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September 2, 2015 / 18 Elul, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘boycott Israel’

Canada May Propose Defining Boycott of Israel a ‘Hate Crime’

Monday, May 11th, 2015

The pro-Israel Canadian government may be planning to include boycotts of Israel as a hate crime, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) reported Monday.

It said that such a move would target organizations such as the United Church of Canada, Canadian Quakers, campus protest groups and labor unions. It also would raise legal questions under Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Canadian Prime Stephen Harper is unarguably the most pro-Israel head of any government in the world. He sounded like an echo of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu during his visit to Israel last year.

Recently-retired Foreign Minister John Baird in January signed an agreement with Israel to fight the Boycott Israel movement, and government ministers have said they will show “zero tolerable” towards groups that are part of Boycott, Divest and Sanction (BDS). He described the Boycott Israel movement as “the new face of anti-Semitism.”

Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney recently said that boycotts of Israel cannot be separated from anti-Semitic hate speech and the recent terrorist attacks against Jews in France.

CBC asked the government to explain the meaning of “zero tolerance,” and Blaney replied that Canada has “one of the most comprehensive sets of [hate] laws anywhere in the world.”

Last year, Canada changed its definition of hate speech to include statements made against “national origin” and not just race and religion.

That has raised fears among civil libertarians that anti-Israel remarks could be classified as statements against Jews.

The concept of associating Israel with Jews goes at the very heart of the liberal Jewish community, as well as Jews who have no interest in Judaism in Israel. Whether they like it or not, hatred of Israel and Jews increasingly makes them identified with Israel by the fact that they are Jews.

They can like it or not, but inevitably, “Jew” cannot be separated from “Israel.” They can like it not, but the “People of Israel” means Jews – everywhere.

The question is whether that definition has a legal standing.

CBC reported that the Canadian Quakers wrote a letter to Foreign Affairs Minister Rob Nicholson in March “expressing concern” about describing boycotts as acts of anti-Semitism.

Blaney’s office did not specifically say that would be the case but noted that it is illegal to promote hatred against an “identifiable group.”

However, BDS protests in other parts of the world have been anything but violent, with frequent clashes with police such as in France.

In Israel, it is against the law to boycott the country

In France, hate speech as a crime includes statements aimed at people’s “national origin,” and BDS activists sometimes have been charged with violating the law.

Belgium is considering a similar law.

On paper, it would seem that prohibiting a group from promoting a boycott of a country – and Israel is the only nation that is targeted – because of its political polices is a violation of freedom of speech.

In reality, such protests are often like the Palestinian Authority term “resistance,” a code word to encourage terrorists to kill Jews.

Indiana becomes 2nd State to Pass Anti-BDS Resolution

Friday, May 1st, 2015

The Indiana General Assembly has become the second-ever state legislature to pass a resolution that formally opposes the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel. Tennessee lawmakers approved a similar measure on April 21.

Adopted in a voice vote, the Indiana Senate approved Resolution 74, which “expresses opposition to the anti-Jewish and anti-Israel” BDS movement.

The Senate’s move came after the Indiana House of Representatives unanimously (93-0) passed the anti-BDS House Resolution 59 on April 22. The measure now goes to Indiana Governor Mike Pence for his signature. Pence recently visited Israel and express his whole-hearted support for the country.

The Indiana bill contends that the global spread of anti-Jewish speech and violence “represents an attack, not only on Jews, but on the fundamental principles of the United States.” The resolution goes on to thank the presidents of Indiana University and Purdue University for “strongly” condemning the boycott of Israeli academic institutions after some faculty members and other staffers at those schools voiced support for the BDS movement.

Fight against Boycott Movement Moving to State Legislatures

Friday, April 24th, 2015

Resolutions condemning the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel in the Tennessee and Indiana state legislatures mark what a group of pro-Israel organizations and grassroots activists hope is just the start of a new trend in fighting BDS on American soil.

