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August 20, 2014 / 24 Av, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Boycott’

Aussie Jews Demolish BDS

Tuesday, May 13th, 2014

The Executive Council of Australian Jewry has ramped up its campaign against the boycott, divestment, sanction movement (BDS) in Australia with an information booklet outlining the history and aims of the BDS movement.

The booklet, which has been distributed to politicians, journalists and public officials lays bare the hypocrisy of the BDS brigades Down Under and summarizes the movement’s activities in Australia.

“It’s important that people know the true facts about BDS,” ECAJ public affairs director Alex Ryvchin told the Australian Jewish News. that the booklet aims to expose the lies behind the anti-Israel movement in Australia. “Their aim is not to build a Palestinian state, it is to destroy the Jewish one.”

The paper said the booklet also explores the links between BDS activities in Australia and anti-Semitism, including Holocaust denial and calls for violence against Jews.

“While denying that it is anti-Semitic, the BDS campaign has consistently failed to address the anti-Semitism its actions attract and encourage, and the anti-Semitism implicit in seeking to deny the Jewish people their right for national self-determination,” the booklet says.
 

UK Architects Vote Against Israel

Monday, March 24th, 2014

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) is advocating to suspend the Israeli Association of United Architects (IAUA) from the International Union of Architects (IUA).

According to a report on the BDS movement website, RIBA voted 23-16 with 10 abstentions on March 19 to boycott the Israeli organization.

The motion called on the IUA to suspend the Israeli organization’s membership “until it acts to resist these illegal projects, and observes international law, and the IUA Accords and Resolution 13….[which] states that ‘The IUA Council condemns development projects and the construction of buildings on land that has been ethnically purified or illegally appropriated, and projects based on regulations that are ethnically or culturally discriminatory, and similarly it condemns all action contravening the fourth Geneva Convention.’ “

There is rich irony in that motion, given the definitions of “ethnic purification” and “cultural discrimination” and the countless examples of its lack of relevance anywhere in Judea and Samaria, let alone in Jerusalem.

The land referred to in the motion is polka-dotted throughout Judea and Samaria with Arab and Jewish farming villages and towns – so much so, in fact, that negotiators on both sides still cannot figure out a realistic way to separate them. That’s because they live ‘cheek-and-jowl’ – the truth is, many of those communities are close neighbors and if they would have been left alone, would have remained at peace.

Anyone who has driven through Judea via Highway 60 and stopped off to shop at the Rami Levi supermarket also knows how ridiculous the accusation is. The bustling enterprise, owned by Israeli Jewish businessman Rami Levi, employs both Palestinian Authority Arabs and Israeli Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria, most of whom are observant Muslims, Christians and Jews. Moreover, the store is crowded from morning till night likewise with shoppers of the same ilk: Palestinian Authority Arabs and Israeli Jews, all of whom are residents of Judea and Samaria – all intent on one thing: making sure they get what they need for their families and getting home in time for dinner.

In Jerusalem, the accusation of “discrimination” is even sillier: there is not one major Israeli hospitality industry institution in which Arabs do not play a major role. Step into any hotel, be it rated at two stars or five, and see if you can find any staff without at least several high-ranking Arab employees. Likewise the health clinics, hospitals and other offices in the holy city. Hadassah Medical Center is headed by an Arab professional, in fact.

The word “apartheid” in the British Oxford dictionary is defined as “a policy or system of segregation or discrimination on grounds of race” that historically began with South Africa. Although it has been flung at Israel over its security and defense policies, nevertheless the facts on the ground belie the charge – as anyone with clear eyes can see.

Perhaps United Nations personnel should step out of their white cars once in a while, rather than simply drive through Arab villages, and up and down Highway 60 in the night. Were they to do so, the BDS movement would have a lot less traction.

Denmark’s Boycott Bank Linked to North Korea-Iran Ballistic Missiles Sales

Sunday, February 2nd, 2014

When JewishPress.com reported on Denmark’s Danske Bank’s “boycott” of Israel’s Bank HaPoalim, we pointed out the curious fact that Danske Bank actually doesn’t do any business at all with any Israeli bank, leading one to wonder about the motivations for their announced boycott.

