web analytics
September 4, 2015 / 20 Elul, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘BDS’

Coca-Cola Exec Deployed to Quell BDS PR Disaster Seemingly Anti-Israel

Friday, June 19th, 2015

Earlier this week we learned that the CEO of the Cola-Cola franchise in the Palestinian Authority, Zahi Khouri, has publicly called for a boycott of Israel, in violation of Coca-Cola’s policy and recent Congressional amendments to trade laws.

While the JewishPress.com expected the response from Coke would be to encourage Khouri to put a lid on it, the company’s response was somewhat different.

In response to complaints lodged by outraged consumers that Coca-Cola’s Arab-American-Palestinian partner supports the economic and legal warfare method of BDS (Boycott of, Divestment from and Sanctions against Israel) Movement, Coca-Cola deployed an executive to defuse the situation.

But a little research revealed that the Coke executive who responded, Michael Goltzman, is himself harshly and outspokenly critical of Israel. And not only that, but his response belies actions taken by Coca-Cola on Khouri’s divisiveness.

First, in response to an email sent by a consumer deeply distressed over what she referred to as the “toxicity” of Coca-Cola’s Palestinian Arab bottling partner, the following email was sent:

From: Michael Goltzman Subject: FW: Dear Mr Kent – Khouri is toxicr` Date: June 17, 2015 at 4:22:43 PM EDT To: “*@#!#$@&%$@gmail.com” Cc: Susan Gambardella , Clyde Tuggle , Hamish Banks , “Ann L. Moore”

Ms. *@#!#$@&%$ Via email: *@#!#$@&%$

Dear Ms. $*#,

Thank you for your email to Muhtar Kent, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Coca-Cola Company, regarding a media article about Zahi Khouri, the Coca-Cola Palestinian bottler.

Please understand that Mr. Khouri’s comments represent his own personal opinions, and they do not in any way reflect the views of The Coca-Cola Company. The Company does not have any preference for, favor or fund any religious or political causes.

Thanks to our local production with local employees, local ingredients and a local distribution system, we are pleased to have our beverages refreshing communities in more than 200 countries and territories around the world. And since 1966, we have been proud to have the Central Bottling Company as the Company’s Israeli partner.

If I can answer any further questions for you, please do not hesitate to contact me at mgoltzman@coca-cola.com or 404-661-9075 (mobile).

Thank you, Michael Goltzman

Michael Goltzman Vice President, International Government Relations & Public Affairs The Coca-Cola Company Email: mgoltzman@coca-cola.com

Goltzman retweeted and favorited tweets that were highly critical of Israel, such as this one:

Goltzmanfavandretweet

In addition, in a video created by Coca-Cola, Mr. Khouri, Coke’s Palestinian Arab-American partner, admits to having a bottling plant which proudly practices Apartheid:

We must be, I can imagine, the only bottling company – maybe in the world – which has only one nationality among its staff, and, uh, that we are all Palestinians.

Israel Beats BDS in Sweden

Thursday, June 18th, 2015

Efforts by Israel’s Ambassador to Sweden have paid off with the removal of a boycott of Israeli goods sold in at least three stores of a huge supermarket chain.

The COOP Forum stores in the northern city of Varberg voted nearly three months ago for the boycott, which affected products from all of Israel, not just from Judea and Samara. The chain has 644 outlets, and if the boycott had spread, it could have been a catalyst for a wider embargo in Europe on items from Israel.

Ambassador to Sweden Yitzchak Bachman swung into action immediately after the boycott was approved and went high-profile, giving interviews and arguing that the discrimination violates the concept of free trade.

He appealed to the management of the stores in Varberg, and officials issued as statement saying they oppose boycotts. The ambassador also posted online the phone numbers and e-mail address of COOP’s management, which was bombarded with protests.

It was the second recent victory for Israel. Last week, the Orange company embarrassed itself when its CEO said in Cairo that he would prefer not having anything to do with the company’s Israeli franchise.

Drowning in a sea of fierce criticism from Israeli leaders, including Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, the Orange CEO made a 180-degree, and that was the end of the boycott that never was.

Bachman said after the latest victory over BDS:

The thing to do about boycotts is oppose them for what they are, without trying to decide whether we are right or the Palestinians are right. The support we were able to gain among Swedish citizens was essential, as the chain realized it couldn’t fight the will of the people.

Finland’s Anti-Israel Disgrace Spawns New Activist Group

Friday, June 12th, 2015

Sometimes horrendous actions spawn unintended positive results. Like when a grossly anti-Israel, baseless singling out of Israel for humiliating exclusion from an ostensibly open international festival inspires a new pro-Israel organization that is eager to stand up for Israel.

Take Finland. Please.

