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November 28, 2014 / 6 Kislev, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘BDS’

Woolworths Hits Back at BDS with Lawsuit Threat

Sunday, October 5th, 2014

The South Africa-based Woolworths retail chain is threatening to sue the Boycott, Divest and Sanction group over customer and staff safety.

“Our employees, of all faiths and cultures, are telling us that they are feeling increasingly threatened by the protests,” Woolworths spokesman Babs Diamini said this week, according to South Africa’s Times Live.

“What’s more, the families of our employees have reported being abused and sworn at by BDS. If this continues we will consider taking further precautions, including legal action against the individuals involved,” Diamini said.

Just as BDS has the right to protest, said Diamini, the chain’s employees have the right to work, and its customers have the right to shop without being intimidated.

She added that it is not clear why Woolworths is being targeted and other major corporations are not, because “more than 95 percent of our food is sourced locally [and] the government continues to authorize trade with Israel.”

Other companies with ties to Israel include Coca-Cola, McDonalds, Danone, Nestle and Motorola. But BDS activist Mohammed Desai made it clear the movement would stay focused on Woolworths, acknowledging the group could not tackle every target at once.

“For now, Woolworths is our target. They are making a grave mistake by ignoring us and if we go to all those retailers our campaign will be diluted.”

BDS activists have demonstrated at more than 40 protests targeting Woolworths around South Africa. The group says it plans to raise the pressure at the retail giant’s annual general meeting on November 26.

Woolworths Holdings Limited is a South African chain of retail stores and one of the largest in the country, modeled on Marks & Spencer of the United Kingdom. The Woolworths brand incorporates a series of food stores, some of which are attached to department stores, while others stand alone or are attached to Engen petrol stations in prosperous urban areas. Some branches include an in-store restaurant, branded as “Cafe W”. Woolworths goods are sold at 149 corporate stores, 51 international franchise stores throughout the rest of Africa and the Middle East and 69 South African franchise stores nationwide. The chain was named after the United States chain F. W. Woolworth Company but, because of the contemporary trademark laws, the name was legally used without permission. No financial connection ever existed between the companies.

ZIM Shanghai Unloads at Port of Long Beach, No BDS Problems

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

The ZIM Shanghai successfully unloaded its cargo at the Port of Long Beach without any delays or problems.

The Shanghai was unable to unload at its previous port of call, the Port of Oakland, after ILWU 10 union workers (International Longshore and Warehouse Union) refused to unload the ship. ILWU 10 claims that violent demonstrators intimidated and physically threatened the workers.

At least two groups were demonstrating at the Port of Oakland, “Block the Boat for Gaza”, and the “Stop Zim Action Committee”. Members of ISM, the “International Solidarity Committee” were also spotted at the protests.

At once point some demonstrators were reportedly told to leave their Hamas flags at home due to the bad publicity their support for the Hamas terrorists was generating.

The ship sailed on to the Port of Long Beach, which is the second busiest container port in the US, after the Port of Los Angeles which it adjoins.

ILWU 10 is currently in a contract battle with the Port of Oakland, and there are claims that the union tried to use the BDS protesters as pawns in their negotiations.

There are questions if ZIM ships will continue to try to use the Port of Oakland anymore. The loss of ZIM’s business would ultimately just hurts the workers and the local community.

Jon Banquer reported on Twitter that the ship experienced no delays at the Port of Long Beach and is now on its way to its next port of call in Russia:

Jon Banquer @JonBanquer ZIM Shanghai unloads/loads with no delays at Port of Long Beach. Ship now on its way to Vostochny Port in Russia #BlockTheBoat #stopzim fail

BDS protesters regularly try to stop ZIM ships from docking and unloading at ports around the United States, but the Port of Oakland is the only port where ZIM ships have had any real problems.

Port of Oakland Loses as ZIM Moves to Friendlier Shores

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

On Sunday night, after not being able to unload at the Port of Oakland over the weekend, the ZIM Shanghai decided to head to the friendlier Port of Los Angeles, where BDS protests are ignored and ZIM ships are unload, unhindered.

The ship will arrive there Tuesday.

On Saturday, ILWU 10 and 34 released a statement claiming they are not involved in the BDS protest against unloading Israeli owned ZIM ships at the Port of Oakland, and that their workers were physically threatened by the BDS protesters. They claim their leadership and management have no role in organizing the conflict.

