Archive for the ‘Boycott Israel’ Category

Kansas Wont Let Me Train Math Teachers Because I Boycott …

Im a member of the Mennonite Church. Ive also been a math teacher for almost a decade. Because of my political views, the state of Kansas has decided that I cant help it train other math teachers.

I was chosen last spring to participate in a program that trains public school math teachers all over Kansas. After completing a two-day preparation course in May, Iwas ready to take on the role.

But in June, Kansas passed a law requiring any individual or company seeking a contract with the state to certify that they are not engaged in a boycott of Israel. That law affects me personally. As a member of the Mennonite Church USA, and a person concerned with the human rights of all people and specifically the ongoing violations of Palestinians human rights in Israel and Palestine I choose to boycott consumer goods made by Israeliand international companies that profit from the violation of Palestinians rights.

I first became concerned with the situation in Israel and Palestine when I visited the region in the early 2000s, while serving a three-year term with the Mennonite Central Committee in Egypt. That interest intensified last fall, when our church hosted a weekly presentation series led by a member of our congregation. He told us about his trip to Israel and Palestine at the invitation of a group of Palestinian Christians. And he showed us video presentations by nongovernmental organizations, children’s rights advocates, and former Israeli soldiers about the Israeli governments treatment of Palestinians.

At the end of eight sessions, we talked about how boycotts, divestments, and sanctions could help bring about an end to the Israeli governments occupation, in the same way those tactics helped dismantle apartheid in South Africa. I left the meeting with the conviction that I needed to do my part to support the Palestinian struggle for equality, even if it just meant not buying Sabra hummus or a SodaStream machine.

Then, on July 6, 2017, the Mennonite Church USA overwhelmingly passed a resolution calling for peace in Israel and Palestine. It called on Mennonites to take active and specific steps to redress the injustice and violence that both Palestinians and Jews have experienced. And it urged us to avoid the purchase of products associated with acts of violence or policies of military occupation, including items produced in the settlements. This resolution reaffirmed my decision to participate in the boycott.

Just a few days later, I got an email from an official at the Kansas State Department of Education. She said that, in order to participate in the states math training program, I would need to sign a certification stating that I dont boycott Israel. Specifically, I would have to sign below the following statement:

As an Individual or Contractor entering into a contract with the State of Kansas, it is hereby certified that the Individual or Company listed below is not currently engaged in a boycott of Israel.

I was stunned. It seems preposterous that my decision to participate in a political boycott should have any effect on my ability to work for the state of Kansas.

After waiting for several weeks and considering my options, I emailed back and told the official I could not sign the certificate as a matter of conscience. Could I still participate in the states training program? She responded that, unfortunately, I could not. I needed to sign the certification in order to get paid.

I am challengingthislawbecause I believe that the First Amendment protects my right, and the right of all Americans, to make consumer spending decisions based on their political beliefs. You dont need to share my beliefs or agree with my decisions to understand that this law violates my free speech rights. The state should not be telling people what causes they can or cant support.

I am also sad that I cannot be a math trainer for the state of Kansas because of my political views about human rights across the globe. The two seem so distant and unrelated. My activism on behalf of freedom for all Israelis and Palestinians shouldnt affect my ability to train math teachers. I hope this law will be recognized as a constitutional violation.

Esther Koontz is a curriculum coach at Horace Mann Dual Language Magnet school in Wichita, Kansas, and a member of the Mennonite Church USA. The views expressed in this post are those of the author; the ACLU does not take a position on boycotts of Israel.

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September 29, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Boycott Israel  Comments Closed

The Irish Senates Boycott Israel Debate | Jewish …

Pro-Palestinian protesters near the Irish parliament in Dublin at a rally against Israeli air strikes in Gaza in 2009. Photo: William Murphy / Flickr.

JNS.org Reading thetranscriptof the debate that took place in the Irish Senate on July 11 before that body voted 25-20 to criminalize commercial relations with Jewish communities in the West Bank, I was struck by how the arguments fell neatly into one of two categories.

Category one: Those who believe that a boycott of Israel is a necessary moral undertaking and seek to introduce such a policy through legislation. Category two: Those who believe that a boycott of Israel is a necessary moral undertaking, but do not agree that enshrining such a policy through legislation is the right way to go about it.

Here are some illustrations of those arguments. Speaking in favor of category one, Senator Niall Donnghaileof the nationalist Sinn Fein party invoked no less a figure than Nelson Mandelawho, incidentally, never once described Israel as an apartheid stateas he urged his colleagues to consider what is happening in Palestine, and to look at the will of the House and the majority of Irish people, who want to see us take this mode of solidarity.

Something approaching a counter-argument was offered by Senator Terry Leyden of the opposition Fianna Fil party on behalf of category two. I would certainly boycott products coming from occupied territories sold by the Israelis on the international market, but it is a different thing for a state to involve itself directly in this area, said Leyden. I advise caution.

July 20, 2018 12:04 pm

Leyden elaborated on his advice with several sensible, practical reasons, including one so grave that you have to wonder why no other Irish politician is apparently worried about it at a time when the potential impact of Brexit is already casting a dark shadow over Irelands economy. In 2017 we exported $868 million worth of goods to Israel, from where we imported $63 million worth of goods, Leyden explained, in a bid to persuade his colleagues that many hundreds of jobs in Ireland are at stake.

Boycotts are serious, Leyden continued, before adding, I do not recall a Bill being introduced here when South Africa had apartheid. When it came to addressing the rank hypocrisy that underpins the boycott of Israel, that final observation was about as far as the debate was willing to go.

Indeed, opponents of the bill were so nervous about being seen as defending Israel that they resorted to every other argument available, including opening themselves up to caricature and lampoonery in the media. I have spent hours trying to build relationships with people who will be involved in decision-making that can bring about peacePalestinians, Americans, Israelis, and others in Jordan, Egypt, Cyprus, and many other neighbouring countries, pleaded Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney of the ruling Fine Gael party as he made the case for a no vote. I have spent a substantial amount of taxpayers money funding my travel in these endeavors.

These endeavors, said Coveney, were aimed at rectifying the deep injustice that has been imposed upon the Palestinians for decades. And it was crystal-clear from the wider debate, whether the speaker spokefor or against the legislation, that Irelands Senate was in near universal agreement that this injustice had been imposed by Israel alone.

It is this notion of Israel as conceived in original sin, with the Palestinians cast as the Christ-like victim, that binds this soft version of the BDS campaign, which ostensibly targets only Jewish communities in the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem, with the more familiar hard version that targets everything and everyone Israeli or linked to Israel in some positive way, as most Diaspora Jews are. It is the consequence of a worldview that dismisses the Jewish nation in Israel as a foreign interloperlike the English settlers who reaped the rewards of Oliver Cromwells brutal conquest of Ireland in the 17th century or the Boers in South Africa who placed the yoke of apartheid on the black majority during the 20th.

That the realization of Jewish sovereignty in Israel should be associated with these earlier outrages is nothing new. For nearly a century, the struggle for the autonomy and independence of the Middle Easts non-Arab or non-Muslim minoritiesJews, Kurds, and Copts among themhas been ignored by Westerners in thrall to the myth that satisfying Palestinian demands against Israel will bring peace and prosperity to the region in general.

From there, it is but a short step to the embrace of some form of boycott, along with an unquestioning acceptance of the anti-Zionist ideology that underpins such a campaign. And as Ireland shows us, those who argue against a boycott can still share the same prejudiced assumptions as those in favor of it.

As it stands, the country that will be most damaged by an Irish boycott of Israel will be Ireland itself. Read the debate for yourselves and see how many Irish politicians are willing to sacrifice the jobs and livelihoods of Irish citizens for the gesture politics of boycotting Israel.

Common sense may yet prevail. If it does, none of us should be surprised when Irish politicians explain their retreat as the consequence of Zionist pressure and American bullying. After all, what other explanation could there be?

Ben Cohen writes a weekly column for JNS on Jewish affairs and Middle Eastern politics. His writings have been published in Commentary, The New York Post, Haaretz, The Wall Street Journal, and many other publications.

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July 21, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Boycott Israel  Comments Closed

The New Israel Anti-Boycott Act Is Still Unconstitutional …

Over the weekend, two senators introduced changes to the Israel Anti-Boycott Act, which would criminalize participation in certain political boycotts targeting Israel. The changes attempt to address the civil liberties concerns raised by the ACLU and other groups.

Unfortunately, the revised bill still violates the First Amendment. It does so by unconstitutionally penalizing Americans who participate in political boycotts of companies doing business in Israel and its settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories, if those boycotts were called for by international governmental organizations like the United Nations.

