BUYcott the Boycott
The second half of the most recent Gregorian decade saw an increase in the desire in Western countries to boycott Israeli products and personnel. These boycott movements are run by far Left and Muslim groups who believe they are helping the Palestinian people by cutting off the Israeli hand that feeds them. Needless to say, many boycott supporters are Jews, proving that the world is a circus and we are its clowns. (One may also ask why no one is calling to boycott luminaries such as Sudan, Zimbabwe and Pakistan, but this is a discussion for another time).
In Britain for example, several workers’ and academics’ unions have moved motions favouring such boycotts. However, after considerable effort by sensible members (both Jewish and Gentile), these efforts were quashed. The argument that boycotts only alienate and polarise whilst dialogue and interaction can bring peace won the day in the land of artful diplomacy.
Whilst diplomacy can work, it is often tedious and gives time to the economic/academic terrorists to form arguments and have a say in the press. By contrast, a more effective and aggressive method for countering boycott movements has developed over the last couple of years in Canada.
BUYcott Israel is an initiative of the Canada-Israel Committee and has employed a highly successful method of thwarting any attempt to boycott Israeli goods. Once word of a boycott proposal is received, BUYcott Israel sends out mass emails to the Jewish Community and its friends asking them to buy the said goods en masse. The most recent success involved an exhibition of the Dead Sea Scrolls at a Toronto Museum. The scrolls were on loan from the Israel Antiquities Authority and a small number of protesters called for the exhibition to be boycotted until Israel returned the “stolen artifacts” to Jordan or the Palestinian Authority (the scrolls were discovered in the Judean desert between the mid 1940s and late 1960s). The response from BUYcott was to encourage everybody to buy tickets to the exhibition. Result: every session sold out. Other success stories can be seen here.
Whilst we in Australia are fortunate not to have such anti-Israel hysteria in the air (whether due to sensibility or apathy), the Canadian approach appears an ideal model for us to learn from should the need arise.
Recently, the ACT electricity distributor, ActewAGL, signed an agreement with Israeli company (although now with headquarters in Palo Alto, California) Better Place to install a network of charging stations for electric cars and naturally hopes the ACT’s vision is adopted in the rest of Australia. (Until now, automobile companies have developed electric car prototypes, but with nowhere for the driver to charge the battery, the idea is arguably unworkable). Better Place has secured similar deals in Europe, Japan and, in the words of Better Place founder Shai Agassi, “The People’s Republic of Berkley, [California]”. Furthermore, a little bit of research shows that Israel in general is a world leader in the development of “green” solutions.
As the rollout of electric cars begins, I eagerly await the kvetching and kvelling of those who will be torn between two passions: saving the planet and destroying Israel, the planet’s potential saviour. At that time, I would encourage people to switch to an electric car, thereby supporting both our atmosphere and Israel.