ILWU statement on blockage of Zim vessel by protesters at Port of Oakland, Sept. 27, 2014:

SAN FRANCISCO, CA: At 6:00 PM Saturday, ILWU Local 10 and 34 represented longshoremen and clerks dispatched to work the vessel ZIM Shanghai at SSA’s Oakland California Terminal were met with hostile demonstrators, effectively blocking all access to the terminal. Longshoremen and Clerks trying to report to work were threatened physically at some points of ingress and their personal vehicles were physically blocked. As such, all personnel stood-by outside of the demonstration perimeters for health and safety purposes. At approximately 8 PM SSA released all personnel from work.

As far as the union can ascertain, the protests are organized by a coalition of individuals and organizations that plan events and create action alerts under the name of “Block the Boat for Gaza” online.

The ILWU is not among the groups organizing the protests, and the leadership and membership of the ILWU have taken no position on the Israel/Gaza conflict.

The union released the statement after claims arose that some in their leadership were using the BDS protest to bolster their contract negotiating position with the Port. ILWU 10 workers are currently working without contracts.

The Port of Oakland is also the only port in the United States where BDS protesters have been able to intimidate and physically threaten the Longshoremen into not working.

Looking at photos of the individual protesters, it is kind of hard to imagine them physically intimidating any Longshoreman.

To their credit, some Longshoremen expressed their anger at the BDS protesters this week, cursing them, and one worker even tried to run past the protesters in their car through a back gate to try to get to work.

Members of the virulently anti-Israel ISM organization were also spotted at the BDS protest.

If union leaders were trying to use the protesters as part of their negotiations, as some claim, it appears they overplayed their hand.

The BDS protesters are looking at this as victory, but in reality, there are only losers in Oakland.

ZIM may not call on the Port of Oakland again, certainly not until the ILWU 10 has a contract and guarantees to unload ZIM ships. Other shipping companies wary of the port’s unreliability may also consider the same.

With an estimated 150 ZIM visits a year, that’s a lot of business and perhaps even jobs for the City of Oakland to lose.

Port of Oakland Under Siege Again by BDS

Sunday, September 28th, 2014

The Port of Oakland once again finds itself once again under BDS assault, as protesters try to block the unloading of ZIM ship.

Unlike other ports, ILWU Local 10 (International Longshoremen and Warehousemen Union), doesn’t have a negotiated contract in place with the port, and the BDSers keep trying to take advantage of that. That is also why the BDS protests have failed at every other port, where contracts are in place.

According to some reports, the Union leaders are actually using the BDS protesters as unwitting tools to negotiate a better contract for their union.

At least one angry workers tried to drive his car through a side gate on Saturday and get past the protesters and to get to work. Other workers are cursing the protesters.

Last time ILWU 10 recognized the long-term damage it was potentially creating for itself, and found a way to safely get around the BDS protesters – after all, workers want to have work.

AnarchoZionist tweeted that the BDS Jihad protesters were told to leave their Hamas flags home this time, apparently as it made the protesters look bad.

BDS protesters wave Hamas terrorist flags at Port of Oakland protest.

BDS protesters wave Hamas terrorist flags at Port of Oakland protest.

As a result of the protests, the Port of Oakland is getting a bad name, potentially ZIM and other shippers could decide to skip that port entirely and move to friendlier ports, and the economic hit Oakland would take would be noticed.

But once the ILWU has a contract in place, the BDS protests will find themselves emasculated, such as what happened in Tampa, Florida last week, where BDS protesters couldn’t even get the ZIM unloading delayed.

Its only a matter of time, before this Oakland protest fails again – but at what damage to Oakland?

White House Promised Lady Gaga She Would Be Safe in Israel

Monday, September 22nd, 2014

Lady Gaga received assurances from the White House before she traveled to Tel Aviv for her performance earlier this month, she told the Associated Press in an interview.

Either she never heard of the Boycott Israel movement, a virtual impossibility, or she simply showed great political savvy by ignoring the issue when asked in the interview, “Other singers have backed out of performing in Tel Aviv. How did you make the decision to perform there this week?”

Lady Gaga didn’t miss a beat and responded as if the interviewer asked if it was safe to be in Israel only a few days after an uncertain end to the war in Gaza.

“I was very confident based on my relationships with lots of internal, political people,” she answered.” We’re very lucky to have great relationships with the White House. They let us know it would be very safe while we were there.”

Lady Gaga and President Obama have a solid political relationship based on a politician’s best friend – money.

They met at a fundraiser in 2011 where approximately 70 guests paid the privilege to attend to the tune of $38,500 per couple.

