Saturday, January 10, 2009

Boycott Israeli goods

The UNSC (with the shameful exception of the USA) calls for a ceasefire. Both the Israeli Government and the Hamas leaders reject the call. The people of Gaza and of Israel both desperately need a ceasefire. Gaza needs it for obvious immediate physical reasons, and Israel needs it for more long term security reasons, because of the massive stores of anti-Israeli hate that each Palestinian civilian casualty creates.

By rejecting the ceasefire calls, the leaders on both sides demonstrate that they are not acting on behalf of their people, but on behalf of the mutual paranoia scenario that is playing out in their heads. Government has a responsibility to protect their people; therefore neither the Israeli Government not Hamas are governments with true legitimacy.

Another irony: the war proves the illegitimacy of the government, but war also increases the support of people for their government.

As well as demonstrating, we can boycott Israeli goods. (No point in boycotting Hamas goods: they only produce hate-sermons, and who buys them?) There is a page at boycottisraelnow with a list of brands. There is a lot of them, and some are unlikely to be in use by readers of this blog (who wears Armani, or Calvin Klein underpants for god's sake?) but I see Nestle' are there, and surely we can all remember to avoid Nestle, because they push their toxic powder in place of breast milk in developing countries.

PS Raphael has objected to the boycott link above. It does contain ugly, intemperate anti-zionist language. Which is a pity. I use the link to get access to the list of Israel linked companies, and do not endorse any other sentiments on the site. The site does have useful background research. And it has material from Rabbi David Weiss, and anti-zionist.

I will leave the link, with a health warning, until Olmert sits down to negotiate with Hamas, or until the greens here start getting serious about supporting a water project in the Land, whichever comes first...

17 comments:

Jackpot said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
weggis said...

(who wears Armani, or Calvin Klein underpants for god's sake?)

The people you need to engage with, persuade and convince?

Also, might I add, those who wear the Wonderbra, Gossard, Revlon, L’Oreal….

DocRichard said...

I should have said. "Who wears underpants? They are sooo 1999".

DocRichard said...

The deleted comment by Jackpot was a piece of commercil spam.

DonaQixota said...

"the leaders on both sides demonstrate that they are not acting on behalf of their people, but on behalf of the mutual paranoia scenario that is playing out in their heads."

This is something to find especially worrying. You may have seen "The Power of Nightmares" by Adam Curtis.

I just can't help feeling that we're being taken for suckers here. After all, how did they pull up temporarily after the last Depression ... oh yes a nice big War when the State can take control of everything and tell everybody what to do and print money to finance unlimited boys toys, and so on ad nauseam.

With everybody being drawn down this whirlpool black hole in the Unholy Land, it looks like they might be building up to Plan A again.

DocRichard said...

Crisis: danger an opportunity. Yes, war is the danger; Green New Deal is the opportunity.

I find it does seem to help to view international politics as a psychiatric problem. There is nothing so frustrating as to try to apply reason to an individual who is driven by irrational forces.

Anonymous said...

why not daub a yellow star on the shops while you're at it as it's so difficult to know where I shouldn't be buying my organic choc for my lattes from, so that I can impress my chatterati friends.

DocRichard said...

Hello again Anonymous

"why not daub a yellow star on the shops while you're at it as it's so difficult to know where I shouldn't be buying my organic choc for my lattes from"

Israel cannot secure immunity for its grossly disproportionate and arguably criminal actions in Gaza by conflating all criticism of the Olmert's war with anti-semitism. It is possible to be anti-Nazi without being anti-German, anti-Mugabe without being anti-black, and anti-Olmert without being anti-semitic.

Many ethnic and religious Jews are deeply critical of Olmert's war.

Thanks for commenting anyway.

Shalom

Richard

Anonymous said...

Hi, it anon again Richard

not sure what's with the Shalom bit - I'm from good old mining stock in the north of U.K. - but I like your style

However, I do find the singling out of Israel by the 'left' and the Hamas flags on the marches and Galloway with Tamimi etc rather chilling, that's all, and it worries me deeply. We forget very quickly. And I don't think Hamas are for a two-state solution what with their theocratic approach and fervent hatred of anything jewish. And I don't think for a second they would like my views or yours or put up with them for long.

atb

DocRichard said...

Hi atb

I agree that simple left-right dialectics are unhelpful in untangling an exceedingly complex system. The Left would not fare well in a Hamas Islamic state - and neither would you or I. Which is why Greens should be on the side of peace, not forced to choose whether to side with Hamas or the Israelis.

The Hamas Charter is absolutist and uncompromising, with anti-semitic overtones (to say the least), but they cannot blow ideas to pieces with bombs - the bombs only serve to strengthen
extremist hate-filled nonsense. The way to dissipate hatred is to get people working side by side on a common cause, and that cause is the winning of a sustainable livelihood for both communities in an arid land.

Regards
Richard

Raphael said...

Richard

You have badly misrepresented my views.

