Thursday, September 30, 2010

Beautiful! Another failed Ahava Boycott in NYC

The Buycott Israel strategy is paying off throughout the country. From the redwood highway to the gulf stream waters, people throughout America are supporting Israel with their pocketbooks and with their consumer choices.

Empowered by the Ahava buycott in Silver Springs Maryland that led to empty shelves, Ahava lovers in NYC tried the same tactic- with similar results.

Ricky's- an independent health and beauty supply store has been besieged and bullied by Code pink and other anti-Israel forces for months. But this time, Brooklyn was ready to fight back.

Rabbi Aaron Raskin of Congregation B’nai Avraham on Remsen Street in Brooklyn sent out an action alert, and congregants responded. Ricky’s employees said that they sell out of Ahava products every time there is a protest.

Code Pink- Einstein defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. If your goal is to have an economic impact on Israel, you may want to try a different strategy. For the rest of us, even if you
don't live in NYC, you can show Ricky's and Ahava some love by buying the products mail order.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Port Townsend: Another Co-op rejects BDS.

Via Judy Balint in Israel

"Last month when I was visiting Seattle, I had the opportunity to take part in a "hearing" of the Olympia Food Co-op whose board had voted to boycott Israeli products. The 15,000 Co-op membership had not been consulted and some of them were upset--not that they were pro-Israel, they were ticked off that the Board had not consulted the members before they launched the Co-op into progressive history by becoming the first co-op in the nation to boycott Israel.

More of that later--in another part of Washington state--the charming, quiet community of Port Townsend--another Israel boycott was brewing. This time however, saner voices prevailed and Jewish activists from all over the state, led by the Seattle StandWithUs group, together with a flurry of letters and op eds in the local paper, resulted in a "no" vote on the boycott last night."

The PTLeader reports:

The Port Townsend Food Co-op board Tuesday voted 4 to 2 to reject a proposed boycott of products made in Israel.

After listening to more than 50 co-op members speak passionately for and against the proposal, the board approved a motion stating that the proposal was inconsistent with the co-op’s boycott policy.

The board concluded that policy does not allow the co-op to take a stand on issues involving countries.

“We are not in the business, fundamentally, of adjudicating international issues,” said board member Rick Sepler.

“That is [just] not the business the co-op is in,” said board member Steve Moore, adding, “It is not why we were elected.”


Port Townsend joins the Davis Co-op and the Seattle Co-op in rejecting BDS. Still being ravaged by the BDs'ers is the Scaramento Natural Food co-op. Patricia Daugherty and her partner Maggie Coulter have moved their attentions from Davis to Sac, in search of a BDS victory that remains as elusive in Northern California as Susquach. Want to help defeat the forces of darkness ?

Send emails to the Sacramento Natural Food Co-op and tell them the boycotts are a divisive tool that fragment our community and do nothing to futher the cause of peace in the middle east:

Emails of both Board and Policy Committee:,,,,,,,,
* * *

Visit the co-op and buycott, buycott, buycott!
Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op
1900 Alhambra Blvd.
Sacramento, CA 95816
The Co-op is currently selling several Dead Sea products from Israel, including Masada Dead Sea Mineral Bath Salts, Ancient Secrets Dead Sea Mineral Baths, One with Nature soap, Dead Sea Warehouse Mud Mask, Bath Salts, and Salt Soap. The Winter gift giving season is nearly upon us. Think about a making a gift basket for Mom with these wonderful products.
Buy your tofu, tempeh and beautiful organic vegies. Put your receipt into the suggestion box with a note- I shop the co-op AND I support Israel.
And keep your eyes open for other attempts of BDS'ers to infiltrate our beloved institutions

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Friends of Israel Initiative: A strong voice for Israel and for Western civilization

Jose Maria Aznar, former Prime Minister of Spain gave an impassioned speech at the launch of the Friends of Israel Initiative in Washington DC

"Israel is under a new kind of attack. Not conventional war as in 1948, 56, 67 or 73. Not terrorism as we saw in the 70s, 80s and 90s. But a new kind of attack - an attack on Israel legitimacy, on her right to exist. A "soft-war", where many of its adversaries are employing legal tricks, multinational bodies, and an army of dubious NGO's to present internationally Israel as an illegitimate state, as a barbarian state, a state that should be isolated and converted into a pariah state.We think this is intolerable. It is unjust, morally wrong, and a strategic risk -- not only for Israel and its people -- but for all of us....

Let me be clear. We don't want in any case to defend any particular Israeli government or any particular set of policies or any particular party. Israelis' institutions are mature enough to defend their choices. We want to stand up for the right of Israel to exist."

Among the Board of the Friends of Israel Initiative:
Former President of Peru, Alejandro Toledo
British historian, Andrew Roberts,
French entrepreneur, Robert Agostinelli,
Former US ambassador to the UN, John Bolton,
Spanish former industry minister, Carlos Bustelo,
Professor George Weigel,
Peace Nobel prize Lord Trimble,
Lord Weidenfeld,
Former president of the Italian Senate, Marcello Pera,
Fiamma Nerestein, representative in the Italian parliament
Former Czech President Vaclav Havel

Aznar continued:

"Defending Israel today means strengthening the West, standing up for our values, and their right to exist as a normal country, a fellow democracy and a celebrated ally in our great western alliance.

I hope that you will share our vision, and will help us in bringing reason and decency back to the discussion concerning Israel."

Friday, September 17, 2010

The Audacity of Hope: the New Ship of Fools

The Free Gaza folk are at it again. Trying to raise $300,000 for an American boat to Gaza ("The Audacity of Hope") they organized a fundraising Gala aboard the Freda B and set off for a sunset cruise of the Bay.
Note to Paul Larudee : If you were able to raise $300,000, don't you think that money might be better spent building a school? Filling a library? Starting a day care center? Building a soccer field? Do you really think another Mediterranean cruise is the best use of your time and effort and money? Have you considered direct aid to the people? And the answer, of course is no. There is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza. According to the Bloomberg news, The Gaza economy expanded about 16 percent during the first half of this year . During a typical week, Israel coordinates the transfer of over 100 trucks carrying over 15,000 tons of supplies to Gaza . In 2009, more than 738,000 tons of food and supplies entered the Gaza Strip. The Israeli government excludes only only weapons and items with a military use from Gaza
The goal of free Gaza has never been to aid to Gaza. Many of the so-called "aid" ships have been found with nearly empty hulls , or carrying used clothing and expired medicine. The goal is to "break the siege", to open the waters off Gaza to Iranian weapons.

So on a beautiful Wednesday evening, Sept. 15 Free Gaza chartered a schooner, the "Freda B" to raise money for terror.
And they were met at the dock by ship of protesters. The group organized by Stand With Us/San Francisco Voice for Israel organized a "counter protest at sea", and held flags and signs "Free Gaza from Hamas" and "Yes to Peace. No to Terror" .

By all accounts, the protest at sea was a resounding success. Like the US marines, those that believe that the Jewish people have the right to self determination in their ancient homeland are determined to fight for Israel's right to exist "in the air, on land, and sea"

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Hamas Uses Phosphorous Bombs . The silence of the Human Rights Community is deafening

According to reports from Israel National News:
Gaza terrorists fired one rocket and nine mortar shells at Israeli civilian communities in the western Negev on Wednesday, Sept. 15.
Senior Hamas spokesman Ahmed Jabri released a statement calling to continue the attacks until victory, declaring "By our faith, our weapons, our rockets, our tunnels and our martyrs - given to us by Allah - we will achieve victory in the land of Palestine,"
IDF experts who examined some of the mortar shells fired at Israeli communities on Wednesday found that the explosives contained phosphorous. The finding shows that Hamas has gained more advanced weapons technology, they said. The International Human Rights Movement reacted to this alarming new development with complete silence.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

BDS Its not about " Occupation": Its about Israel's Very Existence Part 2 Attacking Pete Seeger

Really. You couldn't make this stuff up. Peter Seeger, the 91 year old icon of peace and political correctness is under attack from the anti-Israel forces. The singer/songwriter is scheduled to perform at the With Earth and Each Other: A Virtual Rally for a Better Middle East - an event organized by the Arava Institute and over 30 other non profits.