The Tennessee General Assembly on April 21 became the first state legislature in the U.S. to formally condemn the BDS movement through the passage of Senate Joint Resolution 170. The resolution was initiated by Laurie Cardoza-Moore, founder of the Christian Zionist group Proclaiming Justice to the Nations (PJTN). Cardoza-Moore worked with local Jewish and Christian organizations to bring the resolution to the state legislature.

Cardoza-Moore said:

With the current climate of increasing anti-Semitism, anti-Israel, and anti-Zionist campaigns, Tennesseans and all people of conscience should endorse public statements of support for our Jewish brethren living in Tennessee and pro-Israel students attending colleges and universities in our state.

The resolution, initially passed April 9 by the Tennessee Senate in a 30-0 vote, was approved by the Tennessee House of Representatives in an overwhelming 93-1 vote 12 days later, with Democratic State Representative G.A. Hardaway the lone dissenter.

The measure, which is expected to be signed next week by Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam, declares that the BDS movement is “one of the main vehicles for spreading anti-Semitism and advocating the elimination of the Jewish state,” adding that BDS activities in Tennessee “undermine the Jewish people’s right to self-determination, which they are fulfilling in the State of Israel.”

Furthermore, the resolution states that the BDS movement and its agenda are “inherently antithetical and deeply damaging to the causes of peace, justice, equality, democracy, and human rights for all the peoples in the Middle East.”

According to a PJTN press release, “BDS has an active presence in Tennessee, particularly through The U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, a group that is a leader of BDS. UT (University of Tennessee) Knoxville alumnus Rev. Osagyefo Uhuru Sekou, a leader in the U.S. Campaign, was this year’s keynote speaker at the national meeting of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), a college campus group that has spearheaded anti-Israel demonstrations.”

Christians United for Israel (CUFI), whose 2 million-plus members make it America’s largest pro-Israel organization, strongly supported the anti-BDS resolution in Tennessee. CUFI’s coordinator in the region, Pastor Lyndon Allen, testified in support of the measure.

Also testifying before the same committee to advocate for the resolution was Mark S. Freedman, executive director of the Jewish Federation of Nashville and Middle Tennessee, who said, “While the majority of delegitimization efforts are defeated, and support for Israel in the United States and in Tennessee remains strong, the opponents of Israel continue to make headway simply by poisoning the public discourse around Israel.” Freedman added that besides condemning divestment, Tennessee can go further by beginning “to think about investment in Israel.”

Joanne Bregman, a local Jewish activist and attorney who advocated for the resolution’s passage, told JNS.org that the Tennessee General Assembly’s action could serve as a template for other U.S. states to recognize the growing threats of the BDS movement and anti-Semitism. She added that the Christian-initiated bill should be a “wake-up call” for the Jewish community to be the ones “who need to fill the public information void” on BDS and anti-Semitism.

That effort is already underway, with the Indiana House of Representatives this week unanimously (93-0) passing a resolution that now moves to the Indiana Senate, after which point it is expected to be signed by Governor Mike Pence.

Similar to the Tennessee resolution, the Indiana measure “expresses opposition to the anti-Jewish and anti-Israel” BDS movement, adding that the global spread of anti-Jewish speech and violence “represents an attack, not only on Jews, but on the fundamental principles of the United States.” The resolution goes on to thank the presidents of Indiana University and Purdue University for “strongly” condemning the boycott of Israeli academic institutions after some faculty members and other staffers at those schools voiced support for the BDS movement.

Israel Prize Winner Warns against Boycotters of Israel

Friday, April 24th, 2015

Poet Erez Biton, who was awarded the Israel Prize for Literature on Yom Ha’Atzmaut, used the occasion to warn against sponsors of the Boycott Israel movement.

“Strident voices are being heard in the world including those who are challenging the very existence of the State of Israel,” he said. “There are even those among them who are labeling products and I say, without any connection to our internal political debate, we must all stand together in order to rebuff these tendencies.

“I say: Those who label products today are liable to label people tomorrow.”

Biton, who has been blind since he was a child, was the first member of the Sephardi community to be awarded the prize.

Reports in Israel’s liberal left-leaning establishment media on his receiving the award from Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu focused on his being Sephardi, but the reporters, deaf if not blind, omitted his remarks about anti-Israelis.

