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November 24, 2015 / 12 Kislev, 5776
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘boycott Israel’

Britain and France Boycott Israeli Military Expo

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2015

Britain, France and several Scandinavian countries have prohibited their countries’ defense officials and private contractors from exhibiting at the 7th annual Israel Defense Expo that opened today at Tel Aviv.

Maariv reports that the Foreign Ministry officials warned that the boycott is only the first reaction to last week’s FIFA debacle in which the Palestinian Authority failed to win its campaign to force Israel to ban soccer teams in Judea and Samaria or be ousted from the corrupt organization.

The problem with the theory of Israel’s answer to the U.S. State Dept.’s Foggy Bottom foreign policy pencil pushers is that there is no way that Britain and France acted so quickly between last Friday and today.

The more likely explanation is that the countries indeed are sending a message to Israel that they are steadfast in their belief that if Israel simply would hand over Judea and Samaria to the Palestinian Authority, the world would be a better place for London and Paris, and never mind Jerusalem and Ramallah.

But that has nothing to do with the soccer silliness. In fact, the European Union voted not to expel Israel from FIFA.

It is true that Israel is losing potential deals with defense contractors at the exhibition, but it is equally true that the countries that are boycotting Israel are shooting themselves in the head. They are losing out on possible sales and contacts with companies from all over the world.

They may be hurting exports from Israel, but trade works in two directions.

One Spanish contractor, banned by Spain from exhibiting in Israel, simply appeared in Tel Aviv under a different name, a security official told Maariv:

They have no will to be identified as a company selling offensive weapons to Israel.

But when asked if their absence damages Israel, the official did not answer.

The reaction of the Foreign Minister officials is not surprising in light of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s recent moves to put some common sense and unity back into the ministry that is over-staffed with people from the days of the Rabin-Peres government, when the Oslo Accords were supposed to bring eternal peace to the Middle East.

His selection of Tzipi Hotovely as Deputy Foreign Minister and former Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Dore Gold to direct the ministry have thrown Israel’s establishment media into a trauma.

Hotovely absolutely shocked some of the Foreign Ministry middle-tier staff when she gave them a short lesson of Torah and said that the policy to explain Israel’s position to the world should be based on God’s having granted the Land of Israel to the Jewish People.

The idea of re-inventing the wheel is so revolutionary, or in the minds of the lefties so archaic, that Israel’s leftist oriented establishment media went all out last week to try to convince its readers that Prime Minister Netanyahu is destroying the Foreign Ministry.

Helsinki Environmental ‘World Village’ Bans Jewish National Fund

Sunday, May 31st, 2015

The Finnish “World Village festival emphasizing the environment has banned the participation of the Jewish National Fund (JNF), the largest environmental organization in Israel. The Finnish government feigned it was powerless to interfere in the boycott and told the Israeli Ambassador to Helsinki that it has no say in the matter because the “Maailma Kylässä” festival is a “private event.”

Dan Ashbel, the Israeli ambassador to Finland, said:

I wonder how this scandalous decision is consistent with values such as eco-friendliness, fairness, tolerance, and the desire for peace. I wonder if the rest of the organizations in the festival are required to stand up to the same criteria.”

However, the Finnish government’s security forces were able to convince the World Village to ban the Freedom of Speech village, warning that an exhibition supporting the freedom of the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine to publish cartoons of the Muslim prophet Mohammed might cause violence.

The JNF has planted 240 million trees since 1901, and Israel is one of only two countries in the world that registered a net increase in the number of trees at the beginning of the 21st century.

It can be assumed that the organizers do the World Village were celebrating Boycott Israel when deciding to ban the JNF, which also has donated 3,000 trees to the Palestinian Authority for its new city of Rawabi north of Ramallah.

The World Village organizers figure that the environment is better off without a pro-environment organization, which is Jewish, and without a free speech environment that might upset Muslims.

Ted Cruz Calls for Financial Boycott of Universities Backing BDS Israel

Saturday, May 30th, 2015

Ted Cruz has revved up his campaign to win the Republican nomination for the 2016 presidential elections with a speech calling for the government to cut off funds from universities supporting the Boycott Israel (BDS) movement.

He said at an event, attended by casino magnate and Republican party backer Sheldon Adelson and where he received the Defender of Israel Award at the Champions of Jewish Values International Awards Gala.

In 2017, we need a president who will stand up directly and confront the [Boycott, Divest, and Sanctions] movement. BDS is premised on a lie and it is anti-Semitism plain and simple. And we need a president of the United States who will stand up and say if a university in this country boycotts the nation of Israel than that university will forfeit federal taxpayer dollars.

