Today has been designated “Boycott Israel Day” (by the various people who bother with that sort of thing, having nothing better to do, I presume).
I have written before about the inherent absurdity of trying to divest from Israel. If nothing else, it shows a definite strain of hypocrisy.
For everything that can be said about Israel, for good and for bad, I somehow doubt that tiny Israel, with it’s population of only 7 million, has somehow managed to cause, say, even more than half the entire world’s human right violations.
And yet few of those so eager to cry foul and scream about divestment and sanctions at the top of their lungs when it comes to Israel have ever even considered calling for the slightest hand-slap to, say, China – conquering and oppressing the entire population of Tibet – or Russia – leveling entire cities in Chechnya – or Yemen – allowing the burning of young girls with acid for disobaying their husbands, or even Pakistan – which allows gang rapes as punishment for inter-tribal wrongs.
Now, if there are a rare few out there, who are prepared to call for economic boycotts of absolutely every country (and city and state) that they see as having done wrong – then I say “more power to them!” I will thoroughly respect their consistency and moral principle. I also wish them much luck with staying alive and functioning in society, but that’s another matter.
Aside from them, though – the hordes so interested in Israel’s so-called wrongs alone – are nothing more than band-wagon-jumping hypocrites. And I have nothing but disdain for that.
In this case, however, things get even more interesting.
Because not only is this “boycott day” hypocritical, it is also, coincidentally, counter-productive.
Presumably, these organizers are interested in improving the lives of Palestinian Arabs, right? And yet all this boycott can do, is hurt the Israeli economy. You think that would actually help any Palestinians? Come on, now!
Palestinian Arabs work in Israel, often in volatile and unstable sectors of the economy, like construction. What do you think happens to construction of new homes if the economy suffers? Gee, let’s look at what’s happened right here at home, why don’t we? Think hurting Israel economically is going to improve the employment prospects of Arab workers? Israeli also send tourists into the West Bank. Think boycotting Israel is going to increase the number of tourists driving from Jerusalem to Bethlehem and Nazareth? Or shopping in the Arab markets in either Jerusalem or the West Bank? In what universe?
So if anything, this boycott is most likely to in fact hurt the Palestinians, rather than help them. Sure seems to make sense, if your stated cause is helping the Palestinians, and not just hurting Israel for the heck of it, doesn’t it?
Whatever happened to “don’t divest, invest!”? You want to help the Palestinians? Great! Go ahead and invest some money in the Palestinian economy, help them build industry, and I’m there with you! We have seen time and again that a stable and successful Palestinian economy leads to a decrease in violence and far better relations between Israel and the Palestinians, always bringing about more movement toward peace. But how is hurting Israel supposed to help the Palestinians, exactly?
In any case, to counteract today’s “boycott day,” a “Buy Israel Day” has been called for, in response.
A way of trying to counter-balance any damage that may be done, I suppose.
So in that spirit, I wanted to share a few ideas, if anyone is thinking about taking a stand against this nonsense and participating.
Many of us know that Byerly’s, Lund’s, Cub Foods (in SLP), and Trader Joe’s carry tons of Israeli goods, from hummus to soup mix, and from cookies to juice. Please consider patronizing these establishments, and supporting the Israeli goods they carry, to encourage them to continue to do so.
But did you know that:
- Uptown mainstay Hennepin Lake Liquor Store carries Israeli Barkan Winery wines? And they’re pretty good, too! (I’m especially fond of the Chardonnay)
- Costco carries (half-)Israeli owned Sabra hummus
- Small local Plymouth grocery Fruit & Fish carries a whole variety of Israeli foods, including Israeli pickles, soup nuts, and jam
- Famous Footwear (all over the Cities) carries Israeli Teva hiking sandals (which are awesome!)
- ULTA Beauty, at Southdale and Ridgehaven, plus several other locations, carries the terrific Ahava Dead Sea beauty products
- And if you’re shopping for something really special, Rogers & Hollands Jewelers carry Israeli diamonds and other fine jewelry
You can, of course, also find a tremendous variety of Israeli goods – from music to wines to Judaica – online, at retailers like Amazon or the various online Judaica stores (pick your favorite).
And best of all, you can visit BuyIsraelGoods.org for a complete listing of local stores selling every kind of Israeli goods.
Or you can just walk into just about any electronics store, and buy just about anything – and I pratically guarantee that Israeli parts will be in it! Be it the Intel processor in your PC, your Motorola cellphone, or your Windows operating systems – major parts of its design will be “made in Israel.”
That is the one thing I always wonder about – if they’re so keen to boycott Israel, I’d like to see these “principled” folks give up their computers, their cell phones, their instant messengers – because we all know they were all (at least in part) created by those evil Israelis.
I say, put your money where your mouth is. If you truly think we should all boycott Israel – go ahead and go first. Let’s see how far you can get with no goods made by one of the most creative and technically innovative economies in the world. Let’s see you turn off your PC and refuse Israel’s groundbreaking medical treatments, should you ever need them. And if you won’t, then how about just stop the nonsense and go home?
Note: None of the listings above are meant as a recommendation of the specific stores or companies in question. They are merely intended as a list of companies operating in Israel and stores selling Israeli goods.
I didn’t realize Target sold Ahava products… & I’m happy to report the shelf was almost picked bare ;->
Another great local jeweler that sells Israeli Diamonds is Continental Diamond in St. Louis Park which also is owned by a Jewish family.
A couple of my favorites — both Trader Joe’s and Kowalski’s grocery stores have excellent Israeli feta cheese. Trader’s is more solid and Kowalski’s a bit richer and more crumbly. B’Teavon.
Chances are good that probably every synagogue in the twin cities with a gift shop has holiday candles that are made in Israel so don’t forget to shop your synagogue’s gift shop for Israeli products!! It will be like doing a double mitzva!!!