a spin on a possible move out of Maaleh Adumim. The Negev plant is being built almost adjacent to a new interchange of Israel’s high-speed north-south Kvish 6 highway. The new location places SodaStream within an hour from Ben Gurion Airport.

The company could consolidate its operations in whole or in part from the Maaleh Adumim plant. SodaStream also has plants in Ashkelon, the Galilee and 20 others around the world.

It already fired between 100 and 200 workers at the Maaleh Adumim plant, where most of its 1,100 employees are Arabs from Israel and Judea and Samaria.

The plant in the Negev will employ a considerable number of Bedouin.

The company was in the news following the signing of actress Scarlett Johansson as a spokeswoman and the ensuing controversy over its West Bank factory. Johansson resigned as a global ambassador for Oxfam over her position with SodaStream.

 

Dutch Pension Fund Rejects BDS

Friday, August 29th, 2014

The Netherlands’ third largest pension fund, ABP, rejected on Thursday demands from the Boycott Israel movement to disinvest from three Israeli banks that allegedly finance an Israeli presence in Judea and Samaria..

The anti-Israel Avaas organization, along with South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu had pleased with ABP to sell off shares worth more than $75 million in Bank HaPoalim, Bank Leumi and Bank Mizrachi.

ABP decided to follow the example set by another Dutch pension fund, PGGM, in January when it sold off investments in five Israeli banks.

The board of ABP, which is the pension fund for Dutch public workers, said that its investment policy bars holding shares in companies that violate the U.N. Global Compact, AFP reported. The fund’s spokeswoman pointed out that the United Nations, despite its opposition to Israel’s including Judea and Samaria as part of the country, has not declared that the banks are breaking international laws.

The Boycott Israel movement, often terms BDS for Boycott, Disinvestment and Sanctions, has caused some damage to Israel and is a long-term threat, even a strategic threat, but its effect is exaggerated by isolated “victories.”

Selling off shares in banks and companies such Caterpillar, which sells equipment to the IDF, has had a marginal effect in depressing the price on the stock market.

BDS’s “successes” often get more attention than they deserve, and one of the reasons is the inherent bias against Israel in certain media.

The New York Times ran an article on Thursday under the headline “With Gaza War, Movement to Boycott Israel Gains Momentum in Europe.”

The “momentum” referred to a British grocery store’s removing kosher products from its shelves, a London theater’s decision to boycott film funded by the Israeli government, and a plug for Britain’s national embarrassment, known as Member of Parliament George Galloway, who declared that one city in England will be an “Israel-free zone.”

Anti-Israel activists undoubtedly used the war in Gaza to fuel some local boycotts, but the exposure of Hamas for what it is – a regime of war criminals – has mooted the anti-Israel sentiment to some effect.

The anti-Israel spin on the war convinced some governments to reconsider their sales of weapons to Israel, but the long-lasting effect is questionable, especially in light of the chaos among ISIS and fellow Islamic radicals in Syria and Iraq.

After quoting several experts on the threat of a large-scale boycott of Israel, the Times admitted that “the economic impact has been small” and that “the European Union, which has been looked to for leadership on the issue, does not support the idea.”

The most harmful damage so far has been Judea and Samaria, whose products my not bear the stamp “made in Israel” in some countries.

Congresswoman Hahn on #BlocktheBoat and ILWU Local 10

Monday, August 25th, 2014

SAN PEDRO, CA (Aug. 19, 2014), Congresswoman Hahn released the following statement after the ILWU Local 10’s initial decision not to unload a Zim ship docked at the Port of Oakland last week.

Anti-Israel protesters temporarily blocked the unloading of the ship through intimidation and picket lines.

The congresswoman recognized the damage to the local economy that these BDS protesters could cause, including the loss of local jobs, if Zim and other carriers were to choose safer and friendlier ports than Oakland.

“It is critical to the state’s local economy that this ship be unloaded. I urge the local police department to take steps to ensure ILWU Local 10 workers’ safety so that they may reconsider their decision and unload this Zim ship. This issue is about commerce in the United States not the political situation in the Middle East. Failing to unload this ship threatens the local economy and jobs this community relies on. I have been assured that the local police can guarantee the safe passage of workers at the terminal while allowing the peaceful protests to continue.