I did not write to you to tell you that the "boycott link above contains intemperate anti-zionist language"

I told you that the site was a racist antisemitic website as illustrated by the following sentence in the FAQ section of the site: "Whilst it is true that the cancerous zionist entity has got its tentacles hooked into numerous markets and economies - sucking each one to nourish itself, but this is no excuse for us not to do anything."

This sentence propagates hatred by presenting a whole and ill-defined group of people as "cancerous". This is reminiscents of the presentation of Jews like rats propagating the plague, a traditional nazi imagery.

This sentence also presents this mysterious and all powerful group as having "tentacles" with which it controls the world. This is directly taken from the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the most potent vehicle of antisemitism, a book still massively printed today and deemed "a passport for the holocaust" by some historians because of its role in nazi propaganda.

Finally, "sucking the blood" is the blood libel, yet a third traditional image of classical antisemitism.

In fact, short of "kill the Jews", this sentence is one of the most obvious and violent examples of antisemitism I have ever encountered.

The fact that you refuse to take that link off and that you refuse to recognize that it is antisemitic is simply astonishing.

You get your list of shops to boycott from an antisemitic website. You advertise an antisemitic website.

Shame on you.

Raphael

DocRichard said...

Hi Raphael
I am sorry that you are not happy with what I have written, but it is impossible to please everyone.

As you know, I am neither pro-Israeli not pro-Palestinian, but for peace and sustainability.

I stand by my comment that the language on the website is intemperate.

The linked website has this on its FAQ:

---
Are you boycotting all Jews?

Certainly not! The boycott is not directed at any religious or ethnic group, but rather it is directed at those companies that are supporting the racist occupation of Palestine. A quick glance at the boycott list will testify to this. We do not discriminate between the supporters of Israel - if a Muslim company is caught collaborating with Israel we will boycott it just as vigorously as any other company.

---
I have asked inminds to tone the offending language down.

You will find on the Inminds website pieces from righteous Jews who oppose Israel's actions.

I repeat: Israel cannot secure immunity for its grossly disproportionate and arguably criminal actions in Gaza by conflating all criticism of the Olmert's war with anti-semitism. It is possible to be anti-Nazi without being anti-German, anti-Mugabe without being anti-black, and anti-Olmert without being anti-semitic.

Raphael, you have to accept that Israel's actions in Gaza were disproportionate and arguably included war crimes. It has increased antipathy against Israel worldwide. The anger it has caused will increase the repugnant emotion of anti-semitism in many people.

To be positive: will you join with us in calling for a water infrastructure project as a peace building initiative? http://greenerblog.blogspot.com/2009/01/israelpalestine-what-politicians-needs.html

And will you join with us in a call for arms exports for both sides to be stopped? And for sniffer dogs to be used to enforce the ban?

Shalom, and salaam elaikum.

Raphael said...

Richard

I'll try a last time.

Spreading hatred against Jews is bad. Those who use the events in the ME to spread hatred of Jews are to be condemned, not supported.

If you want to boycott, boycott. But don't contribute in your name, and in the name of the GP, to the advertising of an antisemitic website.

As I have pointed out, it is not wise to use a list provided by an antisemitic website. Of course, they say they're not antisemitic.

I won't go through the list of brands but it contains Starbucks. Some of the shops were attacked recently, including one in London following a demo. And... all this is based on a myth.

http://tinyurl.com/7hjn6x

You see, anonymous was not that wrong with his mention of the yellow star. You are calling for the boycott of shops based on nothing else than myths. And then, given than people have "strong feelings" on this issue, they smash the shop instead of just boycotting them.

And stop your nonsense about "conflating all criticisms etc". I criticized one very specific website and one very specific sentence. I explained why it was violent and antisemitic. You are the one who shouts Israel when I raise the issue of antisemitism. I did not ask you to remove the post. I just asked you to remove a link to an antisemitic website.

But clearly, that is too much to ask.

Raphael

Mira said...

Richard, you are changing the subject.

You linked to a site ("Innovative Minds - Developers of Islamic Software") which peddles antisemitism as if it were quintessentially Islamic.

Of course they say "Who us? Boycotting Jews? Oh no!" Meanwhile they're boycotting the world's biggest Jewish collectivity against the will of most of the others. They certainly do mix up Jewish with Israeli themselves - they call B'Tselem Jewish, when in fact it is Israeli and therefore Jewish, Muslim, Christian, secular etc. And B'Tselem is hurt by this boycott - claiming that either B'Tselem or Gush Shalom (another 'Jewish' group which isn't) boycott is false. Dopes - they blew it. But they weren't even trying very hard!

There's much more to say but that's all I can muster right now. Basically this is an exceptionally low-quality and nasty site you've found to tell your supporters about. The fact that you settle for it is kind of strange. You should be able to see this clearly, Richard.

Is this the best you can do for your boycott?

Yes, probably.

How about you just take out the link, drop the boycott and instead put some energy into strengthening the Israeli and Palestinian peace movement against their respective expansionists. Like Weggis says. If you do, this means we all can.

I'd much rather do that than patrol the sections of the web with which I have a political affinity, stamping out antisemitic shoots which have been mistaken by their owners for - I dunno, marigolds.