You may now stop wondering.

David Goldman of Pajamas Media uncovered a 2009 Wikileaks cable in which it exposes that Danske Bank provided financial services to Tanchon, a North Korean company that sold ballistic missiles to Iran.

FOR DENMARK ONLY: — We previously raised with you in March 2006 our concern (REF L) that Tanchon Commercial Bank maintained a correspondent account with Den Danske Bank AS- Copenhagen. According to April 2009 Bankers Almanac information, Tanchon still maintains that account.

The US State Department had warned Danske Bank about their providing services to Tachnon in 2006, and the bank apparently chose to ignore it, despite the “legal and ethical” issues it raised.

Only in 2010, did Danske Bank state that it finally stopped doing business with Iran.

Nothing we’re aware of, about them not doing business anymore with North Korea.

Either way, so much for that moral high ground they were claiming.

Denmark Bank Boycott: All For Show

Sunday, February 2nd, 2014

The Danske bank of Denmark announced they plan to boycott Bank HoPoalim for its involvement in settlement construction.

They recently pulled their investments from Israeli real estate giants Africa-Israel and Danya Cebus.

It turns out that the Danish Embassy has an active bank account at Bank HaPoalim, and they have no intention of closing it down.

The Danish embassy said that the decision of Danske bank is a private one, and the government of Denmark has no say over their decisions.

It’s seems worthwhile to point out that Danske bank not only were not doing business with Bank HaPoalim prior to their announced “boycott”, but they don’t have any investments with any other Israeli bank either.

One might begin to suspect that settlements have nothing to do with their decision to not work with any Israeli banks.

Abandonment and Boycotts – How We Should Respond

Sunday, February 2nd, 2014

Here are some initial thoughts on, and responses to the challenges facing us is Eretz Yisrael.

The Boycott Threat It’s no secret that John Kerry is pushing the Europeans, behind the scenes, to threaten Israel with their boycott threats.

It seems to me that if Israel is under boycott, the first thing Israel should do is threaten to cancel the F-35 deal, and say we won’t be forced into buying technology which we don’t want. And then find a friendlier country willing to build a new fighter plane for us, according to our specs (assuming we can’t do it ourselves). I hear China and India would love to get their hands on that Israeli project.

In addition, as you probably heard, Israel is close to finding yet another cure to yet another disease.

Any country who boycotts Israel will not be allowed to use our medicine and our technology without paying the boycott tax, which will be set at 1000% of the products price.

True, these European countries will try to smuggle our technology and cures in, but that would breaking international law, wouldn’t it?

Abandoning Israelis to Wild Netanyahu’s threatened to abandon (at least) 20% of its citizens to Palestinian rule.

No problem. The first thing we’re going to do is declare every area abandoned by the State of Israel, as now being under the sovereignty of the State of Judea.

There will be a moment of legal vacuum between the end of the IDF martial law and the emergence of a Palestinian State. At that moment, each person living in these ungoverned areas will have the right, anchored in international law, to declare self rule. Anyone looking to take over these self-ruled areas will be breaking international law.

Here are some of the benefits of living in the State of Judea:

  • Government will be a loose confederation of towns, cities and cantons, and not centralized the way it currently is in Israel.
  • Each member town-state will be able to decide its own local laws.
  • There will be direct elections for all representatives, no voting for parties.
  • Judges will be elected locally and directly by the people, and have term limits.
  • Education, police, and construction will be run and managed on the local level, and not by a central government.
  • The federal government will be kept small and limited – by law.
  • Taxes will capped, and not be at the insane levels they are now in Israel. VAT tax will be cancelled. Taxes will first go to local needs, before federal.
  • Every citizen of the State of Judea will receive a plot of land.
  • Every adult citizen of the State of Judea, of sane mind, will have the right bear arms, and may be part of the Judean Armed Forces, or to their local town-state’s militia.
  • The State of Judea will have a zero-tolerance policy for acts of terrorism.

So, if the Israeli government wants to abandon its citizens to the terrorists, the abandoned citizens will take up the challenge, and set things up the way they should have been in the first place.