The Executive Director of Friends of the Arava Institute, David Weisberg, the sole lead organization responsible for putting together “With Earth and Each Other: A Virtual Rally for a Better Middle East” ( claims the concert is meant to "celebrate the many efforts in trans-boundary cooperation occurring on the micro-level, like the important work of the Arava Institute, that are making a practical difference in bettering the quality of life for Palestinians, Israelis, Jordanians, and others. I should also note that Pete Seeger’s participation in “With Earth and Each Other” does not, in fact, involve him performing anywhere in the Middle East. It is also important to note that one of the chairs of “With Earth and Each Other,” Mohammed Atwa, is, in fact, a Muslim Palestinian from Gaza, who finds the endorsement of the virtual rally by the Jewish National Fund and the exposure of their constituents to our strong and positive message about coexistence and equality to be an important step in the right direction. And I hope all of you will consider joining us for this amazing event on November 14. Thank you. With Great Respect, David Weisberg, Executive Director Friends of the Arava Institute "

From the Arava website: "With a student body comprised of Jordanians, Palestinians, Israelis, and students from around the world, the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies offers students a unique opportunity to study and live together for an extended period of time; building networks and developing understanding that will enable future cooperative work and activism in the Middle East and beyond. Here, the idea that nature knows no political borders is more than a belief. It is a fact, a curriculum, and a way of life."

Education. Opportunity. Ecology. Peaceful co-existence. That's what these groups are rejecting. Don't let anyone tell you BDS is about peace.

With Earth and Each Other will demonstrate that there is more to the Middle East than conflict. This is not a political rally. The purpose is not to take a side, say who is right or wrong, or suggest what the peace process or the solution should look like. Instead, the purpose is to raise the voices of those on all sides, and throughout the world that yearn for peace, to marginalize those who try to undermine it, and to show the world that there is another side of the conflict in which people across borders are striving to work together for the betterment of all.

So spread the word, sign up to attend a local rally watching event, and let's join together for this special day to bring hope to a new future for the Middle East and for all of us.

Friday, September 10, 2010

BDS: Its not about "Occupation". Its about Israel's very existence

The Palestinian Campaign for Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel attacks participants in the Ariel Boycott: Its just not good enough. Boycott ALL of Israel. ALL OF IT.

"While we welcome acts of protest against any manifestation of Israel’s regime of colonialism and apartheid, we believe that these acts must be both morally consistent and anchored in international law and universal human rights. First, we believe that the exclusive focus on settlement institutions ignores and obscures the complicity of all Israeli academic and cultural institutions in upholding the system of colonial control and apartheid under which Palestinians suffer. PACBI believes there is firm evidence of the collusion of the Israeli academic and cultural establishment with the major oppressive organs of the Israeli state. Focusing solely on obviously complicit institutions, such as cultural centers in a West Bank colony, serves to shield mainstream Israeli institutions from opprobrium or, ultimately, from the growing global boycott movement that consistently targets all complicit institutions."

Yep. All nations have flaws. All nations make mistakes. But only Israel, alone in the family of nations has committed acts so egregious that she deserves this kind of response.

Don't you ever try and claim "Its about the occupation" ever again. Its about Israel's very existence

The statement goes on "It has not gone without notice in Israel that BDS is gaining momentum internationally as an effective means of resisting Israeli colonial oppression. Given this context, one may be excused to assert that these recent efforts to narrow the focus of the boycott against Israel may be deliberately missing the forest for the trees.. It is important to reiterate the morally-consistent rationale and principles of the Palestinian boycott campaign against Israel "

According to Ahmed Moor: "BDS does mean the end of the Jewish state…I view the BDS movement as a long-term project with radically transformative potential… the success of the BDS movement is tied directly to our success in humanizing Palestinians and discrediting Zionism as a legitimate way of regarding the world."