Every year for the past 15 years Finland hosts an event they call a “World Village Festival.” Think World’s Fair on a smaller scale. There is always a theme for the year’s event. In 2015, the focus was on development in Africa and the Middle East. The festival took place the third weekend in May.

KEPA, which is the acronym for the Finnish word that translates to Service Centre for Development Cooperation, is the organizer of the event. KEPA services Finland’s NGOs, and while politically and ideologically independent, it operates with funding from Finland’s Ministry for Foreign Affairs.

KEPA describes its World Village Festival as being “open to all and a meeting place offering tastes of different cultures and surprises from all over the world.”

The Jewish National Fund (the Keren Kajemet LeIsraeli’in, or KKL in Hebrew) which has an active presence in Finland, signed up to participate in this year’s World Village Festival, just as it has done for the past two years.

But this year a virulently anti-Israel organization, ICAHD, noticed JNF’s requested presence at the WVF and complained that such an organization which engages in “ethnic cleansing,” is an Apartheid supporter and engages in “greenwashing.”

ICAHD stands for Israeli Committee Against Housing Demolitions. Just a few points about ICAHD: one, it apparently does not even have a presence in Israel any longer, according to NGO-Monitor, and its primary activity appears to be championing the BDS movement.

ICAHD, according to the pro-Israel Finnish website Tundra Tabloids, pressured KEPA into disinviting the JNF. The WVF organizers then informed JNF it could not participate “due to questions about the legality of its activities,” which included the various outrageously false claims promoted by ICAHD, which were given the imprimatur of the academy, by Hannu Juusola, Professor of Middle Eastern Studies, University of Helsinki.

The head of the Finnish branch of ICAHD, Skysy Räsänen, crowed that banning the JNF was “a victory for the BDS movement.”

KEPA also pointed to testimonies by, amongst others, Rabbis for Human Rights, as justification for banning the JNF.

While the JNF was mild in its response, there were some who were less so.

One organization, a brand new pro-Israel group that calls itself VOIS – Voice of Israel in Scandinavia, is a spin-off from a larger pro-Israel organization.

VOIS at WVF

VOIS was galvanized by the rejection of JNF from the Festival. It set up a presence outside the gates to the Festival, and handed out pro-Israel literature, engaged with those entering the Village, and directly challenged the organizers of the event on the JNF ban.

One member of the group marched into the Village and spoke directly to Jonas Bistrom, KEPA’s development policy specialist. This VOIS member, Kenneth Sikorski, sought to engage Bistrom about the exclusion of the JNF from the Festival. Specifically, as Sikorski told the JewishPress.com, Bistrom was asked whether the WVF asked the JNF for a response to the allegations leveled against it, before the decision was made to exclude the pro-Israel organization. Sikorski also pressed Bistrom on whom KEPA had relied in making the exclusion determination.

Although Bistrom would not answer Sikorski’s queries, by the time the VOIS member returned to his encampment outside of the Village, KEPA’s executive director Timo Lappalainen had already been there and confirmed to the folks staffing their booth that Juusola, the professor from Helsinki University, a “respected academic” encouraged JNF’s banning because it “supports Israeli Apartheid “and “engages in ethnic cleansing.”

Orange Apology Tour Arrives in Wrong ‘Occupying’ Country

Friday, June 12th, 2015

Orange telecom CEO Stephane Richard arrived in Israel Thursday night for a two-day exercise of climbing down from a tall tree where he ate rotten fruit by saying that he would like to get rid of the company’s link with Israel’ Partner Communications because of the “occupation.”

He is scheduled to meet with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and former President Shimon Peres today as part of a show “to clarify Orange group commitments to Israel,” according to the French-based company.

It all was a “misunderstanding,” Richard said after winning praise from BDS but ferocious anger from even liberal political in Israel and elsewhere.

“Hypocritical” would be a better description than “misunderstanding.”

Richard lit the match in Cairo, where he referred to Partner as operating in “occupied territory,” and France’s ambassador to the United States, Gerard Araud, tweeted:

Contributing to settlements in an occupied territory is illegal.

Despite his “anti-occupation” remarks in Cairo, Richard later explained that he wanted to pull out of Israel because it is the only country where Orange does not run a subsidiary but instead allows an independent operation to market its trademark.

It is not clear why that should bother Orange since Partner pays approximately $4 million a year for the right to market Orange.”

Richard reassured Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely last week, “Orange does not support any form of boycott, in Israel or anywhere else in the world.”

In a way, it is too bad that Orange is retreating. If it had stood its ground, Israel would have had the opportunity to expose to the entire world the clear hypocrisy of BDS and of companies like Orange that actually operate in “occupied territory” elsewhere and, under the boycotters’ definition, are guilty of being involved in a “war crime.”

