Video dispatch 4: While some choose boycotts, others choose “Life”

December 22, 2010


This is the fourth in a series of “Video dispatches”.

I attach several short videos below, as well as a number of photos and cartoons. The first video is fun, the others more disturbing. It seems that while some people admire things Jewish, others want to boycott them.



Saturday officially marks the 20th Anniversary of the Internet. On Christmas day 1990, Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web, launched the first client-server communication via the Internet. Two billion people – about a third of the world’s population – now use the Internet and that number is growing. Happy Birthday Internet!


I would like to express my condolences on the death earlier this week of leading BBC foreign correspondent Brian Hanrahan, who passed away of cancer aged 61. Brian was among the best of BBC correspondents, and among the more open-minded when I discussed the Middle East with him. He was a subscriber to this Mideast Dispatch list for the last few years.

[All notes below by Tom Gross]


First something cheerful. (It is worth watching this video through to the end.)

For those wondering, the happy couple – Lin-Manuel and Vanessa – aren’t Jewish. They and many of their wedding guests are Puerto Rican. They practiced this performance in secret for a month before their wedding this fall. Most of the rest of the music at the wedding was Latin.



I attach several videos below targeting Israel – from Philadelphia, Paris, London and Australia. All are from recent months. (I also posted a couple of these videos earlier this year on this website when these demonstrations occurred.) There have been similar “Supermarket” and “Shopping mall invasions” targeting Israel in many other cities worldwide.

There are dozens of conflicts around the world that are much deadlier than the Israeli-Palestinian one, and most countries in the world have worse human rights records than Israel. But these demonstrators masquerading as “peace and human rights activists” apparently care nothing about them. (For example, the conflict in Afghanistan involves troops from 42 countries including Germany, France, Britain, Italy, the U.S., Canada, Australia and Sweden, and has resulted in a high number of civilian casualties. Yet there are no supermarket invasions targeting those countries’ goods.)

And of course these demonstrators seemingly couldn’t care less about Israeli victims such as the 14-year-old girl in the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon injured yesterday morning by a Hamas rocket fired from Gaza (one of several recent rocket attacks on Israel that many Western media haven’t even bothered to report.)



Well-funded anti-Israel groups have purchased billboards and bus banner ads (such as the ones below) that will run on buses in Seattle for at least the next month, starting on December 27. Similar ads are already up in Houston, Albuquerque, San Francisco and elsewhere.

And these anti-Israeli Hummus ads are appearing in bus stops in various American cities. The picture below is from San Francisco.



An increasing number of protests like this are taking place across America.

(Incidentally, contrary to the claims of these protestors, Palestinians shopping in malls in Gaza and the West Bank are happily choosing Israeli goods to buy over the Egyptian, Jordanian and European ones also on sale in Palestinian malls.)



In the video below, anti-Israel demonstrators in France “invade” the fashion chain H&M, because they opened stores this year in Tel Aviv’s Azrieli mall and in the Malcha mall in west Jerusalem. But the boycotters wrongly claim they have opened a store “in East Jerusalem on land stolen from the Palestinians.”

If you listen to the ugly chants, this is one of the more disturbing “boycott” videos I have posted over the years, and the lies contained in it amount to a virtual incitement on the streets of Paris to murder Israelis.

(The H&M stores in Israel are doing exceptionally good business, by the way, with long lines of shoppers, both Jews and Arabs, being served at both the Tel Aviv and Jerusalem branches. H&M say additional stores will open in Haifa, Petah Tikva, Rehovot and Netanya.)



Recently several French supermarkets have been invaded and any produce suspected of originating from Israel has been destroyed. Below is one example at Carrefour. Where are the police?



Below, anti-Israel activists descended on Sainsbury’s, one of Britain’s largest supermarket chains, (in its central London Holborn branch) to protest the on-going sale of Israeli fruit and vegetables.



This act of aggression against the British supermarket Waitrose was organized by “War on Want,” one of several major British “charities” that have long poured much of their resources into demonizing Israel, even though this wasn’t among the original aims of the charity when it was established. Contrary to what is claimed in the video, the destroyed goods are from Israel, not from the West Bank.

War on Want’s accompanying press release also refers to “61 years of Israeli occupation”. In other words, they consider all of Israel as occupied territory.

As I have pointed out in previous dispatches, War on Want receives funding from a number of governmental sources, including the European Union, the UK Department for International Development, Irish Aid and others.

One of the biggest donors to War on Want last year was the BBC’s on air “comic relief” appeal, which raises millions every year from members of the public who are misled by the BBC into thinking they are giving money to charities that will help relieve poverty, not destroy food in criminal acts. (War on Want have now invaded several supermarkets and destroyed a great deal of Israeli produce.) Incidentally, the British Airways charity promoted on most of their flights in recent months has been “comic relief”.

War on Want seem to spend a great deal of energy trying to undermine, if not destroy, the state of Israel. Among their current major campaigns is a concerted one by War on Want to force British Telecom to sever ties with Bezeq, Israel’s largest telecommunications group.



“Made in Israel” products being sold in the Myer Centre at Brisbane’s Queen Street Mall, are targeted in the film below. We learn towards the end of the video, that the protestors succeed in shutting down the Israeli stall.

In Japan too, anti-Israel activists campaigned recently to keep Muji from opening a shop in Tel Aviv, and Muji backed down.



Here are some pro-Israel cartoons that one intrepid blogger has produced:

And here’s his response to the anti-Israel Seattle bus ads:


Other dispatches in this video series can be seen here:

* Video dispatch 1: The Lady In Number 6

* Video dispatch 2: Iran: Zuckerberg created Facebook on behalf of the Mossad

* Video dispatch 3: Vladimir Putin sings “Blueberry Hill” (& opera in the mall)

* Video dispatch 5: A Jewish tune with a universal appeal

* Video dispatch 6: Carrying out acts of terror is nothing new for the Assad family

* Video dispatch 7: A brave woman stands up to the Imam (& Supporting Bin Laden in London)

* Video dispatch 8: Syrians burn Iranian and Russian Flags (Not Israeli and U.S. ones)

* Video Dispatch 9: “The one state solution for a better Middle East...”

* Video dispatch 10: British TV discovers the next revolutionary wave of Israeli technology

-- Tom Gross

All notes and summaries copyright © Tom Gross. All rights reserved.