This is impermissible. Political boycotts are fully protected by the First Amendment. The Supreme Court made that clear when it recognized, in a landmark 1982 decision called NAACP v. Claiborne Hardware, that the Constitution protected a 1960s boycott of white-owned businesses in Mississippi. If the Israel Anti-Boycott Act were to pass and take effect, we would strongly consider challenging it in court.

The Israel Anti-Boycott Act seeks to amend a 1970s law known as the Export Administration Act. That law was passed in response to the Arab Leagues boycott of Israel, which required U.S. businesses to boycott Israel as a condition of doing business with Arab League countries. To prevent foreign countries from bullying U.S. businesses into these compulsory boycotts, the EAA prohibited U.S. companies from entering into agreements with foreign governments to boycott countries friendly to the United States. Whereas the EAA was meant to protect U.S. companies from these compulsory boycotts, the Israel Anti-Boycott Act seeks to dictate the political activities Americans can and cant engage in. It does so by imposing civil and criminal penalties on American organizations that participate in political boycotts called for by international organizations.

The revised Israel Anti-Boycott Act, amended by Sens. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio), does contain several significant improvements from the original draft. For example, the bill now makes clear that Americans cannot be imprisoned for their boycott participation. It also provides that speech critical of Israel cannot be used to open an investigation against an individual or as evidence that the person violated the law. These changes alleviate some of the gravest dangers posed by the bill.

But this latest version would still allow people who boycott to be slapped with criminal financial penalties. It suffers from the same fundamental flaw as the original draft by criminalizing participation in constitutionally protected boycotts. In fact, the bills sponsors openly admit that it was designed for this purpose. In the press release accompanying its announcement, Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) described the bill as an attempt to combat Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) efforts targeting Israel. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) also characterized the bill as anti-BDS legislation. Although the bill states that [n]othing in this Act . . . shall be construed to diminish or infringe upon any right protected under the First Amendment, these words rings hollow in light of the bills obvious purpose.

The Israel Anti-Boycott Act cannot be viewed in isolation. It is part of a sustained legislative campaign in the state and federal governments to suppress boycotts of Israel. Just a few weeks ago, a federal court in Kansas agreed with the ACLUs First Amendment challenge to a law requiring state contractors to certify that they are not participating in boycotts of Israel. The court recognized that the Kansas state government could not constitutionally suppress our clients boycott to silence one side in the public debate over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In halting enforcement of the law, the court held that our clients boycott of Israel:

is protected for the same reason as the boycotters conduct in [NAACP v. Claiborne Hardware] was protected. . . . Namely, its organizers have banded together to express collectively their dissatisfaction with the injustice and violence they perceive, as experienced by both Palestinian and Israeli citizens.

From the campaign to divest from apartheid South Africa to the recent boycott against the National Rifle Association, boycotts have always been a key feature of American politics. If state and federal governments could outlaw boycotts they dont like, all sorts of social movements would suffer. Whatever their views are on Israel and Palestine, members of Congress should recognize that the Israel Anti-Boycott Act threatens fundamental First Amendment values. We urge them to oppose it.

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April 22, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Boycott Israel  Comments Closed

Want to boycott Israel? Be my guest, there will be a …

A high official in the Israeli government says that the groups supporting BDS, or Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel, are doing a great job, and Israel has to come up with more aggressive ways to counter them. If you want to promote boycotts against Israel, be my guest, its your right. But there will be a price tag, Ron Brummer said last week.

The new battlefield for BDS is in Europe, where companies are under growing pressure to divest from the West Bank, Brummer said. The best response is to put through anti-BDS legislation in American states (as state legislatures and governors have done in Texas, California, Maryland, New York, and other states), so that if a company boycotts the West Bank, it loses 10s of millions in U.S. contracts.

Brummer,the executive director for operations of the Israeli Ministry for Strategic Affairs and Public Diplomacy, said there is no distinction between boycotting West Bank settlement products and boycotting Israel. There is only one economy between the river and the sea. If you want to divest from the West Bank Judea and Samaria you have to divest from Israel, which means you boycott Israel completely, he said.

Brummer also called on American Jews to give money to Jewish groups in Europe and South American to fight BDS, because throughout history, Jews have always helped each other.

Brummer spoke at the Israeli American Council last Sunday, November 5 an organization funded by Sheldon Adelsonin a panel titled The Real BDS: Bigotry, Discrimination and Slander. The room was jammed with about 150 people, many young activists. The panel featured Shilo Adler, a leader from an illegal Israeli settlement in the West Bank, Eli.

Lets go through Brummers points and then the points of two other pro-Israel advocates who are fighting BDS.

BDS groups are doing a great job, Brummer said:

The BDS organizations or the delegitimization organizations have evolved. They have improved. They are doing a great job on the other side and we have to adapt ourselves.

But BDS is really anti-Semitism:

BDS as we see it is only the symptom, the current face of something much, much, much deeper, much more established, much more ancient, and that is, the delegitimization of Israel as the Jewish state, as the homeland of the Jewish people.During history, many forces have tried to delegitimize us. Maybe through endless wars, terror, guerrilla, unilateral moves in the U.N. and other institutions.And the current face of the delegitimization campaign is the BDS.

If you support BDS, Israel will take you on:

Delegitimization is the problem we deal with, not BDS. BDS is just a symptom. If you want to promote boycotts against Israel, be my guest, its your right. But there will be a price tag.

Brummer said that Israel had traditionally been too reactive. We have to move from defense to offense. That means being aggressive.

With BDS promoters You always have to use the stick and carrot theory. First you hit them with the stick then you hit them with the carrot.

BDS has been contained in the U.S. but the real danger is Europe. BDS 2.0 is in the U.S. campuses and capitals.

BDS 3.0 is happening as we speak, and this is a much more severe danger to Israel. Im talking about the economic divestment. What is happening now in Europe might be ground zero for the next stage of BDS. Promoting divestment from Israel based on the alleged saying that companies who operate in the West Bank, over the Green Line, are violating human rights this is the narrative that BDS organizations are trying to implement in the U.N., in different institutions, but mainly when they encounter European companies.

Think about the process. Im CEO of a company. Im being approached time and time, over and over again by those BDS organizations, who claim that Because you operate in the West Bank, you are violating human rights. If I want to react and I want to do somethingand all of us dont want to be considered as violators of human rights I might just consider stop working in the West Bank.

But Brummer said there is no difference between the West Bank and Israel (and so no point in the Peace Now/Beinart program of boycotting just the settlements).

But you cannot stop working in the West Bank. Israel does not have two different economic ecosystems, like, Israel within the green line and Israel over the green line. If you want to divest from the West Bank, Judea and Samaria, you have to divest from Israel, which means you boycott Israel completely. This is exactly what the BDS delegitimization organizations are trying to do these days.

The European front is the reason pro-Israel groups are pushing legislation in 24 U.S. states to punish those who support BDS. The Israeli government is cheering from the sidelines:

It is extremely, super important to confront this new reality. Because eventually when a CEO of a company lets say in Denmark, has to decide, Does he listen to any kind of UN institution or any kind of human rights report that is being published, or does he want to lose 10s of millions of contracts in Texas or in Florida? most of the CEOs will decide not to lose those 10s of millions of dollars.

So when we talk about how do we try to move from defense to offense? The legislation piece, which obviously the Israeli government has nothing to do with but we look at it from the side, and we think this is a very good process.

BDS is on the verge of scoring a big success, he warned, in the real ground zero of BDS, which is South Africa. The African National Congress is considering a resolution to lower the countrys level of diplomatic relations with Israel. If that passes, there will no longer be an embassy in tel aviv.

If that will happen, this might be one of the biggest successes of the BDS movement ever.

Jews need to stick together. Brummer called on the wealthy and powerful American Jewish community to help Jewish communities in Europe, South Africa and Latin America to fight BDS.

That takes me to one of my bottom lines Through history the Jewish people have always assisted and helped the weaker part or, to be more correct, the more needy parts of world Jewry. I think that in the United States, once again, due to the amazing work IAC [Israeli American Council] and other organizations are doing, and the great support of many philanthropists here, there is a good answer to BDS.What is needed now is to shift the efforts to the other side of the ocean.

The Jewish communities and the pro Israel communities in Europe, in South Africa, a little bit in Latin America as well they need the help now. They dont have the tools, they dont have the money, they dont have the resources. They dont have the political support that you have here, and you take it maybe, sometimes you take it for granted.

This is the time to shift the efforts from whats going on here which is well treated it cannot be treated better than it is today, I think, and to shift the efforts to where it is really needed and that is in Europe and South Africa and other places of the world.