Prof. Eugene Kontorovich, affiliated with the Kohelet Policy Forum think tank wrote in The Washington Post this week:

Orange itself directly and openly operates in occupied territory. Orange provides cell phone service in Nagorno-Karabakh, an area of Azerbaijan that has been occupied by Armenia since seizing it in a bloody 1992-94 war. The U.N., along with the E.U. and U.S., considers the area occupied territory. Nonetheless, Armenian settlers have moved into the occupied territory in significant numbers, amid constant complaints from Baku and others.

He added that fighting broke out this year in the area, “killing dozens, and a full- scale war over the occupied territory is looming.”

The Orange website touts its Karabakh service as being in “NKR,” or the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, an unrecognized state that is controlled by Armenia, according to Kontorovich, who also wrote:

U.N. Resolutions have specifically called for the “non-recognition” of the NKR. Orange’s Armenian website also calls the area ‘Artsakh,’ the ancient name for the region favored by Armenia nationalists. It would be as if Orange, instead of complaining about, boasted of its ‘service in Judea and Samaria.’…. Orange calls NKR a ‘country,’ despite the clear admonition of its own government and UN against recognition of what is universally regarded as Azerbaijani territory. It would be as if Orange boasted of its service in the ‘Golan Heights of Israel.’

That’s not a bad idea. Perhaps Prime Minister Netanyahu should tell Richard, “You know what? Yerright. Boycott us.

“And while you are at it, boycott Azerbaijan, Morocco, Turkey and Armenia. Then, after realizing how ignorant you are, don’t apologize. Just bury BDS and get back to work.”

US Poll: Keep Negotiating with Iran and Let Israel Bomb their Nukes

Monday, June 8th, 2015

A large plurality of Americans prefer that the Obama administration take a more dovish approach to end the Iranian nuclear threat but at the same time back Israel’s bombing the Islamic Republic

The Zogby Analytics poll, published Monday by Forbes, offered two options to 909 likely voters nationwide: Continue negotiations for a deal that limits Iranian nuclear development and allows for U.N. inspections, with the lifting of sanctions, or stop negotiations and “tighten the sanctions against Iran until Iran is ready to end all nuclear development, even if it means the US losing support of countries like France, Germany and Britain.” The first and more dovish option won support of 42 percent of the respondents, compared with 32 percent for the more hawkish diplomatic alternative.

But in the words of Zogby, “voters do not mind the US encouraging Israel doing the dirty work.” The poll asked:

Do you mainly support or oppose the US allowing Israel striking against Iranian nuclear sites?

The results were startling, with 45 percent supporting an IDF attack and only 23 percent opposing it. The other 32 percent were undecided.

Support for an Israeli military attack grows with age, 44 percent among 18-19 year olds and 49-50 percent for those over the of 50.

Among likely Democrat voters, 36 percent back and 28 percent back an Israeli strike. On the Republican side, the hawks outnumbered the doves by 4-1, with a whopping 59 percent giving their voice of approval to an attack.

Zogby asked, “What should we make of this?” and answered that most likely voters support American diplomacy with both Iran and the major powers, prefer a deal rather than the risk of war but also would like to see a quick solution if Israel can end the nuclear threat.

The poll’s report concluded:

Few Americans will cry if Iran’s nuclear acquisition is halted but American cannot stomach another long-term military engagement.

The questions imply many assumptions that are wrong. Even Israel admits that attacking Iran’s nuclear facilities does not necessarily mean ending the threat. It is speculation whether Iran will bounce back in three or four years and come close to getting it hands on a nuclear weapon, as the Obama administration argues, or will take the hint and invest its resources into more productive areas.

It also is not so certain that Americans think that a U.S. attack on Iran would mean a long war or one that would put soldiers on the ground.

The poll suggests a few other conclusions:

–Americans have lost faith in their armed forces to do what has to be done;

–They really are not sure that a deal will end the Iranian nuclear threat. At best, it will kick the can down the road a few years, maybe;

–And Americans trust Israel.

It is the last suggested conclusion that is the most significant. Israel may not have Obama’s back but when things got sticky, it probably has the back of most Americans, and that has huge implications when it comes to the BDS movement, aid for Israel and the Obama administration’s insistence to pander to the Palestinian Authority.

French NGOs and Palestinian Authority behind BDS Pressure on Orange

Sunday, June 7th, 2015

A coalition of French NGOs, some of them partly funded by the government, last month published a 51-page document named “Orange’s Dangerous Liaisons in the Occupied Palestinian Territory” to spearhead the campaign to pressure Orange to boycott Israel’s Partner Communications, which markets the Orange mobile phone service brand.

The Palestinian Authority joined the French NGOS to lobby the government and Orange to boycott Israel, the Israel-based NGO Monitor reported.

The NGOs reportedly met with Orphanage officials on May 26 and told them that its business link with Partner endangered its reputation. Orange told the BDS promoters that the agreement for Partner’s marketing the Orange brand expires in 10 years.

