web analytics
October 26, 2014 / 2 Heshvan, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Boycott Divestment and Sanctions’

SodaStream Continues Uptick,Take That! BDSM Advocates

Thursday, June 6th, 2013

SodaStream is an Israeli company which has shaken up the soft drink business. Because its competitors are Coke and Pepsi, it has to take its business seriously.  But because it is made in Israel, of course the organized world of Israel haters and those who support them have targeted SodaStream for boycotts and other economic mayhem.

But that is okay, because despite the efforts of the BDSM – anti-Israel economic and political warfare movement of Boycotts of, Divestment from and Sanctions Against Israel – to strangle SodaStream, the company’s profits just keep on growing.

SodaStream machines are sold throughout Europe and now also in America.  You buy a machine, add water to the bottle that comes with it, then add one of the dozens of concentrated syrups and flavorings, add the carbonation and voilá, your very own style soda for much cheaper than store bought, with lower calories, carbs and sodium, and – drumroll please -  it is far healthier for the environment!

The earliest predecessor to SodaStream was launched in 1903.  SodaStream in its current incarnation went public on the NASDAQ stock exchange in 2010. Its marketing emphasizes its environmental friendliness – you use the same bottle each time you make another batch.  Even the gas cyclinders which contain the carbonation are recyclable.

When SodaStream went public it became one of the top performing Initial Public Offerings, starting with $367 million and rising to $1.46 billion within a year. In 2012 its earnings per share grew 57 percent, and its 2013 earnings are expected to grow another 27 percent.  Its earnings are projected to grown another 30 percent over the next 5 years.

The company has been so successful, Samsung will be producing its refrigerators with built-in SodaStream sparkling water dispensers by April 2014.

Okay, SodaStream is another Israeli miracle, so is that why the anti-Israel folks are so angry? Yes, but more specifically they like to complain that SodaStream had factories in the disputed territories.  Oh how awful!  Especially when you find out that those factories employ hundreds of Arabs, both in Judea and Samaria, and also with its 2011 factory in BeerSheva, where many Negev Beduin will be employed.

SodaStream purchased ad space at this year’s Super Bowl, which Israel haters seized upon and vowed to use to showcase their campaign against the Israeli company.

“The new SodaStream publicity blitz has given the U.S. boycott, divestment, sanctions movement a marvelous opportunity to bring our campaigns targeting settlement products to a new, unprecedented level of visibility and success,” Anna Baltzer, an organizer of the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation. “It’s time to burst SodaStream’s bubble. There’s nothing environmentally friendly about military occupation.”

Guess it was Baltzer and the other BDSMsers whose bubble was burst, as SodaStream’s financial success continues. Even the normally anti-Israel magazine The New Yorker gave SodaStream a thumbs up, and that was after Baltzer’s bawl.

We even pointed that out in a cartoon a few days ago.

German Boycott of Settlements

92nd St. Y to Embrace Another Israel Hater: Alice Walker

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013

Just a couple months ago The Jewish Press followed a spectacle created by the 92nd Street Y – the former “Young Mens Hebrew Association” – when it publicly embarrassed itself by welcoming a leader in the economic and political warfare effort against Israel known as the BDSM – the Boycott of, Divestment from and Sanctions Against Israel Movement.

Once pro-Israel supporters of the 92nd St Y got wind that Roger Waters, the aging rocker of Pink Floyd fame, was going to be using the Y platform to spew his anti-Israel invective, emails began ricocheting across the internet, angry phone calls were placed and, eventually, the Y leaped at the opportunity to be able to say “so sorry, that date won’t work” when Waters tried to change the date of his appearance.

You’d think the outrage sparked in the pro-Israel community when the Y, which holds itself out as a center for Jewish life that offers learning opportunities, multigenerational holiday celebrations, and “talks on a broad range of Jewish topics encourage people of all ages and backgrounds to discover their own special meaning in Jewish tradition and find joy in Jewish life and culture” was forced to retreat from hosting an Israel hater would cure the institution from pouring the same bucket of anti-Israel slime over its edifice.

But you’d be wrong.

Because guess who’s coming to dinner next?

Alice Walker, a fading superstar author of the 1983 classic The Color Purple, but one who has re-energized and enlarged her audience with the sure-fire appeal of spewing anti-Israel venom, is scheduled to appear at the Y on Thursday, May 30.  Walker is scheduled to appear with Eve Ensler, activist and author of the Vagina Monologues, to talk “about her activism and her writing, her conflicting impulses to retreat into inner contemplation and to remain deeply engaged with the world.”

A key part of Walker’s “deep engagement with the world” has been her very vocal and categorical opposition to Israel. Walker regularly refers to Israeli “Apartheid practices” and its “persecution of the Palestinian people.”  In a 2012 interview with Democracy Now!, Walker accused Israel of “stealing so much Palestinian land, they have essentially stolen all of Palestine.”

In the summer of 2011, Walker joined the second flotilla to break the Israeli blockade of Gaza aboard a ship named The Audacity of Hope.  In an interview with Foreign Policy, Walker claimed that Israel is the biggest terrorist in the Middle East.