More to come on these topics in the near future. I’d like to hear your thoughts.

Crush Economic Terrorism

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

“Israel’s captains of industry fear boycott,” announced a front-page headline this week in the newspaper of the nation.

At first glance it seemed simply foolish: by warning of a boycott, they are actually encouraging one. But quickly enough it became apparent that this was part of an organized campaign to pressure Netanyahu to accept the demands posed by the Palestinians and John Kerry.

To ensure the message gets across, Ynet explains that this was “a tough message for the prime minister” from the elites attending the economic summit in Davos: “The conflict hurts citizens in the pocket. If we want economic stability and growth, it’s urgent we reach an agreement with the Palestinians.” According to the site’s editors, “not only John Kerry is urging Netanyahu to reach an agreement with the Palestinians,” but so are the top players in the Israeli economy. The list includes prominent names: Dan Proper of Osem, Ofra Strauss, Meir Brand of Google Israel.

The headline featured a round number so readers would remembering it better. In the meantime, though, one of these leaders fell out: Rami Levy, whose chain of supermarkets includes stores in Gush Etzion and the Binyamin region. After the social networking sites—including his own Facebook page—filled up with threats to boycott him, Levy lost no time arranging an interview with Erel Segal and disclaiming any part in the initiative.

One wonders how many others were unknowingly recruited by the campaign.

Money—No. Manpower—Yes.

If, heaven forfend, the Palestinians were to accept what the Jewish businesspeople are trying to give them, it would be a victory for terrorism and violence. Since the businesspeople are so very wary of the Arab boycott, perhaps they should be shown that there is another side to the dynamic, and surrender to the boycott carries its own price. Most of their customers, after all, are Jews. Ergo those Jews who do not agree with them can come together, initiate their own boycott, and refuse to consume products made by the companies whose officers were parties to the demand.

Yes, precisely: a counter-boycott boycott. Not nice, you say? On the contrary, it is both nice and just—and imperative as well. The business leaders’ demand did not come in a vacuum. It was part of a carefully coordinated campaign aiming to defeat Netanyahu precisely at the critical point of the negotiations. Thus two days later, another headline suddenly announced that the president of Ben Gurion University in Be’er Sheva was concerned by the prospect of an academic boycott of Israel. Those commenting on the article were quick to point out the university’s well-known political orientation, but the damage was done.

I wonder whether there was a hidden hand behind the campaign. Surely enough, Itai Reuveni of NGO Monitor ascribed the timing to close cooperation between the many leftist organizations involved in the matter. In the way that only an avowed opponent can be, he is impressed by their ability to unite in a common struggle.

I pour some cold water on his enthusiasm: “There’s no shortage of foundations abroad giving them all money. There’s no need for them to fight each other.”

Advocates of the boycott include Israeli organizations, such as the Coalition of Women for Peace, which was lavishly supported by the New Israel Fund and foreign foundations. One way they pursue their vision of “peace” is by carefully keeping track of Israeli economic enterprises and systematically listing them on their website. They engage in goal setting just like in the army, targeting, for instance, major Israeli banks and security companies such as Elbit and G4S. Even cosmetics company Ahava has been ravaged by the amazons of the “peace”-mongering coalition. Foreign organizations simply go to their website and put the intelligence gleaned to work.

Are the Arabs in on it, too? Certainly. They haven’t disappeared, I was told by an intelligence officer who follows the field—they’ve simply become more sophisticated. There are indications that they are funding the European organizations. While the main actors in the stratosphere of the boycott industry are international organizations, under the surface there are hundreds of Palestinian and Arab cells and groups, such as the Badil Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refuge, near Rachel’s Tomb.

Why, then, hasn’t the army been ordered to put an end to the farce by closing the enemy office and stopping money transfers to it, as was done in Jude and Samaria in the past? After all, this activity is barred by the Oslo Accords, as well as by various laws that forbid discrimination and racism. There’s no doubt that Shai Nitzan and General Mandelblit, who has Netanyahu’s ear, could find even better legal cause. However, they haven’t yet gotten around to enforcing the Knesset’s law regulating Israeli NGO’s.

