SodaStream’s big move

SodaStream offers 1,000 jobs to Syrian refugees in Israel

Company, which was targeted by BDS over its West Bank plant, says it could employ refugees in southern Israel

(Click HERE to see report)

It’s easy to look like the ‘good guy’ when the situation is impossible thanks to the Israeli government’s policies ….

See my recent post HERE



We waited decades to see the flag of Palestine raised at the United Nations Building in New York. It is a sure sign that Statehood of that Nation will soon become a fact.

But, there are elements that wish to stop this process via terrorism, on both sides of the wall.

This flag MUST fly FOREVER as part of the family of nations .... Don't allow it not to.

This flag MUST fly FOREVER as part of the family of nations …. Don’t allow it not to.

On Thursday, a Jewish father and mother of four were gunned down in their car while driving through the occupied West Bank as their children watched in horror.  This is part of a never ending process of hate that only leads to more hate and more terror from both sides.

Last night, two more Jewish Israelis were killed on their way to pray at the Western Wall.

DesertPeace condemns these actions and those responsible for them. We also condemn any Palestinian Website that condones these actions as well as any zionist Website that advocates the continuation of the occupation of Palestinian territories.


Peace and the creation of a Palestinian State will only become realities when both sides realise that is the only possible way to survive …. there is an alternative to terror. Below is a letter penned by Roger Waters, showing how the BDS Movement IS THAT ALTERNATIVE  …

Roger Waters to Jon Bon Jovi: “You stand shoulder to shoulder with the settler who burned the baby”

Letter to the pop group Bon Jovi: 

Dear Jon Bon Jovi, David Bryan, and Tico Torres,

Often in the past I have written detailed, and sometimes even persuasive, letters to colleagues in the music business, encouraging them not to give succor to the Israeli government’s apartheid policies by performing in Israel. Having read Jon’s comments last week in Yedioth Ahronoth, I won’t waste my time drawing parallels with Apartheid South Africa and the moral stand that so many artists took then and that thousands are taking now in the face of decades of Israeli oppression of Palestinians.

So the die is cast, you are determined to proceed with your gig in Tel Aviv on October 3. You are making your stand.

You stand shoulder to shoulder

With the settler who burned the baby

With the bulldozer driver who crushed Rachel Corrie

With the soldier who shot the soccer player’s feet to bits

With the sailor who shelled the boys on the beach

With the sniper who killed the kid in the green shirt

And the one who emptied his clip into the 13-year-old girl

And the Minister of Justice who called for genocide

You had a chance to stand

On the side of justice

With the pilot who refused to bomb refugee camps

With the teenager who chose eight prison terms over army service

With the prisoner who fasted for 266 days until freedom

With the doctor banned from entry for saving lives

With the farmer who was cut down marching to the wall

With the legless child growing up in the rubble

And the 550 others who won’t grow up at all

Because of the missiles and tank shells and bullets we sent

The dead can’t remind you of the crimes you’ve ignored. But, lest we forget, “To stand by silent and indifferent is the greatest crime of all.”

Roger Waters


How’s this for twisted logic?

“SodaStream should have been encouraged in the West Bank if [the BDS movement] truly cared about the Palestinian people.”


THIS is what BDS is all about .... NOT the BS below

THIS is what BDS is all about …. NOT the BS below

SodaStream Boss Blasts BDS — as Firm Quits West Bank

SodaStream’s chief executive called the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement anti-Semitic and maintained that his company gave West Bank Palestinian workers good pay and benefits.

In an interview with the Associated Press on Wednesday, two weeks before the West Bank factory is set to close, SodaStream CEO Daniel Birnbaum said his company’s critics did not have a grasp on the situation on the ground at the factory.

“It’s propaganda. It’s politics. It’s hate. It’s anti-Semitism. It’s all the bad stuff we don’t want to be a part of,” Birnbaum said. “SodaStream should have been encouraged in the West Bank if [the BDS movement] truly cared about the Palestinian people.”

SodaStream, a company that produces domestic soda-making machines, announced last fall that it would close its West Bank factory in the face of international pressure from the BDS movement, which seeks to hurt Israel’s economy over its policies towards Palestinians. The movement claimed that SodaStream discriminated against Palestinian workers and paid some less than Israeli workers.

Hundreds of Palestinian workers from the factory could lose their jobs in the company’s transition to a new plant in the Negev region because Israel will not grant them all work permits for security reasons. Up to 600 Palestinians worked in the West Bank, and Birnbaum said only about 130 have so far been granted work permits.

“All the people who wanted to close [the West Bank factory] are mistaken,” Ali Jafar, a shift manager from a West Bank told the AP. “They didn’t take into consideration the families.”

The commute for West Bank workers will now be a two-hour bus ride to the Negev plant that involves an Israeli border security checkpoint.

SodaStream’s revenue took a big hit in 2014. Birnbaum blamed the U.S. market’s movement away from sugary drinks, not the influence of BDS pressure.


UE Becomes First National U.S. Union to Endorse BDS

The resolution also endorses the worldwide BDS movement – Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions – to pressure Israel to end its apartheid over the Palestinians just as similar tactics helped to end South African apartheid in the 1980s. UE is now the first U.S. national union to endorse BDS.

UE, the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers, held its national convention in Baltimore August 16-20.

Delegates acted on 37 resolutions on collective bargaining, organizing, and political issues, and they upheld UE’s long tradition of courageous stands on foreign policy issues when they adopted the resolution on Palestine and Israel. It points to Israel’s long history of violating the human rights of the Palestinians, starting with the ethnic cleansing of 750,000 Palestinians in 1947-48 that turned most of Palestine into the State of Israel. It calls for cutting off U.S. aid to Israel, U.S. support for a peace settlement on the basis of self-determination for Palestinians and the right to return. The resolution also endorses the worldwide BDS movement – Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions – to pressure Israel to end its apartheid over the Palestinians just as similar tactics helped to end South African apartheid in the 1980s. UE is now the first U.S. national union to endorse BDS.

Five delegates spoke from the floor in support of the resolution. Angaza Laughinghouse of Local 150, composed of public workers in North Carolina, said, “Our government is on the wrong side, We have to stand on the right side of the Palestinian struggle.” Autumn Martinez of Local 255 in Vermont said she had met Palestinian trade unionists at the World Social Forum in Tunisia and learned from them of conditions in the occupied territories. “It’s absolutely disgusting what is going on. Free Palestine!”

The convention also adopted a resolution on numerous military and foreign policy issues from an independent labor perspective. “For Peace, Jobs and a Pro-Worker Foreign Policy” endorses the work of U.S. Labor Against the War (USLAW); calls for reducing the military budget while improving the pay and benefits of military personnel and veterans and converting to peaceful uses of resources now devoted to the military; demands the end of U.S. military intervention in the Middle East and other regions; calls for negotiation to resolve the Ukraine crisis; supports Zenroren’s call for demilitarization in Japan; and supports the agreement to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons.

“The labor movement needs to have its own independent foreign policy,” said Carl Rosen, UE Western Region president. Several delegates talked about how they had been inspired by meeting members of Zenroren, the Japanese labor federation, 200 of whom came to New York City in late April to march for nuclear disarmament, with two smaller groups then joining UE members in New Haven and Chicago for May Day events. Brandon Dutton from Local 1161 in Wisconsin said, “We have done enough damage. We need to get out of the Middle East.”

UE’s convention included outreach and involvement in local struggles in Baltimore. On Tuesday of convention week, delegates joined local labor and human rights activists in a march to city hall to rally for Black Lives Matter, the Fight for 15, and several local workers struggles, including the contract fight of UNITE HERE members at the Baltimore Hilton where UE delegates were meeting. The march was led by members of UE’s two Baltimore locals. UE delegates also leafleted workers at an Amazon warehouse about organizing.

