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Posts Tagged ‘Boycott’

Roger Waters Open Letter Calls on Musicians to Boycott Israel

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

British rocker Roger Waters published an open letter calling on fellow musicians to join a boycott of Israel.

“I write to you now, my brothers and sisters in the family of Rock and Roll, to ask you to join with me, and thousands of other artists around the world, to declare a cultural boycott on Israel,” Waters wrote in the letter dated Aug. 18. The letter was previously drafted in July.

The former Pink Floyd front man said he was inspired to release the letter after British violinist Nigel Kennedy at a recent promenade concert at the Albert Hall in London called Israel an apartheid state. The BBC said it would remove his remarks in rebroadcasts of the concert.

Waters, who has been active in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions, or BDS, movement for at least seven years, referred to the boycott of apartheid South Africa, saying that first a trickle of artists refused to play there, leading to a “flood.”

He singled out Stevie Wonder’s canceling of a performance for the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces as a recent success story. Wonder quit his participation in the December fundraiser at the last minute under pressure from many corners.

“Please join me and all our brothers and sisters in global civil society in proclaiming our rejection of Apartheid in Israel and occupied Palestine, by pledging not to perform or exhibit in Israel or accept any award or funding from any institution linked to the government of Israel, until such time as Israel complies with international law and universal principles of human rights,” Waters wrote.

Waters recently came under fire for using at in his concerts a huge inflated balloon in the shape of a wild boar with a prominently visible Star of David, as well as a hammer and sickle, crosses and a dollar sign, among other symbols. It is a gimmick he has used for several years.

Singer Tom Jones to Snub Boycott Movement and Perform in Israel

Wednesday, July 31st, 2013

Welsh singer Tom Jones has given the Boycott Israel another kick in the pants by announcing  he will perform in Tel Aviv in October

Jones, now 73 years old, will appear the Nokia Stadium in Tel Aviv.

Earlier this week, Eric Burdon, former lead singer of the Animals, changed his mind about honoring the boycott and said he is not canceling his show, despite a flood of emails, some of them threatening, from boycott activists.

DM Moshe Ya’alon Teaches the EU a Lesson

Friday, July 26th, 2013

In direct response to the EU’s directives against Israel’s sovereignty over Judea and Samaria (as well as over Jerusalem and the Golan), Defense Minister Moshe “Bogie” Ya’alon has given the order that the IDF and other relevant government bodies under his control stop all cooperation with EU representatives. This includes any assistance that the IDF may have been providing the EU in infrastructure projects, according to a report in Ma’ariv.

Other steps the Defense Ministry have taken include no longer renewing special EU travel permits nor issuing new ones. Permits for projects in Gaza and Area C are not being granted. Furthermore, the relevant government offices are not taking phone calls from EU representatives.

Ya’alon has also given the order to block the direct transit of EU officials between Israel and Gaza. If EU officials want to go in or out of Gaza, they’ll have to go through the Sinai. Already the transit of three EU groups have been blocked.

On the EU’s part, they are not yet convinced that this is actually a new Israeli policy or just a temporary retaliation, and they plan to wait a few weeks to review if the restrictions are still in place.

PA Arabs May Have to Go Hungry and Naked to Boycott Israel

Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013

Israel’s Fox clothing store chain plans to open a branch in Ramallah, the heart of the Palestinian Authority, may put a feather in the cap of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s economic hopes for the PA but also may unwittingly kill Kerry’s “peace process” efforts.

It also might bring Arabs and Jews closer to peace.

As reported on Monday, Palestinian Authority activists are outraged over the idea of Fox moving into Ramallah because it has committed the ultimate sin of operating stores in Jewish areas in Judea and Samaria.

Fox spokesperson Merav Stav said that the Ramallah store will be run by a PA franchise owner, but that does not calm those who want a boycott of any Israeli firm that deals with Jews in Judea and Samaria.

“The public rejects the opening of the Zionist clothing chain in Ramallah,” wrote one activist on an Internet site.

The news of Fox’s expansion into Ramallah has reached around the world, from Europe to China as well as the United States.

Fox runs 135 stores in Israel and another 245 outside the country, and CEO Harel Wizel plans another 60 branches in two years.

Large billboards already are posted in Ramallah to advertise the new store to be opened later this year.

Fox’s plans are an untended slap in the face of the European Union, which last week declared a boycott of any firm that has operations in Judea and Samaria, the Golan Heights and areas of Jerusalem that were occupied by Jordan before 1967.

Now we will see if the EU is prepared to put an “x” on Fox’s stores in Europe.

The world already has learned that boycotting all of Israel does not work, unless the idealists want to give up their computers with made-in-Israel Intel chips, generic drugs and the Copaxone drug against Muscular Sclerosis made by Teva Pharmaceuticals, Waze, and all sorts of high-tech gadgets.

