24 June 2010

The Boycott of Love

I opened up my email this morning to see one of those Boycott Israel emails from Brooklyn for Peace.  The boycott movement is targeting Ahava Products, which will never work--I can guarantee.  Any tourist to Israel can tell you that and I would be willing to bet that whatever Ricky's or Nordstroms sells pales in comparison to the deals you get at tourist spots in Israel.  They don't make shopping carts big enough to handle the near riot conditions when my people start shopping!

Even more galling is the disinformation that gets spread and the ways in which this nutty boycott and divestment movement is seeking to use the language of the End Apartheid movement and delegitimization in order to carry out its goals. 

Here's the language from the Brooklyn for Peace email:
Don’t buy AHAVA beauty products!
AHAVA, an Israeli cosmetics company, is violating basic principles of international law by profiting from the occupation of Palestine. Using resources from the ancient waters of the Dead Sea, which is part of the Occupied West Bank, the products are made in a settlement factory in an illegal settlement (Mitzpe Shalem). AHAVA means “love” in Hebrew, but there is nothing loving about this company’s practices. In fact, they violate international law. It's a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention to exploit resources in  for profit any resources in an occupied land.
Click here for more information and what you can do.
Start now! Don't buy AHAVA beauty products!
Brooklyn For Peace is committed to working for a negotiated solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict.
Read our statement.
Work with our Israel-Palestine Committee.
E-mail is.pales@brooklynpeace.org for next meeting date and location.
Mitzpe Shalem, though west of Jordan, is in that murky area of the Jordan Valley.  In the peace agreements that have been written and re-written over and over again and that all reasonable people are waiting for leaders on both sides to have the political courage to sign,  Mitzpe Shalem residents are split--some will leave for peace, others want to stay.  Camp David and Geneva Initiatives each grant that there will remain some Israeli presence in the Jordan Valley, to be determined at final status talks.  But in reality, at least as I see it, Mitzpe Shalem is like many of the Jordan Valley areas that represented settlement policy as a true protection framework against threats from the East--and Israel certainly had legitimate concerns following the Six Day War.

But "movements" don't appreciate nuance, and so words like "illegal" and "violation" and "occupied land" take a general weight whose aim, I would argue, is to increase the perception that Israel has no legitimate claim to any part of the Land of Israel.

Check out this stuff from Codepink/Stolen Beauty. 

I'd be willing to bet the Ricky's on the Island of Manhattan and Nordstroms on Long Island and in New Jersey, are likely built atop Native American bones.  Our pure-minded neighbors might consider cleaning up their historical messes closer to home.

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