Two of UE’s national officers did not seek relection at this year’s convention. President Bruce Klipple and Director of Organization Bob Kingsley will be retiring at the end of October. Delegates elected Peter Knowlton, president of the union’s Northeast Region, as the new national president, and Gene Elk, a veteran organizer and bargaining representative, as the new director of organization. Secretary-Treasurer Andrew Dinkelaker was reelected.

UE, founded in 1936, was the largest of the “left-led” unions in the CIO, but CIO leaders turned on UE and other progressive affiliates in the late 1940s as they sought “respectability” andand enlisted in the Cold War. UE was heavily persecuted by the government and employers and raided by “mainstream” unions throughout the 1950s and into the ‘60s. But the union never abandoned its principles, and even through the worst period of “red scare” attacks, UE waged trail-blazing campaigns for workplace equality for African American and women workers.

In 1964, UE became the first national union to oppose the Vietnam War, and it was in the forefront of labor opposition to Reagan’s Central America wars in the 1980s, Clinton’s Yugoslav War in the ‘90s, and Bush and Obama’s wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and beyond. Since the 1950s UE has consistently supported disarmament and called for reduced military spending, with its long-serving late President Albert Fitzgerald frequently telling union members, “You can’t have both guns and butter.”


In 1988, delegates to the UE 53rd Convention adopted the resolution “Time for a Just Settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.” In it they said, “The occupation by Israel of the West Bank and other Arab lands since 1967 has blocked the exercise of Palestinian national rights and resulted in ongoing violations of human, social, political, economic and particularly trade union rights of Palestinians…” The resolution said the U.S. government had “contributed to the continued conflict by its one-sided support for Israel and its failure to take into account the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people,” and it called for the U.S. government to recognize the Palestine Liberation Organization and for the creation of a Palestinian state.
For more than 25 years the U.S. has engaged in a so-called “peace process” with Israeli and Palestinian representatives. But the U.S. role has remained extremely one-sided. The U.S. provides Israel $3 billion a year in aid and repeatedly uses its UN veto to shield Israel from criticism of its human rights abuses. The Palestinians are worse off. In the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, Israel continues to confiscate homes and land to expand Israeli settlements which violate international law. Since 1967 Israel has settled more than 500,000 of its citizens in the West Bank, and has been building a wall that separates neighboring towns and cuts off farmers from their fields. Many prominent human rights activists including former President Jimmy Carter and South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu have called the system of Israeli rule over Palestinian people “apartheid.”

In Gaza, 1.8 million Palestinians are crowded into a tiny enclave under continuous military and economic blockade. In the summer of 2014 Israel waged a merciless war on the impoverished population of Gaza. More than 2,000 Palestinians were killed.  The vast majority were civilians, including more than 500 children; and the physical destruction was overwhelming. UE’s officers issued a statement expressing our union’s alarm and over 300 Holocaust survivors and descendants signed a full-page newspaper ad, that condemned the Israeli attack as genocide and declared, “never again must mean never again for anyone.” Yet incredibly, the U.S. Senate voted unanimously at the time to endorse Israel’s actions.

The source of the conflict goes back to the origins of the State of Israel. The population was overwhelmingly Palestinian Arab (Muslim and Christian) before 1947-48, when well-armed Zionist militias seized most of the territory of Palestine and expelled 750,000 people from their cities, villages and farms. They executed much of the Palestinian leadership and declared the founding of the State of Israel. As a result millions of Palestinians are refugees both in the occupied territories and in other countries. Israel prohibits their return to their homes.

In recent years racism and extremism in Israel has grown more severe. One-fifth of Israeli citizens are Palestinians who survived ethnic cleansing. Some members of parliament, including cabinet members in Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu’s government, call for stripping their citizenship and expelling them. Some also call for expelling all Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza and annexing them to Israel. The “peace process”, supposedly aimed at negotiating the terms of Palestinian statehood in those territories, has been dead at least since March when Netanyahu, in his reelection campaign, declared he would never accept a Palestinian state.

In July 2005 Palestinian trade unions and hundreds of Palestinian civil society organizations called for a worldwide campaign of boycotts to pressure Israel to end its apartheid over the Palestinians. This has developed into a global movement called Boycott, Disinvestment, Sanctions. BDS was modeled after the 1980s international solidarity campaign that put economic pressure on South Africa’s government which helped end apartheid.

The summer 2014 Israeli attack on Gaza increased worldwide support for BDS. UE Local 150 endorsed BDS. The largest union in Britain, UNITE, endorsed BDS in July 2014. UAW Local 2865, which represents 13,000 graduate employees of the University of California, also endorsed BDS last year. COSATU, the Congress of South African Trade Unions that helped defeat apartheid in that country, is a strong backer of BDS. Many progressive Jewish organizations and individuals, in the U.S., Israel and elsewhere actively support BDS as a way to bring about peace and justice for the people of Israel and Palestine.


1. Calls on Congress and the Administration to end all U.S. military aid to Israel; and to pressure Israel to end the occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem and the siege of Gaza and negotiate a peace agreement on the basis of equality, democracy, and human rights for the Palestinian and Israeli people, including Palestinian self determination and the right of return for refugees.

2. Endorses the BDS movement and urges the union at all levels to become engaged in BDS and the movement for peace, justice and equality between the Palestinians and Israelis.



After a BDS attempt to ban Jewish-American reggae singer Matisyahu from the Rototom Sunsplash festival, it has become known that media mogul Oprah Winfrey also turned away a BDS request earlier this month.

Executives at the Oprah Winfrey magazine refused to receive activists who wanted her to reject Israeli diamonds.
The star had worn Leviev diamonds on the cover of O magazine’s May issue, the 15th anniversary edition. But the BDSniks smear Leviev with charges of stealing Palestinian land and committing human-rights abuses in Angola.

The star had worn Leviev diamonds on the cover of O magazine’s May issue, the 15th anniversary edition.


Denying the Israel-basher — kudos to Oprah and other principled stars

For years, the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement has worked to make Israel an international pariah. Happily, it’s started seeing some serious pushback.

In Spain, Jewish-American reggae singer Matisyahu did indeed perform Saturday at the Rototom Sunsplash festival. The organizers re-invited him after they’d canceled — a disinvitation pushed by the BDS crew, which had insisted he endorse Palestinian statehood.

An international uproar forced the festival’s hand — after all, organizers (and BDSers) hadn’t insisted on a litmus test for any non-Jewish performers.

No less than Oprah Winfrey stood up to the thugs, too. A BDS “delegation” showed up at her magazine’s New York offices this month, carrying a letter urging Oprah to publicly reject Israeli jeweler Lev Leviev’s products.

The star had worn Leviev diamonds on the cover of O magazine’s May issue, the 15th anniversary edition. But the BDSniks smear Leviev with charges of stealing Palestinian land and committing human-rights abuses in Angola.

Neither Oprah nor her executives would even meet with the agitators. They even refused to accept the letter.

In October, New Jersey’s second-favorite native sons, Bon Jovi, will end their current tour in Tel Aviv — rejecting BDS pressure to cancel the concerts after the dates were announced in the spring.

Support for Israel even popped up in Paris this month. Mayor Anne Hidalgo dedicated an artificial beach to Tel Aviv — despite intense opposition from the BDS movement and its sympathizers in the French media.

Across the globe, too many in media, the arts and politics are happy to go with the flow and pile on Israel. It’s refreshing to see stars — especially American ones — standing up to the bullies by taking truly principled stands.