Brummer stressed the idea of Jewish cohesion. BDS is failing around the world, he asserted. But its aim was to drive a wedge between the state of Israel and the Jewish diaspora. I think this will fail because Israel is the glue that keeps us together. In LA or Beersheva. The amazing work that you are doing, and others, will be the glue that keeps us together.

Dillon L. Hosier National Director, State Government Affairs, Israeli-American Coalition for Action

Now lets move on to Dillon Hosier. Hosier is a lobbyist with the Israeli American Coalition for Action, which is a partner group of IAC. He works in state capitals on anti-BDS legislation.

Hosier pointed to the pro-BDS group, Jewish Voice for Peace, and said it was playing the game the right way in state capitals, fromSacramento to Boston to Olympia to Austin.

Over the past few years Ive seen something very interesting. There is one particular group how many people have heard of Jewish Voice for Peace? [30 hands go up; about a fourth of the room] Jewish Voice for Peace, in my mind theyre smart, theyre strategic, theyre connected, and they are playing the game the right way.

Ill tell you, I was in Carson City, the capital of Nevada. And the Jewish Voice for Peace activist was following every single step of the process of passing an anti-BDS piece of legislation. At every point in the legislative process they would object and try to rally against In Sacramento, there was a guy who lived there, retired of course, spent every single day of the session in the capital, going from office to office to office, trying to pull votes off the legislation. He would do his best to rally forces against support of the bill.

Hosier saw the same in Boston, where JVP brought out 100 people to a committee meeting to testify against the bill. While in Nevada, JVP did FOIA requests to see any communication I had with relevant government officials in the state. Hosier conducted himself in the most ethical manner, because if he didnt cross every t and dot ever i, Ive got JVP there and ready to jump.

Hosier said that JVP was redefining the playing field for the battle over BDS by imbedding themselves in local Democratic political organizations.

I was on the floor of the California Democratic Party convention earlier this year, as a delegate, and one of the most anti Israel resolutions passed at that convention. It was not because of the California Democratic Party.This resolution was not in my view representative of the California Democratic Party.

But guess what, Jewish Voice for Peace, in fact that same guy who hangs out at the capital, all day he managed to get 300 people, primarily through CAIR and other types of organizations, got 300 people to sign on to this legislation, to insure that it passed the floor immediately

Meanwhile, our side, we were completely flatfooted, we didnt have any organization there.

So JVP had held the party hostage.

This is not a college campus. Were talking about the California Democratic Party theyre imbedded in and that they are passing this resolution. So now it looks like BDS has legitimacy from one of the biggest Democratic parties in the country. Theyre basically in my view holding it hostage.

The problem is that the pro-BDS forces are in the trenches and the pro-Israel forces rely on big donors.

When it comes to political action, I see all too often we find a member of congress, we donate the maximum amount and thats it. We write a check and then we walk away. We expect them to vote our way. Sometimes they dont.We cant do that anymore.

Those who are passionately opposed to Israel, are getting elected.

From the lowest level delegate seats to school boards, those opposed to Israel are getting elected. For a while a lieutenant governor candidate in Illinois was pro-BDS (till he got kicked off the ticket, that is!).

These people are actually getting involved. Writing a check is no longer sufficient. We have to actually get involved. Strategically involved.

If we dont, Hosier said, well be completely overwhelmed. CAIR has a political action committee, and theyre engaged at the grass-roots level. Israel supporters have to get involved at that level. Writing a check is not enough. Because no amount of money will dissuade the opponents of Israel to change their line. Pro-Israel forces have to go grass roots.

Its a scary thing but we have to get involved at that level.

Michelle Rojas-Tal of the Jewish Agency

Finally, some quotes from Michelle Rojas-Tal, who works at Hillel International and the Jewish Agency. Rojas-Tal said that the battle on college campuses is to stop BDS as an illegitimate form of bigotry.

Its an issue of hate and prejudice, she said. If and when BDS decides to rear its ugly face on a college campus, BDS needs to be stopped.

Israel advocates can stop it because BDS has absolutely no place on a college campus because it goes against the values that American academic institutions stand for. Thats the language we need to start speaking.

She urged the activists in the room to use Israel the country as a model to show young Americans that Israel is a value in their lives.

We have an opportunity. Were living in a generation and a period of renaissance where we have Israel and we cannot take it for granted. Because we have Israel, we can use it as a classroom.

Nonetheless, Rojas-Tal lamented that BDS was drawing energy away from more positive engagement with Israel, to taking on the BDS narrative of Palestinian human rights.

BDS is taking up so much of our oxygen and our energy that I dont want to lose the opportunity of creating the everlasting bond between the Jewish people and Israel.

BDS has taken up so much of our attention, she said, that pro-Israel Jews are not able to tell the story, of what Zionism means. (I actually think the Palestinian solidarity community would love to have that discussion.)

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BDS Guide – Boycott Israel the Right Way

Also, have you used Facebook lately? Well, if you did… Did you know that Facebook opened an R&D center in Israel and acquired Israeli mobile tech company, Onavo? Yup. Please stop using Facebook immediately!

C’MON, LET’S DO THIS RIGHT!

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BDS Guide – Boycott Israel the Right Way

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Boycott Israel – Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign

Individual consumers can show their opposition to Israels Apartheid policies against the Palestinian people and violations of international law by participating in a consumer boycott of Israeli goods and services. A boycott can also put pressure on companies whose exports are linked to some of the most evident aspects of the Israeli occupation and apartheid.

Take Action: We are asking supporters and those concerned about Palestinian rights to write to supermarkets and ask them to stop stocking Israeli goods.

The Israeli barcode starts with the numbers 729. However, it doesnt necessarily appear on all Israeli products so be sure to always check the label for country of origin.

Also, please note that this is not a exhaustive list of all Israeli products available in Ireland brand names change, companies dissolve, new companies enter the market etc.

Jaffa oranges were famous for centuries before Israelis successfully colonised the Palestinian name along with the city of Yafa. The Israeli agricultural companies Mehadrin (Jaffa) and Carmel-Agrexco export fruit and vegetables for sale to Europe. Much of this produce is grown on confiscated Palestinian land in the Jordan Valley. Apart from oranges, other examples of fruit exported by these, and other, companies are grapefruits, peppers, avocados, grapes, figs, and passion and sharon fruits.

Dates from Israel come in many brands and are particularity prominent during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan where they can be found in many halal shops.

Israeli new potatoes are often seen in the spring before Irish potatoes are available. Carrots are also exported from Israel.

Tivall is an Israeli company that produces vegetarian foods.

Herbs, such as basil, dill, tarragon, parsley, sage, rosemary, mint, chives and others are commonly sold.

These goods are widely available in big chainstores such as Dunnes Stores, Tesco, Marks & Spencer, Supervalu, Superquinn, Aldi and Lidl.

Most Stanley/Black&Decker Toolboxes and plastic organisers are made in Israel. Plastic saw horses are also often available.

Keter exports a wide range of large plastic products from Israel. These include shelf storage bins, garden sheds, outdoor storage boxes, dog kennels and composting bins.

These plastics can be found in Woodies, Chadwicks, Heitons, Davies and Cork builders providers (all part of the Grafton Group), Homebase, (part of the Home Retail Group),Argos, B&Q and many other hardware, builders providers and tool shops.

Sodastream, appliance for home-making carbonated drinks is a product that was previously manufactured in the illegal Israeli settlement of Maale Adumim in occupied Palestine. It ow operates from the Naqab (Negev) area of Israel. These products can be found in Dunnes Stores, Harvey Norman, Argos, Clearys, Brown Thomas, DID Electrical and others.

Lees Carpets are made by the Israeli company Carmel Carpets in the illegal industrial settlement zone of Barkan in the West Bank.

Dead Sea beauty products come in many brands including, Ahava, Dead Sea Magik, GADI21,-417, VivO, Nevo and Sea Spa Skincare. YesTo, formerly an Israel-based company which has since relocated to the US, uses Dead Sea minerals in many of its products. They can be found in Holland & Barrett, Nourish and pharmacies. In addition they are often marketed by Israelis at large shopping centres including; Dundrum, Jervis Street, Liffey Valley and others.

Any theft by the Israeli state or companies of natural resources from the Palestinian section of the Dead Sea constitutes War Pillage under the terms of the Geneva Convention. Ahava is one company that is guilty of this, being based in the illegal settlement of Mitzpe Shalem on the Dead Sea.

Despite the misleading name, MoroccanOil is an Israeli company that manufactures argan oil-based hair care products, which can be found in Peter Marks and other hair salons.

Ronen Chen is an Israeli womens fashion label that can often be found in boutique fashion outlets.

