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Monday, September 14, 2009

Goldstone report to be used in onslaught against Israel

One of the things I discussed in my panel at today's JBlogger convention is the potential use to be made of the Goldstone report to be released this week. I followed Foreign Ministry representative Ashley Perry, who said that political bloggers have to focus on Iran. This week, the anti-Israel world is going to attempt to distract attention from Iran through the release of the Goldstone Commission report on Operation Cast Lead. Judith Apter Klinghoffer explains how they intend to use that report.
I found their plan carefully explained in the August issue of the premier French foreign policy outlet, Le Monde Diplomatique in an article entitled Can we enforce international law? The author, Willy Jackson, reports that he expects the Goldstone report to bring about a campaign of economic retaliation against Israel under the cover of grassroots enforcement of international law. He writes:
This month the UN will publish the findings of its inquiry into Israel’s possible war crimes in Gaza in 2008-9. These are unlikely to lead to legal proceedings, so there are calls for boycott, divestment and sanctions to force Israel to comply with international law
The findings were not yet made public, but the wolves can already smell the blood. They are not even pretending that the finding can go either way. They believe their ongoing anti Israeli campaign to boycott Israeli goods is about to get major shot in the arm:
The boycott, within this non-violent resistance strategy, calls on consumers not to buy products made in Israel (whether by local or foreign companies) or in Israeli sett laments in the occupied Palestinian territories. Lists of goods (fruit, vegetables, fruit juice, cut flowers, tinned fruit, biscuits, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics) and their barcodes have been published, especially in Europe. Other tactics include publicity campaigns, petitioning of store managers to withdraw blacklisted products, awareness campaigns directed at central purchasing agencies, and disruption operations in supermarkets.
But the campaign means to go beyond mere goods, explains Jackson. Total isolation of Israel and Israelis is on the agenda.
The boycott of Israeli goods is the aspect of the BDS campaign that has received most coverage, but other attempts have been made to isolate and bring pressure to bear on Israel. There have also been cultural (7), academic, diplomatic and sporting boycotts.
The more one reads(see below), the more it is clear that we are dealing with the globalized replacement of the old Arab boycott which began in 1945, before the creation of Israel and like the old Arab boycott, it is designed to isolate Israel, and has already had its successes. The organizers are set to use the report to achieve additional ones. Here are some examples:
The divestment element of the campaign, aimed at companies doing business in the Middle East, is beginning to take effect. A campaign to force the Franco-Belgian bank Dexia to withdraw from Israel, with the slogans “Dexia, get out of Israel!” and “Israel Colonises, Dexia Finances”, led 14 Belgian municipalities to leave the bank, which was financing Israeli settlaments in the occupied territories through its Israeli subsidiary.

The French power and transport group Alstom has also been targeted and was excluded from Sweden’s AP7 national pension fund portfolio in early 2009. The fund’s decision followed the example of the Dutch financial institution ASN Bank, which took action against another French firm, Veolia Tr ansport, in 2006. Participating in the construction of a tramway in Jerusalem has deprived these multinationals of a number of contracts: in France, the Greater Bordeaux urban community canceled Veolia’s contract for waste management, worth $53.3m; in the UK, Sandwell borough council excluded Veolia from the bidding for a waste collection and recycling contract worth $1bn; and in Sweden, Stockholm council canceled its contract for operating the city’s metro system, worth $2.5bn.

Some companies have not wasted time in conforming to the demands of “socially responsible” investment. The Dutch firm Heineken’s subsidiary Tempo Drinks has relocated part of its operations from the West Bank to inside Israeli territory; the Swedish electromechanical security systems firm Assa Abloy has resolved to move one of its factories out of the West Bank.
Read the whole thing.

Alstom and Veolia have also been targeted in a French court case. Alstom was also targeted by the Saudis for entering into its contract to build the Jerusalem trolley line.

When I came on aliya (immigrated to Israel) in the early '90's Tempo Drinks was a client of ours and had just acquired a license to manufacture and distribute Heineken (and Pepsi) in Israel. It was a family company owned by the Bornstein family and much of the family was religious. How times have changed.


At 1:51 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Not sure how to do this. How can we focus on Iran entirely if there is a massive attack on Israel in the works?

We could do with even more early preparation, so that responses will not take much time and we can follow up articles with news on Iran.

At 2:29 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

Those who seek Israel's demise are not halting their activities. Far from it. And judging from Saudi Prince Turki al-Faisal's missive in the New York Times, if anything, the Arab stand vis a vis Israel has hardened.

Land First, Then Peace

Read it all.

Which sums up the Arab view that Israel must give up everything first and then there will be peace.In reality, what is on offer is not peace but Israel's destruction and that is the aim of the global BDS movement directed against Israel.

What could go wrong indeed


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