DocRichard said...

Dear Raphael and Mira

I agree, "Spreading hatred against Jews is bad". Olmert has probably done more in the last three weeks to spread hatred than any living man.

First thing I read on the link you give, Raphael, is a quote from Spiked - which is a libertaran/Marxist/contrarian/anti-green outfit that were behind the discredited "Great Global Warming Swindle" programme. Not a great source.

The Inminds website presents a firm case against Starbucks. http://www.inminds.co.uk/boycott-starbucks.html

I stress again that there is a tendency on the part of apologists for Israeli Government to conflate criticism of Israel with anti-semitism. You must admit that in the discussion within the Green Party (until it was quashed) I have always taken a pro-peace line rather than an anti-Israel line. I have argued against the academic boycott, and still do, because I value communication.

I am publishing the Boycott Israeli goods link because Israel's action in Gaza is disproportionate and arguable, in some instances, criminal.

Mira, I cannot give a clear answer because what you are saying is not really clear - apart from you want me to drop the boycott call. For the reasons given above, I will not.

I dislike blanket sanctions, because it hurts the people of a country. The better option would be for the EU and/or the UN to deliver targeted sanctions against the Israeli Government.

Raphael, you did not respond to my query about supporting the water initiative. Please respond. And also - do you support the refusal of the BBC and SKY to screen the DEC appeal?

weggis said...

“I stress again that there is a tendency on the part of apologists for Israeli Government to conflate criticism of Israel with anti-semitism.” – Richard.

Are you accusing Raphael of being an apologist for Israel? If so please read this thread on Jim Jepp’s blog.

“I condemn this war between Hamas and Israel. I think it was a mistake and it has caused massive deaths and traumas that could have been avoided. It has led to a rupture of the peace process between Israel and Syria, and between Israel and the Palestinians. I think that the international community should have done much more to force Israel and Hamas into negotiations.” - Raphael

If you go to Greens Engage and search on “water” you will find a number of posts related to that topic. Raphael is a member of that group.

I can’t give you a link to Stuart Jeffries’ post because he has removed it. It also contained a link to the same page on inminds. Raphael’s request to remove it was declined. It was only when John Coyne submitted a comment asking whether Stuart “understood that protesting about antisemitism is not the same as defending the actions of Israel.” that Stuart did some research and complied.

Boycotts may make an individual feel nice and that they are doing something productive but I fear they are an illusion. The business world is so interconnected these days that obtaining reliable and accurate information on who or what to boycott is problematic. Frankly I wouldn’t know where to start and I think you should make this clear to your readers in both posts.

I do find the inminds site antisemitic. This may be a different cultural interpretation of the language used, but I doubt it. So, since I’m on a roll can I ask you to remove it please?

I’ll tell you the html to use to make links live in comments when I’ve let you off the naughty step.

DocRichard said...

Dear Weggis

I stand by the statement that there is a tendency on the part of apologists for Israeli Government to conflate criticism of Israel with anti-semitism. Whether Raphael is an apologist for Israel is a matter for his readers to judge. I certainly have gathered that opinion reading his posts in the GP international email list, until the discussion of Israel was banned from that list. Regrettably, imo, as the ban seems to have driven the discussion out here into the blogosphere.

Raphael's exegesis does not convince me.
"I told you that the site was a racist antisemitic website as illustrated by the following sentence in the FAQ section of the site: "Whilst it is true that the cancerous zionist entity has got its tentacles hooked into numerous markets and economies - sucking each one to nourish itself, but this is no excuse for us not to do anything."

This sentence propagates hatred by presenting a whole and ill-defined group of people as "cancerous". This is reminiscents of the presentation of Jews like rats propagating the plague, a traditional nazi imagery.

This sentence also presents this mysterious and all powerful group as having "tentacles" with which it controls the world. This is directly taken from the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the most potent vehicle of antisemitism, a book still massively printed today and deemed "a passport for the holocaust" by some historians because of its role in nazi propaganda.

Finally, "sucking the blood" is the blood libel, yet a third traditional image of classical antisemitism".


It expands a phrase hostile to Israel into the Protocols, which is a bit of a step imo. Note that he adds "the blood" to turn it into the blood libel.

I do not wish to discuss this in depth. It is a diversion from what we greens should be doing, which is advancing the water project.

I am really sorry that the link upsets colleagues, but I feel that despite that ugly language about Israel, there is a lot of valuable research on the site.

I will ask them again to moderate that sentence.

Now: "Boycotts may make an individual feel nice and that they are doing something productive but I fear they are an illusion. "

I have the impression that Israel is very worried about the boycott. Its economy is not good. I have not been an enthusiastic boycotter, but Gaza has changed my stance. If it does that to me, imagine what it has done to Palestinians and Muslims generally.

The rationale for the boycott is to balance the negotiations, because at the moment, Israel has a huge advantage in terms of military power.

The whole thing is so sad and dangerous. We have to get moving on the water project.

Peace

Richard

PS Have you signed up to
Works with both communities for peace.