‘Elder of Ziyon’ responds to the Guardian’s Ben White on BDS.

The article published on CiF Watch yesterday concerning the Co-operative Group’s decision to upgrade its boycott policies towards Israeli firms was, of course, just one of many. Among those also tackling the subject was Elder of Ziyon, who – along with Harry’s Place – then became the subject of an article on ‘electronic Intifada’ by BDS groupie and Guardian writer Ben White. 

‘The Elder’ responded: 

Ben White, who is apparently a writer specializing in hating Israel, wrote an article in Electronic Intifada criticizing my post pointing out the hypocrisy of the British Co-op boycott of Agrexco, which I noted also effectively hurts the livelihood of most Palestinian Arab farmers. In his critique, White unwittingly shows exactly the hypocrisy that I am talking about.”

Read the rest here

This is an article I wrote last year about the BDS movement’s targeting of Agrexco and the reality of cooperation between that agricultural export company and Palestinian and Arab Israeli farmers. 

In 2010 the government of the Netherlands donated 6 million Euros to two projects designed to “address food security concerns, high unemployment rates as well as to maintain and develop the full economic potential of the Gaza agricultural sector”. However, the Dutch government’s partner in these projects – an NGO known as the Palestinian Agricultural Development Association (PARC) – turns out to be active in the BDS campaign. In January 2011 it issued a press release which included the following statements:

“The last attempt by Agrexco to export to Europe limited quantities of strawberries and flowers from the Gaza Strip, exploiting the illegal Israeli siege of Gaza and the inability of Palestinian farmers there to export except through Agrexco, was aimed at beautifying the image of the Israeli occupation and covering up all its ugly crimes against the Palestinian people, and especially through the ongoing Israeli siege of the steadfasting Gaza Strip.

On this occasion, PARC salutes all activists and international supporters for the BDS campaign and especially our French friends and partners who were able to frustrate the Agrexco attempt to conduct a joint press conference with a few exploited Palestinian producers.”

(Coincidentally, it just so happens that another recipient of funding from the government of the Netherlands is none other than ‘electronic Intifada’.) 

As ‘Elder of Ziyon’ correctly points out:

“To see what real Palestinian Arabs want, look at their companies who attend Israeli trade shows  and fairs to increase their market. Look at those who visit the ports at Ashdod and Haifa to better understand import/export procedures.”

10 replies »

  1. Most of the anti-Israel lobby liked to flock together. Hence their bullying tactics on social network sites like twitter. Ben White is one of them. As far as the co-op,a rather large company which also involves banking, during Nelson Mandela’s incarceration in South Africa, they were very politically outspoken against white South Africans.

    It makes me wonder as to what sort of ethics the co-op believe they are supporting. I bank with the co-op, and I rang their customer services yesterday, who did not know a lot about their anti-Israel campaign and their support for Hamas. I asked a very polite lady on the phone why they have moved forward with the intent of boycotting Israeli produce. The lady couldnt answer that question. I also continued to ask why they don’t boycott such countries like Egypt or Syria or iranian products due to their lack of human rights. People could not answer the question that she fully understood what I was saying.

    What needs to be found out is, who is the person in the co-op who is organising these boycotts and organising their ethical subject matter.

  2. Ambrosine, I’d go so far as to wonder how they would define “ethics”. For myself, although there can be few moral absolutes, honesty has to be one of the immovable ethical principles, and, when the Co-op is responsible for the savings etc of so many people it cannot in all conscience be led by the nose to sell out its customers most of whom haven’t the first idea (and care even less) about this particular matter, and continue to call itself ethical.

    I agree that the person who organised this three ring circus and gets to decide what is “ethical” and what is not should be named and shamed.

    Can you tell us the number you telephoned?

    • Serendipity for you and others in the U.K. who want to telephone the Customer Relations Dept. there is a Freephone No. which is;
      0800 0686 727 and is open on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday between 9.00 a.m. and 8.00 p.m. ; Wednesday between 9.30 a.m. and 8.00 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday between 9.00 a.m. and 5.00 p.m.

      • Hi Gerald,

        Thank you. The Co-op Bank, as I found out, has a different number – 0161 832 3456. The woman I spoke to at the 0800 number was very cagey.

  3. There are two versions of the Palestinians. One is the chequered scarf and halo wearing type of the PSC and SMI and other initial groups. Selflessly living the dream of the Apartheid warriors who lost their chief occupation when their dream was realised. The other are the actual people, living day to day in close association with the devil incarnate, Israeli Jews

  4. Anybody who believes in the fiction of Elders of Zion is a person of not much of intelligence, how this man Ben White got in to the position to make a stupid comment like this is beyond me, maybe it’s some connections, this days in politics counts it’s not what you know only who you know, sad but true.