The Israeli pharmaceutical company Teva, which specialises in generic drugs, is the leading supplier of prescription drugs in the Irish market. For most Teva products there are alternatives if you ask your pharmacist if there is no alternative, just remember Nelson Mandelas maxim that a boycott is a tactic, not a principle.

The Israeli brand AMAV is distributed in Europe by George Prentice Associates (GPA), Kildare. They market a range of activities type craft boxes (plastic!) and Art Easels for children These are available at major toy retailers, Hamleys, Smiths and Art & Hobby.

The DIY-website company Wix is headquartered in Israel, and Wix is the parent ogansiation of the online artistic platform DeviantArt which it acquired in 2017. The audio plugin development company Waves is a joint US-Israeli venture. The ancestry research and DNA testing website MyHeritage.com is headquartered in Tel Aviv. The controversialonline marketplace Fiverr is headquartered in Tel Aviv, while its Corporate Office is based in the Israeli Embassy in Washington DC.

HP Hewlett-Packard, although not an Israeli company, is boycottable due to the companys deep role in helping entrench the occupation of Palestine and associated human rights abuses.

Similarly, while also not an Israeli company, Motorola is boycottable as it provides surveillance in Israeli illegal colonial settlements, profiting from this violation of the Geneva Conventions.

Although neither are Israeli companies, both Caterpillar and South Korean Hyundai supply the machinery used by Israel when it demolishes Palestinian homes, structures and farmlands in the Gaza, West Bank, Jerusalem and the Naqab (Negev) desert. In addition to machinery, Caterpillar also markets shoes, bags, tools and other consumer products under its brand name.

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Netanyahu condemns Irish legislation promoting Israel boycott …

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Tuesday strongly condemned an Irish legislative initiative which calls for a boycott of products produced in Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria.

Netanyahu said in a statement that the goal of the proposed legislation is to support the BDS movement and harm the State of Israel.

The initiative gives backing to those who seek to boycott Israel and completely contravenes the guiding principles of free trade and justice, he added.

Netanyahu also instructed that the Irish Ambassador to Israel be summoned to the Foreign Ministry on this matter. The meeting with the Irish ambassador to Israel, Alison Kelly, will be held on Wednesday, according to a report in Haaretz.

The Irish senate debated the bill on Tuesday. Beyond outlawing the import or sale of such products, it would also ban services originating from Judea and Samaria, the newspaper said.

The senate decided that debates regarding the bill will be formally adjourned until July. “This will allow the Irish government five months to progress a diplomatic approach and action at European Union level. It also gives more time for improvements, amendments and changes to the bill,” people involved in the matter told Haaretz.

The European Commission in 2015 issued guidelines for labeling products from Israeli communities in Judea, Samaria, the Golan Heights and neighborhoods of Jerusalem liberated during the 1967 Six Day War.

The EU insists the labeling does not amount to a boycott of these regions, saying so-called settlement products have to be correctly labeled.

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In First, Judge Blocks Kansas Law Aimed at Boycotts of Israel …

TOPEKA, Kan. The American Civil Liberties Union won an early victory today in its federal lawsuit arguing that a Kansas law requiring a public school educator to certify that she wont boycott Israel violates her First Amendment rights.

A federal judge issued a preliminary injunction blocking enforcement of the law while the case filed in October proceeds. It is the first ruling addressing a recent wave of laws nationwide aiming to punish people who boycott Israel.

The law, which took effect on July 1, requires that any person or company that contracts with the state submit a written certification that they are not currently engaged in a boycott of Israel. The ACLU is also currently fighting a case filed in December against a similar law in Arizona.

The court has rightly recognized the serious First Amendment harms being inflictedby this misguided law, which imposes an unconstitutional ideological litmus test, said ACLU attorney Brian Hauss, who argued the issue in court. This ruling should serve as a warning to government officials around the country that the First Amendment prohibits the government from suppressing participation in political boycotts.

In his opinion, U.S. District Judge Daniel Crabtree wrote, [T]he Supreme Court has held that the First Amendment protects the right to participate in a boycott like the one punished by the Kansas law.

Other Supreme Court decisions have established that the government may not require individuals to sign a certification regarding their political expression in order to obtain employment, contracts, or other benefits.

The ACLU represents Esther Koontz, who belongs to the Mennonite Church USA. In accordance with calls for boycott made by members of her congregation and her church, Koontz decided not to buy consumer products made by Israeli companies and international companies operating in Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories. Koontz participates in this boycott in order to protest the Israeli governments treatment of Palestinians and to pressure the country to change its policies.

Having served as a public school math teacher for nine years, Koontz now develops her schools math curriculum and trains teachers on how to implement it. She is also qualified to train teachers statewide as a contractor with the Kansas Department of Educations Math and Science Partnerships program. When Koontz was asked to certify that she does not participate in a boycott of Israel, she said that she could not sign the form in good conscience. As a result, the state refuses to contract with her, and she is unable to participate as a trainer in the states program.

Judge Crabtree wrote in his opinion, She and others participating in this boycott of Israel seek to amplify their voices to influence change.

The lawsuit argues that the Kansas law violates the First Amendment for several reasons: it compels speech regarding protected political beliefs, associations, and expression; restricts the political expression and association of government contractors; and discriminates against protected expression based on its content and viewpoint. The lawsuit asks the court to strike down the law and bar the Kansas Department of Education from requiring contractors to certify that they are not participating in boycotts of Israel.

The Kansas law is similar to legislation that has been passed in other states. The ACLU does not take a position on boycotts of foreign countries, but the organization has long supported the right to participate in political boycotts and has voiced opposition to bills that infringe on this important First Amendment right. In the lawsuit challenging the Arizona law, the ACLU represents an attorney and his one-person law office, which contracts with the government to provide legal services to incarcerated individuals.

In July, the ACLU sent a letter to members of Congress opposing a bill that would make it a felony to support certain boycotts of companies doing business in Israel and its settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories. As a result, Senate sponsors of the bill are considering changes.

Todays ruling is here:https://www.aclu.org/legal-document/koontz-v-watson-opinion

Also documents filed in the case are here:https://www.aclu.org/cases/koontz-v-watson-challenge-kansas-law-targeting-boycotts-israel

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In First, Judge Blocks Kansas Law Aimed at Boycotts of Israel …

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February 2, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Boycott Israel  Comments Closed

Laws Targeting Israel Boycotts Fail First Legal Test …

Issuing the first decision of its kind, a federal judge today blocked enforcement of a Kansas law targeting boycotts of Israel, ruling in an ACLU lawsuit that the First Amendment protects the right to engage in political boycotts.

The Kansas law requires that any person or company that contracts with the state sign a statement that they are not currently engaged in a boycott of Israel. The ACLU brought the lawsuit in October on behalf of Esther Koontz, a schoolteacher who refused to sign the certification. Todays decision, an important victory for political speech, will allow her to resume her work. Thanks to the order, Kansas is prohibited from enforcing its law while the case proceeds.

This is the first ruling to address a recent wave of laws nationwide aiming to punish people who boycott Israel, and it should serve as a warning to other states with similar provisions, including one we are challenging in Arizona. It correctly recognizes that forcing an individual to choose between exercising their rights and contracting with the state is unconstitutional.

Here are the key takeaways from the decision:

The Supreme Court made this clear with its landmark decision in NAACP v. Claiborne, which found that a civil rights-era boycott of white-owned businesses in Mississippi was protected by the Constitution. Judge Daniel D. Crabtree relied on Claiborne in finding that the First Amendment clearly protects Esthers decision to band together with others in a boycott in order to:

express collectively their dissatisfaction with the injustice and violence they perceive, as experienced both by Palestinians and Israeli citizens. She and others participating in this boycott of Israel seek to amplify their voices to influence change, as did the boycotters in Claiborne.

Esther is a veteran math teacher and trainer who was told she would need to sign the certification statement in order to participate in a state program training other math teachers. She boycotts consumer goods and services produced by Israeli companies and international companies operating in Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories. She does so in order to protest the Israeli governments treatment of Palestinians and to pressure the government to change its policies. As a result, she could not in good conscience sign the statement and thus couldn’t participate in the state program.

The judge correctly recognized the political litmus test the state was imposing on Esther:

Plaintiffs harm stems not from her decision to refuse to sign the certification, but rather from the plainly unconstitutional choice the Kansas Law forces plaintiff to make: She either can contract with the state or she can support a boycott of Israel.

As the court held, that is not permissible.

Judge Crabtree also recognized the laws true purpose:

The Kansas Laws legislative history reveals that its goal is to undermine the message of those participating in a boycott of Israel. This is either viewpoint discrimination against the opinion that Israel mistreats Palestinians or subject matter discrimination on the topic of Israel. Both are impermissible goals under the First Amendment.