With cargo diversion a constant threat to our West coast ports, not unloading this cargo, simply sends the wrong message.

Last week in my San Pedro office, I convened a meeting with the local ILWU, the Israeli Counsel General, clergy, and representatives from Jewish Labor and the Port of Los Angeles to discuss this issue. We were assured by our ILWU leadership that they are neutral on the political situation in the Middle East and guaranteed that the ships in LA and Long Beach would be unloaded. As the co-chair of the Congressional PORTS Caucus, I hope that we can hold similar meetings in Northern California to bring key leaders to the table to find a resolution.

Finally, I stand with the Teamsters in calling on the ILWU to unload the Zim ship and allow important commerce to continue.”

Congresswoman Hahn is the founder and co-chair of the Congressional PORTS Caucus. She represents America’s Port – the Port of Los Angeles. With the Port of Long Beach, it is the largest port complex in the nation.

#BlockTheBoat Fails to Stop ZIM Unloading in Tacoma

Sunday, August 24th, 2014

#BlockTheBoat BDS protesters again failed to stop the unloading of the Zim ship, the time the Chicago in Tacoma.

There are reports that the anti-Israel protesters were harassing the Union workers on the site, despite ILWU Local 23 president Dean McGrath making it clear they wanted no part of the conflict and they just want to do their job,

“We are going to do what we do. Move Cargo”.

There are reports that the protesters are also called the dock workers doing their job “scabs” and stalking them during their lunch break – according to the BDSer’s tweets.

Police also on site, making sure that workers can get through unharmed. (Update: One protester was arrested, according to The News Tribune.)

The port also transported some of the longshoremen through an alternative entrance to avoid the protesters.

#BlocktheBoat BDS, trying out their brand of economic terrorism, are also trying to block the unloading of a ZIM ship in LA.

ZIM makes more that 150 calls to the Port of Tacoma every year. It is unlikely that anyone in Tacoma is interested in losing that business.

According to additional tweets, the port and the Union rep in LA has no knowledge of any work stoppages on any Israeli ships in LA either.

What worked for a short time in Oakland, isn’t going to work anywhere else… #BDSFail

h/t BuberZionist

Irish Jews Brace for Galloway Visit

Thursday, August 21st, 2014

The Jewish community in Belfast, Northern Ireland is bracing for violent backlash as the city prepares for an appearance by radical British MP George Galloway on Saturday night.

Last month, Palestinian supporters smashed windows twice at the Belfast Hebrew Congregation following a pro-Palestinian demonstration in the city. Now, representatives for Galloway say the 1,000-seat Ulster Hall is sold out for the MP’s appearance, part of a nationwide speaking tour titled Just Say Naw.

 

The evening, which sounds more like a stand-up comedy show than a serious address about national politics, is ostensibly about Scotland’s referendum next month but the firebrand Galloway is certain to repeat his support for Hamas and critize Israel.

Galloway, who is currently under police investigation violating Britain’s racial vilification laws for declaring his region Bradford an “Israel-free zone,” routinely accuses Israel of “genocide” against the Palestinians and calls for “Palestine, Palestine to be free, from the river to the sea.”

At a meeting of Respect Party members earlier this month, Galloway said he has “declared Bradford an Israel-free zone.” “We don’t want any Israeli goods; we don’t want any Israeli services; we don’t want any Israeli academics coming to the university or the college.

“We don’t even want any Israeli tourists to come to Bradford even if any of them had thought of doing so.

“We reject this illegal, barbarous, savage state that calls itself Israel – and you have to do the same,” he said. Earlier, in July, Galloway told a rally outside the Israeli embassy in London that “it is torture for all of us to watch what is going (in Palestine),” and added that any ceasefire between Israel and the Palestinians is “not a ceasefire, but merely a pause in the (Israeli) killing (of Palestinians).

“The killing started long before (Operation Protective Edge), and will not stop until Palestine is free from the river to the sea,” Galloway told supporters.

