When I was growing up in the 1960s, opponents of the Vietnam War would always ask each other, "What year did you come out against the war?" Higher status was always accorded to the early-birds. After all, by the 1970s, who wasn't against the war? As I write these lines, the Knesset is debating the anti-boycott law. Not to be outdone, Peace Now has already opened a Facebook page entitled, "Sue Me – I Boycott Settlement Products." Please go there, click the like button, and leave a comment. Note that they don't really call for a boycott; they just say that they themselves boycott. You can't get sued for that under the new law.
Would it be totally self-absorbed of me to point out that when the bill was first proposed a year ago, I published a post entitled "Don't Buy Golan Wines…and Sue Me". Now I have two posts with the same name.
This just in….the bill passed. So I am posting this to be one of the first up there to call for a boycott of Golan wines. (I think the law is retroactive, so I really was one of the first after the bill was proposed) I am not asking you just to boycott Golan Wines, since there is a lot of wine made on the West Bank by settlers, some pretty good (I am told), some pretty crappy.. But I picked Golan wines because, let's face it, they are pretty popular among kosher wines, and some are really good.
Full disclosure. When somebody brings me some good Golan wines for Shabbat, I don't throw it away, I drink it. I know, I know, such a bleeding heart hypocrite… But what do I know from wine? I just drink the Kosher stuff. The worst is when you find out that a wine you like may actually be made in the West Bank, despite what's on the label. It's not fair. Read the report here. In fact, according to that report, I may not be able to drink a lot of Israeli wine. I should stop reading those reports
But I wander.
Anyway, I don't want to give the impression that I am violating the new law. As I argued in my previous post, I don't want you not to buy Golan wines because they are made in the Golan. No, I want you not to buy Golan wines, because Israel has no right to have industry in occupied territories that does not benefit the population of the occupied territories, and I don't mean the Israeli settlers who are illegal there. I pick the Golan precisely because most Israelis don't see it as "occupied," the Syrian regime is horrendous, and wine is the sort of thing that, you know, comes and goes.
All right, all right, buy Golan wine if you want….how about those mushrooms from Tekoa? I mean, what's the deal with them? Do you really need to eat those mushrooms, you know, the fancy kind whose name I forget? What's wrong with normal mushrooms?
And while we are on the subject, don't buy Soda Stream. I mean, have you ever tasted the seltzer it makes? I got one of those things for my wedding years ago. Buying the cartridges drive you nuts. They tell you it saves you money; I don't believe it. Has anybody ever made good homemade cola with them? Even if it weren't manufactured on the West Bank, you shouldn't buy it….
Mei Eden bottled water. All right, I confess, I buy it occasionally. Cesar Chavez, please forgive me for the grapes I ate in college.
No seriously, the bill passed; that wasn't a joke….uh, oh….well, anyway, please pass around this call. Don't drink the Golan wine stuff (unless a guest brings it for Shabbat, in which case it is not nice to get rid of it.) There are a zillion Facebook groups out there for boycotting; I couldn't find any one with more than a couple hundred people, but you can join them.
Check out the JVP divestment campaign here. Gush Shalom has taken down its list of settlement products to boycott. Here is a list that the PA gave out to Palestinians last year. It's been downloading for the last ten minutes. That must be one big list. Viva the global BDS movement!
And if I start getting sued by any of the companies out there, I may actually have to figure out how I can ask for donations for my legal fund on my blog.
Did I mention that I have Paypal?