Bottom line is ….. BOYCOTT OPRAH!

Her Magazine

Her Cable Network

Show her that blood diamonds are NOT a ‘girls best friend!!

Photo © by Bud Korotzer

Photo © by Bud Korotzer


Photo © by Bud Korotzer

Photo © by Bud Korotzer


Yesterday I asked some questions regarding the called-for boycott of Matesyahu ….

Why was Matesyahu singled out from all of the scheduled performers to make the statement supporting Palestine?

Is it possible that there were/are some anti-Semitic elements in the Valencia BDS Movement??

If Matesyahu was singled out because he was the only Jew on the roster,


If there are anti-Semitic elements in the Movement,


Ali Abunimah answers those questions AT

It is not anti-Semitic to boycott Matisyahu

Matisyahu has a long record of supporting anti-Palestinian organizations. (DeShaun Craddock/Flickr)

Matisyahu has a long record of supporting anti-Palestinian organizations. (DeShaun Craddock/Flickr)

In recent days, anti-Palestinian organizations have been crowing over the disinvitation of Matthew Paul Miller, an American Jewish singer who uses the stage name Matisyahu, from the Rototom Sunsplash music festival in Valencia, Spain.

Amid cries of anti-Semitism from the Anti-Defamation League and the World Jewish Congress and condemnation by the government of Spain, the incident has become the latest stick with which to beat the Palestinian-led movement of boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS).

“The festival organizers contacted me because they were getting pressure from the BDS movement,” Millerwrote on his Facebook page on 17 August. “They wanted me to write a letter, or make a video, stating my positions on Zionism and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to pacify the BDS people.”

“My music speaks for itself, and I do not insert politics into my music,” he claimed.

Miller suggested that he was being singled out solely because he is Jewish: “Honestly it was appalling and offensive, that as the one publicly Jewish-American artist scheduled for the festival they were trying to coerce me into political statements.”

Under a storm of pressure, the festival organizers relented, apologized to Miller and reinvited him to perform next Saturday.

Miller’s support for Israel

But was Miller really targeted just because he was Jewish?

Or was it because of his long, public record of supporting in word and by deed Israel’s violations of Palestinian rights?

BDS País Valencià have explained in a statement why they contacted the festival: “The reasons for our outrage was clear in our messaging: Matisyahu’s repeated defense of Israeli war crimes and gross violations of human rights, incitement to racial hatred and connections to extremist and violent fundamentalist groups in Israel stand in direct contradiction to the human rights and peace principles and spirit of this festival.”

Their goal was to hold the festival accountable to its stated goal of supporting “peace, equality, human rights and social justice.”

A native New Yorker, Miller has certainly never needed to be coerced to declare that “I’m a strong supporter of Israel.” But he has gone far beyond that.

He has headlined fundraisers for Friends of the IDF, a group that raises money for and glorifies the Israeli army of occupation. His work has also been used in official Israeli propaganda videos.

In April, he performed at the policy conference of AIPAC, the most powerful Israel lobby group in the US.

The same month he also performed at a pro-Israel festival in New Orleans, organized by Chloe Valdary, the Christian Zionist rising star of US pro-Israel activism.

Valdary’s Allies of Israel group, which sponsored the festival, has been funded by the extreme anti-Palestinian organization CAMERA, according to Times of Israel.

Backed flotilla attack

Miller was vocal in his support for Israel’s attack on the Gaza-bound flotilla in May 2010, which killed 10 people aboard the Mavi Marmara.

“Whether or not the ships should have been bringing aid to Gaza, those territorial waters belong to Israel – it’s internationally agreed,” he claimed in an interview with The Jewish Chronicle.

“Do you honestly believe that, if someone was in the English Channel, the British navy would do anything but blow the crap out of the boat, just blow it out of the water?” he added. “But still people are going to think Israel behaved horribly.”

“No other country,” Miller asserted “would put up with the crap that Israel does.”

Palestine didn’t exist

This wasn’t the only occasion Miller has used the platform he’s received as a musician to promote his anti-Palestinian views.

In a 2012 interview with The Cornell Sun, he promoted the position, popular among Zionist extremists, that Palestinians and their country are a recent invention.

“As far as I understand, there was never a country called Palestine,” he said. “Palestine was a creation that was created within Israel, as Israel had already come about.”

“Palestine” is in fact the only name for the land between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River that has historically been used by both Zionists and Palestinians.

Miller’s claim moreover that Palestine was “created within Israel” after “Israel had already come about” amounts to Nakba denial – the erasure from history of the 1948 ethnic cleansing of Palestinians by Zionist militias.

Miller is at least consistent. In 2011, he tweeted out a notorious video called “The Truth about the West Bank” featuring then Israeli deputy foreign minister Danny Ayalon denying that the territory is occupied and justifying Israel’s settlements that are illegal under international law.

Is Miller boycottable?

Let us be clear that if the only reason Miller had been asked to state a position on Palestine was that he was Jewish that would indeed be discriminatory and unacceptable.

It is, however, Zionists and anti-Semites who insist that being Jewish and being Zionist are synonymous. This is a position long rejected by many Jews and of course by the Palestinian-led BDS movement.

The vast majority of artists addressed by BDS campaigns in recent years have been neither Jewish nor Israeli.

Nor are any of the firms that are most often the targets of divestment campaigns – such as Veolia, Hewlett-Packard, Boeing, Motorola, G4S, or Caterpillar – Israeli.

This is because BDS is not a campaign against Israelis as such, but against Israel’s violations of Palestinian rights and complicity in those violations.

Just because Miller is Jewish does not mean he cannot be held accountable for his high-profile support for Israeli policies against Palestinians.

“Anchored in precepts of international law and universal human rights, the BDS movement, including PACBI, rejects on principle boycotts of individuals based on their identity (such as citizenship, race, gender, or religion) or opinion,” the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel states in its guidelines.

PACBI says that its boycott aims not at individuals but at complicit institutions.

But, it adds, “an individual artist/writer, Israeli or otherwise, cannot be exempt from being subject to ‘common sense’ boycotts (beyond the scope of the PACBI institutional boycott criteria) that conscientious citizens around the world may call for in response to what they widely perceive as egregious individual complicity in, responsibility for, or advocacy of violations of international law (such as war crimes or other grave human rights violations), racial violence, or racial slurs.”

The same would apply to any non-Israeli, whether they are Jewish or not.


It then comes down to a matter of conscience and judgment as to whether Miller’s vocal support for Israeli war crimes, his fundraising for the Israeli army, his performances for AIPAC and other anti-Palestinian organizations amount to “egregious individual complicity.”

The guidelines issued by PACBI are important, but they are not laws and Palestinians don’t have the power to enforce them.

Groups, in this case BDS País Valencià and others in Spain, must follow their consciences. Palestinians ask them to act in an ethical, consistent and anti-racist manner.

Based on my reading of the PACBI guidelines and Miller’s public politics it is difficult to see why asking him to state a clear position against Israeli violations of Palestinian rights is in any way unreasonable.

This is a conclusion that can be reached not only by supporters of BDS, but also those on record opposing cultural boycott, such as Daniel Sieradski, the prominent American Jewish blogger who used to have Miller as a web-design client.

“Matisyahu [Miller] wasn’t targeted because he’s Jewish. He was targeted because he’s a prominent pro-Israel figure who has publicly supported the IDF [Israeli army] and denied Palestinian identity,” Sieradski observes. “Every time he opens up his mouth about Palestine, he shoves his foot into it by spouting off some hasbara [propaganda] nonsense, and then reels it back and says, ‘But really I’m not political.’”

