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April 25, 2014 / 25 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Mishor Adumim’

BDS Tries to Keep Israel’s SodaStream Out of Super Bowl

Sunday, December 9th, 2012

As cheerleaders shake their pom poms, top-dollar players hone their victory dances, and marketers prepare to rake in the dough raised through advertising and sales, Super Bowl XLVII will not just showcase a rivalry between this year’s best winningest football teams, but stands to highlight a burgeoning campaign against Israeli life in the biblical heartland.

SodaStream, an Israeli maker of home soda machines, aims to place its first advertisements in the US during the upcoming Super Bowl, according to an article by the Associated Press.  Aiming to make it big in the United States, SodaStream – the world’s largest manufacturer and distributor of home beverage coronation systems – seems to be a natural choice for Americans who want easy convenience, lower costs, and an effortless way to take part in protecting the environment by reducing the number of plastic bottles produced to hold their drinks.  The company is willing to stake a lot of money on that possibility – $3.5 million, the amount it takes to purchase just 30 seconds of advertising time during the Super Bowl.

And while simple consumerism might assure SodaStream a steady stream of sales, pro-Palestinian activists are working to ensure that SodaStream fizzles out.

Soda Stream is produced in Mishor Adumim, according to the AP, an industrial zone adjacent to Maale Adumim, a Jewish community in the Judean desert which has gained notoriety recently for its proximity to Israel’s latest building project, E-1.

“The new SodaStream publicity blitz has given the US boycott, divestment, sanctions movement a marvelous opportunity to bring our campaigns targeting settlement products to a new, unprecedented level of visibility and success,” said Anna Baltzer, an organizer of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation in the AP report.

Though Israeli products enjoy success in the US and Europe, the massive international campaign encouraging governments, companies, and private citizens to boycott, divest, and sanction Israel has enjoyed limited success, winning an EU case stopping products made in Judea and Samaria from enjoying the same duty free status as products made in other parts of Israel, and convincing the United Kingdom to ban a SodaStream TV ad on the pretense that it disparaged other soda manufacturers.

For his part, SodaStream CEO Daniel Birnbaum says he’s “got to laugh” thinking he’s a target of pro-Palestinian activists, telling the AP that his company provides jobs and economic benefits to many Palestinians workers.

Supermarket Epiphanies in Israel

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012

So what was I doing behind six shopping carts at the local Shufersal Deal supermarket in Mishor Adumim on a Friday morning? After all, as far as I’m concerned, hell hath no more infuriating nadir than being stuck in that place at that time.

But I had no choice: We had returned from a long overseas trip on Thursday evening and if we wanted to eat on Shabbat, it was the Friday grocery zoo or bust. I hadn’t kept up fully on Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s new coalition or President Shimon Peres’s American trip, but one blaring newspaper headline had reached me before I got home to Ma’aleh Adumim: “Shufersal Deal out to murder [competitor] Rami Levi.”

A take-no-prisoners price war had broken out, apparently, which even a friend in distant Pisgat Ze’ev gushed, was attracting her weekly to one or the other emporium in our town.

My worst fears were instantly confirmed. The usually bare parking lot had overflowed onto adjacent streets stretching three blocks in every direction.

The glazed expressions of entering consumers mirrored the grim fatalism of soldiers about to enter battle, while the jubilant looks of the exiting victors towing ridiculously filled carts reflected raw, gluttonous triumphalism.

There I was, in dire gloom, cart frozen well distant from the cash register. I was sorely aggrieved. Until I remembered a flash of soul-searching during my flight when I promised I would try to improve my grumpiness a bit and seek alleged silver linings even in dismal circumstances (I get weird thoughts, and also swollen ankles, on 10-hour flights). What could I do save give my commitment the old college try.

Here are the observations that ensued during the next 40 minutes.

The Holocaust 

A few decades ago, our people faced starvation in the ghetto and worse in the camps. The images haunt us to this day.

And here, in Mishor Adumim, hundreds of Jews in shorts and sandals, were inundated with fine, healthy, nutritious food… at cutthroat rates, priced to put a nearby competitor out of business. What a remarkable, epiphanous and profound change. No joke – I would say it borders on miraculous when seen in this light.

Law and order 

Not usually an attribute associated with Israeli social norms, but here we were. A nasty environment, crowded and frustrating… yet I couldn’t help but notice how everyone, without exception, stayed calm (even resigned), didn’t shout, didn’t whine, didn’t act like babies. It was downright civilized. It disproved the global image that “Israelis do not know how to stand in line.”

Respecting the different 

I saw two handicapped people. One was a Down Syndrome child with his dad. The other a severely handicapped woman navigating the maze with difficulty, burdened by two crutches and a cart. No stares. No averted glances. No looks of pity or annoyance. As naturally as could be, the carts parted, Red Sea-style, as everyone readily made way and moved aside and even smiled…not grudgingly or artificially, but naturally. It was nice to see.

The peace process 

I know crass consumerism can’t bridge the entire Arab- Israeli divide, but there is something to be said about the commonality of getting a good bargain.

Arab women, covered albeit in festive demeanor, husbands, babies… they were all well-represented. Again, it might not be the magic formula, but a vibrant economy in which all parties reap the benefits can clearly encourage a peaceful attitude far quicker and more seriously than umpteen squawking talks around conference tables.

What would generic observations be without, ultimately, a final test. After the 50-minute marathon wait, I received my own personal test.

The lost hour of course meant that we missed the final home delivery.

Now that wasn’t fair, I thought, eyeing our 18 bags of groceries. Our first inclination was to yell it out with the manager and insist on our “rights.” I duly dispatched my “personal commando,” i.e., my wife, dutifully escorted by the cash register guy, but suddenly all my positive thoughts flooded back and I realized this was a defining moment.

Dare I make those five carts now lined up behind me wait for 10 minutes of silly arguing, or should I just forget about it? I canceled the fight and decided that three trips up and down three flights of stairs were preferable to making those folks behind me wait even one minute longer.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/supermarket-epiphanies-in-israel/2012/07/03/

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