Some two dozen other states have passed laws specifically targeting those who oppose one side of the Israel-Palestine debate. They should all take note of todays decision.

Continued here:

Laws Targeting Israel Boycotts Fail First Legal Test …

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February 2, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Boycott Israel  Comments Closed

Kansas Wont Let Me Train Math Teachers Because I Boycott …

Im a member of the Mennonite Church. Ive also been a math teacher for almost a decade. Because of my political views, the state of Kansas has decided that I cant help it train other math teachers. I was chosen last spring to participate in a program that trains public school math teachers all over Kansas. After completing a two-day preparation course in May, Iwas ready to take on the role. But in June, Kansas passed a law requiring any individual or company seeking a contract with the state to certify that they are not engaged in a boycott of Israel. That law affects me personally. As a member of the Mennonite Church USA, and a person concerned with the human rights of all people and specifically the ongoing violations of Palestinians human rights in Israel and Palestine I choose to boycott consumer goods made by Israeliand international companies that profit from the violation of Palestinians rights. I first became concerned with the situation in Israel and Palestine when I visited the region in the early 2000s, while serving a three-year term with the Mennonite Central Committee in Egypt. That interest intensified last fall, when our church hosted a weekly presentation series led by a member of our congregation. He told us about his trip to Israel and Palestine at the invitation of a group of Palestinian Christians. And he showed us video presentations by nongovernmental organizations, children’s rights advocates, and former Israeli soldiers about the Israeli governments treatment of Palestinians. At the end of eight sessions, we talked about how boycotts, divestments, and sanctions could help bring about an end to the Israeli governments occupation, in the same way those tactics helped dismantle apartheid in South Africa. I left the meeting with the conviction that I needed to do my part to support the Palestinian struggle for equality, even if it just meant not buying Sabra hummus or a SodaStream machine. Then, on July 6, 2017, the Mennonite Church USA overwhelmingly passed a resolution calling for peace in Israel and Palestine. It called on Mennonites to take active and specific steps to redress the injustice and violence that both Palestinians and Jews have experienced. And it urged us to avoid the purchase of products associated with acts of violence or policies of military occupation, including items produced in the settlements. This resolution reaffirmed my decision to participate in the boycott. Just a few days later, I got an email from an official at the Kansas State Department of Education. She said that, in order to participate in the states math training program, I would need to sign a certification stating that I dont boycott Israel. Specifically, I would have to sign below the following statement: As an Individual or Contractor entering into a contract with the State of Kansas, it is hereby certified that the Individual or Company listed below is not currently engaged in a boycott of Israel. I was stunned. It seems preposterous that my decision to participate in a political boycott should have any effect on my ability to work for the state of Kansas. After waiting for several weeks and considering my options, I emailed back and told the official I could not sign the certificate as a matter of conscience. Could I still participate in the states training program? She responded that, unfortunately, I could not. I needed to sign the certification in order to get paid. I am challengingthislawbecause I believe that the First Amendment protects my right, and the right of all Americans, to make consumer spending decisions based on their political beliefs. You dont need to share my beliefs or agree with my decisions to understand that this law violates my free speech rights. The state should not be telling people what causes they can or cant support. I am also sad that I cannot be a math trainer for the state of Kansas because of my political views about human rights across the globe. The two seem so distant and unrelated. My activism on behalf of freedom for all Israelis and Palestinians shouldnt affect my ability to train math teachers. I hope this law will be recognized as a constitutional violation. Esther Koontz is a curriculum coach at Horace Mann Dual Language Magnet school in Wichita, Kansas, and a member of the Mennonite Church USA. The views expressed in this post are those of the author; the ACLU does not take a position on boycotts of Israel.

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September 29, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Boycott Israel  Comments Closed

The Irish Senates Boycott Israel Debate | Jewish …

Pro-Palestinian protesters near the Irish parliament in Dublin at a rally against Israeli air strikes in Gaza in 2009. Photo: William Murphy / Flickr. JNS.org Reading thetranscriptof the debate that took place in the Irish Senate on July 11 before that body voted 25-20 to criminalize commercial relations with Jewish communities in the West Bank, I was struck by how the arguments fell neatly into one of two categories. Category one: Those who believe that a boycott of Israel is a necessary moral undertaking and seek to introduce such a policy through legislation. Category two: Those who believe that a boycott of Israel is a necessary moral undertaking, but do not agree that enshrining such a policy through legislation is the right way to go about it. Here are some illustrations of those arguments. Speaking in favor of category one, Senator Niall Donnghaileof the nationalist Sinn Fein party invoked no less a figure than Nelson Mandelawho, incidentally, never once described Israel as an apartheid stateas he urged his colleagues to consider what is happening in Palestine, and to look at the will of the House and the majority of Irish people, who want to see us take this mode of solidarity. Something approaching a counter-argument was offered by Senator Terry Leyden of the opposition Fianna Fil party on behalf of category two. I would certainly boycott products coming from occupied territories sold by the Israelis on the international market, but it is a different thing for a state to involve itself directly in this area, said Leyden. I advise caution. July 20, 2018 12:04 pm Leyden elaborated on his advice with several sensible, practical reasons, including one so grave that you have to wonder why no other Irish politician is apparently worried about it at a time when the potential impact of Brexit is already casting a dark shadow over Irelands economy. In 2017 we exported $868 million worth of goods to Israel, from where we imported $63 million worth of goods, Leyden explained, in a bid to persuade his colleagues that many hundreds of jobs in Ireland are at stake. Boycotts are serious, Leyden continued, before adding, I do not recall a Bill being introduced here when South Africa had apartheid. When it came to addressing the rank hypocrisy that underpins the boycott of Israel, that final observation was about as far as the debate was willing to go. Indeed, opponents of the bill were so nervous about being seen as defending Israel that they resorted to every other argument available, including opening themselves up to caricature and lampoonery in the media. I have spent hours trying to build relationships with people who will be involved in decision-making that can bring about peacePalestinians, Americans, Israelis, and others in Jordan, Egypt, Cyprus, and many other neighbouring countries, pleaded Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney of the ruling Fine Gael party as he made the case for a no vote. I have spent a substantial amount of taxpayers money funding my travel in these endeavors. These endeavors, said Coveney, were aimed at rectifying the deep injustice that has been imposed upon the Palestinians for decades. And it was crystal-clear from the wider debate, whether the speaker spokefor or against the legislation, that Irelands Senate was in near universal agreement that this injustice had been imposed by Israel alone. It is this notion of Israel as conceived in original sin, with the Palestinians cast as the Christ-like victim, that binds this soft version of the BDS campaign, which ostensibly targets only Jewish communities in the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem, with the more familiar hard version that targets everything and everyone Israeli or linked to Israel in some positive way, as most Diaspora Jews are. It is the consequence of a worldview that dismisses the Jewish nation in Israel as a foreign interloperlike the English settlers who reaped the rewards of Oliver Cromwells brutal conquest of Ireland in the 17th century or the Boers in South Africa who placed the yoke of apartheid on the black majority during the 20th. That the realization of Jewish sovereignty in Israel should be associated with these earlier outrages is nothing new. For nearly a century, the struggle for the autonomy and independence of the Middle Easts non-Arab or non-Muslim minoritiesJews, Kurds, and Copts among themhas been ignored by Westerners in thrall to the myth that satisfying Palestinian demands against Israel will bring peace and prosperity to the region in general. From there, it is but a short step to the embrace of some form of boycott, along with an unquestioning acceptance of the anti-Zionist ideology that underpins such a campaign. And as Ireland shows us, those who argue against a boycott can still share the same prejudiced assumptions as those in favor of it. As it stands, the country that will be most damaged by an Irish boycott of Israel will be Ireland itself. Read the debate for yourselves and see how many Irish politicians are willing to sacrifice the jobs and livelihoods of Irish citizens for the gesture politics of boycotting Israel. Common sense may yet prevail. If it does, none of us should be surprised when Irish politicians explain their retreat as the consequence of Zionist pressure and American bullying. After all, what other explanation could there be? Ben Cohen writes a weekly column for JNS on Jewish affairs and Middle Eastern politics. His writings have been published in Commentary, The New York Post, Haaretz, The Wall Street Journal, and many other publications.

