Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Beneath the Hysteria around Ben & Jerry's

While hysteria erupts surrounding the Ben & Jerry's boycott of Judea & Samaria, some people are wondering if it's really so terrible. I've seen two types of questions/ points being made:

1) Plenty of Jews - liberal Zionists - object to the occupation. Some refuse to buy products made in the West Bank. Why should a non-Jewish company be any different?

2) The claim is often made that it's only antisemitic to oppose Israel, not any particular government policy. That claim is surely being undermined by blasting Ben & Jerry's as antisemitic, since they are not opposed to selling in Israel, only in the West Bank; they are not part of BDS.

Here's why these points are off-base - and why they are generally being made only by people who do not live in Israel. 

Yes, Israel is engaged in a form of occupation - although the Jewish People have a historical and moral claim to the land (since it was won in a defensive war), even the State of Israel itself does not consider Judea & Samaria to be Israel. This has various bad consequences. 

However, in fact you will find that the overwhelming majority of Jewish Israelis - including many of those that pushed for years for Israel to withdraw from the West Bank - do not believe that any form of boycott is appropriate. The reason is very simple. After the political events of the last twenty years, and the Gaza withdrawal and its consequences, most Israelis realized that no matter how bad the problems of the occupation, no matter how much they may want to leave the West Bank, there's simply currently no way out. 

What would people, such as the directors of Ben & Jerry's, actually have Israel do? Let's recall that Israel acquired the territories in a defensive war, fought against people who have repeatedly tried to wipe Israel off the map. Withdrawing from the territories under a negotiated peace agreement may sound ideal, but the reason why it hasn't happened has very little to do with Israel and a lot more to do with the Palestinians. Serious offers were repeatedly made by Israel and were rejected by the Palestinians. They're not actually even proposing anything or even willing to discuss it. And it's pretty clear that there is no Palestinian leadership that is interested in a final resolution (which is actually quite understandable, because they'd rather be a hero to their people for opposing Israel than get a bullet in the back for making compromises for peace). So why blame Israel for the situation?

The other alternative is for Israel to unilaterally withdraw. But this is likewise not viable. It wouldn't be long before there were rockets fired into Tel Aviv. And then Israel would be handicapped against defending itself, just as with the Gaza war, because the international community believes that Jews have no right to take the necessary military action required to prevent rockets from being fired. 

It's all very well to be upset about the situation and to fervently wish for peace. But at the moment, there's simply no way to make that happen. And it's wrong to place the blame at Israel's doorstep.

With regard to the second claim - that since Ben & Jerry's are only opposed to selling in the West Bank, then they shouldn't be described as anti-Israel/ antisemitic - the response is as follows. Although Ben & Jerry's should not be confused with Unilever (from which they have full independence in this aspect), the fact is that Ben & Jerry's have no problem doing business in countries whose moral challenges are far greater than those of Israel. 

Ben & Jerry's pulled out of Russia solely for financial reasons. They operate in the United Arab Emirates, which is an authoritarian state with no democratically elected institutions, no formal commitment to free speech, and in which there are systematic human rights violations, including the torture and forced disappearance of government critics. They have no objection to the Palestinian Authority, which is itself condemned by Amnesty for stifling free speech, torturing detainees with impunity, and various other abuses of human rights. And so when Ben & Jerry's singles out the Jewish State for boycott, then yes, this is anti-Israel and antisemitic.

(Note too that it was Unilever that said that they wish to stay operating in the rest of Israel; Ben & Jerry's itself then objected to that statement. The board of directors of Ben & Jerry's is led by Anuradha Mittal, a dedicated anti-Israel activist who has described the creation of Israel as a "catastrophe.")

On a lighter note: Since the Israel franchisee of Ben & Jerry's is losing his license as a result of refusing to cooperate with the boycott, I propose that he continue manufacturing ice cream under a different name, one that projects Israeli political strength; he could call it "Bennett & Ya'iry's"!


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104 comments:

  1. Is RNS antisemitic for hyper focusing on haredim?? Of course not! He just dedicated his life to helping haredim improve!
    BDS is an organization dedicated to helping Israel improve and become more moral. True, other countries are worse. Let other organizations deal with them. BDS is hyoerfocused on Israel like RNS is hyperfocused on haredim.
    What exactly is the issue?

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    1. Exactly. What could be a better way to help societies improve than by creating media that constantly and exclusively points out their flaws?

      Also, in the same way Rabbi Slifkin can point to the support of individual "good" chareidim to help his selfless and altruistic cause. So too BDS, has the support of specific "good" Israelis.

      They should join forces. Rabbi Slifkin should help the chareidim, while BDS helps the rest of Israelis! Hinei mah tov u'mah naim, sheves achim gam yachad!

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    2. Sounds more like you are hyper focused on R. Slifkin's posts on chareidim and are disappointed when he talks about something else.

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    3. BDS is a movement dedicated to replacing Israel with Palestine.

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    4. I don't want to replace Israel with Palestine but I still don't drink West Bank wine.

      I also boycott Ben and Jerry ice cream because I maintain Chalav Akum = Chalav Stam.

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    5. Some flavors of Ben and Jerry’s manufactured and sold in Israel are made using Chalav Yisrael.