Supreme Court Judge Calls Anti-Israeli Boycotts ‘Political Terrorism’

Thursday, April 16th, 2015

A nine-member panel of the Israeli Supreme Court dealt a blow to the Boycott Israel and BDS movements Wednesday by unanimously rejecting leftist petitions against a law that prohibits boycotts of goods from Israel.

The part of the legislation that protected products from Judea and Samaria from boycotts also was upheld by the court, but only by a 5-4 margin.

The only part of the legislation that was struck down by the justices was a clause allowing people to sue for more than compensation covering damage.

The law was passed in 2011 to thwart the boycott campaigns, but the Supreme Court suspended the law in December 2012 following petitions challenging the constitutionality of the legislation.

Justice Hanan Meltzer wrote in Wednesday’s ruling that boycotts are “political terrorism.”

The anti-boycott law allows lawsuits against any company, individual or organization that has been discriminated against “solely because of their affinity with the State of Israel, one of its institutions or an area under its control, in such a way that may cause economic, cultural or academic damage.”

The anti-boycott has been effective even when while it was suspended.

The left-wing 972 Magazine website, which states that is against the “occupation,” wrote Wednesday:

Civil society organizations self-censored in order to protect themselves from civil suits…. (Two years ago the editors of +972 Magazine decided to stop self-censoring boycott related articles.) [Parentheses are in the original content – [ed].

NGOs opposing the bill were quoted by the website as having commented on the court’s unanimous ruling, “The boycott law is a law to silence legitimate criticism. The High Court ruling is a serious blow to freedom of expression and basic rights for political participation on a disputed topic.”

“Freedom of expression” is very a popular concept among those who exploit it to demonize Israel and try to turn it into an Arab country.

The law does not ban debates against Israel. Nine justices on a court that is one of the most liberal judicial bodies in the Western world ruled that the law is constitutional. The decision implicitly made it clear that “freedom of expression” does not cover discrimination against a country’s goods simply because they are made by Jews, regardless of where they live.

Justice Meltzer explicitly wrote that Israel has the right to protect itself from people trying to use “freedom of expression” to destroy the country.

Even the 972 website told its readers that many anti-Israelis use the boycott “desire the destruction of Israel as a Jewish state.”

Will Leftists Boycott Elections because Ballots Printed in Samaria?

Sunday, February 22nd, 2015

Ballot slips for the March 17 elections are being printed in Karnei Shomron, a Jewish community that is located in Samaria and part of the “occupied territories: whose produce is boycotted by leftists.

The Sirugim website reported Sunday that “Yisrapot” won the tender to print the slips of paper with the acronyms of the 16 parties running in the elections.

Two weeks ago, Meretz leader Zahav Gal-On refused to accept a bottle of wine given to her because it was produced in Judea and Samaria.

If the “Boycott Yesha” movement is true to its ideology, its cheerleaders won’t vote March 17.

Israeli Wine Exports Sparkle [video]

Monday, January 26th, 2015

L’chaim.

Israel wine exports rose 10 percent last year and reached $40 million and total sales were $220 million.

The Israel Export and International Cooperation Institute announced the figures on Monday at the start of the two-day Tel Aviv Sommelier Wine festival.

There is a growing demand from North America, Europe and Asia for Israeli wines, some of which have won dozens of prizes and are rated with top wines from California and France.

“In recent years Israeli won has won international recognition and the rise in wine exports to Asia where the kosher market is insignificant demonstrates the strength of Israel’s wine brand around the world,” the Export Institute Wine Department’s head Ya’ara Shimoni told Globes business newspaper.

Israel has 250 wineries, half of which are commercial operations.

Several wineries produce products from grapes grown n the Golan Heights and Judea and Samaria, where dry summers, cold winters and high altitudes contribute to the grapes’ high quality.

God has not cooperated with the Boycott Israel movement.

This winter has been usually cold and wet, just what the grape vines before waking up in the Spring.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/israeli-wine-exports-sparkle-video/2015/01/26/

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