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July 21, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Boycott Israel  Comments Closed

The New Israel Anti-Boycott Act Is Still Unconstitutional …

Over the weekend, two senators introduced changes to the Israel Anti-Boycott Act, which would criminalize participation in certain political boycotts targeting Israel. The changes attempt to address the civil liberties concerns raised by the ACLU and other groups. Unfortunately, the revised bill still violates the First Amendment. It does so by unconstitutionally penalizing Americans who participate in political boycotts of companies doing business in Israel and its settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories, if those boycotts were called for by international governmental organizations like the United Nations. This is impermissible. Political boycotts are fully protected by the First Amendment. The Supreme Court made that clear when it recognized, in a landmark 1982 decision called NAACP v. Claiborne Hardware, that the Constitution protected a 1960s boycott of white-owned businesses in Mississippi. If the Israel Anti-Boycott Act were to pass and take effect, we would strongly consider challenging it in court. The Israel Anti-Boycott Act seeks to amend a 1970s law known as the Export Administration Act. That law was passed in response to the Arab Leagues boycott of Israel, which required U.S. businesses to boycott Israel as a condition of doing business with Arab League countries. To prevent foreign countries from bullying U.S. businesses into these compulsory boycotts, the EAA prohibited U.S. companies from entering into agreements with foreign governments to boycott countries friendly to the United States. Whereas the EAA was meant to protect U.S. companies from these compulsory boycotts, the Israel Anti-Boycott Act seeks to dictate the political activities Americans can and cant engage in. It does so by imposing civil and criminal penalties on American organizations that participate in political boycotts called for by international organizations. The revised Israel Anti-Boycott Act, amended by Sens. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio), does contain several significant improvements from the original draft. For example, the bill now makes clear that Americans cannot be imprisoned for their boycott participation. It also provides that speech critical of Israel cannot be used to open an investigation against an individual or as evidence that the person violated the law. These changes alleviate some of the gravest dangers posed by the bill. But this latest version would still allow people who boycott to be slapped with criminal financial penalties. It suffers from the same fundamental flaw as the original draft by criminalizing participation in constitutionally protected boycotts. In fact, the bills sponsors openly admit that it was designed for this purpose. In the press release accompanying its announcement, Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) described the bill as an attempt to combat Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) efforts targeting Israel. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) also characterized the bill as anti-BDS legislation. Although the bill states that [n]othing in this Act . . . shall be construed to diminish or infringe upon any right protected under the First Amendment, these words rings hollow in light of the bills obvious purpose. The Israel Anti-Boycott Act cannot be viewed in isolation. It is part of a sustained legislative campaign in the state and federal governments to suppress boycotts of Israel. Just a few weeks ago, a federal court in Kansas agreed with the ACLUs First Amendment challenge to a law requiring state contractors to certify that they are not participating in boycotts of Israel. The court recognized that the Kansas state government could not constitutionally suppress our clients boycott to silence one side in the public debate over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In halting enforcement of the law, the court held that our clients boycott of Israel: is protected for the same reason as the boycotters conduct in [NAACP v. Claiborne Hardware] was protected. . . . Namely, its organizers have banded together to express collectively their dissatisfaction with the injustice and violence they perceive, as experienced by both Palestinian and Israeli citizens. From the campaign to divest from apartheid South Africa to the recent boycott against the National Rifle Association, boycotts have always been a key feature of American politics. If state and federal governments could outlaw boycotts they dont like, all sorts of social movements would suffer. Whatever their views are on Israel and Palestine, members of Congress should recognize that the Israel Anti-Boycott Act threatens fundamental First Amendment values. We urge them to oppose it.

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April 22, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Boycott Israel  Comments Closed

Want to boycott Israel? Be my guest, there will be a …

A high official in the Israeli government says that the groups supporting BDS, or Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel, are doing a great job, and Israel has to come up with more aggressive ways to counter them. If you want to promote boycotts against Israel, be my guest, its your right. But there will be a price tag, Ron Brummer said last week. The new battlefield for BDS is in Europe, where companies are under growing pressure to divest from the West Bank, Brummer said. The best response is to put through anti-BDS legislation in American states (as state legislatures and governors have done in Texas, California, Maryland, New York, and other states), so that if a company boycotts the West Bank, it loses 10s of millions in U.S. contracts. Brummer,the executive director for operations of the Israeli Ministry for Strategic Affairs and Public Diplomacy, said there is no distinction between boycotting West Bank settlement products and boycotting Israel. There is only one economy between the river and the sea. If you want to divest from the West Bank Judea and Samaria you have to divest from Israel, which means you boycott Israel completely, he said. Brummer also called on American Jews to give money to Jewish groups in Europe and South American to fight BDS, because throughout history, Jews have always helped each other. Brummer spoke at the Israeli American Council last Sunday, November 5 an organization funded by Sheldon Adelsonin a panel titled The Real BDS: Bigotry, Discrimination and Slander. The room was jammed with about 150 people, many young activists. The panel featured Shilo Adler, a leader from an illegal Israeli settlement in the West Bank, Eli. Lets go through Brummers points and then the points of two other pro-Israel advocates who are fighting BDS. BDS groups are doing a great job, Brummer said: The BDS organizations or the delegitimization organizations have evolved. They have improved. They are doing a great job on the other side and we have to adapt ourselves. But BDS is really anti-Semitism: BDS as we see it is only the symptom, the current face of something much, much, much deeper, much more established, much more ancient, and that is, the delegitimization of Israel as the Jewish state, as the homeland of the Jewish people.During history, many forces have tried to delegitimize us. Maybe through endless wars, terror, guerrilla, unilateral moves in the U.N. and other institutions.And the current face of the delegitimization campaign is the BDS. If you support BDS, Israel will take you on: Delegitimization is the problem we deal with, not BDS. BDS is just a symptom. If you want to promote boycotts against Israel, be my guest, its your right. But there will be a price tag. Brummer said that Israel had traditionally been too reactive. We have to move from defense to offense. That means being aggressive. With BDS promoters You always have to use the stick and carrot theory. First you hit them with the stick then you hit them with the carrot. BDS has been contained in the U.S. but the real danger is Europe. BDS 2.0 is in the U.S. campuses and capitals. BDS 3.0 is happening as we speak, and this is a much more severe danger to Israel. Im talking about the economic divestment. What is happening now in Europe might be ground zero for the next stage of BDS. Promoting divestment from Israel based on the alleged saying that companies who operate in the West Bank, over the Green Line, are violating human rights this is the narrative that BDS organizations are trying to implement in the U.N., in different institutions, but mainly when they encounter European companies. Think about the process. Im CEO of a company. Im being approached time and time, over and over again by those BDS organizations, who claim that Because you operate in the West Bank, you are violating human rights. If I want to react and I want to do somethingand all of us dont want to be considered as violators of human rights I might just consider stop working in the West Bank. But Brummer said there is no difference between the West Bank and Israel (and so no point in the Peace Now/Beinart program of boycotting just the settlements). But you cannot stop working in the West Bank. Israel does not have two different economic ecosystems, like, Israel within the green line and Israel over the green line. If you want to divest from the West Bank, Judea and Samaria, you have to divest from Israel, which means you boycott Israel completely. This is exactly what the BDS delegitimization organizations are trying to do these days. The European front is the reason pro-Israel groups are pushing legislation in 24 U.S. states to punish those who support BDS. The Israeli government is cheering from the sidelines: It is extremely, super important to confront this new reality. Because eventually when a CEO of a company lets say in Denmark, has to decide, Does he listen to any kind of UN institution or any kind of human rights report that is being published, or does he want to lose 10s of millions of contracts in Texas or in Florida? most of the CEOs will decide not to lose those 10s of millions of dollars. So when we talk about how do we try to move from defense to offense? The legislation piece, which obviously the Israeli government has nothing to do with but we look at it from the side, and we think this is a very good process. BDS is on the verge of scoring a big success, he warned, in the real ground zero of BDS, which is South Africa. The African National Congress is considering a resolution to lower the countrys level of diplomatic relations with Israel. If that passes, there will no longer be an embassy in tel aviv. If that will happen, this might be one of the biggest successes of the BDS movement ever. Jews need to stick together. Brummer called on the wealthy and powerful American Jewish community to help Jewish communities in Europe, South Africa and Latin America to fight BDS. That takes me to one of my bottom lines Through history the Jewish people have always assisted and helped the weaker part or, to be more correct, the more needy parts of world Jewry. I think that in the United States, once again, due to the amazing work IAC [Israeli American Council] and other organizations are doing, and the great support of many philanthropists here, there is a good answer to BDS.What is needed now is to shift the efforts to the other side of the ocean. The Jewish communities and the pro Israel communities in Europe, in South Africa, a little bit in Latin America as well they need the help now. They dont have the tools, they dont have the money, they dont have the resources. They dont have the political support that you have here, and you take it maybe, sometimes you take it for granted. This is the time to shift the efforts from whats going on here which is well treated it cannot be treated better than it is today, I think, and to shift the efforts to where it is really needed and that is in Europe and South Africa and other places of the world. Brummer stressed the idea of Jewish cohesion. BDS is failing around the world, he asserted. But its aim was to drive a wedge between the state of Israel and the Jewish diaspora. I think this will fail because Israel is the glue that keeps us together. In LA or Beersheva. The amazing work that you are doing, and others, will be the glue that keeps us together. Dillon L. Hosier National Director, State Government Affairs, Israeli-American Coalition for Action Now lets move on to Dillon Hosier. Hosier is a lobbyist with the Israeli American Coalition for Action, which is a partner group of IAC. He works in state capitals on anti-BDS legislation. Hosier pointed to the pro-BDS group, Jewish Voice for Peace, and said it was playing the game the right way in state capitals, fromSacramento to Boston to Olympia to Austin. Over the past few years Ive seen something very interesting. There is one particular group how many people have heard of Jewish Voice for Peace? [30 hands go up; about a fourth of the room] Jewish Voice for Peace, in my mind theyre smart, theyre strategic, theyre connected, and they are playing the game the right way. Ill tell you, I was in Carson City, the capital of Nevada. And the Jewish Voice for Peace activist was following every single step of the process of passing an anti-BDS piece of legislation. At every point in the legislative process they would object and try to rally against In Sacramento, there was a guy who lived there, retired of course, spent every single day of the session in the capital, going from office to office to office, trying to pull votes off the legislation. He would do his best to rally forces against support of the bill. Hosier saw the same in Boston, where JVP brought out 100 people to a committee meeting to testify against the bill. While in Nevada, JVP did FOIA requests to see any communication I had with relevant government officials in the state. Hosier conducted himself in the most ethical manner, because if he didnt cross every t and dot ever i, Ive got JVP there and ready to jump. Hosier said that JVP was redefining the playing field for the battle over BDS by imbedding themselves in local Democratic political organizations. I was on the floor of the California Democratic Party convention earlier this year, as a delegate, and one of the most anti Israel resolutions passed at that convention. It was not because of the California Democratic Party.This resolution was not in my view representative of the California Democratic Party. But guess what, Jewish Voice for Peace, in fact that same guy who hangs out at the capital, all day he managed to get 300 people, primarily through CAIR and other types of organizations, got 300 people to sign on to this legislation, to insure that it passed the floor immediately Meanwhile, our side, we were completely flatfooted, we didnt have any organization there. So JVP had held the party hostage. This is not a college campus. Were talking about the California Democratic Party theyre imbedded in and that they are passing this resolution. So now it looks like BDS has legitimacy from one of the biggest Democratic parties in the country. Theyre basically in my view holding it hostage. The problem is that the pro-BDS forces are in the trenches and the pro-Israel forces rely on big donors. When it comes to political action, I see all too often we find a member of congress, we donate the maximum amount and thats it. We write a check and then we walk away. We expect them to vote our way. Sometimes they dont.We cant do that anymore. Those who are passionately opposed to Israel, are getting elected. From the lowest level delegate seats to school boards, those opposed to Israel are getting elected. For a while a lieutenant governor candidate in Illinois was pro-BDS (till he got kicked off the ticket, that is!). These people are actually getting involved. Writing a check is no longer sufficient. We have to actually get involved. Strategically involved. If we dont, Hosier said, well be completely overwhelmed. CAIR has a political action committee, and theyre engaged at the grass-roots level. Israel supporters have to get involved at that level. Writing a check is not enough. Because no amount of money will dissuade the opponents of Israel to change their line. Pro-Israel forces have to go grass roots. Its a scary thing but we have to get involved at that level. Michelle Rojas-Tal of the Jewish Agency Finally, some quotes from Michelle Rojas-Tal, who works at Hillel International and the Jewish Agency. Rojas-Tal said that the battle on college campuses is to stop BDS as an illegitimate form of bigotry. Its an issue of hate and prejudice, she said. If and when BDS decides to rear its ugly face on a college campus, BDS needs to be stopped. Israel advocates can stop it because BDS has absolutely no place on a college campus because it goes against the values that American academic institutions stand for. Thats the language we need to start speaking. She urged the activists in the room to use Israel the country as a model to show young Americans that Israel is a value in their lives. We have an opportunity. Were living in a generation and a period of renaissance where we have Israel and we cannot take it for granted. Because we have Israel, we can use it as a classroom. Nonetheless, Rojas-Tal lamented that BDS was drawing energy away from more positive engagement with Israel, to taking on the BDS narrative of Palestinian human rights. BDS is taking up so much of our oxygen and our energy that I dont want to lose the opportunity of creating the everlasting bond between the Jewish people and Israel. BDS has taken up so much of our attention, she said, that pro-Israel Jews are not able to tell the story, of what Zionism means. (I actually think the Palestinian solidarity community would love to have that discussion.)