Sieradski reveals more about Miller’s background: “His spiritual mentor, Ephraim Rosenstein, to whom he attributes his spiritual regrounding, lives in occupied Hebron, praised Baruch Goldstein after the Tomb of the Patriarchs massacre and raises money for an organization that provides legal aid to Israeli extremists charged with murdering Palestinians.”

Sieradski also recounts a troubling story from New York City’s Beatbox Festival a few years ago when Miller allegedly pulled out the amp cord on another performer because he deemed his message to be “pro-Arab.”

Charles Manekin, an orthodox Jewish studies and philosophy professor who blogs with the pen name Jeremiah Haber, points out the inconsistencies of those crying anti-Semitism over the short-lived boycott of Miller.

“When Israeli cultural groups are boycotted simply because they come from Israel, regardless of their political views, BDS is attacked for being anti-Semitic,” he writes. “When pro-Israel artists are boycotted because of their views, BDS is anti-Semitic.”

“Had Matisyahu, who has made political statements in the past in favor of Israel, endorsed a Palestinian state, or justice for the Palestinians, he would not have been cancelled, even with the protest of the Spanish BDS group,” Manekin writes. “But an artist who has politicized his work should not be surprised if he is called out on it.”

I wholeheartedly agree.


Click HERE to see Tweets


For the past ten years the International BDS Movement has been the most vocal and respected Movement against the occupation of Palestine.

It has grown rapidly, especially in the Jewish sectors on US campuses. Its fight for Justice has caused alarm in zionist circles and has been the target of anti-Semitic charges by Israel itself, all of which are unjustifed and untrue.

Image by Carlos Latuff

Image by Carlos Latuff

Attempts by the Israeli government to blackmail the BDS leadership have failed and will continue to do so. Instead, victory after victory have been celebrated throughout the world as BDS wins battle after battle.

Last week the organisors of a Reggae Festival in Valencia cancelled an invitation to a Jewish American because of his refusal to publicly support the creation of a Palestinian State. The decision was made after the Valencia BDS Movement put pressure on the group. It was a decision that was applauded worldwide including on this Blog itself.

Only after the Spanish government itself protested this move was the decision reversed and Mattesyahu did perform at the Festival.

I must ask a few questions regarding this entire matter;

Why was Mattesyahu singled out from all of the scheduled performers to make the statement supporting Palestine?

Is it possible that there were/are some anti-Semitic elements in the Valencia BDS Movement??

If Mattesyahu was singled out because he was the only Jew on the roster,


If there are anti-Semitic elements in the Movement,


If the BDS Movement realises its mistake, they must admit it. We cannot afford to lose any of our growing support, not at the expense of ending the occupation!!!



In all fairness, I present a conflicting view from Omar Barghouti in THIS report from Mondoweiss


The rapper Matisyahu was taken off the schedule of a Spanish Reggae festival due to his refusal to publicly support creation of a Palestinian state, Spanish media reports.

Image by Latuff

Image by Latuff

BDS pressure cancels Matisyahu concert

Valencia’s Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement requested that Rototom, the 22nd European Reggae Festival scheduled for 15-22 August in Benicàssim, cancel Matisyahu’s planned performance, stating that the Jewish-American rapper has “participated in pro-Zionist festivals and has said that Palestine does not exist”.

Matisyahu is known for blending Orthodox Jewish themes with reggae, rock and hip hop beatboxing sounds.

Rototom asked Mattisyahu to publicly state whether there is a right to a Palestinian state and whether he rejects Israeli military violence, particularly that during Israel’s summer 2014 attack on the Gaza Strip.

“After having repeatedly sought dialogue (with Mattisyahu), the artist was unavailable to speak out clearly against the war and the Palestinians’ right to a state of their own. Accordingly, the Mattisyahu concert scheduled fot 22 August was cancelled.

In a statement, Rototom noted that it has “proven countless times (its) sensitivity to Palestine, its people and the occupation, particularly by holding multiple debates in the World Social Forum.” It further deplores the attacks against it following this announcement, noting that it has a 22 year history of “active promotion of peace, social justice and human rights.”

BDS Valencia stated that the success of this campaign is a “cry of popular solidarity.”



The Palestinians are poor. They are powerless. They have no voice or influence in the halls of power. They are demonized. They do not have well-heeled lobbyists doling out campaign contributions and pushing through pro-Palestinian legislation. No presidential candidate is appealing to donors—as Hillary Clinton did when she sent a letter to media mogul Haim Saban denouncing critics of Israel—by promising to advance the interests of the Palestinian people. Palestinians, like poor people of color in the United States, are expendable.

 Smoke and fire from an Israeli strike rise over Gaza City in July 2014. (Hatem Moussa / AP )

Smoke and fire from an Israeli strike rise over Gaza City in July 2014. (Hatem Moussa / AP )

Why I Support the BDS Movement Against Israel

By Chris Hedges

The Palestinians are poor. They are powerless. They have no voice or influence in the halls of power. They are demonized. They do not have well-heeled lobbyists doling out campaign contributions and pushing through pro-Palestinian legislation. No presidential candidate is appealing to donors—as Hillary Clinton did when she sent a letter to media mogul Haim Saban denouncing critics of Israel—by promising to advance the interests of the Palestinian people. Palestinians, like poor people of color in the United States, are expendable.

Justice for Palestine will never come from the traditional governmental institutions or political parties that administer power. These institutions have surrendered to moneyed interests. Justice will come only from us. And the sole mechanism left to ensure justice for Palestine is the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel. Sanctions brought down the apartheid regime of South Africa. And they are what will bring down the apartheid regime of Israel. BDS is nonviolent. It appeals to conscience. And it works.

All Israeli products including Jaffa citrus fruits, Ahava cosmetics, SodaStream drink machines, Eden Springs bottled water and Israeli wine must be boycotted. We must refuse to do business with Israeli service companies. And we must boycott corporations that do business with Israel, including Caterpillar, HP and Hyundai. We must put pressure on institutions, from churches to universities, to divest from Israeli companies and corporations that have contracts with Israel. The struggle against apartheid in South Africa was long and hard. This struggle will be too.

Gaza, a year after Israel carried out a devastating bombing campaign that lasted almost two months, is in ruins. Most of the water is unsafe to drink. There are power outages for up to 12 hours a day. Forty percent of the 1.8 million inhabitants are unemployed, including 67 percent of the youths—the highest youth unemployment rate in the world. Of the 17,000 homes destroyed by Israel in the siege, not one has been rebuilt. Sixty thousand people remain homeless. Only a quarter of the promised $3.5 billion in aid from international donors has been delivered—much of it diverted to the Palestinian Authority, the Israeli puppet regime that governs the West Bank. And no one in Washington—Republican or Democrat—will defy the Israel lobby. No one will call for justice or stay the Israeli killing machine. U.S. senators, including Bernie Sanders, at the height of the Israeli bombardment last summer voted unanimously to defend the Israeli slaughter of a people with no army, navy, air force, mechanized units, artillery or command and control. It was a vote worthy of the old Soviet Union. Every senator held out his or her tin cup to the Israel lobby and chose naked self-interest over justice.

Israel, like the United States, is poisoned by the psychosis of permanent war. It too is governed by a corrupt oligarchic elite for whom war has become a lucrative business. It too has deluded itself into carrying out war crimes and then playing the role of the victim. Israeli systems of education and the press—again mirrored in the United States—have indoctrinated Israelis into believing that they have a right to kill anyone whom the state condemns as a terrorist. And Israel’s most courageous human rights campaigners, intellectuals and journalists are slandered and censored in their own country, just as American critics such as Norman Finkelstein, Max Blumenthal and Noam Chomskyare in the United States.

