Guardian

What does it say about BDS activists when the loss of 500 Palestinian jobs is a ‘victory’?


Whilst it’s not clear if SodaStream’s decision to close their plant in the West Bank town of Mishor Adumim was undertaken due to pressure from BDS activists, the reaction by the BDS Movement to the company’s decision to move production of the fizzy drink makers to a new location in the Israeli Negev – placing the employment of 500 Palestinians in jeopardy – speaks volumes about the political extremism of the movement.

Homepage of BDS Movement, Nov. 2

Homepage of BDS Movement, Nov. 2

The Guardian’s Middle East editor Ian Black wrote the following on SodaStream’s relocation in an Oct. 29th column

Palestinian activists have hailed a decision by SodaStream International, an Israeli-owned soft drink company, to close its controversial factory in a settlement in the occupied West Bank, calling the decision a victory for the campaign for boycott, disinvestment and sanctions.

The company had defended itself as employing 500 Palestinians, along with 450 Israeli Arab and 350 Israeli Jewish citizens, and insisted that closure for political reasons would benefit no one.

But the BDS statement said: “Any suggestion that SodaStream is employing Palestinians in an illegal Israeli settlement on stolen Palestinian land out of the kindness of its heart is ludicrous.”

Naturally, neither the Guardian’s Ian Black, nor the BDS Movement, bothered to explain how the closing of a factory which employs (at wages far above the average in the West Bank) the largest number of Palestinians outside the Palestinian Authority could reasonably be characterized as a victory for Palestinians.

Indeed, additional evidence attesting to the BDS Movement’s true motivations can be found in this passage near the end of Black’s article:

It’s [the BDS Movement] statement said: “Even if this announced closure goes ahead, SodaStream will remain implicated in the displacement of Palestinians. Its new Lehavim factory is close to Rahat, a planned township [see footnote] in the Naqab [Negev] desert, where Palestinian Bedouins are being forcefully transferred against their will. Sodastream, as a beneficiary of this plan, is complicit with this violation of human rights.”

The statement is referring to draft legislation in the Knesset last year (since shelved), on Bedouin development, which would have seen some 20,000-30,000 Israeli Bedouin relocated from unrecognized and undeveloped shanty towns to officially recognized and developed towns in the Negev, including the city of Rahat.  Those who moved were to receive financial compensation as well as free land.

So, the BDS statement is in effect saying that, by virtue of the fact that the new SodaStream factory will be located some 9 km from one of the towns which would become home to thousands of Bedouins (in the context of a plan to relocate Bedouin to developed, planned communities), the company is somehow “complicit” in human rights violations.  Even though the company will be moving its factory to within Israel’s pre-67 boundaries, BDS will not end their anti-SodaStream campaign.

The broader point should be familiar to anyone with even a basic understanding of the malevolence of the BDS Movement.  BDS seeks the right of “Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties”, goals which undermine the fundamental right of the Jewish people to self-determination. BDS leaders have made their opposition to the continued existence to the Jewish state (within any borders) quite clear. 

The promoters of the SodaStream boycott are so zealous in desire to isolate, delegitimize, and demonize Israel, that they are unburdened by the fact they’ve harmed a thriving factory, one which provides a livelihood to hundreds of Palestinian workers and has served as a rare model of co-existence between Arabs and Jews.

Of course, the definition of an ‘extremist’ is one for whom the real-world moral consequences of his or her actions are of little concern, especially in comparison to the imperative of maintaining fealty to a rigid – and often destructive – political ideology.

41 replies »

  1. It’s not just 500 individuals that face difficulty, but several thousand on whom families depend on for their livelihood. Hardly a “victory”. Black and the BDS won’t be donating or raising funds to help these people will they?

  2. Naturally, neither the Guardian’s Ian Black, nor the BDS Movement, bothered to explain how the closing of a factory which employs (at wages far above the average in the West Bank) the largest number of Palestinians outside the Palestinian Authority could reasonably be characterized as a victory for Palestinians.
    They don’t say anywhere that this is a victory for the Palestinians they say that this is a victory for the BDS movement (a shorthand for the the Jew-haters of the World Unite club). They know very well that for the Palestinian economy and the Palestinian ex-employes the relocation of the factory is a huge loss. But neither Ian Black nor the BDS movement and the Guardian would give a soiled keffiyeh for the Palestinians’ well-being, they hate the Jews and lacking any achievement they declare a heavenly victory as they learnt from Hamas and Hezbollah.

  3. The premise of your argument is wrong being the moral equivalent of annoyance that a few ‘lucky’ Jews, who once were allowed to hold positions of privilege at Auschwitz-Birkenau, have recently been given the sack.

    The system of occupation is what is wrong here, not the loss of jobs. The truth is, you on here couldn’t care less about Palestinian employment otherwise just let the same individuals work in a new factory in pre-67 Israel.

    Bet you don’t fancy that idea eh? 😉

    • Your moral and intelligence equating normal work to forced work and extinction are not in question, antisemite, being beyond any further considerations.