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  2. I refer you to my previous comments about the way you keep conflating the civilian expropriation with the military occupation. There's no security justification for the Abraham Avinu neighborhood in Chevron. It's a land grab. If Jews want to live in a Moslem majority state they should be free to. If a Palestinian wishes to build a home in his own garden he should be free to. Establishing a Jewish hegemony is not a legitimate goal of the occupation.

    You ask what would we have Israel do. Do me the small courtesy of reading in your own blog the myriad small steps Israel could do. Barring Marzel and those associated with violent disorder from the West Bank would improve Israeli security, for example. Destroying Palestinian housing in area C is not a security risk, it is a naked land grab.

    Secondly, the fact is that Israel is the Jewish state. It isn't for you to dictate with your whatabouttery that Ben and Jerry must seek to solve the entire world's problems before they make a stand on the occupation that they feel strong about. Their historical and cultural link to the West Bank is as strong as yours.

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    1. Let's first establish The Hat's bonafides - he is a proponent of making Yesha judenrein including the Gush, Maaleh adumim, East Jerusalem and probably also Har Homa.

      He also apparently doesn't believe that any Jews have any property rights in Yesha.

      He also believes that "if Jews want to live in a Moslem majority state they should be free to" - I guess such as Syria, Gaza, Iraq... (but then we are meant to take his views seriously).

      He's also once again showing us his credentials as a useful idiot in calling this "whatabouttery". Someone might want to point out that the definition of bigotry is singling out/scapegoating. Israel being singled out by the UN, BDS, and now B&J is an anti-semitic act. Supported of course by the chairman of the board who has expressed how Israel's creation was a calamity (and not at all sure that this connected to the actual persons of Ben and Jerry, just their namesake). The Hat has chosen sides - that of the aforementioned chairman of the board.

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    2. "Their historical and cultural link to the West Bank is as strong as yours."

      No it isn't.

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    3. Ephraim: explain. The West Bank was the ancient homeland of the Jewish people. These people are Jewish. They care about the bad behaviour of the Jewish people.

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    4. "Explain?" They don't have a just as strong a cultural link.

      "The West Bank was the ancient homeland of the Jewish people."
      This is a double falsehood. Not, the WEST bank, both both banks. Not ancient, but eternal.

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    5. So you're fed up with the ancient Jewish homeland stuff, right? Your claim to the land depends on physical proximity or occupation or political outlook?

      Using words like 'falsehood' makes you sound like an overwrought emotional mess. It's possible to have a factual discussion about the West Bank without recourse to insults and I would suggest the quality of the conversation would be improved thereby.

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  3. "Muh occupation"
    Always the go-to argument of libs. Never well-reasoned, always emotional.

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    1. The history of Chanukah, of Tisha Bav is that of an emotional, badly reasoned response to occupation.

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    2. For the sake of my faith in humanity please tell me you're joking

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    3. Well, I fast on Tisha Bav, I light candles on Chanukah, and I oppose the occupation. Does this clarify matters?

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    4. Not really, the two aren't even comparable. As you know the stories of Hanukkah and Tisha Be'Av are about authoritarian empires attacking our religious freedom. In modern Israel Muslims are free to do what they want. Even the term occupation is loaded, the reason Israel had Gaza and currently has West Bank is the 1967 War which was fought in self defense. If those countries didn't want to lose land they shouldn't have tried to wipe Israel off the map

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    5. If the land isn't occupied why doesn't Israel apply civil law in the West Bank and make all people born their regardless if their religion voting citizens?

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    6. Because they're governed by the PLO. Israeli Arabs, however, are voting citizens and we're actually a deciding factor in the election

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    7. The reason the IDF controls any of the West Bank should be obvious as well (security)... The PLO still maintains some control in West Bank, but to call it an "occupation" is absurd

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  4. From the standpoint of an objective non-Jewish reader, there is a gaping hole in your argument.

    It may be true that Israel has no alternative but to hold on to Yehuda V'Shomron, but it's not reasonable to expect objective observers to understand why Israel feels it can settle those areas.

    Yes, there may have been some resettlement of people after WW2, but that is not the international standard today. If Country A attacks Country B and Country B is forced to hold territory of Country A in order to defend itself, it's not at all clear that Country B can start moving its population over to Country A.

    More importantly, by having people settle in Yehuda V'Shomron, Israel is basically arguing that this is not about what it's being forced to do because of a threat, but rather admitting that it is holding the land for ideological reasons. Again, it's not reasonable to expect objective observers (especially but not only observers who are not sympathetic to Israel) to accept all of this.

    This doesn’t mean that Israel isn’t being singled out for practices other countries (mostly for political reasons) would not be taking heat. But it does mean that the argument isn’t nearly as rock-solid as you make it out to be.

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    1. Ehud Barak and Ehud Olmert already had offered as much as 98% of the West Bank to be Israel-rein, and land swaps to make up for the missing 2%. (That 2% of the West Bank would be settlement blocs that Israel would annex.) The offer was still refused.

      https://www.jns.org/erekat-olmert-offered-abbas-more-than-the-entire-west-bank/

      If Israel can't reach a negotiated solution, can't withdraw unilaterally, and can't even maintain the status quo, what are they supposed to do?