Those who become addicted to the wielding of the instruments of war, blinded by hubris and a lust for power, eventually become war’s victims. This is as true for Israel as for the United States.

Israel’s goal is to make life a living hell for all Palestinians, ethnically cleansing as many as it can and subduing those who remain. The peace process is a sham. It has led to Israel’s seizure of more than half the land on the West Bank, including the aquifers, and the herding of Palestinians into squalid, ringed ghettos or Bantustans while turning Palestinian land and homes over to Jewish settlers. Israel is expanding settlements, especially in East Jerusalem. Racial laws, once championed by the right-wing demagogue Meir Kahane, openly discriminate against Israeli Arabs and Palestinians. Ilan Pappecalls the decades-long assault against the Palestinian people “incremental genocide.”

In Gaza, Israel practices an even more extreme form of cruelty. It employs a mathematical formula to limit outside food deliveries to Gaza to keep the caloric levels of the 1.8 million Palestinians just above starvation. This has left 80 percent of the Palestinians in Gaza dependent on Islamic charities and outside aid to survive. And the periodic military assaults on Gaza, euphemistically called “mowing the lawn,” are carried out every few years to ensure that the Palestinians remain broken, terrified and destitute. There have been three Israeli attacks on Gaza since 2008. Each is more violent and indiscriminate than the last. Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has said that a fourth attack on Gaza is “inevitable.”

During its 51-day siege of Gaza last summer Israel dropped $370 million in ordinance on concrete hovels and refugee camps that hold the most densely packed population on the planet. Two thousand one hundred four Palestinians were killed. Sixty-nine percent—1,462—were civilians. Four hundred ninety-five were children. Ten thousand were injured. (During the attack six Israeli civilians and 66 soldiers were killed.) Four hundred Palestinian businesses were wiped out. Seventy mosques were destroyed and 130 were damaged. Twenty-four medical facilities were bombed, and 16 ambulances were struck, as was Gaza’s only electrical power plant. Israel tallied it up: 390,000 tank shells, 34,000 artillery shells, 4.8 million bullets. Most of the civilians who died were killed in their homes, many of the victims torn to shreds by flechette darts sprayed from tanks. Children were burned with white phosphorous or buried with their families under rubble caused by 2,000-pound iron fragmentation bombs. Others died from dense inert metal explosive, or DIME, bombs—experimental weapons that send out extremely small, carcinogenic particles that cut through both soft tissue and bone. The Israel Defense Forces, as Amira Hass has reported, consider any Palestinian over the age of 12 to be a legitimate military target. Max Blumenthal’s new book, “The 51 Day War,” is a chilling chronicle of savage atrocities carried out by Israel in Gaza last summer. As horrible as the apartheid state in South Africa was, that nation never used its air force and heavy artillery to bomb and shell black townships.

A report by Action on Armed Violence (AOAV) found Israel killed and injured more civilians with explosive weapons in 2014 than any other country in the world. Hamas’ indiscriminate firing of wildly inaccurate missiles—Finkelstein correctly called them “enhanced fireworks”—into Israel was, as a U.N. report recently charged, a war crime, although the report failed to note that under international law Hamas had a right to use force to defend itself from attack.

The disparity of firepower in the 2014 conflict was vast: Israel dropped 20,000 tons of explosives on Gaza while Hamas used 20 to 40 tons of explosives to retaliate. Israel’s wholesale slaughter of civilians is on a scale equaled only by Islamic State and Boko Haram. Yet Israel, in our world of double standards, is exempted from condemnation in Washington and provided with weapons and billions in U.S. foreign aid to perpetuate the killing. This is not surprising. The United States uses indiscriminate deadly force in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia that outdoes even Israel, leaving behind civilian victims, refugees and destroyed cities and villages in huge numbers.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who during his last election campaign received 90 percent of his money from U.S. oligarchs such as Sheldon Adelson, has internally mounted a campaign of state repression against human rights advocates, journalists and dissidents. He has stoked overt racism toward Palestinians and Arabs and the African migrant workers who live in the slums of Tel Aviv. “Death to Arabs” is a popular chant at Israeli soccer matches. Thugs from right-wing youth groups such as Im Tirtzu routinely beat up dissidents, Palestinians, Israeli Arabs and African immigrants in the streets of Tel Aviv. It is a species of Jewish fascism.

Israel is not an anomaly. It is a window into the dystopian, militarized world that is being prepared for all of us, a world with vast disparities of income and draconian systems of internal security. There will be no freedom for Palestine, or for those locked in our own internal colonies and terrorized by indiscriminate police violence, until we destroy corporate capitalism and the neoliberal ideology that sustains it. There will be no justice for Michael Brown until there is justice for Mohammed Abu Khdeir. The fight for the Palestinians is our fight. If the Palestinians are not liberated none of us will be liberated. We cannot pick and choose which of the oppressed are convenient or inconvenient to defend. We will stand with all of the oppressed or none of the oppressed. And when we stand with the oppressed we will be treated like the oppressed.

Written FOR


With Israel’s failure to convince the world not to sign the Iran deal, they had to find something new to kvetch about ….

Deputy Foreign Minister Hotovely meets European officials to demand governments stop providing cash to allegedly anti-Israel organizations.

Israel to EU: Halt funding of NGOs working against us

Israel is demanding that European Union member states halt funding to non-governmental organizations allegedly working to delegitimize the Jewish state. The Foreign Ministry claims that European governments provide 100-200 million euros annually to said groups.

Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely has begun a series of consultations with European foreign ministers, their deputies, and ambassadors of several European countries, in which she is presenting evidence that their governments provide financial assistance to organizations that support boycotts against Israel, “blacken its face around the world, accuse it of ethnic cleansing, apartheid, and war crimes; deprive the Jewish people of their right to self-determination, call to prosecute Israel in the International Criminal Court at The Hague, and support the right of return”.

Hotovely claimed that some of these organizations are associated with and actively support terror groups.

Hotovely has met withthe Dutch foreign minister, the Spanish deputy foreign minister, and the ambassadors of Sweden, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Denmark, and Switzerland.

According to Hotovely, the diplomats were presented with detailed documents collected by the Foreign Ministry and the NGO Monitor organization that prove the “problematic” funding. She emphasized that Israel sees support for organizations opposing its right to exist as crossing a red line.

Hotovely has instructed Israeli ambassadors in Europe to demand that ministries increase thier overview of funds given to such groups, warning that if her premptive diplomatic move fails, Israel will be forced to adopt legislation forbidding foreign countries from backing organizations with a clear anti-Israel bent.

According to Deputy Minister Hotovely, these are some of the European investments in such organizations in recent years:

The Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat, managed by the Institute of Law at Birzeit University in the West Bank, which received $10.5 million from the governments of Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland, and the Netherlands. The funds were to go to 24 political organizations over three years.

In 2014, the governments of Germany, Sweden, Norway, and the EU provided NIS 415,741 to the Coalition of Women for Peace, an organization that supports aspects of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement.

The Netherlands provided NIS 13 million in the last three years to numerous NGOs, including Who Profits, Al-Haq, the Coalition of Women for Peace, and Al-Mezan.

Denmark provided NIS 23 million in the last three years to several NGOs, including Breaking the Silence, BADIL, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, and other Palestinian organizations.

Switzerland provided NIS 5 million over the last three years to organizations like the Alternative Information Center, Zochrot, the Applied Research Institute, and Terrestrial Jerusalem.

Spain gave NIS 3.8 million in the last three years to groups including Breaking the Silence, the Coalition of Women for Peace, the Alternative Information Center, and NOVA, a Spanish BDS organization.

