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September 1, 2016 / 28 Av, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Boycott’

Meretz Call to Boycott Restaurant Closing on Shabbat Backfires

Saturday, January 30th, 2016

A popular eatery in one of the more upscale communities along Israel’s Mediterranean coastline has decided to “go kosher” and close its doors on the Sabbath.”

But the decision made by the Raanana River restaurant has disgruntled members of the Meretz party. The local branch went so far as the launch a boycott of the restaurant via Facebook.

“Starting this weekend, the River Raanana has become a shomer Shabbat restaurant, closed on Friday nights and Saturdays,” wrote Idit Diamant on the Meretz Ra’anana Facebook page.

“As there are very few restaurants in Ra’anana that remain open on Friday nights and fewer that make deliveries I personally feel hurt by this change,” she wrote.

“I call upon all those for whom this is important to do as I do and to go also during the week to restaurants that remain open on the Sabbath.

“It is important that the greater public in Ra’anana will make known its opinion and support those businesses that stay open on the Sabbath if we want someone to care about our needs.”

Someone who saw the post was upset enough about the boycott to try and launch a counter demonstration.

“I want to point out that I personally oppose religious coercion in any form; I believe everyone should be free to practice their faith as they see fit, but this post disgusts me,” the writer commented.

“This week I have a meeting in Ra’anana, and of course I am going to eat there, to show my support for [this restaurant,]” the commenter wrote in the post.

 

Additional Details (JNi.Media)

Idit Diamante happens to represent Meretz on the Ra’anana city council, and serves as chair of the transportation committee and the ethics committee, and serves on the Audit Committee, the committee to promote the status of children, to anti-drugs committee, anti-violence committee, subcommittee for planning and construction, the budget distribution committee, and the support committee. She’s a busy lady.

The Ra’anana mayor, Zeev Bielski, represents an independent, local party, aptly named “Ra’anana that We Love.” They have 6 members on the council. Meretz is part of the coalition in Ra’anana, with one of three deputy mayors, Ronit Weintraub. Another deputy mayor is Haim Goldman, from the United Religious List. So it’s not as if Meretz doesn’t know how to get along with religious folks. But that’s a different story.

A mother of four grown boys, Dr. Idit Diamante is a physicist and an engineer, a researcher and hi-tech consultant, who has been in local public service since 1998. On her profile page she states her dedication to women’s causes and to reliable, transparent politics. Heaven knows why, in a moment’s rage, she trashed all that rich experience and seemingly a cool headedness and let her spoiled rich girl’s insensitive side shine through.

Now, here comes the wonderful part about this story: it received close to 300 responses since Friday afternoon, many of which were, predictably enough, from right-wingers who let her have it, as you can imagine. But the most wonderful responses came from people who defined themselves as Meretz members, left-wingers, atheists, who hated it just as much!

Nitay Sheinenzon: “As a member of the Meretz party I express objection and repulsion over this shocking post. Every time a place decides to become kosher and offers service to the religious public, it is blessed, every business that decides to rest on the Day of Rest according to our tradition is legitimate, and I wish them a good day of rest and Shabbat Shalom.”

Nir Koren: “Really? Boycotting a restaurant because it’s kosher? As a Meretz voter, activist and member of the Meretz Conference, I am ashamed that this announcement was posted on a page with my party’s name on it.”

Arik Meshulam: “As a complete atheist, I don’t give a hoot which restaurant is open on Shabbat and which is closed. If a person has decided to close his restaurant on Shabbat, it’s his business, why would you force him to keep it open? It’s his private restaurant. You’re just as bad as the religious people who force businesses to close on Shabbat.”

Erez Wohl: “I join the extreme leftists who think this post is embarrassing. We thought we were past the phase of hate for the religious in Meretz L.”

Finally, a cute post by Daniela Mizrachi: “A good week to everyone and good tidings. Ms. Idit, thank you so much for saving us a lot of advertising expenses, and thank you, everyone, for your support and understanding, we’ll be happy to have you over — River Restaurant, a river of oriental tastes.”

Bon appétit.

Hana Levi Julian

Ariel University Wins BDS Case, Receives Compensation Payment From Spain

Wednesday, January 6th, 2016

Ariel University has received a payment of nearly $100,000 (NIS 430,000) from the government of Spain.

The payment is a compensation award by the Spanish government, paid to end a discrimination lawsuit forced on both parties by the BDS movement.

Six years ago, the Spanish government caved in to pressure from the Boycott, Divest and Sanction (BDS) movement and refused to allow students from the university – based in Samaria – to participate in an international contest.

The competition to design “green” buildings that were environmentally friendly was to be open to students from universities around the world. The students from Ariel University designed “Abraham’s Tent” – a design that attracted great interest, and brought them into the finals.

The anti-Israel BDS boycott movement got to work making sure the students would not be allowed to take part in the competition, however, because they study in Samaria.

Upon their arrival in Spain for the finals, however, the students were stopped. They were informed by the Spanish Construction Ministry which funded the competition that they had been barred from the contest.

Ariel University petitioned the decision in Spain via a local attorney, and sued the Spanish government for compensation. The university also demanded the students be allowed to return to the competition.

As mentioned above, that was six years ago.

After a legal struggle, the Spanish government was forced to admit it had discriminated against the students and the university. It offered to settle the case for NIS 430,000; the payment was transferred recently to the university.

“The decision to compensate the university and to declare the barring of the students from the competition as ‘null and void’ is the required, ethical and legal response to this attempt to boycott Israel,” Ariel University President Yigal Cohen-Orgad told the Hebrew-language newspaper Yediot Acharonot.

“It proves that it’s possible to succeed in foiling these efforts,” he added.

Hana Levi Julian

Israel’s Wine Guide Boycotts Judea and Samaria Wineries

Wednesday, December 16th, 2015

(JNi.media) When Vered Ben Saadon, owner of the Tura winery in Rehelim, Samaria, approached the editors of The New Israeli Wine Guide, the Israeli wine lovers’ bible with reviews of more than 90 wines by 40 different wineries, she was told her wines would not be included, for political reasons, Israel’s Channel 2 News reported Tuesday.

According to Channel 2, a Guide co-editor told Ben Saadon, “Look, I hate to tell you this, but our policy has not changed since last year.”

She said, “Which basically means that because we’re, like, from this region [Judea and Samaria], then it won’t work?” The co-editor confirmed. She asked, “By the way, the Golan Heights is inside?” and was told, “The Golan Heights is inside.”

Of course, if the guide were to exclude the Golan wineries it would have been a very thin book, without industry stars like Yarden and Gamla.

“In other words, only Judea and Samaria is out?” Ben Saadon insisted, and the co-editor confirmed.

The wine industry is flourishing in Judea and Samaria, where many wineries have started up. The area is considered ideal for growing grapes and area vineyards have been awarded prestigious prizes in international competitions.

Ben Saadoun established the Tura winery together with her husband 13 years ago. Since then, their wines have won numerous awards in Israel and abroad, but they find it difficult to reach new customers in Israel because of discrimination—their winery is located on the wrong side the 1949 armistice line, a.k.a. the green line.

Tura is not the only winery boycotted by the guide. Another vintner, from Ofra, who spoke to one of the co-editors, received the same response: “Unfortunately we are not tasting in wineries across the green line.”

The co-editors of The New Israeli Wine Guide are sommelier Gal Zohar and Yair Gath, the wine critic of Israel Hayom, which is considered a right-leaning newspaper. They told Channel 2 News they have no doubt about the high quality of Judea and Samaria wines, they just don’t wish to include them.

One co-editor told Vered Ben Saadon, “These wines are excellent and it’s a wonderful area and you do great work and everything, but you know, with everything around, it puts us in a problematic situation.”

Ben Saadon said, “I understand. And there’s no chance of that if we meet it would change anything?”

The co-editor said, “I don’t believe it would.”

Ben Saadon told Channel 2 News, “I’m, like, upset because we’re like beyond the green line it disqualifies us from entering the book.”

One of the editors, Yair Gath, told Channel 2 News, “This is a personal project, not funded by anybody, and it’s our full right to choose who will participate in it and who will not, and we chose not to take in wines from the territories. Why? Because we think it’s wrong.”

JNi.Media

Jimmy Carter’s Cancer NOT Treated by Israeli Drug (Plus, it isn’t Cured)

Tuesday, December 8th, 2015

When the news broke on Monday, Dec. 7 that Jimmy Carter, who recently disclosed he had a serious and likely-fatal form of cancer, suddenly had ‘no evidence of cancer,’ Carter-watchers went a little crazy.

Some people, of course, were thrilled to hear that the former U.S. president was no longer at death’s door.

Others, especially strong pro-Israel activists were aghast when they read in a widely-circulated news article, that Keytruda, the drug credited for Carter’s health turnaround, was developed in Israel. Carter is widely-reviled as a virulent and relentless basher of Israel.

A 2014 article in YNet described Keytruda as an “Israeli breakthrough.”

Some people were outraged that Carter, a supporter of the BDS movement to boycott Israeli goods, was cured of cancer by a drug he would encourage others to boycott.

That drug, Keytruda, is indeed a breakthrough drug, but it was not developed in Israel.

This new drug, distributed by the American drug company Merck and developed by Nanostring Technologies, based in Seattle, Washington, became widely available last year, although it has been used in clinical trials for a number of years, according to Dr. Rene Rothstein Rubin, the director of the Cancer Center at Hahnemann University Hospital, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Rubin explained that Keytruda is a form of immune therapy, and is a “program cell death” inhibitor. It works by “inhibiting the cancer cells from proliferating, and by kickstarting the body’s immune response to fight the cancer cells.”

It does that by enabling the body’s immune system to break down the “protective coating” which encase cancer cells. Cancer cells don’t know when to stop reproducing.

Rubin explained: “if you have a cut on your hand, your skin cells reproduce until the two cut sides meet. Cancer cells don’t get the signal to ‘turn off.’ The immune therapy utilized in Keytruda allows the body’s immune cells to block the cancer cells from continuing to reproduce.”

Rubin described Keytruda and the immune therapy approach to cancers as “very exciting. It works by using the power of our own immune system to kill the cancer cells.”

Right now Keytruda is approved for melanoma and lung cancer. Carter has stage 4 melanoma — the most serious stage. Keytruda is also now in clinical trials, in the pipeline to be approved for renal cell cancer. Clinical trials for Keytruda were carried out at Tel Aviv’s Sheba Hospital at Tel Hashomer Medical Center in Israel, as well as in other places. That is where the confusion arose about the drug having been developed in Israel.

Rubin said the advance made with the perfection of immune therapy is huge, and has energized the oncologic community. Further advances in immune therapy are expected to eventually provide a huge breakthrough for genetically-transmitted cancers, like certain kinds of breast cancer, such as the BRAC1 and BRAC2 breast cancers.

Another benefit of the immune therapy approach, as opposed to chemotherapy, is that the side effects are relatively minor, compared to those with chemotherapy. “In fact,” Rubin explains, “the immune therapy works in the exact opposite way, and so has the opposite effects, including side effects, from chemotherapy, which suppresses the body’s immune system.”

But as enthusiastic as Rubin was about Keytruda, she repeatedly cautioned “it is not a cure. Instead, what looks like a cure simply means there is no discernible evidence of the disease right now.”

So, although test results for Jimmy Carter reveal that right now he is cancer free, he has not been cured. And the drug that did not cure him? It was tested, but not developed, in Israel.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Austrian Minister Refuses to Meet Israeli Official in Eastern Jerusalem

Friday, December 4th, 2015

Austrian Science Minister Reinhold Mitterlehner has cancelled a meeting scheduled for next week with his Israeli counterpart in eastern Jerusalem because it is in “occupied” territory.”

Israeli Science Minister Ofir Akunis said Friday:

Either the meeting will take place in eastern Jerusalem or it won’t take place anywhere. Austria will not divide Jerusalem.

With all due respect to the Austrian minister, Jerusalem has been the united capital of Israel since 3,000 year ago…. If I were to accept his demand, it would be as if I were dividing Jerusalem, something that never will happen.

We are not going to divide Jerusalem just like Austria is not going to divide Vienna.

Akunis and Mitterlehner were to sign scientific agreements, but meeting with an Israeli official in eastern Jerusalem is contrary to the European position on Jerusalem as well as the Golan Heights, Judea and Samaria, despite a large Jewish presence in ares of Jerusalem that the West does not recognize as Israeli..

The only prominent Western official to have met Israeli officials in eastern Jerusalem is Canada’s John Baird, when he was a minister in 2013 and met with Tzipi Livni at her Justice Ministry offices. The Palestinian Authority angrily condemned Canada for the meeting.

Mitterlehner’s snub of united Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is no different from that of other European and American official who also do not meet with Israeli counterparts in areas they do not recognize.

The difference this time is the one of timing as well as the official reaction by Akunis, a strongly nationalist Likud minister. Israel is taking the offense against last month’s European Union Commission decision that prohibit the “Made in Israel” label from appearing on products made by Jews in the Golan Heights, Judea and Samaria.

The Commission now requires the labels to read “made in settlements.”

Austria is one of the countries that is accelerating moves to adopt the policy, the Austrian DerStandard reported Friday.

Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders, one of the leaders in the move to label “settlement” products, was forced to cancel a visit to Israel after the office of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who officially also is Foreign Minister, said he would not meet with the Belgian official.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Berlin’s Newest Kosher Supermarket Ignores EU Anti-Israel Orders

Thursday, December 3rd, 2015

Germany’s answer to the European Union’s order to label “Green Line” goods was to allow the nation’s biggest kosher supermarket, Daily Markt, to open in Berlin.

In the heart of the nation where Jews once feared to tread, one can shop “blue-and-white” – and find quite a few products from Judea, Samaria and the Golan Heights.

The initiative comes as a joint effort by German business owner Asan Mytev – who is not Jewish – along with several Jewish entrepreneurs and the assistance of Berlin Rabbi Yehuda Teichtal.

Located in the Chartlottenburg district, the store stocks only kosher items – a boon for those who until now have had to really search for such products.

“We will not be deterred by the security situation,” said Evgeny Bort, co-partner and store manager. “It doesn’t scare us and we don’t linger on it or pay attention to it. We cannot let terrorism stop us and interfere with our lives.”

Rabbi Teichtal likewise noted, “Although in the past our people have faced very difficult times in Europe in general and in Germany in particular, the necessary arrangements for maintaining Jewish life were always made. Although the situation today is quite different, we are still facing security challenges – but they do not discourage us.

“The new supermarket is another addition to the current line of Jewish institutions in the Berlin community which together enable us to maintain a full Jewish life in the city. As observant Jews we see this not only as a duty but also as a privilege.”

Bort acknowledged that some customers were critical of the decision to stock Israeli items, but dismissed the feedback.

“We have many customers who respond negatively … We tell them that this is none of our concern and that we are here to assist all those who wish to shop for kosher products but find the task to be very difficult.”

Why would a non-Jew want to open such a store? Mytev explained, “Until now, anyone who wanted to buy kosher products was forced to visit several different stores in order to find them all… In fact, for all of those customers who wish to buy only kosher products, the seemingly simple task of grocery shopping is actually a very difficult one.

“The Daily Markt provides them with a solution to this problem, enabling them to buy all kinds of kosher products under one roof.”

Due to the size of the business, the partners say they can also afford to offer “decent prices” despite the cost of imports.

“We have decided to sell everything here and to import goods from all over the world – from Europe, the U.S. and also from Israel,” explained Bort.

Surprisingly, almost half of the store’s non-Jewish clientele shop there “because of our affordable prices, regardless of the kosher issue… Also a large number of our non-Jewish customers come here because of our ‘parve’ products, which are known to be lactose-free.

“Like in the United States, the local population in Germany is also starting to realize that kosher is a standard for high-quality and healthy products.”

Hana Levi Julian

Greece to Ignore EU’s Anti-Israel Labeling Rules

Tuesday, December 1st, 2015

The Greek government has told Israel it will disregard European Union guidelines advising member states to re-label any good manufactured in communities past the 1949 Armistice Line, also known as the “Green Line.”

The guidelines, published earlier this month, advise that anything produced in Judea and Samaria cannot be labeled “Made in Israel.”

Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias said in a letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that Athens would oppose the guidelines one day after Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras visited Jerusalem, according to a report by The Times of Israel. There was no coverage of the government’s decision in any Greek media.

Hungary declared its intention to defy the EU guidelines earlier this month, almost as soon as the directive was issued.

But since 2003, there had already been a numerical code placed on Israeli imports by the EU, in order to differentiate between products made anywhere beyond the “Green Line” and those produced within “pre-1967″ Israel, according to The Guardian British newspaper.

In response to the EU’s labeling, Netanyahu announced Sunday at the opening of the weekly government cabinet meeting that Israel would end cooperation with the EU’s role in peacemaking with the Palestinian Authority.

Earlier in the month, Israel’s Ambassador to the EU, David Walzer explained, “This for us in Israel feels like we have been singled out for quasi-sanctions using economic tools for punishment.” The EU has not applied the same guidelines to products manufactured in territories “occupied” by several other nations, including Morocco.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry indicated meanwhile that although individual relations with various European nations would continue, there would be no dialogue with the EU “until the reassessment is completed.”

Nevertheless, a European Union spokesperson insisted the entity would “continue to work on the Middle East peace process” independently.

Past activities by the EU have included generous funding and unauthorized construction of illegal homes and other structures for Arab squatters in Area C territory that is supposed to be under Israel’s complete control, in accordance with the internationally-recognized Oslo Accords.

Given that history, the mammoth rate of Arab immigration to most European member states in the EU, and the overwhelmingly negative voting history of the entity when issues involving Israel are raised at forums such as the United Nations, one might question whether independent work by the EU is really possible.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/greece-to-ignore-eus-anti-israel-labeling-rules/2015/12/01/

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