I think Israel is the greatest terrorist in that part of the world. And I think in general, the United States and Israel are great terrorist organizations themselves. If you go to Gaza and see some of the bombs — what’s left of the bombs that were dropped — and the general destruction, you would have to say, yeah, it’s terrorism. When you terrorize people, when you make them so afraid of you that they are just mentally and psychologically wounded for life — that’s terrorism. So these countries are terrorist countries.

Her hatred of Israel is so great that Walker has refused to allow her book, The Color Purple, to be translated into Hebrew.

Walker’s first husband, Melvyn Rosenman Leventhal, was a Jewish civil rights lawyer.

And just to bring this story back to the beginning and tie it up in a bow, Alice Walker was front and center with Roger Waters as the two of them attempted to block Carnegie Hall from hosting the Israeli Philharmonic in October, 2012.

Both artists signed a letter which stated, in part, that they “are conscientious artists who support justice, human rights, equality, and democracy in the Middle East and around the world. Consequently, we are dismayed by Carnegie Hall’s upcoming October 2012 hosting of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. The IPO is an organization that whitewashes Israel’s ethnic cleansing of indigenous Palestinians. We call on Carnegie Hall to cancel the IPO’s upcoming October performance.”

If Walker was comfortable boycotting Israeli musicians because of their beliefs, surely she will be supportive if the 92nd Street Y decided not to provide a stage for her because of her hostility towards Israel.

CUNY Claim of No Constitutional Violations at BC BDS Event Flawed

Friday, April 19th, 2013

There was much sturm und drang about “free speech rights” and “academic freedom” in the buildup to a February 7, one-sided anti-Israel event at Brooklyn College, co-sponsored by BC’s political science department, along with the student group, Students for Justice in Palestine.  The event, to promote the form of economic and political warfare against Israel known as BDS (Boycott of, Divestment from and Sanctions against Israel) went forward.

Suggestions that the constitutional rights of four Jewish pro-Israel Brooklyn College students were violated when they were ejected – at the hands of Brooklyn College public safety officers and at the sole direction of a 20-something non-objective outsider whom BC had vested with its authority – from the event were initially rejected and ridiculed.

That is because initial reports, including those made by BC officials, blamed the behavior of the students as the justification for their expulsion.

However, the existence of an audiotape surreptitiously made at the event, which flatly contradicted the public position of BC and some media outlets, was revealed on Feb. 12.  The next day the Chancellor of the City University of New York announced  that there would be an investigation into the Feb. 7 event, headed by Brooklyn College’s own Chancellor for Legal Affairs Frederick P. Schaffer, and two partners from the law firm Bryan Cave LLP.

A 36-page, double-spaced Report of the Investigation was released on Friday, April 12 and was posted online sometime over that weekend.

The four problem areas addressed in the Investigation are: I. The Reservation and Admissions Process (addressed in the Report in pages 3 – 15); II. The Handling of the Press (Report, pp. 16 – 20); III. The Removal of the Students (Report, pp. 20 – 35); and IV. The Q & A Session (Report, pp. 34-35).

Rejecting the claims of constitutional violations, the Investigators instead found that the event was plagued by extreme disorganization, unwarranted reliance on students as decision makers, and flawed – though extensive, and presumably expensive – preparations.

In other words, the Investigators concluded that the problems were caused by benign negligence rather than malignant intent.

But the evidence adduced, the information available, and the justification for action described in initial reports that were later revealed as not just flawed but false and obviously so, puts that conclusion in question.

Even more troubling is that despite the sophistication of the legal experts responsible for the Investigation, they seem to have issued a flawed legal conclusion on the most important issue at stake.

The standard for judging whether constitutional rights can be abrogated is not, as the Investigators claimed in their Report, based on sincerity.

The standard for judging the permissibility of restrictions on constitutional rights is whether or not, at the very least, there is a reasonable belief that, in this case, the Four were about to disrupt the BC BDS event. The Investigators stated clearly that there was no such reasonable belief at the time the Four were ejected.  Therefore, based on the evidence provided in the CUNY Report, it would appear that the constitutional rights of the four Jewish pro-Israel students were violated.

What follows are the details of the Investigation, focusing primarily on the ejection of four students during the event.

*************

The Investigators concluded no discrimination had taken place with respect to issues I. II and IV.

However, in addressing the third issue, that of removing the students, the Investigators concluded that while there “was no support for an inference of discrimination based on religion” (R.p. 33), they were not as confident that another form of discrimination had not taken place.

“A more plausible inference can be drawn that the removal of the four students was motivated by their political viewpoint,” the Investigators wrote. (R.p. 33) Making clear their understanding that political viewpoint discrimination was a relevant consideration, the Investigators noted that “Guzman [the decision maker] knew Goldberg [one of the Four] from a prior SJP event at which she had asked questions that challenged Palestinian positions.” (R.p. 33)

The constitutional prohibition on viewpoint discrimination means that the government (or government funded entities, such as Brooklyn College) cannot selectively silence viewpoints.  Brooklyn College, which is a state actor for purposes of this analysis, must make and enforce rules that are “viewpoint neutral.”