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    2. You make good points, but B&J are not saying they are boycotting the settlements because they oppose settlements; they are saying that they are boycotting because of the "occupation" (an amorphous term that can be used to describe the existence of Israel itself) and presumable would continue it even if the settlements were removed but the military occupation continued.

      Additionally, there are multiple views among the Israelis regarding the West Bank, as you would expect. Some want to hold it for ideological reasons and some for security. As there is no chance for an agreement in the foreseeable future the ideological group is able to promote settlement, building because the security group does not have the support to stop it. However, the majority of Israelis would be willing to dismantle settlements for a real peace. That is why many feel these boycotts are unjust. Israel has always been willing to make compromises for peace when sincerely offered, for example with Egypt. Settlement building is a byproduct of the lack of a foreseeable possibility for peace and is reversible, as evidenced by the Gaza evacuations.

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    3. This is very well put.

      There is a big difference between maintaining military occupation of a territory for security purposes, and settling that territory with civilians, especially when the settled civilians and the pre-military-occupation population are subject to different rules.

      From a "moral rights" point of view, conflating the two is dangerous.

      I would also add to @The Hat's comments, in saying that those in Israel are probably underestimating how much the antics of the extreme right in Israel affect Diaspora Jewish support. The Israeli far-right makes it very difficult to advocate for Israel.

      It is indeed possible to vigorously defend Israel, to hold that it is singled out for criticism in areas where others are given a free pass (double-standards), that many of Israel's enemies pose an existential or genocidal threat, and that an enormous amount of pro-Palestinian activism is rooted in anti-Semitism, while *also* holding that the WB settlements were and are an enormous moral and strategic error, that everyday treatment of the Palestinians and Arab citizens of Israel is often horrendous, and that much more needs to be done to improve their lives.

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    4. "If Country A attacks Country B and Country B is forced to hold territory of Country A in order to defend itself, it's not at all clear that Country B can start moving its population over to Country A."

      Yes, this is fair. But.
      Country A is Jordan, and country B is Israel, and seeing as there is a comprehensive and complete peace treaty between the two as of 1994, with agreed-upon borders, it is also not clear that Country B is in fact "moving its population over to Country A" since the borders being agreed upon makes that now part of country B.
      The territories are absolutely disputed and not part of Israel proper, but arguably not technically occupied.

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    5. There are no "objective observers" about Israel. There are many who are simply uninterested, the same way they (and most of us) are uninterested in the Taiwanese Conflict, the Rwanda Conflict, the Crimean Conflict, or the Mozambique Conflict. But if anyone has an interest in little Israel, buddy, you better believe he's got a preconceived attitude towards it, and nothing Israel does or doesn't do will change that.

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    6. A. Schreiber - you words would hold more sway if the USA gave $3 billion/year in aid to these countries, especially if said countries were already first world countries with a GDP per capita as high as that of Israel.

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    7. Zdub - I'm not following you. My point is that nobody follows Israeli politics "objectively", you either support it or you don't. US foreign policy not relevant to this. (And incidentally, that "aid" isnt straight up donations, it requires extensive buying from US companies. Contrast that with what the US gives to African countries, which in many cases is straight up cash, food, or supplies.

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  5. Let me make this very simple for you. The state of Israel would not exist without the support of liberal diaspora Jews. If the Iron Dome replacements for the depleted inventory just expended is good enough for you, you can just suck up the opinion of world Jewry which is mostly sickened and disgusted by Marzel, Gopstein, the noar hagivatot, and the other people you have failed to control by operating a normal Western system of impartial and non discriminatory rule of law in the West Bank.

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    1. Perhaps. But most Israeli and observant Jews (and beyond) are also sickened and disgusted by self hating and useful idiot Jews such as yourself.

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    2. Well Liberal Diaspora Jewry's young don't approve of Israel by and large any more than the Non-Jewish Liberal young and are mostly raised in mixed religious households at best with no special connection to being Jewish. That's just talking about much of the young among them. Then there's the not as young. So if we follow your statement Israel will cease to exist.

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    3. No, actually Israel would be much stronger without the interference of "liberal diaspora Jews." In any case, you are truly an idiot if you think that "impartial and non-discriminatory rule of law" will achieve anything close to what you think. All you'll be doing is throwing up a softball to Hamas or another genocidal extremist group. Then again, it is wrong the way the State of Israel discriminates against it's Jewish residents of Judea & Samaria and unfortunately you need strong Jews to fill in the gaps of what the government should be doing. But it is very easy to sit in the diaspora and throw stones and sit on a pompous high horse. However, it's not going to convince anyone that disagrees.

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    4. It's it really too much to ask for scenes like these to be illegal?

      https://youtu.be/KUXSFsJV084

      An armed soldier present is the state of Israel's Rav haMachshir of this encounter. He did nothing, because the state's policy and law is to permit, to defend and to support anarchy and lawlessness.

      Whatever the whingeing and however sorry you feel for yourselves we have run out of patience. This is the face of the occupation now. If you had serious security reasons you should have acted seriously. This is not serious security. This is debauched thuggery.