But there is a bigger problem for Arabs in the Palestinian Authority who promote the boycott of “anyone who deals with “settlers,” except, perhaps, terrorists who do their best to end the need for a boycott by trying to put an end to Jews living there.

There are businesses besides Fox that serve Arabs in the Palestinian Authority, even if not in Arab-dominated cities.

Rami Levi’s supermarkets chains employ hundreds of Arabs and serves thousands of them in his stores in Judea and Samaria as well as in areas of Jerusalem claimed by chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

And Israel’s Burger Ranch franchise owner Eli Orgad already has announced he will open a branch in Ariel, in central Samaria, next year, where nearby Arabs undoubtedly will be shopping.

The mall is being developed by none other than Rami Levy.

Jobs and comfortable shipping are not worth the misery of having to enjoy a decent life that also helps the profits of Israelis “supporting the occupation.” In the blind eyes of hard-core activists.

It “inconceivable that while the Europeans have decided to boycott settler products, Palestinians are helping an Israeli company do business in Ramallah,” Palestinian Authority activist Zeid al-Shuaibi told the Jerusalem Post this week.

Without the Jews, either by war or through Kerry’s peace process, the PA would be left without the economic engine that has kept the Palestinian Authority alive.

If the boycotters want to be honest, they should be avoiding Osem cookies, Elite chocolates and coffee, Tnuva milk products and Strauss ice cream, because all of those products are sold in stores operated by those pesky “settlers.”

With Fox’s entry into Ramallah, PA activists, the International Solidarity Movement’s paid protesters living in Judea and Samaria, and European Union officials are welcome to stand fast and back the boycott, do without Fox clothes and stick to a diet of Arab-made pita.

Fox, Rami Levi and Orgad are making mincemeat out of the idea of the PA ideology of an Arab apartheid state.

When Kerry eventually realizes that the Arab leaders are not interested in any peace process, the Palestinian Authority likely will return to where it was before the days of the Intifada in the late 1980s, when Jews shopped freely in Gaza and hired Arabs, when Jews toured and shopped in Arab villages in Judea and Samaria, and when peace never was closer.

Hitting Back: Israel Threatens EU Prestige and Success with Pullout

Thursday, July 18th, 2013

In response to the EU directive that attacked Israel’s sovereign rights and claims over the land of Israel, Israel has taken its first retaliatory step.

According to a report in Ma’ariv, Israel has threatened to pull out of the EU’s massive science and technology project, “Horizon 2020″.

Israel is the only non-European full partner in the project, and is supposed to invest 600 million Euro (785 million US dollars) in the project over 7 years.

Besides the financial hit the EU project would take as a result, the move would be a serious blow to the project’s prestige and success. Israel is a central partner in the projects that Horizon 2020 undertakes, and part of these project’s successes are dependent on Israeli human resources and research.

When announcing their anti-Israeli directive, the EU thought they had Israel over the barrel, but the EU overestimated their power, as Israel clearly has plenty of powerful ammunition it can fire back in return.


How the EU Will Reverse Itself, in Three Easy Steps

Wednesday, July 17th, 2013

Yesterday’s announcement by the European Union, to block funding to any organization that has direct or indirect ties over the Green Line (Jerusalem, Golan, Judea and Samaria), unless they are a leftwing organization, has shocked Israel.

The overt anti-Semitism, the transparent politicization, and the blatant chutzpa took Israel by surprise. Worse, at first it felt as if Israel were trapped in a corner with no options to respond.

But reality is different.

The EU is in bad shape. It has economic problems, social problems, and credibility problems.

With its most recent action, the EU overplayed its hand, not considering the backlash the decision could cause.

Some responses Israel may choose would hurt the EU quite a bit.

THE PEACE PROCESS

In March 2012, following a UN attack on Israel that went too far, Israel announced a boycott of the UN Human Rights Council, declaring it a “superfluous and extravagant body” that Israel would have no connection to anymore.

This caused an earthquake in the UN, and it still threatens to destroy the credibility and legitimacy of the council.

Most importantly, Israel’s declaration has forced the HRC to take clear steps to correct itself.

The first action Israel must take here as well is the most obvious one: the EU craves legitimacy on the international stage. With wildcat strikes hitting Greece, Spain, and Portugal, to name but three ailing EU members, the organization must prove it is relevant and credible.

Israel should expel the EU from the Peace Process.

Israel should declare—something Prime Minister Netanyahu was hinting at in his Tuesday night statement—that the EU and all its member states will no longer be considered honest brokers, and no Israeli official will meet with them on any issue related to the Peace Process. It only takes a simple statement, and it will be enough to cause them to capitulate.

Any member state wishing to be included in the peace process must sign a statement that the territories of east Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria and the Golan Heights are in dispute and their fate will be determined through direct negotiations. It must also commit to disregarding the EU directive regarding those same territories.

Be firm and consistent – they will fold.