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April 3, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Boycott Israel  Comments Closed

BDS Guide – Boycott Israel the Right Way

Also, have you used Facebook lately? Well, if you did… Did you know that Facebook opened an R&D center in Israel and acquired Israeli mobile tech company, Onavo? Yup. Please stop using Facebook immediately! C’MON, LET’S DO THIS RIGHT!

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March 1, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Boycott Israel  Comments Closed

Boycott Israel – Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign

Individual consumers can show their opposition to Israels Apartheid policies against the Palestinian people and violations of international law by participating in a consumer boycott of Israeli goods and services. A boycott can also put pressure on companies whose exports are linked to some of the most evident aspects of the Israeli occupation and apartheid. Take Action: We are asking supporters and those concerned about Palestinian rights to write to supermarkets and ask them to stop stocking Israeli goods. The Israeli barcode starts with the numbers 729. However, it doesnt necessarily appear on all Israeli products so be sure to always check the label for country of origin. Also, please note that this is not a exhaustive list of all Israeli products available in Ireland brand names change, companies dissolve, new companies enter the market etc. Jaffa oranges were famous for centuries before Israelis successfully colonised the Palestinian name along with the city of Yafa. The Israeli agricultural companies Mehadrin (Jaffa) and Carmel-Agrexco export fruit and vegetables for sale to Europe. Much of this produce is grown on confiscated Palestinian land in the Jordan Valley. Apart from oranges, other examples of fruit exported by these, and other, companies are grapefruits, peppers, avocados, grapes, figs, and passion and sharon fruits. Dates from Israel come in many brands and are particularity prominent during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan where they can be found in many halal shops. Israeli new potatoes are often seen in the spring before Irish potatoes are available. Carrots are also exported from Israel. Tivall is an Israeli company that produces vegetarian foods. Herbs, such as basil, dill, tarragon, parsley, sage, rosemary, mint, chives and others are commonly sold. These goods are widely available in big chainstores such as Dunnes Stores, Tesco, Marks & Spencer, Supervalu, Superquinn, Aldi and Lidl. Most Stanley/Black&Decker Toolboxes and plastic organisers are made in Israel. Plastic saw horses are also often available. Keter exports a wide range of large plastic products from Israel. These include shelf storage bins, garden sheds, outdoor storage boxes, dog kennels and composting bins. These plastics can be found in Woodies, Chadwicks, Heitons, Davies and Cork builders providers (all part of the Grafton Group), Homebase, (part of the Home Retail Group),Argos, B&Q and many other hardware, builders providers and tool shops. Sodastream, appliance for home-making carbonated drinks is a product that was previously manufactured in the illegal Israeli settlement of Maale Adumim in occupied Palestine. It ow operates from the Naqab (Negev) area of Israel. These products can be found in Dunnes Stores, Harvey Norman, Argos, Clearys, Brown Thomas, DID Electrical and others. Lees Carpets are made by the Israeli company Carmel Carpets in the illegal industrial settlement zone of Barkan in the West Bank. Dead Sea beauty products come in many brands including, Ahava, Dead Sea Magik, GADI21,-417, VivO, Nevo and Sea Spa Skincare. YesTo, formerly an Israel-based company which has since relocated to the US, uses Dead Sea minerals in many of its products. They can be found in Holland & Barrett, Nourish and pharmacies. In addition they are often marketed by Israelis at large shopping centres including; Dundrum, Jervis Street, Liffey Valley and others. Any theft by the Israeli state or companies of natural resources from the Palestinian section of the Dead Sea constitutes War Pillage under the terms of the Geneva Convention. Ahava is one company that is guilty of this, being based in the illegal settlement of Mitzpe Shalem on the Dead Sea. Despite the misleading name, MoroccanOil is an Israeli company that manufactures argan oil-based hair care products, which can be found in Peter Marks and other hair salons. Ronen Chen is an Israeli womens fashion label that can often be found in boutique fashion outlets. The Israeli pharmaceutical company Teva, which specialises in generic drugs, is the leading supplier of prescription drugs in the Irish market. For most Teva products there are alternatives if you ask your pharmacist if there is no alternative, just remember Nelson Mandelas maxim that a boycott is a tactic, not a principle. The Israeli brand AMAV is distributed in Europe by George Prentice Associates (GPA), Kildare. They market a range of activities type craft boxes (plastic!) and Art Easels for children These are available at major toy retailers, Hamleys, Smiths and Art & Hobby. The DIY-website company Wix is headquartered in Israel, and Wix is the parent ogansiation of the online artistic platform DeviantArt which it acquired in 2017. The audio plugin development company Waves is a joint US-Israeli venture. The ancestry research and DNA testing website MyHeritage.com is headquartered in Tel Aviv. The controversialonline marketplace Fiverr is headquartered in Tel Aviv, while its Corporate Office is based in the Israeli Embassy in Washington DC. HP Hewlett-Packard, although not an Israeli company, is boycottable due to the companys deep role in helping entrench the occupation of Palestine and associated human rights abuses. Similarly, while also not an Israeli company, Motorola is boycottable as it provides surveillance in Israeli illegal colonial settlements, profiting from this violation of the Geneva Conventions. Although neither are Israeli companies, both Caterpillar and South Korean Hyundai supply the machinery used by Israel when it demolishes Palestinian homes, structures and farmlands in the Gaza, West Bank, Jerusalem and the Naqab (Negev) desert. In addition to machinery, Caterpillar also markets shoes, bags, tools and other consumer products under its brand name.