NGO Monitor reported:

The authors of the report asked Orange to publicly and explicitly state its decision to disengage and to denounce the human rights violations that Partner is involved in  Israeli settlements in the OPT [occupied Palestinian territories-sic]. In other words, the statements made by the France-based company are a wholesale adoption of the NGOs’ BDS agenda (which is illegal in France).

Following the publication of the report, Saeb Erekat, lead negotiator of the Palestinian Authority (PA), wrote to France’s foreign minister, Laurent Fabius, to denounce the link between Orange and Partner.

Organizations participating in the move to pressure Orange to boycott Israel include the European-based Who Profits, Al Haq, Catholic Committee Against Hunger and for Development-Terre Solidaire (CCFD), FIDH, and Association France Palestine Solidarité (AFPS).

Who Profits, which now is a separate organization, began to campaign against all of Israel’s cell phone companies in 2009 for allegedly being “commercially involved in the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and the Golan Heights” and “exploit[ing] the Palestinian frequencies and to impose their services on the Palestinian captive market.”

The Who Profits webpage also attacks Partner for sponsoring IDF units in the Golan, Judea and Samaria in the “Adopt a Soldier” project.

The 51-page document stated:

During the attack on Gaza in the summer of 2014, Partner was on the front lines providing material support, cellular services and entertainment to the Israeli soldiers. The company also waived service fees for soldiers carrying [sic] the assault during July-August 2014.

The French government, which owns 25 percent of Orange, granted the Catholic Committee Against Hunger and for Development-Terre Solidaire received nearly $400,000 from France in 2012. The same organization is a member of the Platform of French NGOs for Palestine,

FIDH last year libeled Israel with allegations that it deliberately targeted civilians in the war against Hamas rockets and missiles on Israeli civilians. The NGO is funded in part by the European Union and the governments of Finland, France, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway and Sweden.

NGO Monitor added, “Al Haq is funded directly by the governments of Belgium, Spain, Switzerland, Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, and Ireland, and indirectly by UK, Sweden, Germany, and the UN.”

Its report continued:

Al Haq is a leader of lawfare and BDS against Israel. A main actor in the NGO campaign to file war crimes charges against Israeli officials at the International Criminal Court (ICC)….

Al Haq proposed sabotaging the Israeli court system by ‘flooding the [Israeli Supreme] Court with petitions in the hope of obstructing its functioning and resources.’

The Israeli Supreme Court has identified Al Haq’s general director Shawan Jabarin as ‘among the senior activists of the Popular Front terrorist organization.’

The Association France Palestine Solidarité (AFPS) was funded by the French government in 2012, refers to the “Gaza extermination camp” and states, “It is inconceivable and unacceptable that the ‘Jewish-executioner’ would hide behind the ‘Jewish victim!’” Other AFPS rhetoric includes ethnic cleansing, apartheid state, and “Stop hunting Palestinian children!”

A French court in 2014 ruled in favor of the French distributor of Israel-based SodaStream in a lawsuit charging the pro-BDS group with stating that SodaStream products were being illegally sold in France.

Netanyahu Asks Why UN Does not Condemn Rocket Attacks on Israel

Sunday, June 7th, 2015

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu opened Sunday’s weekly Cabinet meeting with the usual warning that “Israel holds Hamas responsible for all firing from Gaza” but also jabbed the world for remaining silent.

The Prime Minister said:

I have not heard anyone in the international community condemn this firing; neither has the United Nations said a word. It will be interesting if this silence continues when we use our full strength to uphold our right to defend ourselves.

Let it be clear: The spreading hypocrisy in the world will not tie our hands and prevent us from protecting Israel’s citizens. Thus we have acted; thus we will act.

Turning to the BDS movement, Prime Minister Netanyahu noted, “We are in the midst of is establishing an offensive, first of all offensive, but also defensive, network in the face of attempts to boycott the State of Israel and harm the IDF’s right to defend the citizens of the country. As far as those pushing the boycotts are concerned, the settlements in Judea and Samaria are not the focus of the conflict, but our settling in Tel Aviv-Jaffa, Be’er Sheva, Haifa and – of course – Jerusalem.

Netanyahu also had a message for the “peace process” promoters: While we call for a resumption of the diplomatic negotiations, the Palestinians are taking steps against us at the UN and at the international court in The Hague. They shun negotiations and at the same time are also pushing international sanctions and UN Security Council decisions against us because there are no negotiations. They ran from Barak, Sharon and Olmert, they ran from them all, and then they accuse us. Here as well their cynicism knows no bounds, and I regret that there are those who fall into this trap of organized hypocrisy.

Could he possibly be referring to President Barack Obama and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry?

 

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/netanyahu-asks-why-un-does-not-condemn-rocket-attacks-on-israel/2015/06/07/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: