Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Israeli wine boycott - the video



This past Sunday the group Not in Our Name - Jews Against Zionism (NION) staged a demonstration outside of the Summerhill LCBO in support of a boycott of Israeli wine. The NIONists urge instead the purchase of kosher wine from outside of Israel. The Jewish Defence League, Bnai Brith, and United Jewish Appeal organized a counter rally that brought out several hundred pro-Israel demonstrators to purchase Israeli wine in hopes of defeating the boycott. The real goal of the NION campaign, however, wasn't to deny Israel a few thousand dollars of wine sales at one outlet but to raise awareness. Uninvolved people, reading in the Toronto Sun about the intimidation utilized by the pro-Israel demonstraters were also informed about the boycott and some of them may now decide to read labels the next time they go to the store and give a pass to Israeli products.

How can a report with the following lede possibly be read by an objective person as being anything but an indictment of the counter-rally?

They shouted 'Shame!' and 'Jew-haters!' at the small group of Jewish protesters who yesterday called for a boycott of Israeli wines at a midtown liquor store.

Hundreds of pro-Israeli Jews descended on the Summerhill LCBO to counter a group of about 30 pro-Palestinian Jews who urged a boycott of Israeli wines ahead of this week's Passover Seder dinner.

"Jew-haters go home!" the pro-Israeli protesters shouted at the Palestinian sympathizers, who had planned to protest from 1 to 3 p.m.

But the rally was cut short at about 2:30 when police, concerned the crowd could get out of control, asked the pro-Palestinian side to end the protest, said Smadar Carmon, of Not In Our Name, a Jewish group critical of Israel's handling of the Palestinian situation.

The Zionists accomplished what the Nionists could not have done on their own - they created a situation that generated negative media coverage that revealed the aggressiveness and abuse used by Israel's supporters againist their opponents, particularly against dissenting Jews. The story also spread word of the general boycott of Israeli goods in both a Toronto Sun report (Jewish groups clash at LCBO) and the UPI pickup Toronto Jews clash over Israeli wines. During the Gaza war the media often characterized demonstrations as "Jews vs Palestinian" when, in fact, many of the participants in the pro-Gaza demos were Jews. This wasn't a problem this time as both major reports on the boycott demo, including the UPI report, highlighted the fact that the Jewish community is divided on the issue of Israel.

Even the Canadian Coalition for Democracies, a far-right anti-Muslim group linked to federal politicians such as Peter Kent and Tony Clement, got into the act. CCD front man Alastair Gordon posted pictures on his website of the rally, including shots taken by a stalker who followed the NIONists to a restaurant in order to take pictures of them while eating at a private establishment - a rather juvenile attempt at intimidation. (you'll have to scroll down within the frame to see the two pictures in question or check this page on the CCD site.)

Generally, the boycott campaign is having success:

Israeli exports hit by European boycotts after attacks on Gaza
- a report in the British Guardian this week tells us " Israel Manufacturers Association reported that 21% of 90 local exporters who were questioned had felt a drop in demand due to boycotts, mostly from the UK and Scandinavian countries. Last month, a report from the Israel Export Institute reported that 10% of 400 polled exporters received order cancellation notices this year, because of Israel's assault on Gaza."

And even the Motorola campaign, which some have derided as hopeless, has borne fruit:
Motorola Sells Israel Bomb Division as National Boycott Campaign Advances

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4 comments:

Marion said...

Firebrand - thanks for reminding me of Isreali wine. The best wine I have ever had (and I have had plenty) came from Israel. Incidentally, chocolates coming out of Israel are also very, very good. Ever tried them yourself? You should.
Gotta run before the LCBO store closes for the day - I am in the mood for some Israeli wine. Long live Israeli and Long live the lovely things they give us.

firebrand said...

Marion, of course your decision to "run before the LCBO store closes" to imbibe some Israeli wine has nothing to do with my blogpost if in fact you have done so.

Why are you so insecure in your position that you'd feel the need to tell a lie? If someone posted on one of the pro-Israel blogs that because of their post they've suddenly decided to boycott Israeli wine would you believe them? Of course not. You're just insulting your own intelligence by even thinking that anyone would take your post seriously.

Anonymous said...

*The Zionists accomplished what the Nionists could not have done on their own - they created a situation that generated negative media coverage that revealed the aggressiveness and abuse used by Israel's supporters againist their opponents, particularly against dissenting Jews.*

Oh, I don't `firebrand', I think this is called `putting lipstick on a pig.'

Obviously, the `boycott' was not successful on its own - far more were motivated to counter it than participate in it.

The fact that you have to report the news from Europe in order to make your case for optimism is also pretty pathetic. I mean, Europeans: there's a continent that Jews wish to emulate.

As for `intimidation', well we all know that pro-Palestinian (ie. pro-terrorist) demonstrations NEVER EVER intimate anyone (no, never...)

I'm sure you'll be happy that I came upon this place by accident and won't be visiting again.

admin said...

How hard it must be for you, anonymous, to be exposed to views you disagree with. Make sure not to bump your head as you re-enter your bubble.

As for intimidation at the pro-Gaza demos - that came from the JDL counter-protesters.