Yet another article in a long line of pieces in the Australian media – this time in Murdoch’s Adelaide Advertiser – that obscures the real issue behind BDS against Israel. The photo caption is wrong (there is no person called “Max Brenner”), the word “occupation” is absent and the real reason activists are protesting Max Brenner ain’t in there, either.
Nice work, hacks:
To Palestinians it is the final option against an oppressive invader, to Israelis it is a racist policy conducted by a blood-thirsty enemy from within.
The decision by pro-Palestinian groups to protest for a boycott of Israeli businesses, such as cosmetic store Seacret in Rundle Mall, has polarised public opinion and shown that the tentacles of the dispute are so widespread that it has reached the far corners of the world, even Adelaide.
The Australian Friends of Palestine Association (AFPA) regularly has been picketing Seacret, and are buoyed by news a coalition of anti-Israeli groups has been targeting chocolate shop chain Max Brenner in the eastern states.
Jewish Community Council of South Australia President Norman Schueler calls the campaign “pointless” and claims it has actually promoted sales in SA for Seacret.
“When the BDS campaign unfolded during the last NSW election it showed the extent it had backfired,” he said. “If taken to the enth degree you would have to boycott so much; personal computers because they have Intel chips in them, medicines, equipment, communications, Australia would be ground to a halt.”
He said most “reasonable” people realised Israel was not the aggressor in the Middle East and showed their support for the businesses under boycott by buying their products.
“Israel is the underdog in this conflict, it is surrounded by enemies who are hell bent on the destruction of Israel.
“The charters of some of these countries have so much ill-will that we can never make peace with them, even though we are quite prepared to do so.”
However, Australia Israel Chamber of Commerce South Australian President Allen Bolaffi condemned the boycotts.
He said such practices reminded him of the boycotting of Jewish businesses in Germany under Nazi rule.
“It is quite abhorrent, Australians will not relent to such behaviour,” he said. “If you have a political issue, take it to a political forum.
“We will defend anyone’s right to protest but it has to be channelled to the right place.”
He said he did not expect Adelaide boycotts to be as widespread as the eastern states.
“People here are a bit more respectful.”
AFPA co-founder Moammar Mashni said it was time for stronger measures against Israel – which he believes is guilty of crimes against humanity.
“We are boycotting against the companies who say their products are `Made in Israel’ when in fact the natural resource is actually being extracted from Palestinian land,” he said.
“It is a blatant violation.”
Max Brenner himself, whose real name is Oded Brenner, is a 43-year-old Israeli-born and New York-based pastry chef and chocolate maker whose only obvious personal connection to the Israeli military was the fact that he, like other Israeli men, had to complete mandatory military service as a young man.