She was her usual gutsy self, having tweeted before the event that she intended to raise the issue of bullying when she would meet the president.

“I am meeting with our President. I will not stop fighting. This must end. Our generation has the power to end it. Trend it #MakeALawForJamey,” the singer tweeted.

Obama reportedly spoke to her of his administration’s work against the practice of bullying, and he later commented that his meeting with her was a little intimidating.”

If that is the case, Israel can learn from Lady Gaga how to deal with Obama and with has become his legendary pressure on Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to toe his line.

After having performed at Obama’s second inaugural in 2012, she has an inside track to the White House.

With a war going in Gaza and missiles exploding over the skies of Tel Aviv, Lady Gaga had reservations about her life and turned to the White House for assurances, that presumably precluded any pressure by the White House on Netanyahu to stop funding for the Iron Dome anti-missile system for Israel is he did not soften up on a cease-fire.

Now we know that Lady Gaga should be Israel’s ambassador to the United States.

Np one could have spoken for Israel as well as she did after her performance. She told the Associated Press that she hoped “to share…with the world…that they know it is safe to be in Tel Aviv right now…I felt a beautiful energy when I was there.”

Next time there is a war, which is more likely to happen if and when there is a formal cease-fire with Hamas, Israel should pay Lady Gag to return for a performance in Sderot. Obama will make sure the Negev is safe, at least for a couple of hours while Lady Gaga performs.

Below are Lady Gaga’s performance at his inaugural and a spoof YouTube of a supposed rendition by Obama of her “Do What U Want.”

US Jews ‘Bought Israel’ During War

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014

American Jews stepped up to the plate during the recent Protective Edge campaign in Gaza and bought more Israeli products, according to Howard Bernstein, who coordinates the on-line Buy Israel Goods site.

He said there was a notable upswing in activity on BIG in July and August as the Gaza war started and accelerated, somewhat offsetting the Boycott Israel movement.

It is evident that supporters of Israel were motivated to help by seeking out Israeli products on BIG. Bernstein reported that most of the visitors were from the United States, Canada, Great Britain and India. Visitors also came from Australia and Germany.

The Israeli economy took a major hit during the Gaza campaign although industry sources say that the food industry is experiencing a robust back to school and pre-Rosh HaShanah period.

CUNY BDS Vote Shelved After Heated Debate – #BDSFail

Saturday, September 13th, 2014

(JNS.org) A last minute resolution to divest from Israel by a student group at the City University of New York (CUNY) was shelved on Friday night following a strong showing by pro-Israel supporters despite the start of the Jewish Sabbath.

The Doctoral Students’ Council (DSC) of CUNY, which represents over 4,700 members of the graduate school from across the CUNY system, first announced the last minute divestment vote earlier in the week to take place on Friday, September 12th at 6 p.m.

Many pro-Israel students raised concerns over the vote’s start time, coming just before the Jewish Sabbath, as well as the fact that no materials where handed out ahead of time to help students prepare. According to Dominique Nisperos, the DSC’s co-chair for communications, that was done out of “environmental concerns,” the Washington Free Beacon reported.

After a lengthy heated debate on Friday evening, that included additional time for both sides to present the arguments, a motion was eventually passed to table the resolution for a future date.

Despite the vote’s difficult timing for observant Jews, a number of pro-Israel groups also turned out to support CUNY students and faculty who opposed the resolution.

“It is a routine tactic of the BDS movement to hold votes on or around Jewish holidays in order to shut out pro-Israel voices,” Jacob Baime, Executive Director of the Israel on Campus Coalition – who attended the Friday evening vote – told JNS.org. “When the facts are known, BDS fails.”

The proposed resolution, which is titled “The Endorsement of Boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions”, called on the CUNY system to endorse a “boycott of Israeli academic institutions and the divestment from Israeli companies” as well as ending academic partnerships with Israeli institutions such as the one between Baruch College and Israel’s College of Management and Academic Studies.

The resolution also expresses support for “Palestinian students and academics in their struggle against the Zionist policies of the Israeli state and its restrictions.”

Baime added that he is proud of the CUNY students and faculty for their strong showing despite having little time to prepare.

“I am proud of the CUNY students and faculty who defeated this anti-peace resolution,” he said. “The campus community can make a meaningful contribution to peace, and BDS does not do that. It is divisive and tears the campus apart.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/cuny-bds-vote-shelved-after-heated-debate-bdsfail/2014/09/13/

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