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    5. Meh, I'll grant you the iron dome exists because of American funding, extrapolating to the very existence of the state seems dramatic. And I'm not even entirely convinced their political support even does that much: the US will always do what's in the US's best interest.

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  6. A picayune point:
    Serious offers were repeatedly made by Israel and were rejected by the Palestinians. They're not actually even proposing anything or even willing to discuss it.

    The Palestinians supposedly would agree to the Saudi Peace Initiative, which was proposed in 2002.

    As to whether that would actually bring peace, I usually counter by saying that Hamas committed the Park Hotel Passover Seder massacre, the same day that the Saudi Peace Initiative was proposed.

    So, we see how this little game will be played:

    Israel either refuses the Palestinian proposal, and is thus "not serious about peace".

    Or, Israel agrees to the Palestinian proposal, but still will have to deal with terror attacks by Hamas or the Islamic Jihad, who are opposed to a peace agreement with the Zionist entity.

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  7. Meh, I'll grant you the iron dome exists because of American funding, extrapolating to the very existence of the state seems dramatic. And I'm not even entirely convinced their political support even does that much: the US will always do what's in the US's best interest.

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    1. Right, and I'll accept that this is not an existential issue for Israel. On the other hand neither is this boycott of ice cream to land Israel claims not to have a long term interest in an existential issue worthy of all this angst.

      The immoderate language is ridiculous. Ben and Jerry are not terrorists or anti-Semitic for not wanting to sell ice cream in the Occupied Territories. Their views are at the very least understandable without recourse to depiction as anti Jewish.

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    2. As I mentioned above The Hat has chosen sides...

      Someone might want to point out that the definition of bigotry is singling out/scapegoating. Israel being singled out by the UN, BDS, and now B&J is an anti-semitic act. Supported of course by the chairman of the board who has expressed how Israel's creation was a calamity (and not at all sure that this connected to the actual persons of Ben and Jerry, just their namesake). The Hat has chosen sides - that of the aforementioned chairman of the board.

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  8. I'm dissapointed in this post. Yes, a unilateral withdrawal is ill advised given what we saw happen in Gaza. But your present the classical case of offering a finite set of options when there are more. Israel could settle the land and annex it and give human and civil rights to all that live there and face up to the demography. Or it can not annex it until there is a peace agreement but NOT build on it and settle it.

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    1. Supposedly, Israel accepted, upon signing Oslo, that they would not build any new settlements, but only would build in existing settlements. (There are "new" settlements, but they're illegal outposts, which should be removed, just like Evyatar.)

      But BDS would still target Israel anyway.

      I'm afraid that people here are projecting their own values onto the BDS people and the Palestinians. "If we would keep people like Gopstein and Marzel in line, they wouldn't hate us so much."

      No, I'm afraid that the BDS crowd is not so interested in Gopstein and Marzel, but rather in trying to inflict as much pain on Israel as possible. If they wouldn't have one excuse, they'll quickly make up another.

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    2. You aren't loosing the support of the river to the sea crowd. You are losing the support of a plurality of diaspora Jews. And the saddest thing is you clearly don't care about us, and the feeling is becoming mutual.

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    3. It takes two sides to reach a peace agreement--and you're not one of the sides with whom we have to reach an agreement.

      I don't see such a willingness on the Palestinian side to reach an agreement--not from the PA, and certainly not from Hamas. They pocket any Israeli concessions, and press on for more, without any concessions of their own.

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    4. It does not take two sides, for example, to bar prominent Kahanaists like Marzel, who has a vast history of racist violence, from the West Bank. It costs Israel nothing to apply the rule of law to Jews as well as to Arabs. The current legal framework in the West Bank is anything goes.

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  9. the borad of ben and jerry's wants to boycott all of israel https://www.jpost.com/israel-news/ben-and-jerrys-board-wanted-to-boycott-all-of-israel-674405

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  10. For better or for worse, security tends to improve with more Jewish settlement. Whether its a buffer - either physically or mentally - or simply a limitation on where Palestinian Arabs can live, it does reduce further attacks. This goes back to Shamir.

    This does not really completely counter Hat's moral argument, but it does strengthen the security one.

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    1. Shalhevet Pass was not a part of the military occupation. Her death was not that of a combatant. It was murder.

      It is illegal under the Hague convention on land warfare to mix civilian settlement with security purposes. We rightly criticise Hamas for using schools to fire rockets at civilian settlements. Using settlements as human shield to achieve military objectives is inhumane.

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    2. I don't mean physical human shields as much as territorial ones - the rocket shooters cannot reach the border in order to fire on Tel Aviv bc all the yishuvim are in the way, and they won't shoot at the yishuvim because that's not as big of a deal as hitting a big city.

      And in other ways that might be unexplainable, it was simply the case that when "settling" was banned, there were more terrorist acts. When "settling" was permitted, there were fewer. Maybe that coincided with more militaristic positions otherwise, but this was the 1990s comment. Yes, it's a perspective that is 20+ years old, but in this perpetual conflict, where people are going back to 1967, 1948, and the late 1800s (the land deed incident recently), twenty years is yesterday!

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  11. Also, Amnesty International finds fault with the Palestinian government? Mashiach must be on his way!