The United Kingdom provided NIS 12 million in 2008-2011 to Breaking the Silence, Yesh Din, Gisha, Bimkom, Terrestrial Jerusalem, and No Legal Frontiers.





Video: BDS and the Gaza war — Ali Abunimah on France 24

This week I’m on a speaking tour in France organized by Campagne BDS France.

At events in Paris, Bordeaux, Montpellier and Lyon, we’re marking 10 years since the Palestinian call forboycott, divestment and sanctions.

This week we also mark the first anniversary of the beginning of Israel’s 51-day assault on Gaza that killed more than 2,200 people and devastated the territory. One year on there’s been almost no reconstruction, no lifting of the siege and no accountability for those who committed these crimes.

While in Paris I was interviewed by the news channel France 24 about these topics, as well as Palestinians’ right to resist and a one-state solution.

Such a broad-ranging discussion about Palestine on a mainstream news channel is rare, at least in my experience. Watch the English-language interview above.


Photos  © by Bud Korotzer

























Saban, an Israeli Hollywood mogul, gave Priorities USA Action, Clinton’s super PAC, $2 million, while Soros, a Jewish, Hungary-born business magnate, donated $1 million, according to Politico’s article published Thursday. (FROM)


Hillary Clinton Condemns BDS in Letter to Haim Saban

Hillary Rodham Clinton said she will speak out against the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel during her presidential campaign.

“I know you agree that we need to make countering BDS a priority,” Clinton said in a July 2 letter to Haim Saban, the Israeli-American entertainment mogul who has been a major fundraiser for Clinton in the past. “I am seeking your advice on how we can work together – across party lines and with a diverse array of voices – to reverse this trend with information and advocacy, and fight back against further attempts to isolate and delegitimize Israel.”

The Democratic front-runner concludes the letter, which Saban released through a public relations agency, by saying that she plans to address the BDS threat in the coming weeks, as her campaign intensifies.
“I will be speaking out publicly on this in the weeks ahead, so I am eager to hear your perspective and advice,” she wrote.
In a handwritten sign-off, Clinton added, “Look forward to working with you on this.”

Saban, in a release by Puder PR accompanying the release of the letter, said it underscores Clinton’s commitment to Israel.
“As I have been saying all along, when she becomes president, Hillary will reinforce the U.S.-Israel relationship,” he was quoted as saying.


Copy of letter to Saban…



Foreign investment in Israel plummeted almost 50 percent in 2014, a fact attributed to last summer’s assault on Gaza and the growing impact of boycotts.

How zion sees us

How zion sees us

Foreign investment in Israel plummets by half since Gaza massacre

Foreign investment in Israel plummeted almost 50 percent in 2014, a fact attributed to last summer’s assault on Gaza and the growing impact of boycotts.

This week the UN’s trade and development agency UNCTAD released its annual World Investment Report on foreign direct investment (FDI) – a measure of money that investors from overseas put into a country to invest in businesses, build factories or start other economic projects.

According to the report, FDI into Israel in 2014 plummeted to just $6.4 billion from almost $12 billion in 2013.

The 2014 figure appears to be the lowest in more than a decade. Foreign direct investment into Israel averaged around $9 billion per year from 2005 to 2012.

“We believe that what led to the drop in investment in Israel are Operation Protective Edge and the boycotts Israel is facing,” Roni Manos, an Israeli economist who co-authored the report, told Israel’s Ynet.

“Operation Protective Edge” is the name Israel gave its 51-day assault last summer that devastated much of Gaza and killed more than 2,200 Palestinians, including 551 chidren.

In line with global trends, FDI fell in other regional countries, but nowhere near as sharply as in Israel. FDI fell 1.7 percent in Turkey, 6.8 percent in Iraq, 4 percent in the United Arab Emirates and 9.6 percent in Saudi Arabia. But it actually rose by 6.6 percent in Lebanon.

Iran, which has been under brutal international sanctions, saw inward investment decline by about a third to just over $2 billion.

“The tourists have stopped coming”

The news that investors are fleeing is only the latest economic blow to Israel as a result of its attack on Gaza.

In May, Ynet revealed a dramatic plunge in visits to the country in an article headlined “Tourists have stopped coming to Israel.”

During the Gaza assault, Palestinian resistance organizations considered it a significant strategic achievement that they managed to force a shutdown of Israel’s main international airport for several days, dealing Israel a severe economic and reputational blow.

But it appears the damage may have lasted far longer than the airport shutdown.

“Despite the hopes for a recovery two or three months after last summer’s operation in Gaza, it seems the crisis is only getting worse,” Ynet reported, “the number of tourists is dropping, the number of hotel stays is declining and the number of organized tours has been significantly cut.”

Ynet cited figures from the Israel Hotel Association for the first quarter of this year pointing to a 28 percent drop in tourist stays, with some areas including the Red Sea resort of Eilat – heavily marketed as a seaside destination for Europeans – seeing a 51 percent decline.

The report quoted one tour operator saying he didn’t expect matters to improve next year. “We are only left with the pilgrims and Jewish tourists,” the tour operator complained, adding that Christian religious tourists spent most of their time in the Palestinian city of Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank.

Economic damage

This week, the UN Human Rights Council issued its independent report into the Gaza assault, and on Israel’s simultaneous violent crackdown in the occupied West Bank, finding evidence of numerous war crimes likely authorized at the “highest level” of the Israeli government.

The UN inquiry, citing Bank of Israel figures, also noted that “Operation Protective Edge caused a contraction of output in the tourism and manufacturing sectors” in Israel of about $900 million and caused “indirect damage” of another $440 million.

The economic damage Israel is doing to itself by continuing its regime of occupation, apartheid, siege and massacres of Palestinians may be mounting faster than previously thought.

This might also help explain why Israel is dramatically escalating its efforts to try to halt the momentum of the growing BDS – boycott, divestment and sanctions – movement.



This week the US Congress gave a big boost to the International anti BDS Campaign.

On Wednesday, Congress passed another piece of anti-boycott legislation, potentially even more important in its impact, as part of a trade deal with the European Union’s Trade Promotion Authority. 

Essentially, the amendment states that if EU countries want free trade with the US, they can’t engage in politically motivated boycotts against Israel, including areas that came under Israel’s control in the Six Day War.

Needles to say, zion reacted favourably to this move as is reflected in their ‘battle’ as it moves from headlines in their press to the Editorial Pages. Below is how the English language mouthpiece of the Israeli Government, The Jerusalem Post views the situation in today’s Editorial.

BDS battle

BDS logo. (photo credit:BDS)

BDS logo. (photo credit:BDS)

The US has a long history off working to dismantle economic boycotts against Israel. In response to the Arab League Boycott starting in 1948, Congress enacted legislation in 1976 and 1979 banning US companies from participating. The US Commerce Department still maintains an office to ensure that American companies live up to the law.

In the mid-2000s, when the US negotiated trade agreements with Bahrain and Oman, both Arab countries acquiesced to the American demand to drop their boycotts against Israel.

On Wednesday, Congress passed another piece of anti-boycott legislation, potentially even more important in its impact, as part of a trade deal with the European Union’s Trade Promotion Authority.

US President Barack Obama’s call to swiftly negotiate a trade deal with the EU’s TPA presented a unique opportunity to US lawmakers interested in fighting sanctions directed at Israel.

An amendment introduced by Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Illinois) and co-authored with Rep. Juan Vargas (D-California), Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Maryland), and Sen.

Rob Portman (R-Ohio) was attached to this year’s Trade Promotion Authority bill with the EU.

Essentially, the amendment states that if EU countries want free trade with the US, they can’t engage in politically motivated boycotts against Israel, including areas that came under Israel’s control in the Six Day War.

From an American perspective, the amendment is good because it promotes free trade. American companies such as Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Intel that are heavily invested in Israel out of purely economic considerations could find themselves in legal battles with the EU. The American economic growth and the American jobs generated thanks to ties with Israel would be put at risk. US firms should not be forced to choose between Israel and Europe.

Fighting boycotts against Israel does not only make good economic sense for the US, it is also the right thing to do.

Using bigoted tactics – economic sanctions, diplomatic gestures, rejection of research, and development cooperation – to pressure Israel to cave in to Palestinians’ demands is wrong.

Firstly, it places the blame for the ongoing conflict solely on Israel, while the Palestinians are portrayed as the victims of circumstances completely out of their control. The reality is much more complicated, which is precisely why the two sides must ultimately reach an agreement through mutual compromises and dialogue.

Secondly, sanctions that single out Israel create an atmosphere of prejudice and animosity. It should come as no surprise that in EU countries today the lines between blatant anti-Semitism and Israel-bashing are blurred beyond recognition. The distance between indicting Israel for purposely perpetuating the “occupation” and outright delegitimization of the State of Israel is not great. After all, since 1967, consecutive Israeli governments, both on the Left and on the Right, have supported maintaining settlement blocs such as Ma’aleh Adumim, Ariel and Gush Etzion. Were they all illegitimate? EU sanctions and the BDS movement have created a noxious atmosphere in which support for Israel is considered a crime. Even The Jerusalem Post, a newspaper that strives to report fairly and evenhandedly on the most contentious issues and provides a platform for a wide range of opinions – including those on the Right – has been accused of inciting to violence.

Our only “crime” is that we are avowedly Zionist in our outlook.

Because of this “crime” reporters have faced vicious attacks on Tweeter and other social networks by cowards who hide behind the anonymity of the Internet.

Just recently, an anti-Israel tweeter distributed a photoshopped picture of one of our reporters in a Waffen SS uniform.

That’s why the US’s consistent stand against boycotts, reaffirmed this week in the amendment to the Trade Promotion Authority bill, is so important. This sort of legislation counters prevailing anti-Israel trends and combats the tendency to conflate the State of Israel and all who support it with evil. The reality is that Israel has much to contribute to the world, if it is given the chance. Removing the threat of sanctions will do precisely that.



The path never taken by zion

The path never taken by zion


Only to combat it with more lies !!

“The BDS is a group of celebrities and academics, pro-Palestinian anti-Semites who want to destroy Israel. We must not be timid in our approach to BDS, and we must fight it with all our might, just as if it were an army against Israel.”

Roger Waters  Reuters

Roger Waters Reuters

New York Councilor Petitions to Ban Roger Waters from US

Long Island councilman Bruce Blakeman says notorious anti-Israel musician’s actions would be a hate crime in the US.

“The UN can simply not be taken seriously.” So says Republican councilor Bruce Blakeman of Long Island, in the wake of the UN’s report condemning Israel’s activities during Operation Protective Edge in Gaza.

Blakeman, a former presiding officer of the Nassau County Legislature and ex-head of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, spoke to Arutz Sheva on Tuesday night at a dinner in honor of the Ateret Cohanim association of Jerusalem.

Asked about the latest UN report, he said, “The UN condemnations of Israel generally [stem from] some despots, who come from countries where women may not drive, where people are stoned, and where there are no free elections or freedom of the press. So it’s actually quite laughable, if it wasn’t so tragic… Israel is a democracy, with freedom of the press, religion and expression, and where women have full rights. This is basically an anti-Semitic [phenomenon]; they are quick to condemn anything that Israel does, even though Israel is always on the right side of the issues.”

Blakeman is also a strong supporter of Israeli rights in Judea and Samaria. In a visit last year, he stated, “As one who headed one of the largest aviation networks in the world, I feel that the U.S., after the events of 9-11, must understand Israel’s security needs regarding aviation. Having toured Samaria, it is clear to me that strategically, the State of Israel cannot cede this area.”

Blakeman has strong words against the BDS boycott-Israel campaign, which he feels must be treated like a military battle: “As a councilman in the largest township in America, I am writing to the Secretary of State to ask that Roger Waters not be allowed to enter the U.S.” Blakeman explained that Waters, one of the leaders of the BDS movement, commitsin Europe what the U.S. considers to be hate crimes against Jews.

“The BDS is a group of celebrities and academics, pro-Palestinian anti-Semites,” Blakeman affirmed, “who want to destroy Israel. We must not be timid in our approach to BDS, and we must fight it with all our might, just as if it were an army against Israel.”




This time from Britain …..

  • One question arises from the report below ….  If what they say is all true, WHAT ARE THEY SO WORRIED ABOUT?
Hoe zion views the BDS Movement

How zion views the BDS Movement

They see it as a failure …. but it’s far from the truth!

The BDS movement is failing.

The BDS campaign (boycotts, sanctions and divestment) against Israel represents a malevolent, reactionary political force which is antisemitic in effect if not intent, in that it singles out Israel (and only Israel), the world’s only Jewish state and the state in the region with the best human rights record. Additionally, despite claims in the media to the contrary, prominent BDS leaders support violence and openly oppose the continued existence of the Jewish state within any boundaries.

Fortunately, however, the campaign is by and large failing miserably, despite the oxygen campaigners are given by pro-Palestinian media outlets.  This blog’s new periodic review of BDS failures should provide the reader with rebuttals to routine claims by anti-Israel activists that the movement is gaining traction and achieving its desired result of isolating and economically crippling the state of Israel.

Political BDS failures

  • The Tennessee General Assembly became the first state legislature in the U.S. to formally condemn the BDS movement.
  • South Carolina became first US state to take action against anti-Israel boycotts.

  • The Illinois State House of Representatives unanimously passed a bill that prohibits state pension funds from including in their portfolios companies that participate in BDS.
  • US Congress is considering legislation that “would require U.S. negotiators to discourage trading partners from boycotting Israel or Jewish settlements in the West Bank”.
  • The Palestinian Football Association (PFA) dropped their bid to suspend Israel from Fifa in a dramatic u-turn.
  • French President Francois Hollande made it clear that France opposes the BDS movement.
  • Universities U.K. opposes the Academic Boycott of Israel.
  • New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind is drafting a bill to combat BDS in New York.  The bill would ban the state’s pension fund from doing business with companies that boycott Israel.
  • 100 German business leaders are “preparing for a trip to Israel to meet with top businesspeople in an extraordinary show of support for the Jewish state”.

Economic BDS failures

  • Cathay Pacific Airways, which won the World’s Best Airline Award for the fourth time in 2014, is looking into launching a new route from Hong Kong to Tel Aviv.
  • Swedish supermarkets back out of Israel boycott after media campaign.
  • After BDS activists trumpeted an alleged boycott victory, Orange telecom’s CEO told Binyamin Netanyahu that the firm will deepen ties to Israel.
  • Jimmy Wales, Wiki co-founder: “I am a strong supporter of Israel”
  • Washington State justices reverse a 2012 decision protecting a food co-op from being sued over its boycott of Israeli products.
  • A prominent Israeli activist group threatened the Park Slope Food Co-op with a lawsuit if the supermarket adopts a boycott of Israeli products.
  • The British business and innovation secretary declared that the U.K. and Israel had entered a “golden era” for trade. British Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills Sajid Javid said that he expected bilateral trade and services– currently valued at about $6.9 billion, according to Javid — to continue to grow.

