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May 27, 2015 / 9 Sivan, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Boycott Divestment and Sanctions’

Grass Roots Rally Against NYC Jewish Bigwigs for Providing Cover to Anti-Israel Groups

Monday, May 11th, 2015

On Monday, May 11, several NYC-based pro-Israel grass roots organizations will hold a rally outside of the UFA Federation building. The groups are protesting the continued tacit (and even overt) approval of certain Jewish organizations that cloak themselves with a pro-Israel patina but are, in fact, supporters of economic and legal warfare against the Jewish State.

The UJA Federation and the Jewish Community Relations Council are the focus of the rally. Groups such as JCC Watch, the Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET), the National Conference on Jewish Affairs, Americans for a Safe Israel, Americans for Peace and Tolerance, ZOA and others are behind the event at which they intend to blow 101 shofars (ram’s horns), hoping the New York City Jewish establishment will “Hear O Israel,” and come to their senses.

The problem, as these grass roots organizations have pointed out so many times, is that the major institutional Jewish organizations continue to allow groups who promote harm against the Jewish state to march in the annual Celebrate Israel Day parade.

The primary target of this coalition has been groups, such as the New Israel Fund, which financially support organizations which advocate economic warfare against Israel, such as boycotts against such iconic Israeli companies as SodaStream and Ahava.

The parade this year will take place on Sunday, May 31. And this year, just like last year and ones before, organizations like the New Israel Fund and others will be participating, right alongside all the freshly-scrubbed Jewish day school students.

If you were to ask those students whether they think it is right for anyone to boycott Israeli goods or products, they would undoubtedly answer “no.” And if you were to ask those students whether people who support such activity are pro-Israel, they would also answer “no.” Finally, if one were to ask those students whether anyone who tries to harm Israel either through economic or legal measures, should march in the Celebrate Israel parade, they would, undoubtedly, answer “no.”

But the executives at the New York UJA-Federation and the NYC Jewish Community Relations Council don’t appear to understand what is so plainly obvious to most Jewish day school students.

Richard Allen, the engine behind JCC Watch and one of the main supporters of Monday’s rally, explained to the JewishPress.com one of the saddest ironies behind the BDS infiltration into what should be an event by pro-Israel supporters, for Israel.

“We call on the UJA-Federation to stop their promotion and support for groups that call for a boycott of Israeli companies Iike SodaStream and Ahava Cosmetics. The President of the UJA-Federation, Alisa Doctoroff is a major funder of the New Israel Fund, a group that finances the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel on a worldwide basis,” Allen said.

“The UJA-Federation protects and promotes the BDS groups in the Israel Day Parade and we insist this be stopped immediately.”

Sadly, this year there is perhaps even more stunning news than that ostensibly Jewish “leaders” are protecting and promoting those who engage in economic and legal warfare against the Jewish State.

As Allen shared with the JewishPress.com, “the Israel Consul General in New York is being used by the BDS forces in the UJA-Federation to protect the New Israel Fund.  The head of the UJA-Federation, Eric Goldstein, is now hiding behind the Consul General. He said in a radio interview that the Israeli Government supports BDS in the Israel Day Parade. We are here today to demand that Jewish Charitable dollars and institutions not be used by the BDS forces to push their agenda.”

The rally is taking place today, May 11, from 5 – 7:30 p.m., outside the UJA Federation building, 130 East 59th Street, between Park and Lexington Avenues. If you cannot bring your own shofar, they will have extras to hand out.

Congressional Bill Introduced: Europe Must Reject Anti-Israel BDS in Free Trade Deal

Wednesday, February 11th, 2015

If Europe wants to enjoy the benefits of what could be the largest free trade deal in history, the leaders of its member nations will have to pay a price: they must agree to reject the anti-Israel Boycott, Divest and Sanctions (BDS) movement, say two U.S. Representatives – one from each side of the political aisle.

The Israel Trade and Commercial Enhancement Act was formally submitted Tuesday afternoon (Feb. 10) on Capitol Hill under bipartisan sponsorship, which is expected to smooth the way for rapid passage.

But there’s a catch. The legislation will “leverage ongoing trade negotiations to discourage prospective U.S. trade partners from engaging in economic discrimination against Israel, said Representatives Juan Vargas (D-CA) and Peter Roskam (R-IL), who co-sponsored the bill.

Additional co-sponsors are to be recruited to the measure after its introduction to the floor. The two lawmakers said they are optimistic the bill will pass through the House of Representatives.

It’s a great deal. It is estimated the measure could add as much as 0.5 percent to the European Union’s annual economic output. The flip side of it, however, involves how the bill impacts the ongoing free trade negotiations between the U.S. and the EU. Foreign companies traded on U.S. stock exchanges will have to disclose links to BDS activities, and whether they have faced any pressure for avoiding participation in any boycotts.

“The bill … establishes a clear U.S. policy of opposing BDS as detrimental to global trade and regional peace and stability,” the two lawmakers wrote in their introduction to the legislation. They also noted that the measure was created in response to a growing trend among countries “primarily in Europe, to isolate and delegitimize Israel through BDS for political purposes.”