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  12. From Ben & Jerry's Board Chair: https://www.oaklandinstitute.org/palestine-for-land-life

    And BTW, she considers this report "comprehensive and non-partisan."

    https://www.oaklandinstitute.org/palestine-land-life-press

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  13. Certainly they should be boycotted, Jewish interests aren't hefker. It would be shameful to just sit there and let some company (based in the bungalow colony of Vermont, where life is very simple) attack it. Their hechsher should also be pulled.

    This is really a no-brainer. There are many, many large ice cream companies with dozens of varieties that are both better and less expensive than Ben & Jerrys. That company is still coasting on publicity from more than thirty years ago.

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    1. If I ate Chalav Stam I'd buy tubs of B&J right now. I agree with their move. They represent millions of moderate Zionists like he who think the occupation is moral turpitude.

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    2. The Hat continue to spout his anti Israel venom... This happens to be a bipartisan issue in Israel. Maybe Meretz and those to the left agree with their move but those are not moderate Zionists. Rather some Jewish, anti Zionist extremists (and yes unfortunately too many clueless useful idiots) agree with their move.


      Also someone might want to point out that the definition of bigotry is singling out/scapegoating. Israel being singled out by the UN, BDS, and now B&J is an anti-semitic act. Supported of course by the chairman of the board who has expressed how Israel's creation was a calamity (and not at all sure that this connected to the actual persons of Ben and Jerry, just their namesake). The Hat has chosen sides - that of the aforementioned chairman of the board.

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    3. Sure. "If". But you wont, and none of the other lefties will either. On the other hand, millions will not be buying.

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    4. @The Hat

      Either you are a BDS supporter, or you are a willing idiot. One of these must be true, as the CEO of B&J is on the record stating their desire is to boycott Israel completely. It is their parent company, Unilever, which still wants to sell in Israel proper. Probably because Unilever sells hundreds of products in Israel and would like to keep doing so.

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    5. So the CEO of B&J wants to boycott Israel and BDS boycotts Israel and I supported the B&J boycott of the West Bank therefore I must really be a BDS supporter.

      The chain of guilt by vague associations is such a grasp. You want to conflate boycotting the occupation with boycotting Israel because you know the occupation is morally indefensible on its own terms.

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    6. I don't agree with 'The Hat" on many matters - but he is 100% correct. His argument on these matters is sounds RATIONALLY & MORALLY. Israelis should just be transparent. If they want to annex then annex and deal with the consequences of what is nothing more than outright theft and disenfranchisement of those lands & the local populus.

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    7. Meir Moses - you're agreeing with someone who wants to make Yesha judenrein including the Gush, Maaleh adumim, East Jerusalem and probably also Har Homa. Which indeed might be the case but just wanted to make sure the ideological starting point from which you are arguing is established.

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    8. First of all, the Nazi metaphors greatly weaken your arguments. This is no Shoah and the locals are not SS. Jewish Israelis moved into most of these areas after '67. Many Palestinian villages were dismantled in '48 & '67.
      - if you want to start talking about 'rein' this is an area you may wish to objectively investigate. Leaving them would not make them 'Judenrein' as Jews have not lived in most (not all) of these areas in any critical mass for millenia. That is tachles - something people are not willing to talk about.

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    9. I think it greatly strengthens my arguments. Because the term describes making certain areas Jew free. In this case, not by means of murder and genocide but instead forced population transfer. It's particularly strong because it describes pithily what you and The Hat advocate and makes you squirm as a result.

      And by your lack of answer to a direct question I conclude that you are in fact a proponent of making Yesha judenrein including the Gush, Maaleh adumim, East Jerusalem and probably also Har Homa.

      I see you needed to add "in any critical mass" to what you wrote to make you feel better about yourself. Bottom line is Jews have lived there and - like it or not - the situation today is that many Jews live there.

      That's a reality just like America having annexed vast areas of Mexico (although the difference being that Mexico was a country back then). I don't see you advocating the US to turn over land back to Mexico and you shouldn't advocate the wholesale transfer of land to the Palestinians. Not without a negotiated solution. And warfare, intransigence and terrorism by the other side should have a price too. Unless you're in favor of rewarding terror.

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  14. Ben & Jerry's Independent Board of Directors wanted to boycott Israel in its entirety, but was stopped from doing so by the ice-cream maker's CEO and the British-based parent company Unilever. (JPOST)

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  15. > What would people, such as the directors of Ben & Jerry's, actually have Israel do?

    https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2021/01/how-shrink-israeli-palestinian-conflict/617526/

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    1. Nothing. Do they need to? They just don't wish to do business there and Israelis are freaking out. It's ridiculous.

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  16. One thing I don't get about the B&J decision - are they going to sell to Arabs living in "OPT"? If yes, then how is that not discriminating against Jews?

    In addition look at all of the other territorial disputes around the world they show no interest in.

    Do they sell B&J in China? Tibet? India? Kashmir? Morocco? "Western Sahara"? Saudi Arabia? Yemen?

    The singling out of the Jews is clearly anti-Semitic.

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    1. So you're setting the bar for acceptable behaviour really low here. Most Jews have legitimately higher aspirations for the behaviour of the Jewish state then 'not worse than list of world's most tyrannical countries'.

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    2. The question is not the behavior of the Jews. Obviously the tyrannies of the world don't set the bar for Jewish behavior.

      The issue is when a company decides to boycott the one Jewish state in the world as opposed to the dozens of awful tyrannies all over the world conducted occupations and actual genocides.

      If the "occupation" of "Palestine" bothers you more than the genocide of Uighurs, oppression of Tibet, treatment of Muslims in India, conquest of Ukranian territory by Russia, etc. etc. then your problem is not with tyranny or occupation. Your problem is with Jews.

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    3. If a family member was behaving boorishly -for example refusing to give a get - would you need to condemn Han Chinese and Venezuelan policemen before you got around to asking him to do what he knows full well he ought to do? (And yes, Ben and Jerry are Jewish and gave a right to express their resilement from Marzel, Gopstein and all).

      You are being given tochacho. Accept it like an adult.

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    4. "So you're setting the bar for acceptable behaviour really low here."

      No. She's not setting the bar. She's saying these place do not warrant B&J's attention despite them being a hell of a lot worse than Yesha & despite those occupations are less legitimate.

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  17. You know what really hurts about criticism of the occupation? Why it really bothers you, why Israeli.politicians are busy calling an ice cream company exercising free choice over where they do business terrorists?

    It's not because you're terrified of interruption to your ice cream supplies. I think we all know alternative brands of ice cream are available.

    It's because you know they're right. And you hate it. There is no good answer.

    Israel is addicted to self righteousness precisely because deep down you know the occupation is wrong. The absurdly defensive outpouring over such a minor move indicates a moral self confidence which is less than paper thin.

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    1. As The Hat's poisonous rhetoric are voluminous, repetitive and multi-threaded, I find that I have to respond in kind. Apologies to those who might be having to see these points made again. If so, please tell The Hat to stay on a single thread with his points so we can pin him down rather than making the same debunked points time and time again in different threads.

      Let's first establish The Hat's bonafides - he is a proponent of making Yesha judenrein including the Gush, Maaleh adumim, East Jerusalem and probably also Har Homa.

      He also apparently doesn't believe that any Jews have any property rights in Yesha.

      He also believes that "if Jews want to live in a Moslem majority state they should be free to" - I guess such as Syria, Gaza, Iraq... (but then we are meant to take his views seriously).

      He's also once again showing us his credentials as a useful idiot in calling this "whatabouttery". Someone might want to point out that the definition of bigotry is singling out/scapegoating. Israel being singled out by the UN, BDS, and now B&J is an anti-semitic act. Supported of course by the chairman of the board who has expressed how Israel's creation was a calamity (and not at all sure that this connected to the actual persons of Ben and Jerry, just their namesake). The Hat has chosen sides - that of the aforementioned chairman of the board.

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    2. No, I definitely don't agree.

      I have already said here, and will continue to say here, that the "occupation" of the West Bank must continue, because otherwise it will become like Gaza, launching rockets at Israel at will. The only thing keeping it from becoming an Islamofascist Gaza-like sh!thole is the "occupation".

      The anger about B&J is that they don't sympathize with
      Israel's current position and the facts on the ground: land yielded to the Palestinians becomes land that no Jew can even enter at best, and becomes a launching pad for terror attacks at worst.

      Right after the Disengagement, Sharon, and Olmert after him, were already drawing up plans to unilaterally leave the West Bank--the "Realignment Plan". Even Abbas was begging Israel not to go ahead with it, because it would all fall into the hands of Hamas like a ripe fruit.

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    3. Lebanon is controlled by a terroristic entity and Iran. Why is there largely a state of peace with Lebanon?

      Because, absent a territorial dispute, they have more to lose from war then to gain. The reason why Palestinians were at war with us is because they have a dispute over territory. They have more to gain from war then peace.

      Delete
    4. "It's because you know they're right."

      Speculation.

      "There is no good answer."
      No, there's no good answer. But in your utopian world, there are good & easy answers. The Kumbaya Clock of Atomic Scientists is now set to 100 seconds to daybreak- if only the Israel were to push the minute hand a little, we'd all be in clover. If we could just rally behind a somewhat more moderate PM than Rabin, Peres or Barak, the Palestinian Charter would immediatey be replaced by "Peace Train" & those monuments & street signs glorifying terrorists will be torn down quicker than you can say "Robert E. Lee".

      "The absurdly defensive outpouring over such a minor move indicates a moral self confidence which is less than paper thin."
      Are there any over-re-actions that would be legitimate if the cause were more serious?

      Delete
    5. The history of Israel is agreeing peaceful territorial resolutions with neighbors. We settled with Egypt, we settled with Jordan, nobody dies from attacks from Lebanon and nobody dies from attacks from Syria. Peace treaties work. Make peace.

      Delete
    6. "The reason why Palestinians were at war with us is because they have a dispute over territory. They have more to gain from war then peace."

      No, Hamas views it as a religious struggle, and they view all of Israel as "occupied Palestine". They'll always prefer war over peace, because peace with the Zionist entity in the 1948 borders is not their objective. One of their leaders said after the 2014 Gaza conflict, that there are only two states: jihad, and preparation for the next jihad.
      They don't care about how many civilians they lose, and in fact just use the civilian deaths to further demonize Israel.

      Delete
    7. "Peace treaties work."

      Like Oslo?

      Delete
    8. "nobody dies from attacks from Lebanon and nobody dies from attacks from Syria. Peace treaties work. Make peace"

      We have no peace with either Syria or Lebanon. Just deterrence. Nasrallah said in 2006 that if he would have known the ferocity with which Israel responded after the Hezbollah attack and abduction of Israeli soldiers, he never would have done it.

      Deterrence doesn't work with the Palestinians, since they have hordes of useful idiots in the West who insist on portraying Hamas as "freedom fighters" instead of the Islamofascists that they are. They haven't had elections in 16 years, but somehow, so many clueless people in the West think that Hamas' aim is "freedom", or "independence"--when in truth their only aim is to enforce their Islamic rule over more of the Middle East.

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    9. Sorry, I should have been more precise. Widely accepted territorial borders work.

      There's no reason your slurs of 'Islamofacist' wouldn't apply to Hezbollah. They used plentiful suicide bombers in the 80s. Yet our children and their children have not died fighting each other since 2006.

      The divorce from the Palestinians may be similar. They may get briefly overexcited and try expansionism, and then, like Egypt in 73 and Lebanon in 06, they will get a bloody nose. But by and large they will behave exactly like Hezbollah did: deadly force replaced with hollow rhetoric.

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    10. "But by and large they will behave exactly like Hezbollah did: deadly force replaced with hollow rhetoric."

      Every so often, there are stabbings and car rammings--over some made-up slight over "Al Aqsa", or some other nonsense.

      There's no way to divorce from the Palestinians entirely. You know full well that thousands of them will still come into Israel to work.

      And you don't seem to have much of a solution against Hamas rockets from the West Bank--an area much larger than the Gaza Strip (and even there, they resume rocket attacks when they feel that they can gain from it). The Israeli response is never viewed as justified. Just listen to John Oliver's monologue after the last conflict.

      Delete
  18. "Bennett & Ya'iry's"!? Political strength!? You must no know the definition of strength.

    It would be a very light blah vanilla with a slightly sour odor.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would call the flavor "Bennett and Mansouri's"...

      Delete
  19. Israel - weak on BDSJuly 21, 2021 at 11:19 PM

    The Israeli government itself is refusing to promote anti-boycott legislation because the coalition is dependent on BDS-supporters such as Meretz and Raam.

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  20. "And it's pretty clear that there is no Palestinian leadership that is interested in a final resolution (which is actually quite understandable, because they'd rather be a hero to their people for opposing Israel than get a bullet in the back for making compromises for peace). "

    Since Israeli history includes the assassination of Rabin, _precisely because_ he was willing to make compromises for peace, one could equally apply this argument to the Israeli leadership.

    We don't like to think of ourselves as a people who use assassination as a political weapon _against other Jews_, but history shows otherwise. See "Fast of Gedaliah" for an early example.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're right - it applies equally... Except that it doesn't given that there's been multiple attempts to bring a negotiated solution by multiple Jewish leaders since. And that the vast majority of the world and Israeli Jewish population abhors and condemns political assassinations just like it abhors and condemns Jewish terror and sees it as aberration rather than a norm (I suppose you'd apply "equals" here to with Arab terror). The same can't be said about the other side. So I'd recommend that we be a little bit more particular when choosing how to use words that have specific meaning such as "equally" in the English language.

      Delete
  21. Israel - weak on BDSJuly 22, 2021 at 7:14 PM

    The Attorney-general insists, in response to High Court, that former Ed. Min.'s revocation of Israel Prize to BDS supporter not be allowed to stand. Prize should be awarded to him.

    Pathetic.

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  22. I am an Atheist (ex Orthodox Jewish) who is sickened by the hypocritical Woke, Liberals and their media, They are money grubbers, phonies and liars. They are antisemitic and anti Israel. They despise the existence of a successful jewish state and really want it to disappear. Do not be fooled. ACJA

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  23. So I'm prepared to shift here.

    I'll stop talking about the Occupation if you act against the Kahanaists and the state racism. Kfar Tapuach, Chevron, Kiryat Arba. The crop burning, the stone throwing, the pogroms through villages and the shooting. Take away their guns, expel them from combat units in the army, ban them from the West Bank, and destroy structures linked to those involved in racist violence.

    But the bottom line is this. Daati Leumi Jews are on average more aligned to the views of Marzel then those of moderate Zionists. You picked your side, and as a result we are picking ours.

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    1. I'll join you with one caveat. You mention crop burning. One aspect of crop damage (a broader category than crop burning) is allegations of cutting down olive trees. These are often based on trees being found substantially pared back. This case is made without regard to distinguishing between pruning olive trees and destroying them. To add to that, these are trees in an area where most settlers are religious and the cutting back took place on Shabbat. Bottom line, I insist on strict requirements of corroboration of anything that would be condemned.

