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August 22, 2014 / 26 Av, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Sodastream’

Tuesday Rally: No Israel Boycotters in Celebrate Israel Parade

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

A coalition of concerned pro-Israel New Yorkers will be gathering Tuesday evening outside of the UJA-Federation building at 130 East 59th Street, between Park and Lexington Avenues, between 4:00 and 7:00 p.m.

The organizers say they are having the rally because every other effort the group has made over the past several years has failed to convince the UJA-Federation and the JCRC that people affiliated with organizations which support the boycott of Jews in Israel – anywhere in Israel – should not be given an official hecksher of “pro-Israel” bona fides by being welcomed to march in the Israel Day Parade in New York.

The theme of the group coalesced over time and became “It starts with boycotts.” That’s because the people whom the group does not want to be granted acceptance support boycotting Jews as a legitimate tool the pressure Israel to accede to their – not the voters of Israel, but their wishes in resolving the Arab Israeli conflict.

“It starts with boycotts of Jewish products, and ends with violence against Jews,” said Beth Gilinsky, one of the main speakers at Tuesday’s rally. Gilinsky emailed The Jewish Press Monday evening. She is a long-time Jewish and pro-Israel activist and is the founder and president of the National Conference on Jewish Affairs.

“At this time, perhaps more than any other time since the beginning of the Holocaust, when anti-Israel hatred, and anti-Semitic and jihadist violence, are surging across the globe, it is time for the Jewish community to demand that Jewish leaders show some backbone,” Gilinsky explained.

As two New Yorkers put it in a letter they sent to the head of the UJA-Federation, their objection to the inclusion of people who intentionally harm Israel in the Israel Day Parade is not a matter of restricting free speech.

“Please do not confuse our opposition to the inclusion of BDS groups in the parade with any attempt to stifle free speech. On the contrary, we have no objection to the right of people to state their positions,” wrote Benjamin S. Klapper, of Manhattan. “As Jews and supporters of the state of Israel we do not have to furnish the platform.”

All of the rally organizers repeatedly made clear that they support the good work that the UJA-Federation and the JCRC do, especially their services for indigent and elderly Jews. But they all felt very strongly that it is wrong to permit those who willingly harm fellow Jews, or give support to those who do, to march with those whose love for Israel means they will fight for it, not against it.

“We stand with Israel, against the anti-Israel, Arab-supported BDS movement which dehumanizes Jews, demonizes Israel and which, sadly, some dishonorable Jewish groups support,” said Beth Gilinsky, one of the main speakers at Tuesday’s rally. Gilinsky is a long-time Jewish and pro-Israel activist and is the founder and president of the National Conference on Jewish Affairs.

The BDS movement promotes economic and legal warfare against Israel by promoting the implementation of Boycotts of, Divestment from and Sanctions against Israel and Israeli leaders.

The sorest point between the rally organizers and the gatekeepers for the parade is in the definition of boycott. For the pro-Israel group, anyone prepared to support those who do, or who themselves use economic warfare against Jews are supporters of anti-Israel boycotts, whether the support is for a boycott of all of Israel or only of Jews living in Judea and Samaria.

For those who make the eligibility determination, groups like J Street and the New Israel Fund and even the Partners for Progressive Israel, which consistently partner with or who fund groups that promote Israel boycotts or who promote boycotts themselves, their pro-Israel bona fides comes from their claim to “support Israel as a Jewish and democratic state.”

Richard Allen, is the founder of JCCWatch. Allen is the main catalyst for the rally and the sustained effort to ensure the Celebrate Israel Parade includes only actual lovers of Israel. He explained to The Jewish Press that the UJA-Federation has been telling concerned donors that no BDS supporters will be marching in the parade.

“But that’s simply not true and they know that. Partners for a Progressive Israel march in the parade. That is a pro-BDS group,” Allen said.

A quick skip over to the Partners for a Progressive Israel website reveals that oh yes indeed, the group most certainly promotes the boycott of all kinds of Israeli products, including SodaStream (what would Scarlett say?), Ahava and, all told, more than a dozen products including wines, salads and spices made by Jewish companies. Most of which, by the way, employ Arabs at salaries far higher than the salaries at Arab-owned companies.

Take a look:

Partners for a Progressive Israel very proudly support the boycotting of more than a dozen Israeli products

Partners for a Progressive Israel very proudly support the boycotting of more than a dozen Israeli products 

Joe Rapaport is a New Yorker who took the time to speak with John Ruskay, executive director of the UJA-Federation. Ruskay told Rapaport, that all the “groups marching in the parade have signed off that they are NOT in favor of BDS.” How to explain that position with the Partners for Progressive Israel’s proud affirmation of their boycott is difficult to understand.

But there is no need to attempt to reconcile those two contradictory positions, because the official  “2014 CELEBRATE ISRAEL PARADE – June 1, 2014 RULES AND REGULATIONS” makes no reference toBDS. The only requirement imposed on parade marchers is not even that they “support” Israel as a Jewish and democratic state, but that they “identify” with Israel as a Jewish and democratic state. No pledge is required, the statement just appears in the rule book.

Rapaport said that Ruskay also tried various hedges, like “the Federation does not decide who is in the parade, the JCRC does.” Ruskay conceded, however, according to Rapaport, that the Federation had the ability to influence the decision. Finally, Rapaport explained that Ruskay “jumped to the argument that to eliminate these [BDS supporting groups] would alienate big donors, specifically Bronfman.”

It always comes down to money, doesn’t it?

“I have received calls this week from members of the Jewish establishment accusing us of trying to stop the parade altogether,” Gilinsky said.

“Neither could be farther from the truth. We certainly want the Celebrate Israel event to succeed — just without promoters of the anti-Jewish, Hamas-backed BDS movement parading down Fifth Avenue!”

Groups participating in the rally include JCC Watch, Americans for a Safe Israel, National Conference on Jewish Affairs, Coalition for Israel, Young Israel of Kew Gardens, Jewish Action Alliance, Never Again is Now and the Jewish Political Education. Foundation

Rolling Stones Finally Choose Israel over BDS

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

It’s all over but the singing.

The long-rumored but often-doubted appearance of the Rolling Stones now is official. Mark the calendar, June 4, just about the same minute that the holiday of Shavuot ends.

The timing with the end of the holiday which celebrates the giving of the Torah to the People of Israel is one of the greatest contrasts of values possible. Moses’ going up on Mt. Sinai to receive the Torah is one of the most remarkable and holy events in the history of the world.

It would be nice if the Rolling Stones would begin their concert with Havdalah, the prayer that signals the end of a holiday or Sabbath, but “but you can’t always get what you want.”

Without any sneers at the quality of the Rolling Stones’ music and multi-media extravaganzas, their lyrics and antics are not where I would want my good Jewish children to be, but then again, I would have a problem with Frank Sinatra, also.

Israel really can do without the Rolling Stones although it will bring in a lot of shekels for the agents, parking attendants, transportation companies and hawkers.

June will not be a quiet month in Tel Aviv, which also has scheduled a two-day rock festival in mid-June with the Pixies, making their first appearance in Israel, the Hives and Soundgarden, whose lead singer Chris Cornell’s has performed solo in Israel.

Lady Gaga, Beyonce, Neil Young and Miley Cyprus also are scheduled to appear in Israel this year.

Avraham Fried also will probably be around, but how can he be mentioned in the same breath with degeneration, with the exception of Neil Young.

Speaking of degenerates, the Boycott, Disinvestment and Sanction Movement must be having conniptions at the thought of the Stones performing in Israel and not Gaza.

The Israeli producer of the concert will be Shuki Weiss, who told a press conference Tuesday, “It’s the first time in 35 years that I have no words to describe the enormity of this event. This is a historic moment.”

A ticket will cost somewhere around $175 for the plain folks, and a bit more than $800 for the VIPs.

I think I will skip it, thank you. I covered the Stones’ concert back in the 1970s with a freebie ticket. I admit it was an extravaganza, but beyond that, I think I would rather be part of the throng at Mt. Sinai.

Rest assured, the Boycott Israel crowd won’t be in synagogue on Shavuot and won’t be at the Stones concert in Tel Aviv when the holiday is over.

Last week, The Jewish Press dared the BDS Movement to boycott Whirlpool, the giant appliance conglomerate whose subsidiary KitchenAid is working with SodaStream, one of the favorite targets of Boycott Israel.

Okay, BDS, show your stuff and boycott the Stones.

Will BDS Movement Boycott Whirlpool over Ties with SodaStream?

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

KitchenAid, a subsidiary of the giant Whirlpool appliance conglomerate, has announced it is working with the Boycott Israel-targeted SodaStream company by introducing its own countertop soda maker using SodaStream’s flavors.

That should make the BDS Movement bubble over with anger at KitchenAid’s hooking up with a company that exploits Palestinian Authority worked by employing them at five times the wages they could be making if they worked for their brethren.

SodaStream’s sin, in the eyes of the Boycott Israel squad, is operating a factory in the forbidden Occupied West Bank, otherwise known as the Mishor Adumim industrial area of the city of Maaleh Adumim, Israel.

SodaStream has become more of a household name thanks to its commercials that have run for two consecutive years during the Super Bowl break and more recently because of its hiring actress Scarlett Johansson as its world ambassador. Thanks to the Boycott Israel’s attempt to place an international embargo on SodaStream as well as Scarlett’s films, SodaStream won even more publicity.

The BDS crowd went after the lady for the alleged hypocrisy of promoting both SodaStream and Oxfam, one of the lovers of anti-Israel campaigns. Scarlett came out swinging for SodaStream and ditched Oxfam, ignoring charges that she did so only for the money, which she hardly is lacking. It never crossed the minds of the Israel haters that maybe, just maybe, she acted out of principle and not principal.

One way or the other, KitchenAid now has stepped up to the plate. Like any good corporation, it is interested in principal and certainly took into account that by teaming up with SodaStream it and its parent company Whirlpool could face the same boycott campaign that tried to bring SodaStream to its knees.

BDS took credit for the recent sharp drop in SodaStream’s stock, without noting that the shares sank because of a warning that earnings would not be up to snuff last quarter. Boycott Israel did not take the credit for the recent rise in the price of SodaStream shares after the actual earnings weren’t so bad after all.

So let’s see the BDS Movement do without KitchenAid mixers and blenders and announce a worldwide boycott on Whirlpool refrigerators and freezers until KitchenAid stops helping SodaStream markets its homemade sodas.

And coffee makers.

The Boycott Israel folks can get also get rid of their Maytag washing machines, their driers, Whirlpool BBQ grills, microwave ovens and trash compactors.

Whirlpool is a corporate giant, with nearly $19 billion sales last year, more than 35 times more than SodaStream’s revenues, so get going, BDS.

Whirlpool’s subsidiary KitchenAid was all bubbly over the new arrangement with SodaStream. “We are excited to expand our KitchenAid family of products and enter the growing category of home carbonation,” said David Elliott, general manager of KitchenAid small appliances. “Working with SodaStream brings together their best-in-class technology with our stylish design signature to offer a premium product for our consumers worldwide.

Daniel Birnbaum, CEO of SodaStream, chimed in and said, “KitchenAid is an iconic, global brand and we welcome them to the SodaStream revolution. Our unique platform will enable KitchenAid to provide its large and loyal consumer base with the many benefits of home carbonation. We look forward to leveraging the combined strengths of our two brands to advance the category and reach an even broader global audience.”

Netanyahu Praises Scarlett Johansson in AIPAC Speech

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

In his speech at the 2014 American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) conference on Tuesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised Jewish-American actress Scarlett Johansson for her decision to continue representing Israeli carbonated beverage company SodaStream, which is located across the Green line and employs hundreds of Palestinians.

Johansson stepped down as a global ambassador for the human rights group Oxfam International, which had criticized her for serving as pitch woman for SodaStream.

“Everyone should know what the letters B-D-S really stand for: bigotry, dishonesty, and shame. And those who oppose BDS, like Scarlett Johansson, they should be applauded,” Netanyahu said. Channeling the 1939 movie “Gone with the Wind,” the prime minister said, “Scarlett, I have one thing to say to you: Frankly, my dear, I DO give a damn.”

Also on Tuesday, Hollywood sources reported that Johansson is expecting her first child with her fiancé, Romain Dauriac.

Presbyterians Do Repentance and Drink SodaStream

Thursday, February 20th, 2014

The supposed Presbyterian Church support of the Boycott Israel movement is suffering a wicked backlash from the little guys in the pews who are horrified at some of their elitist leaders who have taken upon themselves to speak in the name of the entire church.

The “Israel/Palestine Mission Network (IPMN) of the Presbyterian Church” in the United States has issued a study guide that that describes Zionism as inherently discriminatory.

The IPMN is an independent entity, noted the Christian newswire.com, although it was created by the Presbyterian Church’s assembly in 2004. The group has targeted Caterpillar, Hewlett Packard and Motorola, all of which do business with the Israeli military and therefore are considered non-kosher participants in the alleged “Occupation.”

The Israel-based SodaStream company has become the latest favorite victim of the Boycott movement, also known as BDS, for Boycott, Disinvestment and Sanctions.

The “church” is far from monolithic. Its anti-Israel activists failed to win approval for disinvestment when the issue came up for a vote in 2012 at the United Methodist General Conference and Presbyterian Church, but it will come up again for discussion at the General Assembly in June in Detroit.

The Institute on Religion and Democracy (IRD), a conservative group that  challenges church that focuses much of its criticism on the policies of the Methodist, Episcopal and the Presbyterian churches in the United States, is outraged at church leaders; support of BDS.