“Today, an alarming number of countries within the European Union and beyond have embraced BDS as a form of economic warfare aimed to cripple Israel’s economy and demonize its very existence. These attacks not only threaten Israel, but commercial relations across the globe,” Roskam told reporters.

“The US-Israel Trade and Commercial Enhancement Act will ensure that American free trade partners never engage in this harmful and illegitimate political protest against Israel, while also protecting US companies from foreign lawsuits targeting their associations with Israel.”

Vargas likewise noted, “BDS is a harmful political tactic which seeks to undermine and diminish Israel’s economic strength. We need to reassure our commitment to our ally in the region by clearly defining US policy to oppose this practice and dissuade other nations from adopting BDS policies toward Israel.”

The measure also unequivocally underlines the “strategic importance of trade and commercial relations to the pursuit of sustainable peace and regional stability,” making it clear that boycotts break down the potential for peace between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, the lawmakers said.

Perhaps that bit of wisdom should be directed towards the PA headquarters at its capital in Ramallah: Its latest anti-Israel economic boycott has just been launched, punishing local merchants far more than Israeli manufacturers. Worse, the boycott reinforces for Israelis the utter futility of attempting to secure any lasting agreement with anyone who claims to lead the Palestinian Authority.

Arab governments in the Middle East come and go, and so do those who lead the Arab residents of Judea, Samaria and Gaza. The PA commitments in particular – on paper or otherwise – can be likened to a ritual courtesy one carries out in ceremonial garb. They mean everything for the moment, but are instantly put aside when “reality” steps back into the scene. In that moment, all is forgotten and anything goes, as happened with the obligations of the internationally recognized Oslo Accords.

A bill such as the Roskam-Vargas measure is invaluable, coming at a time when a European groundswell of anti-Semitism appears to be growing into a tsunami and the U.S.-Israel relationship appears to be floundering in ways never seen before. The entire Middle East is in disarray, and Israel may be facing an existential threat from Iran as it gallops towards a nuclear military threshold. It is precisely now, as Iran strengthens its terrorist guerrilla proxies to the north and south of Israel’s borders, that the Jewish State most needs the support of its friends in the international community.

How fortunate that the lawmakers in Congress have chosen this moment to reaffirm — and concretely demonstrate — America’s commitment to Israel, and to underscore the strong relationship both nations share.

What’s With NY Jewish Institutions? JCC Film Fest Dir. Pro-BDS!

Saturday, August 17th, 2013

The shocking news that the 92nd St Y’s now former director was involved in an affair and the possible cover-up of vendor shakedowns, could possibly explain the recent pattern of that institution’s promotion of celebrity proponents of economic and political warfare against Israel.  Perhaps it was simply collateral damage from a leadership gone astray.

But how to explain the New York City Jewish Community Center employing as its film programs director – that is, someone who chooses what films the New York Jewish Community is going to tout for its Jewish audience to see – someone who publicly embraces and encourages others to embrace that despicable movement known as BDS, the Boycott of, Divestment from and Sanctions against the Jewish State?

It did not require any investigative journalism to make this discovery.  The JCC’s film director, Isaac Zablocki, wrote an article touting his anti-Israel bona fides in one of the most widely-read (if frequently anti-Israel) outlets, the Huffington Post.

In an article published earlier this week titled, “Boycotting the Messenger,” Zablocki writes glowingly about the use of boycotts against Israel to punish the Jewish state for “violating the human rights of Palestinians.” He romanticizes boycotts as the paradigmatic “non-violent form of protest for centuries.”

The BDS movement fights against the normalization of the occupation of the State of Israel and pushes to exclude Israel from any international program as long as it is violating the human rights of Palestinians.

But Zablocki does not support all boycotts of Israel.  But his selective warfare against the Jewish State is not the Peter Beinart version of “beyond the Green Line is not kosher, within is kosher” style of boycott of Israel.

Nope, Zablocki, being an artiste and all (he had a one film career), is only opposed to arts and academia boycott of Israel. All other kinds of boycotts are hunky-dory.  We’ll allow him to explain it.  Here, again, from his Huffington Post article:

In the case of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, nonviolence is a welcome form of protest for the region, and the importance of the use of boycott to get international attention towards pressuring Israel to end the occupation is unquestionable. However, the protest of art, culture and education brings up dangers in the realm of freedom and evolution of thought. Artists and educators have an important impact on changing society. Their diversity of opinions plant seeds of thought and help minds grow.

Could it be that Zablocki, who grew up in Israel, but was educated at Columbia University (affectionately referred to by some as Bir Zeit on the Hudson) sees only as virtuous those in the industries he knows best?  It makes sense, in a selfish kind of way, that Zablocki would want to protect his comrades in the academic and arts industries from having their livelihoods harmed even by his favorite form of “non-violent protest.”  But businesses?  Manufacturing? Construction?  Those are for the uncultured masses.  Never mind that those are the industries in which most Arabs, especially poor Arabs, in the region are employed.  But let’s not allow that to be a consideration.

On the most fundamental level, the question has to be raised and raised repeatedly: why it is that so many institutions which are presumed to be providing services to the Jewish world, and are certainly raising their funds from Jews, are staffed by people who see their bona fides in the arts world as requiring a lusty desire to damage the Jewish State?

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.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/scottish-council-vows-to-boycott-israel/2013/03/20/

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