Tag Archives: boycotts

Knesset makes BDS movement illegal, says boycotts, divestment & sanctions threaten Apartheid right to exist

BDS movement - Boycott Divestment and SanctionsFollowing their no hamfisted holds barred blocking of the Gaza aid flotilla, Israel yesterday declared illegal the rising domestic support for the BDS movement. The free speech ban extends even to non-Israelis in the occupied territories. Suggesting it’s not going to be BDS activistists who ultimately delegitimize Israel.

Is it really illegal to boycott Israel?

boycott-israeli-goods-end-apartheidIt is not illegal for US consumers to boycott anyone’s products. But the business decisions of companies affiliated with Israel do enjoy some curious protective constraints…
 
It’s ironic that as the US enforces rigid sanctions against international companies which violate its embargo against Cuba, the US has enacted laws simultaneously which prohibit its companies from complying with trade restrictions called by others.

As a further embarrassment, the antiboycotting measure specifies just one boycott, literally: the League of Arab Nations boycott of Israel.

So while American consumers are free to make the buying decisions they wish, it is illegal for an American business to adjust its business practices to boycott Israel.

In other words, as much as social justice activists might like to ask a department store not to carry Ahava beauty products taken from Occupied Territory shores, the store would be prohibited by US law to do so as an act of compliance. ahava-stolen-beauty-occupation For another example, fashion labels such as DKNY and cK could decide to discontinue carrying undergarments manufactured by Delta Galil from settler farms in Palestine, but they couldn’t do it because of someone’s boycott.

(Delta Galil supplies clothing to the Gap, Banana Republic, Structure, J-Crew, JC Penny, Pryca, Lindex, DIM, Donna Karan, Ralph Lauren, Playtex, Calvin Klein, and Hugo Boss.)

This law makes a commercial boycott impossible to resolve between customer and business, but ultimately results in more pressure being applied to the source cause, which are the policies of Israel.

According to the US Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry and Security, Office of Antiboycott Compliance, in the 1970s two laws were enacted “to counteract the participation of U.S. citizens in other nation’s economic boycotts or embargoes. These ‘antiboycott’ laws are the 1977 amendments to the Export Administration Act (EAA) and the Ribicoff Amendment to the 1976 Tax Reform Act (TRA). While these laws share a common purpose, there are distinctions in their administration.”

Antiboycott Compliance

The Bureau is charged with administering and enforcing the Antiboycott Laws under the Export Administration Act. Those laws discourage, and in some circumstances, prohibit U.S. companies from furthering or supporting the boycott of Israel sponsored by the Arab League, and certain Moslem countries, including complying with certain requests for information designed to verify compliance with the boycott. Compliance with such requests may be prohibited by the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) and may be reportable to the Bureau.

The law specifies boycotts called by foreign nations, leaving the possibility that US citizens can declare themselves the originators of a boycott. However other language makes clear that no boycott is to contravene the US government’s declared trade policy with Israel. To elaborate on the EAR:

Objectives:
The antiboycott laws were adopted to encourage, and in specified cases, require U.S. firms to refuse to participate in foreign boycotts that the United States does not sanction. They have the effect of preventing U.S. firms from being used to implement foreign policies of other nations which run counter to U.S. policy.

Primary Impact:
The Arab League boycott of Israel is the principal foreign economic boycott that U.S. companies must be concerned with today. The antiboycott laws, however, apply to all boycotts imposed by foreign countries that are unsanctioned by the United States.

Who Is Covered by the Laws?
The antiboycott provisions of the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) apply to the activities of U.S. persons in the interstate or foreign commerce of the United States. The term “U.S. person” includes all individuals, corporations and unincorporated associations resident in the United States, including the permanent domestic affiliates of foreign concerns. U.S. persons also include U.S. citizens abroad (except when they reside abroad and are employed by non-U.S. persons) and the controlled in fact affiliates of domestic concerns. The test for “controlled in fact” is the ability to establish the general policies or to control the day to day operations of the foreign affiliate.

The scope of the EAR, as defined by Section 8 of the EAA, is limited to actions taken with intent to comply with, further, or support an unsanctioned foreign boycott.

These amendments are examples of Israel’s stranglehold on US legislation. Anti-Israel voices like to paint the picture that as a result, American citizens have been denied the freedom to vote with their pocketbooks where it comes to opposing the policies of Israel. Likewise, pro-Israel groups are content to leave the issue ambiguous. But clearly US individuals are free to make consumer choices and encourage others as they wish.

The function of the TRA further explains its business-limited scope:

What do the Laws Prohibit?

Conduct that may be penalized under the TRA and/or prohibited under the EAR includes:

• Agreements to refuse or actual refusal to do business with or in Israel or with blacklisted companies.

• Agreements to discriminate or actual discrimination against other persons based on race, religion, sex, national origin or nationality.

• Agreements to furnish or actual furnishing of information about business relationships with or in Israel or with blacklisted companies.

• Agreements to furnish or actual furnishing of information about the race, religion, sex, or national origin of another person.

Implementing letters of credit containing prohibited boycott terms or conditions.

The TRA does not “prohibit” conduct, but denies tax benefits (“penalizes”) for certain types of boycott-related agreements.

Boycott Coca-Cola for India’s water, Colombia’s unions and Israel Apartheid

Subversive mock Coke adOK, it’s a famously discredited fake-ad to slander Coke. They have no plans to rebrand the Dome of the Rock. But Israel may — and Coca-Cola is a sponsor. That’s why Coloradans For Peace are calling to boycott Coke, to stop supporting Israeli Apartheid.
 
There are plenty of reasons to boycott the real thing spreading diabetes. At COP15 the Yes Men targeted Coke for their preposterous “Bottle of Hope” campaign which could only refer to Coke’s hope to green-wash their culpability for depleting water tables and poisoning India and contracting to kill labor organizers in Colombia. Coke is a bad habit.

Since overrunning East Jerusalem in 1967, Israel is trying to settle it in defiance of international sanctions. Israel promises as administrator not to alter the Muslim shrine, but radical Zionists have been making open preparations to restore it as a Jewish temple.

coca-cola kills logoCoke is a corporate underwriter of Israeli expansion into the Palestinian Territories. Their Kiryat Gat bottling plant is built on contested land, and Coke has now invested in the Tavor Winery on Palestinian land.

Boycotting Coke would send a message that the beverage multinational must redress the injustices it perpetuates. Wouldn’t it be an easy thing, really, to pass on all Coca-Cola products? What will you miss?

coca-cola steals world waterThe Yes Men Coke action at COP15 did produce a tongue-in-cheek press conference dubbed Rage Against the Coke Machine, where attendees recited this pledge:

“I, [name], with respect for crimes against people and the planet, from this day forward, for the rest of my living days will never, ever, drink Coca-Cola again until the Coca-Cola company ceases and entirely stops stealing the water from communities in India and stops union-busting in Colombia and ceases and desists entirely from relentless and absurd greenwashing like a ‘bottle of hope.’”

Absent sadly was mention of Coca-Cola’s support of Israeli Apartheid. Let’s put it back!

Boycott Israel Apartheid this Christmas

Boycott Divestment and Sanctions of Israel to end Palestinian OccupationIn solidarity with the ONE MILE MARCH to free Gaza, on the one year anniversary of Israel’s genocidal incursion into Gaza, let’s kick start a Colorado Springs effort to support the Global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Movement against Israel, to end apartheid and free Palestine. There are many US/Israeli companies who promote or profit from the illegal occupation of Palestine. On December 28, let’s target those in the Chapel Hills Mall!
L’Oreal, Revlon, Estee Lauder, Ahava, Hanes, Timberland, Teva, Victoria’s Secret, and Bath & Body Works.

American citizens can feel a vague sense of disconnectedness with respect to US business ties with Israel, or we can trace the responsibility for the injustices suffered in Palestine directly to retailers in our neighborhoods. Let’s let these local outlets know we will not tolerate their companies’ agenda in Palestine.

These are just among the consumer products and retailers which actively support Israel’s illegal actions in Palestine. Others you can boycott in town include Home Depot, Starbucks, McDonalds, Coca-Cola, Sara Lee, Danon, Nestle, Johnson & Johnson, Kimberly Clarke, AOL Time Warner, [Fox] News Corp, IBM, Intel, Nokia, Motorola and Caterpillar.

The BDS movement against Israel is attempting to recreate the same pressures which ultimately brought down apartheid in South Africa. Academic, cultural and business boycotts are targeted against US and Israeli companies which participate in the settlement industry, the economic exploitation of Palestine and Palestinians, and control of the population.

Don’t buy Israeli Apartheid

Boycott, Divest, IsraelInteresting counterpoint in Ha’aretz this morning about the Goldstone Report on the recent war crimes committed in Gaza, where the UN commission found grounds to investigate both Hamas and Israel for violations.
 
Hamas rejects the charges based on population’s right to resist illegal occupation. The Israeli administration was indignant with a more complicated rationale. In the face of having inflicted 100 times more casualties, most of them civilian, Amira Hass wrote about The one thing worse than denying the Gaza report, which is to justify the crimes. Ari Shavit took a further tack, arguing that the UN must hold Obama to same standard as Israel. My favorite analysis of the moral predicament Israel finds itself rationalizing, is by Jihad el-Khazen.

In Israeli Apartheid, you and I are black

Boycott Divestment and SanctionsSorta-leftist websites are touting use-to-be-leftist Uri Avnery’s weekend article in Ma’an called “Tutu’s Prayer.” Where, the founder of Israel’s Gush Shalom (touted as “fairly far left” as opposed to grandfather- clause’d phony) argues against the BDS boycott of Israel and against comparisons to South African apartheid. And where, Avnery shows himself blind to his own Judeo-centrism. Rejecting the term apartheid, Avnery writes: “It seems that the blacks in South Africa are very different from the Israelis–“

Whaaaaat? Israelis see themselves as not the colonists but the natives! Who is it in Israel that has to wear the sunscreen?

Avnery relates his conversation with Archbishop Desmond Tutu as reinforcing why a boycott will not work. Oh, Tutu testifies that the boycott worked against the South African regime. But Avnery points out the uniqueness of the Jews, who suffered the Holocaust. All Jews, he explains, believe the whole world is against them. An international boycott will only reinforce that belief. His conclusion: Israel will resist a boycott forever. Ergo, it won’t work.

Israelis as forever the victims; doesn’t that point to why Israelis cannot begin to see why their actions against their neighbors are likened to war crimes? They see themselves as the black of South Africa. They probably see themselves as the Palestinians in the struggle over Gaza.

You don’t have to explain to the rest of the world, who is oppressing whom in the Middle East. And that’s who has the fuller view of Israeli Apartheid.

Apartheid in Israel is much simpler than between Israeli Jews and the dispossessed Palestinians.

Under Israeli Apartheid, every Jew in the world has the preferential right to the land of the Palestinians. You, if you are a Jew, have a birthright to Israel, to the roads and lands designated for Jews only. You, if you are not a Jew, do not.

That is Israeli Apartheid. To Israel, everyone else, you , me, and the Palestinians are the black.

Don’t eat at Chipotle Grill- it’s not food with integrity

Attack of the Killer TomatoesEat ‘food with integrity’ rather than at a McDonald’s spinoff fast food chain that serves bad Mexican food and products picked by exploited laborers. No integrity there. 2008 Chipocrisy Tour …Don’t eat at Chipotle Grill until they change their ways.

Send Postcards to Chipotle
Pre-printed postcards to Chipotle are available from Interfaith Action, the Immokalee-based group that coordinates religious support for the CIW and is supported by the PC(USA). Just contact Brigitte Gynther by email or phone (239) 986-0688 to request the amounts you need.

Write Your Own Letters to Chipotle
We encourage you to write letters to the CEO of Chipotle, urging him to work with the CIW now.

Mr. Steve Ells, Founder and CEO
Chipotle Mexican Grill
1543 Wazee Street, Suite 200
Denver, CO 80202-1443

See more about this campaign at Campaign for Fair Food