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    2. Learn to use Google.

      www.timesofisrael.com/watch-jewish-extremist-attacks-israeli-activist-with-knife/amp/

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    3. I point out there are instances where allegations of Israeli crimes against the Palestinian people are out and out lies (documentation of Palestinians' and their supporters' willingness to lie is at https://elderofziyon.blogspot.com/2016/10/once-again-religious-jews-accused-of.html) and you respond with a case where the accusation is true. Sorry, but true crimes do not justify lies.

      Are you claiming that there are no cases where accusations of Israeli wrongdoing are fabricated? If so, support your claim. If not, what's your objection?

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    4. I would like strict corroboration of your claim that there have been material false claims of crop destruction.

      Delete
  24. A laughable discussion, mates. Israel, like any normal nation in a similar situation, should grab as much land as it can and remove as much of the hostile population as it can. This is very simple

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I suppose your views of what is normative will depend on whether you live in a territorially aggressive country or not. The US last conducted land grabs (against native Americans and Mexico) more than 150 years ago. The UK likewise have conquered new territory. This isn't normal.

      Delete
  25. Some people don't eat meat.

    That adversely affects farmers.

    Nobody whinges at them that they haven't condemned horseracing, the use of insecticides, climate change, the North Korean weapons program, and reparations for slavery, and that until they condemn all those things they clearly are biased against farmers.

    People are allowed opinions and you should tolerate them.

    ReplyDelete
  26. "What would people, such as the directors of Ben & Jerry's, actually have Israel do?"

    Based on who's on th board, I'd say they'd have Israel die.

    ReplyDelete
  27. "....since it was won in a defensive war....." - Let's be very clear, there is no such thing to a claim over land "won in a defensive war" under modern international law. The fact is that IL - willingly & under several 'left' and 'right' governments & coalitions - breached these laws to establish 'fait accomplis' that they could not negotiate later (supposedly). IL ostensibly adheres to these laws as a self-proclaimed democracy, but plays a game around this matter. The reality - a reality many Israelis fail to grasp - is that whatever it may say or do, it does not have sovereignty over these lands, and it is clear that by the establishment of 2 legal systems in these areas - IL for the Jews and martial law for the Palestinian goyim there - it clearly does not even believe it has sovereignty, fearful as it is of giving any form of representation to those in lands it has de facto annexed. Let's at least talk tachlis.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. But, as Rabbi Slifkin wrote in the blog, there is no mechanism to just leave the West Bank. A unilateral withdrawal is impossible, as it would bring the same consequences as Gaza. And it has been impossible to achieve a negotiated solution, since even offering more that the entire West Bank didn't bring us a peace agreement.

      Delete
    2. Explain the adverse security consequences for withdrawing people like Marzel, who have a long history of racist violence, from the occupied territories.

      It costs Israel absolutely nothing. They don't need any reciprocity at all. It's a win win. Commanders no longer need to waste time dealing with criminals with no legal powers to stop them.

      All that is needed is to enforce basic laws of criminal conduct in an even named manner.

      As always you conflate the military occupation with the civilian expropriation.

      Delete
    3. And you focus on a few right-wing extremists like Marzel, when the Palestinian rhetoric is referring to ALL settlers, or even ALL of the Jews living in Israel.

      And if we would throw Marzel and Gopstein out of Israel altogether, the BDS people would leave Israel alone?! Abu Mazen would suddenly forego the "Right of Return", and sign a peace treaty with Israel?! You're simply projecting the things that irk you, onto the Palestinians! They don't think the way you do!

      (I understand that Rabbi Meir Kahane's grandson, Meir Levinger, was given a restraining order that he must stay in Israel, and not enter the West Bank.
      Nonetheless, when the firebombing occurred against the Dawabshe family, the Arab media put Meir Levinger's picture as the person who perpetrated it!)

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    4. Absolutely not. You are projecting the things that irk me and many more critical friends of Israel onto the Palestinians.

      Why do you care more about the opinion of irredentists then those of world Jewry? This is a costless issue of a policy of fundamental immorality and not an attempt to solve the the entire dispute.

      Delete
    5. Marzel has been arrested for disturbing the peace many times.

      Ben Gvir is irksome, but Hanin Zoabi was just as irksome. They're both within their rights as Knesset members.

      I recommend you read the Palestinian voices on Quora, like "Palestine Today". 90% of what they write and post is inflammatory remarks against Israeli human rights violations, and just סתם libelous statements. If nothing bad happened today and no Palestinians were killed, they'll dig up pictures from 10 years ago, and paint it as if it's "Palestine Today".

      Even when Israel offers 1 million COVID vaccines, they spin it that they were all expired--all 1 million of them, which is of course bullsh!t.

      They never can paint Israel positively--it goes against one of the holy principles of Palestinianism: no normalization with the Zionists. ALL Zionists, not just the hardliners like Ben Gvir or Smotrich.

      Delete
  28. Israel shouldn’t pull out unilaterally
    But it should stop settling the West Bank

    ReplyDelete
  29. Should Israel stop building houses in Efrat? East Jerusalem? Har Homa? Does Israel not have any legitimate claim to any part of the "West Bank"? Should Israel reward Palestinian terror and unwillingness to negotiate and compromise until kingdom come?

    ReplyDelete
  30. Jews have a right to the land since Arabs never lived there. Period.

    ReplyDelete

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The BDS Error

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