So what is to be done? There’s no substitute for civil society. The Israeli public, which finds itself on the defensive here, lacks the financial resources of those who would defeat it. But we have far more volunteer power. We need to create task forces to adopt different organizations. Even countries: Israelis from a given country can lead a public relations campaign for Israel in that country. Thousands of volunteers are needed for the task.

In the end, the government will wake up and adopt the campaign as a state effort in the same way that Israel fought against the Arab boycott. True, the assignment is bigger this time, but the population also is bigger, as well as more aware. A combination of establishment and volunteer forces can defeat the new enemy that threatens Israel’s security and growth.

Fighting for Israel from Seattle

Monday, January 13th, 2014

It’s no longer the hardship it once was to make Aliyah. This being the case, it takes a lot for Jews in America to convince me of their sincerity and love for Israel. Mike Behar is one of the few who managed to win me over.

He did so during quick Facebook chats about his latest work on behalf of Israel during breaks from my own work at Kars4Kids and later on during longer conversations by phone. His quiet work on behalf of Israel shines in a region of the U.S. shrouded in darkness by its overt hate for the Jewish State. It takes fortitude to hold an unpopular view in the face of the overwhelming anti-Israel sentiment of the Pacific Northwest. Mike has fortitude in spades.

He works behind the scenes, going to meetings where Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) activists hold forth. He talks to activists that might be amenable to hearing a different, more truthful pro-Israel view. He writes letters to the editor of the local Jewish newspaper to protest the slanted coverage against Israel. As such, I see Mike as every bit a warrior for the state of Israel as those of us who live inside the Jewish State.

Michael Behar, age 51, has lived in Seattle all his life. His grandfather was the cantor and spiritual leader of Congregation Ezra Bessaroth, a synagogue founded by observant Jewish immigrants from Rhodes, Greece. “EB” is still at the center of Michael’s family life.

A product of the Orthodox day school and Yeshiva system, Michael studied in Israel at Yeshivat Beit El post high school in 1981-1982, during the evacuation of Yamit in the Sinai and the beginning of the first Lebanon War. These seminal experiences strengthened his love for Israel and the Jewish people. Michael married Carole in 1990 and the couple has four children.

Varda: Mike, in Israel we are hearing a lot about anti-Israel sentiment in the Pacific Northwest region of North America. There are the reports from Hen Mazzig, and your blog, The Mike Report. We have heard about the Jewish Voice for Peace JVP (an anti-Israel protest group), Linda Frank, BDS 101, and more. Why is it like this in Seattle?

Mike: There are two factors that make the Pacific Northwest a hotbed of Israel hatred: the universities, and the progressive culture of this area.

Seattle is a college town. College environments tend to be incubators of radicalism. Still, the University of Washington campus has historically been a “serious” college with a relatively subdued extremist contingent compared to other West coast campuses.

60 miles South of Seattle in Olympia, on the other hand, is Evergreen State College. Evergreen has been a center of radicalism for years. During the Iraq war, local activists shut down the port of Olympia to prevent supplies from reaching the US military. In March of 2003, Evergreen State College student Rachel Corrie was killed after standing in front of a moving army bulldozer during a military action in Gaza. Her death provided anti-Israel activists with the local connection they needed to connect a faraway conflict to the “Israel is evil narrative” they had attempted to peddle for years.

In the Puget Sound area, Corrie is considered a martyr, a glowing angel sacrificed in the cause of peace. Once Corrie’s name is pulled into the debate, open discussion is quashed. Corrie’s parents, Craig and Cindy Corrie stoke the coals of hate with ceaseless efforts to demonize the Jewish state. Corrie did not create the anti-Israel movement in the Pacific Northwest (PNW) but her death supercharged the anti-Israel movement here, especially on college campuses. Radical groups active on college campuses include International Solidarity Movement (ISM), Students United for Palestinian Equal Rights (SUPER-UW), Students for Justice in Palestine, and Jewish Voice for Peace.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/interviews-and-profiles/fighting-for-israel-from-seattle/2014/01/13/

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