We've said it before. We'll say it again. This is not about "occupation". BDS is about the delegitimization of Israel. It advances the delegitimization of the State of Israel by undermining - whether explicitly or implicitly - its right to exist as a Jewish and democratic state.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Iranians claim: Israel behind Planned Koran Burning

As reported in the Jerusalem Post

Israel is behind a US Reverend's planned Koran burning, Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said Thursday, according to the official Iranian news agency IRNA.

“The software for this plan was made by the Zionists following their defeats against Muslims and the Islamic world,” Manouchehr said in a meeting with foreign diplomats in Iran.

Why do you need software to burn a Koran? Won't a pack of matches do?

In the Bay area, the local JCC (Jewish Community Center) has planned a public Koran reading, in a show of solidarity and brotherhood:

On Saturday, September 11, a Florida minister, Terry Jones, together with 50 of his followers, is planning an act of religious hatred and intolerance, the public burning of copies of the Qur'an (the Muslim holy scriptures containing the words of the prophet Muhammad). This hateful act has been widely condemned around the world, including by General David Petraeus, commander of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan.

In response, Or Hadash USA, a Jewish project concerned with constitutional issues, is organizing and sponsoring an interfaith public reading of the Qur'an on the same day. The event will take place at Ohlone Park, in Berkeley on Saturday, Sept. 11, 2010 at 3:15 PM. Meet at the corner of Sacramento and Delaware at 3:15. We shall all symbolically stand with Muslim Americans and read aloud in English parts of the Qur'an, affirming that we will not stand by silently while others perpetrate un-American acts of hate in the name of patriotism or religion.

All people -- of any faith or no faith -- are welcome to join us. We will read and discuss the Qur'an for about 30 - 45 minutes. The official event will then end, but some of us may choose to stay and share our thoughts and feelings.

The park has facilities to entertain children while parents take part in the reading and discussion.

September 11 this year for Jews is Shabbat Shuvah, the Sabbath of returning and renewal between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. September 11th this year is also just after the last day of Ramadan, the Muslim holy month of fasting, prayer, purification, forgiveness and renewal. Materials about Ramadan will also be available for people to learn about this important Muslim observance. Please join us in standing up for religious coexistence and for the celebration of what we all can learn from people of varied faiths.

We hope the New Year will bring peace to the world.

Interestingly enough, bay Area Women in Black also sent out a notice promoting the Koran reading, but neglected to mention it was sponsored by the local JCC.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Fidel Castro : Ahmadinejad is anti-Semitic. What's a Marxist to do?

Jeffrey Goldberg was recently invited to Cuba by none other than Fidel Castro

In his words: "I quickly departed the People's Republic of Martha's Vineyard for Fidel's more tropical socialist island paradise. Despite the self-defeating American ban on travel to Cuba, both Julia and I, as journalists and researchers, qualified for a State Department exemption. The charter flight from Miami was bursting with Cuban-Americans carrying flat-screen televisions and computers for their technologically-bereft families. Fifty minutes after take-off, we arrived at the mostly-empty Jose Marti International Airport. Fidel's people met us on the tarmac (despite giving up his formal role as commandante en jefe after falling ill several years ago, Fidel still has many people). We were soon deposited at a "protocol house" in a government compound whose architecture reminded me of the gated communities of Boca Raton. The only other guest in this vast enclosure was the president of Guinea-Bissau."

"Over the course of this first, five-hour discussion, Castro repeatedly returned to his excoriation of anti-Semitism. He criticized Ahmadinejad for denying the Holocaust and explained why the Iranian government would better serve the cause of peace by acknowledging the "unique" history of anti-Semitism and trying to understand why Israelis fear for their existence."

He said the Iranian government should understand the consequences of theological anti-Semitism. "This went on for maybe two thousand years," he said. "I don't think anyone has been slandered more than the Jews. I would say much more than the Muslims. They have been slandered much more than the Muslims because they are blamed and slandered for everything. No one blames the Muslims for anything." The Iranian government should understand that the Jews "were expelled from their land, persecuted and mistreated all over the world, as the ones who killed God. In my judgment here's what happened to them: Reverse selection. What's reverse selection? Over 2,000 years they were subjected to terrible persecution and then to the pogroms. One might have assumed that they would have disappeared; I think their culture and religion kept them together as a nation." He continued: "The Jews have lived an existence that is much harder than ours. There is nothing that compares to the Holocaust." I asked him if he would tell Ahmadinejad what he was telling me. "I am saying this so you can communicate it," he answered.

Read more here:


Palestinian warlord Mahmoud Abbas yesterday demonstrated his inability to negotiate in good faith.
This was not surprising – Abbas knows that his political life is circumscribed by two things:

1. No yielding on the intemperate demands of his hardliners (not only among the Palestinian terrorist factions, but also the other terrorist groupings so generously supported by Arab governments).

2. No peace, ever. Even if it means continual violence and chaos.

Abbas, showing the characteristic duplicity of his mentor, insisted that he will not agree on realistic borders, refuses to accept the right of Jews to build in their land, demanded that several million people who were never in British Mandate Palestine be admitted into Israel pronto, and restated his refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish state.

Abbas knows that yielding on any of these points will result in either his own demise, or being forced into exile. Peace would also bring far greater scrutiny and limitations on the endemic corruption of the Palestinian Authority, and might even make the Europeans realize that their generous support of this rapacious clique has resulted in an entirely new class of Arab millionaire.
In this day of diminished expectations, the doctrinaire socialists among the European legislators might have to answer hard questions from their constituencies about such counterproductive spendthriftiness - which explains of course why the Europeans are upset that they weren't invited to the negotiations; one can do much more damage on the inside.
No sitting European politician sincerely wants peace.

Evenso, the chance of these negotiations succeeding is remote. The only possible outcome is a number of photos that show the US president smiling between Netanyahu and the Palestinian warlord.

Followed eventually by pictures of the Secretary of State smiling between Netanyahu and the Palestinian warlord.


President Obama sides with the PA on many issues - perhaps in an effort to pander to the Arabs, whose oil and quiescence we still need. But cognizant of the damage it would do to his image and his party's prospects come November, he has not made any overt declarations. It is in Obama's interest to keep the veil on this farce from being lifted, and the smoke and mirrors from being exposed, for another two months.
For that to succeed, both Netanyahu and the PW would have to keep up the energetic public pretence of bland good-faith diplomacy. A certain level of subtlety is required of both men.
Mahmoud Abbas, by demanding that Obama intervene and force the Jews to continue the building freeze, may have ruined the prospect of any further charades. By so crudely playing to the extremist peanut-gallery, Abbas did Obama no favours.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

US Palestinian Community Network rejects Peace Process

Are the latest round of peace talks doomed to failure? An organization calling itself the US Palestinian Community Network has sent a mass mailing requesting the community sign a petition rejecting the peace process. Their solicitation is printed below in its entirety.
Notice the refusal to compromise. Notice the steadfast denial of the right of the Jewish people to self determination. Notice the complete rejection of Israel's right to exist. And notice the euphemism "the right to resist"- a clear justification of the use of violence.
Think Israel has a partner for peace? Read the following:


The US Palestinian Community Network calls upon all organizations, associations, and Palestinian and Arab community groups, as well as solidarity organizations, and individuals, to sign on to the below statement rejecting the resumption of direct negotiations, in the midst of ongoing Israeli structural racism and violence inflicted upon Palestinians, to take place between Palestinian Authority
We, the undersigned organizations and individuals, declare our commitment to the Palestinian cause and the Palestinian people – one land, one people, one cause. Our people, in the West Bank and Gaza, suffering and steadfast under siege and occupation; our people in Palestine 1948, confronting racism, ethnic cleansing and political repression; and our people in the refugee camps and in diaspora around the world, struggling to return home and liberate their homeland, deserve a leadership that defends their inalienable rights, takes its legitimacy from its popular support, and upholds the liberation of its land and its people as the highest national goal. We deserve a leadership that defends our collective rights. As such, we reject the direct negotiations taking place in Washington, DC on September 2, 2010, which shield Israel as it continues its colonial and apartheid project. Negotiations in these current conditions without necessary pressure and any terms of reference amount to the barter of Palestinian cities as opposed to the defense of collective rights and to that we say: Palestine is not for sale!
These direct negotiations have not served the interests of Palestinians, who, under the conditions of the peace process have been forced into further policing of our own people already suffering under the yoke of occupation, in exchange only for worsening conditions.
Indeed, the past 17 years of the Oslo accords have witnessed the ongoing imprisonment of people of conscience, settlement-expansion, ethnic cleansing and racism against our people, while our national institutions and liberation movement have been systematically dismantled and replaced with an Authority whose primary goal is to respond to the demands of the Occupier in a Quixotic attempt to build a state without sovereignty. The Palestinian Authority should join the mounting voices and the growing movement that condemns Netanyahu’s instransigent rebuff of international law. While the international solidarity movement with Palestine is growing steadily; while reports of the international isolation of Israel, including the rising movement to boycott, divest and sanction Israel, multiply daily; while the conscience of the world demands justice, accountability and international prosecution of Israeli war crimes, the Palestinian Authority has chosen instead to provide cover to the Israeli occupation and its intolerable, bitter, racism, abandoning even the pretext of a “settlement freeze,” and going to direct negotiations while the occupier daily commits crimes against the Palestinian people.
Sadly, the Palestinian Authority is itself a creature of such negotiations. The vast majority of the Palestinian people, in Palestine and in exile, demand full recognition of our national rights, particularly the refugees’ right to return to their original homes, lands and properties. When the Palestinian Authority bargains our inalienable rights and puts them on the table to be carved up by the occupier, we must be heard, loudly and clearly, to say that this Authority does not represent Palestinians and will not be allowed to sell our cause and our people in our name.
As Palestinians in the United States, it is also clear that the Obama administration offers nothing new to the Palestinian people. The U.S. administration continues to occupy Iraq and Afghanistan and threaten the region with further war and occupation. It provides aid and has ongoing trade relations with despotic Arab regimes who, with U.S. support, can afford to repress the collective rights of their Arab populations. Additionally, it provides billions of dollars in military and economic aid to Israel on an annual basis, and unlimited political and diplomatic support to the occupier irrespective of its contravention of international law and announced U.S. foreign policy. We are not convinced by U.S. “assurances,” when the actions of the United States government have assured nothing for the Palestinian people to date but ongoing occupation and impunity for Israeli war crimes.
Today, we say – these direct negotiations pose only a threat to our people. As Palestinians in the United States, we find no voice being heard here – not the U.S. administration and not the Palestinian Authority – that represents our people, our rights, our dreams and our cause. These negotiations are a farce and doomed to failure – but worse than that, they are a cover for ongoing crimes. They discard any and all pretense of international legitimacy, relying on the goodwill of the U.S./Israeli alliance, and place our fundamental rights – particularly the right to return – up for sale. We will not allow this to happen. The Palestinian Authority and Mahmoud Abbas do not represent us, and these negotiations are illegitimate and unacceptable.
Instead, we call for international support of our people, not a “peace process” that perpetuates our dispossession and displacement and provides cover for the occupier. International isolation of Israel, boycott, divestment and sanctions, international prosecution of Israeli war criminals are necessary, as is clear support for our rights, including the right to resist occupation, the right to self-determination, and the right to return home – the key to our cause. As with all unjust and illegitimate regimes that have acted to liquidate the Palestinian cause, these negotiations and the Authority that comes to them will fail in the face of steadfast commitment to justice. Our voices must be heard now to ensure this is the case.