Scottish Council Vows to Boycott Israel

Wednesday, March 20th, 2013

A county council in Scotland has expressed its support for boycotting Israel.

Clackmananshire County Council, the smallest local authority in Scotland, passed a motion in which it resolved to “resist, insofar as legislative considerations permit, any action that gives political or economic support to the State of Israel.”

The motion, passed last week without opposition and with only three abstentions, also compared Israel to apartheid South Africa and hoped that “individual and collective sanctions against the State of Israel will end apartheid and suffering in Palestine.” The move has been condemned by Britain’s Jewish community and pro-Israel groups.

A statement from the Fair Play campaign group — an organization set up in 2006 by the Board of Deputies of British Jews and the Jewish Leadership Council — criticized the council.

“The idea of Clackmannanshire Council having its own foreign policy is ridiculous. This misguided and offensive motion will have no impact on the real world, a fact acknowledged by the motion itself when it stresses that it will only act ‘insofar as legislative considerations permit.’ We urge the Council to grow up and abandon this biased stunt of a motion,” the statement said.

Brooklyn College BDS Event: Just One Example of ‘Hostile Environment’?

Thursday, February 7th, 2013

Tonight’s anti-Israel event sponsored and endorsed by the Brooklyn College political science department will take place on that school’s campus, but it now appears certain that the atmosphere of intimidation and distrust generated by that academic department did not begin, and will not end, with this event.

The BDS program tonight will be a one-sided session in which two leaders of the economic and political warfare movement known as BDS (Boycott of, Divestment from, and Sanctions against Israel), will promote that effort as a force for good.

Brooklyn College’s chapter of the anti-Israel organization Students for Justice in Palestine is the organization that brought the event to campus, but despite the disingenuous claim by the head of the BC political science department Paisley Currah, his department is not only co-sponsoring the event, it has endorsed it.

The school’s administration has steadfastly supported the event by describing it as the right of the students and the political science department’s exercise of “academic freedom.”  Brooklyn College’s president, Karen Gould, defined that concept in a letter she sent to the school community.  It is unclear how tonight’s one-sided event fits her definition.  She wrote,

As an institution of higher education, it is incumbent upon us to uphold the tenets of academic freedom and allow our students and faculty to engage in dialogue and debate on topics they may choose, even those with which members of our campus and broader community may vehemently disagree. As your president, I consistently have demonstrated my commitment to these principles so that our college community may consider complex issues and points of view across the political and cultural spectrum.

The head of the undergraduate student government rejected the administration’s understanding of the term.  Abraham Esses explained in an open letter to the BC community, that just as “the right to free speech, academic freedom rights are not unbounded; the department has basically yelled “fire” on campus, and locked the doors to their department after doing so. By doing so, it has failed to accomplish one of the main benefits of academic freedom rights, that is, the approach of all ideas and issues with an open mind. Such a failure constitutes a gross abuse of such rights.”

In an entry in the Chronicle of Higher Education, Currah rejects the notion that two sides to a story needs be presented in order to satisfy the rigors of academic freedom.  His view is that “debates have their place, but thoroughly understanding an argument requires sustained and concentrated attention.”  And just to be clear about where he and his department stands, Currah encouraged other academics to fight against full picture presentations, writing that “it’s important to argue against mandates that both sides (or all sides) of an issue be represented simultaneously.”

The anti-Israel event has been a magnet for commentary beyond the school community as well.  One practically needs a score card to keep all the players and their positions straight.

There are three main positions: first, that the event can take place on campus and the political science department’s sponsorship and endorsement is fine; second, that the event is permissible and can take place on campus but there should not be an endorsement of or sponsorship by an academic department; and third, the event should not take place on this publicly funded university at all.

In the first category we find the BDS event co-sponsors, endorsers and the school administration, as well as the broader BDS world.  Add New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to this group, as well as the New York Times, and of course the ubiquitous circus act Max Blumenthal.

The second category’s supporters reject the overt participation of and endorsement by the BC political science department.  In their view that endorsement and sponsorship creates an inappropriate and perhaps hostile environment for BC students who support the existence of Israel.  In this category are the BC student government leadership and thousands of students who signed an on-line petition, Prof. Alan Dershowitz, and the Anti-Defamation League. Also in this group is the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York, which  issued this strongly worded statement last week:

The Jewish Community Relations Council of New York strongly condemns the decision of Brooklyn College’s Political Science Department to lend its name and imprimatur to an event featuring individuals who espouse extremist and hostile views. While we vigorously defend academic freedom, we believe that these freedoms do not extend to faculty and academic bodies exploiting their association with the university to enhance their biased and hateful agenda. At the very least, academic integrity requires a balanced forum representing diverse views. Since that is not the case, we call upon the Political Science Department to remove its name from this one-sided propaganda event.

Pro-Israel student activist Chloé Simone Valdary is also in this category, but she is calling upon the students and the larger community to speak out against tonight’s event in a cri de coeur, here.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/brooklyn-college-bds-event-just-one-example-of-hostile-environment/2013/02/07/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: