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July 7, 2015 / 20 Tammuz, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Harvard Crimson’

Harvard Boycotts SodaStream (Despite Company’s Surrender)

Thursday, December 18th, 2014

Earlier this month there was a corporate-sponsored event at Harvard University which included a panel advocating the virtues of the BDS Movement (Boycott of, Divestment from and Sanctions against Israel). Now we now learn of a recent decision by the Harvard University Dining Services (HUDS) to suspend its contract with the Israeli carbonated water machine company SodaStream.

This boycott of the Israeli company was described in an article in Harvard’s school newspaper, The Crimson: “HUDS Suspends Purchases from Israeli Soda Company.” It is sure to ignite the ire of any who believe the last thing a university dining service should get involved in is international disputes, let alone those who will be outraged that any part of Harvard University is boycotting an Israeli company.

That decision by some in the Harvard administration should give pause to the parents of the 6,400 students in each class who will be spending a total of approximately $240,000 to attend the college for four years, while the university condones and participates in a movement to financially strangle a company simply because it is based in the Jewish State.

SodaStream, you may recall, was targeted by the BDS movement because its main factory was located less than five miles from Jerusalem, in the town of Maale Adumim. This town is across what Israel-haters support as an Apartheid Line (the “Green Line”) beyond which no Jews should live, breathe, work or employ Arabs, the BDS crowd actively sought to boycott the company.

Put aside the fact – which is mentioned in the Crimson article – that SodaStream already surrendered to the hatred and will move its operation to an area in which it is still largely deemed acceptable for Jews to own property (ironically this move means the loss for many if not all of the company’s 900 non-Israeli Arab workers of their highest possible paying employment). Yes, put aside that fact. That is what Harvard did when it chose to boycott SodaStream because, in the words of one of the students involved: “the machines and their association with the disputed territory could be offensive to Palestinian students.”

That student, Rachel J. Sandalow-Ash, a member of Harvard University’s Progressive Jewish Alliance and the Open Hillel movement, explained why she believed the Harvard University Dining Services had to remove the Israeli company’s machines:

I think it is neither anti-Israel of anti-Semite [sic] to take [a] stand against the occupation. These machines can be seen as a microaggression to Palestinian students and their families and like the University doesn’t care about Palestinian human rights.

In other words, no matter what Israel does, even caving to the demands of the haters will have no impact on the strength of the protest.

Such a position might move one to refrain from taking any action to accommodate the pain of others, mightn’t it?

In addition to Sandalow-Ash, whom the Crimson identified as present at the meetings preceding Harvard’s decision to boycott Sodastream, also present were representatives from HUDS, Lowell House Masters Diana L. Eck and Dorothy A. Austin, Mather House Co-Master Michael Rosengarten and Dean of Student Life Stephen Lassonde.

Following the discussions, according to the Crimson article, the Harvard Dining Services “agreed” to remove SodaStream labels on the machines they already have and to purchase machines from other companies in the future.

Repeated efforts to obtain input from David Davidson, managing director of Harvard University Dining Services, Dean of Student Life Stephen Lassonde, Harvard University president Drew Faust and Harvard Law School Dean Martha Minow were unsuccessful, as were attempts to obtain a response from rabbis at Harvard’s Hillel.

Harvard Jewish Students Contemptuous of Mock Eviction Notices

Friday, March 8th, 2013

Jewish undergraduates at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts received mock eviction notices last week which had been distributed by a radical anti-Israel group, the Harvard Palestine Solidarity Committee, in advance of and as a “coming attraction” to Harvard’s Israel Apartheid Week.

The notices read:

Dear Resident(s)

We regret to inform you that your suite is scheduled for demolition in the next three days.

If you do not vacate the premise within this time frame, we reserve the right to destroy all remaining belongings. We are hereby released of any liability for damage to any persons or effects including gross negligence.  You will receive an invoice for the charges of demolition and waste removal soon.

This may seem like unrealistically harsh treatment, but this is the actual state of affairs in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Gaa Strip.  Around 25,000, homes have been destroyed by the Israeli military occupation forces since 1967 resulting in the internal displacement of over 160,000 Palestinians.  All of this is against international law yet continues to this day.

Harvard’s Israel Apartheid Week took place this past week, March 3 – 9.  However, other than the mock eviction notices and some tattered sandwich board-type signs protesting the “Illegal Occupation,” some of which looked as if they had been re-cycled from other protests, there were only two scheduled events.

The first event was the propaganda movie about protests against the security fence, “5 Broken Cameras,” which was shown on March 7.  Then, on March 8, one of the oldest voices against Israel, linguist Noam Chomsky, spoke about “Lessons from Apartheid South Africa.”  That’s it.

Harvard students were apparently less blase about the “Israel Apartheid” events than had been the case in the past.

Senior Seven J. Triconowicz shared his negative view of the events with the school paper.

“I feel like [Israeli Apartheid Week] goes against what Harvard stands for as a place for open academic dialogue, open thoughts, and open intellectual activity,” said Tricanowicz. “I find it kind of concerning that an event is going on in a way that promotes polarization and closed-mindedness.”  His statements echo similar sentiments expressed by Oxford University students about an anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions motion which was soundly defeated last month.

One of the organizers of the mock eviction notices, senior Yacoub H. Kureh, was reportedly “dismayed” that some of the notices had been ripped up and thrown down on the ground.  Imagine.

Even Jewish student leaders expressed disapproval of what amounts to childish pranks and one-sided information filled with inaccuracies, a welcome change from the past and from the situation at many other campuses.

Junior Sara Kantor ’14, co-chair of Harvard Students for Israel, told the school paper that she believes the Harvard Israeli Apartheid Week is “inherently problematic.”

“We feel bad responding to something that is so outside the spectrum of what we are willing to engage in,” said Kantor. “The issue is that it no longer becomes a question of dialogue—it simply becomes rhetoric and demonizes an entire nation and people.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/harvard-jewish-students-contemptuous-of-mock-eviction-notices/2013/03/08/

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