Cultural BDS failures

  • A neo-realist allegorical painting inspired by the biblical tragedy of Jephthah and his daughter by the Israeli artist Matan Ben-Cnaan has won the top prize in one of the world’s most prestigious portrait awards. Ben-Cnaan was named the first Israeli winner of the £30,000 BP portrait award at a ceremony at the National Portrait Gallery, London
  • Michael Douglas visited Israel to receive the $1 million Genesis Prize award, popularly dubbed the ‘Jewish Nobel Prize,’ for his efforts to promote Jewish culture.
  • The band One Republic came to Israel not only to rock Tel Aviv, but also to show support for the Jewish State by visitingIDF soldiers in the field.
  • Backstreet Boys return to Israel.
  •  Iconic Britpop band Suede are returning to Israel. Four years after its last visit, English alternative rock group will perform at Menora Mivtachim Arena in Tel Aviv on July 30.
  • Art Garfunkel, one half of the legendary duo Simon and Garfunkel, returned to Israel on June 10th for a solo show at Bloomfield Stadium.
  • Wildly popular American rock band Bon Jovi will perform in Israel in early Oct.

Just for fun

  • Jenna Jameson is converting to Judaism. Former adult film star has begun tweeting in Hebrew, buying Israeli products, and even cooking kosher for her Israeli fiancé.
  • Source


Israel won an important victory over the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement (BDS) when a boycott on the sale of Israeli products in a supermarket chain in Sweden has been cancelled.

The battle continues

The battle continues

Swedish supermarkets back out of Israel boycott after media campaign

Consumer’s assembly at northern Sweden city adopts pro-Palestinian proposal to take Israeli products off the shelves; campaign led by Israeli embassy focusing on fair trade forced boycotting stores to fold.

Israel won an important victory over the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement (BDS) when a boycott on the sale of Israeli products in a supermarket chain in Sweden has been cancelled.

The national supermarket chain COOP has 655 branches across Sweden. Israel, that was worried the boycott would spread from three local stores in the city of Varberg to all branches nationwide, launched an impressive media campaign to combat it.

Two and a half months ago, pro-Palestinian organizations submitted a proposal calling to take off the shelves any products manufactured in Israel, including those produced inside the Green Line. This was a mostly symbolic proposal, as the chain only sells avocado and persimmon from Israel.

After the proposal was adopted with a great majority at a local consumer’s assembly, Israeli Ambassador to Sweden Isaac Bachman decided, with the help of the Israeli Foreign Ministry, to fight the boycott not with arguments about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict – but with arguments against the concept of a commercial boycott.

“We didn’t talk about the righteousness of Israel, rather we spoke in the name of fair trade and avoiding discrimination of any state,” Bachman explained.

Bachman turned to the company’s management, while at the same time pro-Israel activists in Sweden started posting against the supermarket chain’s decision on social media. A Swedish businessman opened a Facebook page titled “Opposing the Boycott against Israel,” which received 2,500 likes.

The Israeli embassy, meanwhile, posted phone numbers and e-mail addresses of the COOP chain’s management and encouraged pro-Israel activists to flood them with messages against the boycott. Thousands of people heeded the call and threatened to boycott the supermarket chain if it continues its boycott against Israel.

“There was a great protest. A lot of people here are against boycotts,” Bachman said. “We talked about fair trade. We explained that anyone who supports a boycott hurts the customers and the quality of the products. It resonated with people.”

Several days ago, Bachman met with the CEO of the supermarkets chain and asked him to intervene. “They were shocked by the volume of messages they received.”

This led the chain’s national management to reject the boycott and threaten that if the Varberg stores do not stop the boycott, they will no longer be a part of the chain, effectively putting an end to the boycott.

“The lesson I learned is that we must not, under absolutely no circumstances, give up, and we must launch a counter-campaign,” Bachman said. “If you go for the consumer side, without getting into the issue of the conflict, your story would be better and stronger.”



Until Victory!

Until Victory!


Do you wonder why Benjamin Netanyahu is declaring war on BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions), and Sheldon Adelson and Haim Saban are holding a secret Las Vegas conference to fight it, and Yair Lapid is saying that the people behind BDS plotted 9/11, and Ari Shavit is calling the movement “evil and sophisticated”? 

Read below to see why

Netanyahu's declaration of war on BDS is its first major victory ...

Netanyahu’s declaration of war on BDS is its first major victory …

BDS could cost Israel $4.7 billion a year

By James North

Well, here’s why. The Financial Times has published a big, and somewhat balanced, article on the rapid rise of BDS that includes two stunning financial numbers showing how powerful the nonviolent movement for justice in Israel/Palestine is becoming.

The most important information is deep inside the FT article:

However, there are signs that Israel’s disquiet over BDS is genuine. This week an Israeli financial newspaper covered a leaked government report estimating that BDS could cost Israel’s economy $1.4bn a year. The estimate included lower exports from the settlements in keeping with the EU’s plans to begin labelling goods made there — not part of the BDS movement, although many Israelis lump the two things together. The Rand Corporation, the US think-tank, says the costs could be more than three times higher: $47bn over 10 years.

This is the true story of BDS. It’s having a giant impact. CNN covered that Rand study the other day — a $15 billion hit from BDS, largely because of its success in Europe — but the same day the New York Times runs a piece on the French telecom denying it supports BDS, and there’s not a word in the NY Times article about either the Rand study or the the leaked Israeli government figures. (Jodi Rudoren did write about the Rand study back on June 8, but somehow found its $47 billion cost-of-BDS estimate unworthy of mention.)  Rudoren’s slanted coverage of BDS — reporting on the Orange surrender, while leaving out the dangerous billion-dollar-numbers that created a stir in Israeli and other media — proves once again that there is no daylight between her “reporting” and Hasbara Central.


Orange telecom CEO Stephane Richard was set to arrive in Israel to “clarify the misunderstanding” over his recent remarks about Israel.

Telecoms group Orange is in Israel 'for good': CEO

Telecoms group Orange is in Israel ‘for good’: CEO

Orange CEO Set to Arrive in Israel

Orange telecom CEO Stephane Richard was set to arrive in Israel to “clarify the misunderstanding” over his recent remarks about Israel.

Richard was scheduled to begin a two-day visit on Thursday, according to the French news agency AFP, citing the company.

The visit comes in the wake of statements last week by Richard in Cairo that his company, which is 25 percent owned by the French government, would end its Israeli presence if it were not contractually bound to the Israeli firm Partner. A day later Orange announced that it would seek to cancel a recently signed 10-year arrangement with Partner in Israel. The announcement led to accusations of a boycott against Israel by the company.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in his capacity as acting foreign minister, instructed the Foreign Ministry at the beginning of the week to turn down a request by Richard to meet with the Israeli envoy in France to clarify his remarks, saying he could come to Israel to set the record straight. Netanyahu spoke to French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and French President Francois Hollande, who reiterated their opposition to boycotts against Israel.

Richard already has sent a letter of apology to Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely. On Thursday it was reported that Richard also sent a letter of apology to Roger Cukierman, president of the French Jewish umbrella organization CRIF. In the letter, Richard apologized for the “misleading statements” he made in Egypt.

“I frankly recognize that they were open to misinterpretation and were also misused by some for their own ends. The result was a controversy over Orange and Israel which was disproportionate. I am particularly concerned by the impact of this on the Jewish community, and believe me, this has touched me personally in the most profound fashion,” he wrote.

Richard invited Cukierman for a face-to-face meeting to discuss the different activities of Orange in Israel.

Orange maintains two subsidiaries in Israel: Orange Business Services and Viaccess-Orca, a specialist in Internet television.

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