Friday, 10 April 2009

Public Boycott Of Israeli Goods Working

The left wing, Latte slurping Cafeista's have boycotted Israel products for a long time. Due to their inhumane treatment of the Palestinians, i haven't knowingly purchased anything with the label 'Product of Israel' on it for decades but considering most of what Israel exports to us is fruit, it has been easy to put back on the shelf anything from that country and pick up the Spanish variant.
It seems that more and more people are shunning Israeli products because the Israeli Manufacturing Association have reported growing concern that the public boycotts are impacting upon its economy.
Exports are down all across Europe it warns with the largest drop in demand coming from the UK, Turkey and the Scandinavian countries which has resulted in a 5% drop in the Israeli export economy.
Britain's largest supermarket, Tesco, has even set up a customer helpline for people to complain about it stocking Israeli products. Other supermarkets have also began the practise of labelling products from Israel and the Israeli settlements in the occupied territory which the IMA blame primarily for the dramatic fall. The thinking obviously is that now we can more easily see what products to not buy so pro-Israel groups in the UK are lobbying the supermarkets to see the practise stopped.
I fear that Israeli pear and avocado growers are going to have to tighten their belts for a while yet if the first few days of the new Israeli Government are anything to go by. Despite not winning the election, Binyamin Netanyahu has gathered together a right wing Government of dubious character including the vile Avigdor Lieberman who sits as the new Foreign Minister and has dismissed further talks with Palestine as fruitless and told the Egyptian President to go to hell.
As Mr Lieberman lives on one of the illegal settlements in the West Bank, it is hardly surprising that he is against handing back any land to the Palestinians also.
Even the pro-Israeli White House seem to be concerned by the direction of the extreme right wing Netanyahu era and has promised 'frank discussions' with the Israels new Government which is a nice change to turning a blind eye to its atrocities.
It isn't for me and my fellow Latte slurpers to urge a boycott of Israeli products, that is up to the individual, but it seems that those of us who do so in protest of Israeli actions in Gaza and the West Bank, it's working so keep it up and see if we can do what our politicians seem unwilling to do and show our deep displeasure with the countries treatment of the Palestinians by hitting it economically.

5 comments:

Noah "Nog" said...

1) What do you want the Israeli government to do? Let up on Gaza?

If the Arabs are happier and become some great democratic state on account of some softer Israeli government, that's great. We all want that.
But if letting up on Gaza just strengthens Hamas, who bears the costs? I highly doubt anyone in Western Europe will care to give the Israelis anything more than moral support.

2) Who does this boycott hurt? The State of Israel hasn't nationalized its farming industry. This boycott strikes at Israeli farmers who may well live on some delightful socialist Kibbutz.

3) If one accepts the argument that Israel's blockade of Gaza has only strengthened Hamas, why wouldn't a similar action against Israel similarly strengthen Israel's more militant political factions?


----
I would generally agree that the present government of Israel is nothing short of absurd. But wouldn't it be better to go after sales of military equipment to and from Israel than to pick on Israeli farmers? And it is not as if Israel gets 100% of its military equipment from the United States.
If the EU banned trading in military hardware with Israel, this might well get the Israeli government's attention a lot faster than coffee shop boycotts.

And an incredibly fast way of getting what you want out of Israel would be to guarantee them from the aggressions of their neighbors. Then the more militant Israeli political factions would collapse. That's also what the nominal purpose of the settlements are, to ensure that Israel can secure its borders with the West Bank and Gaza. If they didn't have the security excuse, they could scarcely justify any of these "atrocities" which they are accused of.


-Nog

Anonymous said...

I see and hear the people like you Lucy sitting around in your starbucks and coffee shops drinking expressos and mochas and putting the world to rights.
I hope you and your anti-semetic left wing buddies all choke on your coffee.

Cheezy said...

"anti-semetic"

That's the bit that betrays you as an idiot, nony.

Lucy said...

What do you want the Israeli government to do? Let up on Gaza?
Would be nice considering they are continuing the blockade that the UN said kept the population in a perpetual state of crisis since it began in 2007. Don't forget that damage and destruction sought by the invasion that they won't allow repaired because they won't allow in the materials.