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February 3, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Boycott Israel  Comments Closed

Netanyahu condemns Irish legislation promoting Israel boycott …

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Tuesday strongly condemned an Irish legislative initiative which calls for a boycott of products produced in Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria. Netanyahu said in a statement that the goal of the proposed legislation is to support the BDS movement and harm the State of Israel. The initiative gives backing to those who seek to boycott Israel and completely contravenes the guiding principles of free trade and justice, he added. Netanyahu also instructed that the Irish Ambassador to Israel be summoned to the Foreign Ministry on this matter. The meeting with the Irish ambassador to Israel, Alison Kelly, will be held on Wednesday, according to a report in Haaretz. The Irish senate debated the bill on Tuesday. Beyond outlawing the import or sale of such products, it would also ban services originating from Judea and Samaria, the newspaper said. The senate decided that debates regarding the bill will be formally adjourned until July. “This will allow the Irish government five months to progress a diplomatic approach and action at European Union level. It also gives more time for improvements, amendments and changes to the bill,” people involved in the matter told Haaretz. The European Commission in 2015 issued guidelines for labeling products from Israeli communities in Judea, Samaria, the Golan Heights and neighborhoods of Jerusalem liberated during the 1967 Six Day War. The EU insists the labeling does not amount to a boycott of these regions, saying so-called settlement products have to be correctly labeled.

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February 2, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Boycott Israel  Comments Closed

In First, Judge Blocks Kansas Law Aimed at Boycotts of Israel …

TOPEKA, Kan. The American Civil Liberties Union won an early victory today in its federal lawsuit arguing that a Kansas law requiring a public school educator to certify that she wont boycott Israel violates her First Amendment rights. A federal judge issued a preliminary injunction blocking enforcement of the law while the case filed in October proceeds. It is the first ruling addressing a recent wave of laws nationwide aiming to punish people who boycott Israel. The law, which took effect on July 1, requires that any person or company that contracts with the state submit a written certification that they are not currently engaged in a boycott of Israel. The ACLU is also currently fighting a case filed in December against a similar law in Arizona. The court has rightly recognized the serious First Amendment harms being inflictedby this misguided law, which imposes an unconstitutional ideological litmus test, said ACLU attorney Brian Hauss, who argued the issue in court. This ruling should serve as a warning to government officials around the country that the First Amendment prohibits the government from suppressing participation in political boycotts. In his opinion, U.S. District Judge Daniel Crabtree wrote, [T]he Supreme Court has held that the First Amendment protects the right to participate in a boycott like the one punished by the Kansas law. Other Supreme Court decisions have established that the government may not require individuals to sign a certification regarding their political expression in order to obtain employment, contracts, or other benefits. The ACLU represents Esther Koontz, who belongs to the Mennonite Church USA. In accordance with calls for boycott made by members of her congregation and her church, Koontz decided not to buy consumer products made by Israeli companies and international companies operating in Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories. Koontz participates in this boycott in order to protest the Israeli governments treatment of Palestinians and to pressure the country to change its policies. Having served as a public school math teacher for nine years, Koontz now develops her schools math curriculum and trains teachers on how to implement it. She is also qualified to train teachers statewide as a contractor with the Kansas Department of Educations Math and Science Partnerships program. When Koontz was asked to certify that she does not participate in a boycott of Israel, she said that she could not sign the form in good conscience. As a result, the state refuses to contract with her, and she is unable to participate as a trainer in the states program. Judge Crabtree wrote in his opinion, She and others participating in this boycott of Israel seek to amplify their voices to influence change. The lawsuit argues that the Kansas law violates the First Amendment for several reasons: it compels speech regarding protected political beliefs, associations, and expression; restricts the political expression and association of government contractors; and discriminates against protected expression based on its content and viewpoint. The lawsuit asks the court to strike down the law and bar the Kansas Department of Education from requiring contractors to certify that they are not participating in boycotts of Israel. The Kansas law is similar to legislation that has been passed in other states. The ACLU does not take a position on boycotts of foreign countries, but the organization has long supported the right to participate in political boycotts and has voiced opposition to bills that infringe on this important First Amendment right. In the lawsuit challenging the Arizona law, the ACLU represents an attorney and his one-person law office, which contracts with the government to provide legal services to incarcerated individuals. In July, the ACLU sent a letter to members of Congress opposing a bill that would make it a felony to support certain boycotts of companies doing business in Israel and its settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories. As a result, Senate sponsors of the bill are considering changes. Todays ruling is here:https://www.aclu.org/legal-document/koontz-v-watson-opinion Also documents filed in the case are here:https://www.aclu.org/cases/koontz-v-watson-challenge-kansas-law-targeting-boycotts-israel

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February 2, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Boycott Israel  Comments Closed

Laws Targeting Israel Boycotts Fail First Legal Test …

Issuing the first decision of its kind, a federal judge today blocked enforcement of a Kansas law targeting boycotts of Israel, ruling in an ACLU lawsuit that the First Amendment protects the right to engage in political boycotts. The Kansas law requires that any person or company that contracts with the state sign a statement that they are not currently engaged in a boycott of Israel. The ACLU brought the lawsuit in October on behalf of Esther Koontz, a schoolteacher who refused to sign the certification. Todays decision, an important victory for political speech, will allow her to resume her work. Thanks to the order, Kansas is prohibited from enforcing its law while the case proceeds. This is the first ruling to address a recent wave of laws nationwide aiming to punish people who boycott Israel, and it should serve as a warning to other states with similar provisions, including one we are challenging in Arizona. It correctly recognizes that forcing an individual to choose between exercising their rights and contracting with the state is unconstitutional. Here are the key takeaways from the decision: The Supreme Court made this clear with its landmark decision in NAACP v. Claiborne, which found that a civil rights-era boycott of white-owned businesses in Mississippi was protected by the Constitution. Judge Daniel D. Crabtree relied on Claiborne in finding that the First Amendment clearly protects Esthers decision to band together with others in a boycott in order to: express collectively their dissatisfaction with the injustice and violence they perceive, as experienced both by Palestinians and Israeli citizens. She and others participating in this boycott of Israel seek to amplify their voices to influence change, as did the boycotters in Claiborne. Esther is a veteran math teacher and trainer who was told she would need to sign the certification statement in order to participate in a state program training other math teachers. She boycotts consumer goods and services produced by Israeli companies and international companies operating in Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories. She does so in order to protest the Israeli governments treatment of Palestinians and to pressure the government to change its policies. As a result, she could not in good conscience sign the statement and thus couldn’t participate in the state program. The judge correctly recognized the political litmus test the state was imposing on Esther: Plaintiffs harm stems not from her decision to refuse to sign the certification, but rather from the plainly unconstitutional choice the Kansas Law forces plaintiff to make: She either can contract with the state or she can support a boycott of Israel. As the court held, that is not permissible. Judge Crabtree also recognized the laws true purpose: The Kansas Laws legislative history reveals that its goal is to undermine the message of those participating in a boycott of Israel. This is either viewpoint discrimination against the opinion that Israel mistreats Palestinians or subject matter discrimination on the topic of Israel. Both are impermissible goals under the First Amendment. Some two dozen other states have passed laws specifically targeting those who oppose one side of the Israel-Palestine debate. They should all take note of todays decision.

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February 2, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Boycott Israel  Comments Closed


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