“Jewish groups rightfully are upset,” said IRD President Mark Tooley, “but Christian groups and all persons of good will interested in basic fairness should also be upset that once again a venerable church tradition is squandering its moral capital on a malevolent cause.

“The new semi-official Presbyterian anti-Israel resource illustrates the focused animus of many old-line church elites and activists against Jewish Israel.

“While Presbyterian and other church bodies remain almost completely silent about global persecution of Christians, anti-Semitism, and widespread human rights abuses especially against free speech and religious liberty, they oddly obsess over Israel’s transgressions, real and imagined.”

The Rev. Katharine Rhodes Henderson, the president of New York’s Auburn Theological Seminary, a Presbyterian-affiliated institution, wrote in an statement issued to JTA that the guide “Zionism Unsettled  “purports to be about love but it actually expresses demonization, distortion and imbalance.”

Some Presbyterians involved in Jewish-Christian dialogue say they are pressing the leadership of their church to renounce the study guide and plan to raise the issue at their mainline Protestant denomination’s General Assembly this summer. They have declared that the IPMN guide does not reflect the beliefs of the church’s members.

“My first response to my friends in the Jewish community with whom I associate on a monthly basis in a Jewish-Presbyterian dialogue group is to assure them that this does not represent even close to a majority opinion,” said the Rev. Mike Cole, a Houston-area Presbyterian leader.

The Presbyterian church officials have tried to do limited damage control by sitting that the guide “was neither paid for nor published by the Presbyterian Church,” but the officials have not repudiated it.

Jan Armstrong, a Presbyterian church leader in Santa Barbara, Calif., told the JTA that the study guide “is so unrepresentative of the Membership of the PCUSA as to be considered purely propaganda.”

The Rev. Chris Leighton, a Presbyterian minister and the executive director of the Institute for Christian and Jewish Studies in Baltimore, published a lengthy open letter to the Presbyterian church on the Institute for Christian and Jewish Studies website in which he wrote that the guide “betrays the Church, the truth, and the spirit of reconciliation to which we are called.”

The “big issue” raised by the study guide, said John Wimberly, a co-convenor of Presbyterians for Middle East Peace, “is the desire to eliminate Israel as a Jewish state.”

Can of Coke Costs Up to Six Times more in Israel than in US

Thursday, February 20th, 2014

Next time you drink a can of Coca Cola in Israel at a kiosk or tourist spot, take into consideration you are swallowing six times more money than you would if you had bought it at an American outlet, such as Walmart, according to a survey conducted by the Globes newspaper.

Americans pay on average 4.5-5.5 shekels for a 1.5 bottle of the carbonated stuff, which works out to about 1.28-$1.56 in the United States. Israelis pay about 40 percent more on average, forking out 6.3-5.4 shekels for the same amount.

The difference in prices for Diet Coke is even higher.

According to Globes, a six-pack of Coca-Cola costs one-third more in Israel than in the United States, and c can costs on average 230% more.

Private sources have reported that the Israeli franchise of Coca-Cola has a profit margin of approximately 70 percent.

Hello, SodaStream.

Canadian Minister ’Thanks Oxfam’ and Buys SodaStream Machine

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

Canada’s Employment minister Jason Kenney has countered the BDS ‘Boycott SodaStream” campaign by buying one of the company’s soda-making machines and crediting Oxfam for the idea.

Oxfam has dumped Scarlett Johansson as an ambassador because she signed up to promote SodaStream whose 20 factories around the world include one in the industrial area of Maaleh Adumim, located in Greater Israel, Post-1967 Israel, or the Occupied Territories, depending on your political point of view.

BDS has been promoting the boycott, but its vocal protests have caused rumbles that are turning into an avalanche of positive publicity for SodaStream and Israel because of the company’s policy of equal opportunity for Palestinian Authority Arabs.

Instead of a boycott, there is “buy-cott,” and Keeney tweeted on Monday, “Bought a nice @SodaStream unit at the @HudsonsBayCo. Thanks to @Oxfam for the tip. #Buycott #BDSfail #GoScarJo”

Kenney said on Canadian television, “I’ve given money to Oxfam in the past because I thought they were there to help poor people, not to marginalize Israelis and make Palestinians unemployed.” He added that “all the nutters at Oxfam” also marginalize “Palestinian people” who get paid four times more at SodaStream than they would earn working for factories run by Palestinian Authority Arabs.

Kenney also had some choice words for leftist groups’ “anti-Israel obsession” while they while they ignore countries such as Iran, which executes political dissidents and homosexuals.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/canadian-minister-thanks-oxfam-and-buys-sodastream-machine/2014/02/04/

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