Israel is on the British list of 20 countries that have a big red 'DON'T SELL ANY ARMS TO THESE PEOPLE' sticker on them. It is on the same restricted EU list as well although that was put up for review prior to the Gaza invasion and i'm not sure what came of it. The Brits i know sell arms to Israel and other nations they say they won't because they have a history of using them for aggresive purposes rather than defence in a glorious blaze of hypocrisy.
If we can reduce Israeli exports by as much as 5% with a general boycott of its products, the Government will take notice, as they have and will try to address it somehow especially if it starts a movement in Israel by the farmers hit by it. Of course if someone raises the donations to Israel by 5% it cancels it out.
Hamas draws it strength by the fear and hatred of Israel amongst Palestinians who have seen their houses bulldozed, relatives killed, countless invasions into its land and lack of freedom of movement in their own country. Israel can cut Hamas down, and all of the opposition to Israel in the Middle East and elsewhere, by abiding by UN resolutions and International Law by giving back Palestinian land, removing the wall, taking down the settlements and stop acting militarily with impunity in other countries in the region.
Israel, nor Hamas or Hizbullah come to it, will get peace by continually stoking up even more ill feeling among its neighbours.

Anon - You should wave next time you see me, i will be the one with the Latte, never touch Expresso. Hopefully you know the Heimlich Manoeuvre just incase i am choking. Those pastrys can be tricky.

Noah "Nog" said...

"Israel can cut Hamas down, and all of the opposition to Israel in the Middle East and elsewhere, by abiding by UN resolutions and International Law by giving back Palestinian land, removing the wall, taking down the settlements and stop acting militarily with impunity in other countries in the region.
Israel, nor Hamas or Hizbullah come to it, will get peace by continually stoking up even more ill feeling among its neighbours."
Hamas and Hizbullah have it in their platforms to destroy Israel.

The existence of an Israeli state is no less artificial than the existence of just about every other state (or lack there of) in the region. There is no Kurdistan on the map and few quarrel with Turkey over this. I'm assuming that you are not proposing to remove Israel from the map.

Personally, if I were the Emperor of America I'd push Israel to go with the Res 181 borders with a guarantee to obliterate any nation or faction, Arab or otherwise, that wanted an inch more. This is is never going to be politically feasible of course.

The real bargaining point is the '67 borders and the right of return. I don't think the latter would be reasonable given that the Arab Jews who have fled to Israel and gave up lands around four times the land area of the State of Israel aren't going to get their land back, and I wouldn't go for it even in pushing for the 181 borders in the hypothetical situation above.

And then there is the further problem of Golan, which I couldn't justify being returned to Syria who lost it on account of their own belligerence in the first place. It would not be reasonable to give Syria what is essentially a perfect place to shell Israel.


But what if Israel offered the '67 borders?
A few questions would come up:

-1. What if the Arabs don't take it?
My solution to this would be to get the States and the EU to back this as a "best last offer", which if declined would essentially mean that the Arabs got nothing (and would lose Gaza and the West Bank). This ultimatum could of course be shoved down Israel's throat too.

-2. What if the Arabs take it but violence against Israel doesn't stop?
I think that this is the Israeli establishment's biggest fear. Once a Palestinian State is formally put on the map, it becomes extremely difficult to remove. The answer to this question is for the West to explicitly guarantee Israel's existence and security provided that it agrees to its end of the deal.
And I highly doubt that the international community will honestly commit to such a thing, because I do not think that the leaders of the EU or the US are dumb enough to think that Iran and other belligerent Arab groups won't call the bluff. It would be delusional to think that the West wouldn't sell Israel out with a strongly worded and otherwise meaningless declaration against Iran as it has done to countless other nations around the world. And the Israelis aren't dumb-enough to buy it.
No people can be expected to "just take" suicide bombings. The Arabs shouldn't, and the Israelis shouldn't. The real problem though is that whenever Israel lets up the Arabs drag their feet. Yeah, the Israelis come back swinging real hard, but when they stop they stop.



And one final issue: is it actually a good idea to put another Arab despotate on the map?
I wouldn't bet the farm on it.



-Nog