Cruz’s tough talk may have jingled Adelson’s pockets, but it also is likely to scare moderate Republicans and drive down the drain any possible support from conservative-oriented Democrats.

BDS is a major threat to Israel, although so far it is more bark than bite, but trying to stop it with a Big Brother punishing universities for boycotting Israel would be a precedent to wholesale Big Brother thought control.

The Boycott Israel movement is a campaign of thoroughly twisted and hypocritical minds, but using the government to try to choke it to death could actual anger the bigots and give BDS more oxygen. The BDS’s general failure, despite its constant threat to Israel, leads it to self-asphyxiation.

Cruz is out in far right field in the crowded Republican campaign for the party’s nominee last year. Adelson may give Cruz lots of money, but the more than $100 million wasted to support Newt Gingrich for president in 2012 could have been better invested in a poker game.

As much as pro-Israel candidates delight most Orthodox Jewish voters and the Israeli right-wing, the election in 2016 is not going to be won and lost on the economy, the earn on terror and immigration.

Canada Denies Hate Crime Laws to be Used against Israel Boycotters

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015

The Canadian government has vehemently denied a media report that it is considering applying hate crime laws against Boycott Israel-BDS sponsors.

The original report by the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.’s (CBC) Neil Macdonald has been called into question by Honest Reporting (HR), which said that the writer jumped to illogical conclusions in the article that was falsely headlined “Ottawa Threatening Hate Charges against Those Who Boycott Israel.”

CBC later toned down the headline to delete the word “threatening” because there was no such threat, except in the imagination of Macdonald. Honest Reporting wrote that Macdonald’s “animus against Israel is well-known.”

His story was clearly his own imitative and was written after he asked the government what exactly it meant by statements that Ottawa would show “zero tolerance” for those who promote boycotts of Israel.

The Jewish Press reported the CBC story here yesterday. The office of Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney stated in a speech at the United Nations in January:

[Canada has] zero-tolerance approach to anti-Semitism and all forms of discrimination including in rhetoric towards Israel, and attempts to delegitimize Israel such as the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.

His spokeswoman Josée Sirois, asked by Macdonald what he meant and if Blaney intends to work against the BDS movement, e-mailed him that Canada has “one of the most comprehensive sets of laws against hate crime anywhere in the world.” She added that Canada’s Criminal Code applies to the promotion of hate against an “identifiable group,” which includes those of “national origin.”

After Macdonald wrote his article of the supposed “threat” to punish those who boycott Israel, Blaney’s office responded:

This story is inaccurate and ridiculous. These laws have been on the books for many years and have not changed…. We won’t dignify this bizarre conspiracy theory with further comment.

CBC’s “correction” insisted that the response “appears to contradict the email comments” by Sirois.

The Jewish Press wrote here yesterday that applying hate crime laws to the BDS movement would raise questions of freedom of speech, a supposed threat that may be exactly what Macdonald wanted to promote.

CBC wrote in its correction, “Those who support BDS fear that the change in the law could lump in people who speak against Israel with those who are anti-Semitic.”

Honest Reporting has asked CBC for some clarifications and charged the national media outlet with violating standards.

Concerning the original headline that Ottawa “threatened” hate crime charges against BDS promoters, HR wrote, “Can the CBC even cite one such example? The article itself does not contain anything to substantiate this charge except conjecture and Mr. Macdonald’s deductive reasoning, along with his forming conclusions based on some statements made by senior officials….

“In fact, Mr. Macdonald only says that ‘The Harper government is signaling its intention to use hate crime laws against Canadian advocacy groups that encourage boycotts of Israel.’ This may or may not be the case, but there’s a marked difference between signaling intentions and claiming outright that the government has already ‘threatened’ those who boycott Israel.”

The possibility, if not probability, that Macdonald and CBC have an agenda to trump up charges against the government is supported by another headline, in a different article, that CBC had to change, according to HR.

The headline “McMaster students who boycott Israel among those who could face hate crime charges” was changed to “Are McMaster’s Israel boycott advocates among those who could face hate crime charges?”

HR said that “CBC adroitly changed the headline from a claim to a question and never did publicly disclose that the headline had been amended, a violation of CBC standards. The same violation occurred in the CBC’s failure to publicly acknowledge it edited its original inflammatory headline to Macdonald’s article.”

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.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/fight-against-boycott-movement-moving-to-state-legislatures/2015/04/24/

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