Israel is an important trade partner with Europe, and its third largest trade partner in the region following the UAE and Saudi Arabia. Israel buys from Europe more than it sells. A retaliatory trade war and boycott in response to their expulsion from the Peace Process would hurt the already flailing European economy, it’s the last thing they want, and not a step they would take in response.

DIVIDE AND CONQUOR

Next Israel must immediately pass the Foreign Agents Act, with an additional stipulation.

As the EU’s declaration makes it clear that they will now only be financially supporting NGOs on the far left, Israel must make it clear that any NGOs receiving EU funding are de facto foreign agents. These NGOs fund raising will be curtailed, their access to Israeli government officials would be restricted, and their entry into the Knesset will be forbidden.

Watch the left wing NGOs quietly pressuring the EU to back off their directive.

All it takes is a firm conviction on our part.

REPLACEMENT THERAPY

The third step is financial.

The EU invested close to 1 billion dollars in research grants and investments, some of which could now be lost.

Israel should approach private, patriotic wealthy Jews — Sheldon Adelson, who put his money where his mouth was this past U.S. election, comes to mind — to pick up the slack. In return, those who invest in Israeli research will reap the benefits in royalties, shared patent ownership and so on. They could stand to make a lot of money.

Stand your ground, don’t blink, they’ll blink first.

On Israel’s President’s Conference

Sunday, June 9th, 2013

 I would, in retaliation, host Saudi Arabia, Iran and Pakistan “Apartheid Weeks.” Stephen Hawking has, apparently, no issues speaking in China and Iran, two countries with appalling human rights records. No one speaks about BDS of Saudi Arabia, where the list of human rights violations is endless. Where were their voices? Or Pakistan, with religious minorities facing persecution and violence against women? No one asked me to cancel my trip to Pakistan.

Recently I received an email from “a Palestinian in Vancouver,” in Canada, asking me to boycott Israel’s annual Presidential Conference, “Facing Tomorrow,” soon in Jerusalem, where I have been invited to speak.

The request for my boycott citied as reasons Israel’s human rights violations and mentioned that as Stephen Hawking boycotted the conference, perhaps I should, as well.

My response to my Palestinian friend is that the first time I was invited to speak at this conference three years ago, I went, hesitantly, not knowing what it was all about. I was so enthused by both my visit to Israel and the conference that I wrote extensively about the experience on my blog, and later named my own Not-for-Profit Organization “Muslims Facing Tomorrow” with an idea that one day, I would host a similar conference about ideas and a vision for a better tomorrow.

Upon my return, I praised the country and the people, but many of my Muslim friends were not interested in knowing these details. They only asked, “Were there any Palestinians at the conference and was the Israel-Palestinian issue discussed?” I was happy to respond that yes, there were Palestinians at the conference; I had even brought home a book on Islam from one of the Palestinian speakers there.

About human rights violations: granted that Israel, like every other country, has violations — but far fewer than those of the countries surrounding it. Israel is still the only liberal democracy in the area where one can find gender equality and freedom for its citizens. During my visits to Israel, I have, in fact, questioned Israeli Arabs and found that they are loath to leave the country where they enjoy freedom and human rights.

As I am accredited to the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, where I attend its sessions twice a year, I have a close connection with human rights. At the UNHRC, I hear a lot about humanitarian crises, and these do not include Israel. The OIC (Organization of Islamic Co-operation), for instance, – a group of 57 Arab and Muslim States which has a permanent delegation to the United Nations and is the largest international organization outside the United Nations — continuously slams and blames Israel for everything happening in the Arab and Muslim world and beyond. This incrimination of Israel has become the norm, and can be seen as a ruse to deflect or move focus away from the real problems besetting the Arab world.

BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) against Israel is also not a new movement, but has taken on a life of its own at academic institutions all over North America. This movement has led to “Israel Apartheid Week” events, ugly and nonsensical, at many universities. If I were a student, I would, in retaliation, host Saudi Arabia, Iran and Pakistan “Apartheid Weeks.” But I know that is not the solution to the problems besetting these countries, and the crux of the issue is how freedom of speech can become the fine line between hate mongering and truth.

This incrimination also highlights the double standards held by academics such as Stephen Hawking: he had no issues, apparently, speaking in China and Iran, two countries that have appalling human rights records. But that is his problem.

My problem is that I am from Pakistan, a country where the word human rights has no meaning or recognition whatsoever. According to the Human Rights Watch World Report on Pakistan for 2012, Pakistan had a disastrous year — including increasing attacks on civilians by militant groups, religious minorities facing unprecedented insecurity and persecution, and where freedom of belief and expression are coming under severe threat as the presence of Islamists has grown by leaps and bounds. This does not even begin to address violations against women. The Aurat Foundation, a local women’s rights group in Pakistan, says the number of incidents of violence against women in Pakistan has increased at least seven percent over the past year.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/on-israels-presidents-conference/2013/06/09/

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