    • James I can understand your impotent hate – you must vent your frustration caused by your marital, professional, sexual and social failures and who would be a better target than the Jews. Naturally comparing the Jewish victims of Auschwitz with the Palestinians is a very cool move in your nazi circles, but among normal people it is somehow unfashionable – only shows your mental and psychological disturbances.
      The truth is, you on here couldn’t care less about Palestinian employment…
      Big mistake James. When even a relatively small number of the Palestinians can experience a decent middle-class life they won’t be in the hands of their religiofascists leaders anymore and couldn’t be used as a proxy by your kind of pigshit, not speaking about to working together with Jews would show them the possibility to live together as peaceful and cooperating partners with common goals and not as enemies. Naturally in this case you won’t be able to use them as your pawns against the Jews.
      ….just let the same individuals work in a new factory in pre-67 Israel.
      Naturally. I’m sure that in your place every private company closing a factory in a neighboring country and transferring it to its own – is obliged to import the original non-citizen employees and not to give the new jobs to their own citizens.
      James – the problem with your kind of failed assholes is your inability to live a normal life and the same time you are too coward to commit suicide. Believe me you don’t have to hesitate anymore, your departure from this world would benefit everybody – especially the Palestinians.

      • Ahhh… So you do recognise it as a foreign county then? Interesting!! In which case, who are you to be building a factory in a foreign country when you’re not invited in??

        You’ve tied yourself in circles, my thick friend☺

        Love it!! Ha ha ha

        • James I refuse to believe that thie level of stupidity and cluelessness you are happily demonstrating here is exist. Tell me that you are only pretending…

            • Peter, I’m confused why you won’t answer: is it a different country or not?

              Please, for the record, clarify.

              • It’s James’ own assertion the factory on the land of another country. Peter only demonstrated what a bad faith hypocrite James is. Bad faith arguments and lies fill up most of the western “pro-Palestinian” repertoire.

                • Peter was clear: “I’m sure that in your place every private company closing a factory in a neighboring country and transferring it to its own ”

                  So, Palestine is another country then? So why open a factory there: you were never formally invited to do so, so leave.

                  Simple, eh? You’ve tied yourselves up in your own manure :p

                • Abdul I understand your fear – the MERS demands more and more victims in Muslim world due to the over-consumption of camel piss. You should have read the advice of the Saudi Health Ministry and limit your daily intake. Maybe this warning is too late, it seems to me your bad drinking habit totally destroyed your ability to read and understand very simple texts. But don’t worry – among your ideological/political friends this talent is not considered necessary.

  4. Israel should stop issuing any work permits for any ‘Palestinians’. Then BDS would have a great triumph. Over 1/2 of the PA’s income is from the workers Israel employs – we need to stop that

    • Yes, you should. Finally then the hardship would be unbearable.

      Social breakdown would ensue, and rioting would cripple Israel…. International pressure would force you to negotiate in good faith, something you’ve failed to do until now.

      Your move. I’ll support this one!

      • As I said. You are happy to cause social breakdown, death and suffering for the Palestinians if it would damage the Jews. Thank you for the demonstration of my point…

      • If I had a teleporter, I’d transport you to Yarmouk camp right now. So that you can experience the same torment of shelling by the Syrian army and disease from lack of medical care that its inhabitants are suffering.

        And I’d also let you experience that sense of despair that comes from knowing that the ‘friends of Palestine’ in the West do not give a shit about the suffering of these people. Because at the end of the day, it’s all about hating Jews with you scumbags.

        It would be poetic justice to replace the inhabitants of Yarmouk with the BDS crowd. The world would be a better place.

      • I think we’re going to have to add “figures on labor force in Israel by % of Israeli citizens, immigrants from non-ME countries, citizens of other non-ME countries, and Palestinians” to the very long list that is headed as “subjects James knows absolutely nothing about.”

          • You’re doing a great job, KKKelvin. Your belligerence hasn’t only cost work for 500 (which is both food on the table and money in the pocket) but your encouragement for war over peace (i.e. From the River to the Sea) has resulted in thousands dead and many, many years wasted. Which is perfect for a brain dead waste of space like you.

            Poor, poor Kelvin. Broadcasts wider than an IMAX. Dumber than the dog shit stuck on a shoe. That’s just how it is for some Earthlings.

  5. The Soda-stream Bedouin connection they are desperately trying to make is really tenuous even by their standards.

    BTW it’s interesting that Bedouins supposedly forced to relocate their homes sometime in the future is deemed a much bigger atrocity than Bedouins being murdered as we speak by Al-Qaida elements in the Sinai.

  6. The 19th century Russian revolutionary Nikolai Chernishevski is credited with the phrase, ‘the worse it is, the better’.

    The BDS crowd do not give a flying fuck about 500 Palestinians losing jobs. They do not even give a flying fuck about the Palestinians full stop, otherwise they’d be marching about the plight of the inhabitants of Yarmouk camp for starters.

    I shit on them. These bastards thrive on suffering and anti-Semitism.