It is not clear whether Galloway has instructed local hospitals to boycott Israeli medical devices, local pharmacies to boycott low-cost medicines produced in Israel or residents of Bradford to trash the Intel computer chips developed in Israel.  There is no word on whether Galloway has thrown his mobile phone, with it’s Israeli-developed technology, in the rubbish.

Anti-Israel BDS Nuttery at the Port of Oakland

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

(Reprinted with permission from Liberty Unyielding) Activists from the San Francisco area BDS movement (Boycott, Divestment, Sanction) against Israel pulled a stunt over the last two and half days in Oakland, over which they are crowing loudly at the moment. It isn’t likely to amount to much. But it has revealed, as such events do, the links among radicals and terrorists.

Operating under the slogan “Block the Boat,” the BDS groups put together a demonstration at the port of Oakland, intended to prevent the longshoremen who work there from unloading cargo from the ZIM Piraeus, a ship operated by ZIM America Integrated Shipping Lines.

ZIM is the main Israeli shipping company. ZIM Piraeus is probably carrying little if any cargo that originated from Israel; ZIM is a global company which provides shipping services to contracting customers, and ZIM Piraeus is transporting cargo from the duty free zone at the port of Colon, Panama to Oakland. (ZIM Piraeus left Colon on 7 August, according to online ship tracking sites. Prior to Colon, ZIM Piraeus was in Kingston, Jamaica on 4 August; Halifax, Nova Scotia, on 31 July; and Newark, NJ on the 29th. She went to Newark in July from Colon.)

ZIM Piraeus in happier days. (Image: ShipSpotting.com user b47b56)

ZIM Piraeus in happier days. (Image: ShipSpotting.com user b47b56)

ZIM Piraeus in happier days. In Cristobal, Panama in 2011. (Image: ShipSpotting.com user b47b56)

ZIM Piraeus isn’t Israeli-owned or flagged, incidentally. The owner is Costamare, Inc., a Greek-headquartered fleet operator incorporated in the Republic of the Marshall Islands. (ZIM Piraeus, a Panamax container ship, was built in Greece too.) Costamare, Inc. has ZIM Piraeus registered (flagged) in Hong Kong. ZIM America contracts with Costamare to manage and operate ZIM Piraeus. The ship’s crew would be an international mix of mariners, and quite probably has no Israelis at all.

Given the ship’s stop in Colon before heading to Oakland, the most likely origins of any cargo she’s carrying to Oakland are China and the nations of Latin America. The companies expecting the cargo are, of course, in the United States.

ZIM Piraeus was reportedly supposed to dock on Saturday, but appears to have delayed her arrival because of the protests, which began prior to the originally scheduled arrival time. Today’s protesters may not remember this, but ZIM undoubtedly does: in 2010, when protesters in Oakland sought to interdict the offloading of another ZIM-contracted cargo ship, the ship delayed her arrival and was able to unload cargo with no problem. The protesters succeeded only in preventing an innocent Chinese cargo ship from unloading her cargo.

So ZIM tried the delaying tactic again. Piraeus didn’t enter port until Sunday afternoon (the 17th). The protesters were still there, however, and in a triumph of prior coordination, the longshoremen’s local, ILWU 10, decided not to brave the protesters to get to their shift, deeming the demonstrators’ presence to create an “unsafe environment” for the workers. (Late-breaking: as this goes to post, tweets from activists on scene indicate the longshoremen declined to make their shift for the second day in a row.) BvYDvv_CAAAJA0V

Under normal circumstances, the port operator and the longshoremen’s union would have an arbiter adjudicate such a situation, since the longshoremen would be bound contractually to show up for work and unload the ZIM Piraeus’s cargo. There would be a third party imposing some accountability on the union. But this is one of a handful of reasons why the current BDS triumph is likely to have little impact. The longshoremen’s contract expired on 1 July, and they’ve been working in the weeks since without one. That makes their status a gray area – but it’s a condition specific to the present moment.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/anti-israel-bds-nuttery-at-the-port-of-oakland/2014/08/20/

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