Saturday, 19 September 2009

Ahava Targeted by Anti-Israel Groups

Welcome BlazingCatFur readers and LumpyGrumpyFrumpy people.
*Updated below*

Today was the International Day of Action Against Ahava (see previous related posts here), as declared by CodePink, JBIG, the PSC, BIG and a few other splinter groups. I would like to say it was an epic failure as there were at most 20 people supporting the boycott - however I cannot discount the fact that these people were able to handout fliers promoting their lies to dozens of shoppers passing by.

This morning I went to Ahava and picked up a birthday gift for my mother-in-law. A security guard was posted outside the store as well as a van full of police. The staff inside told me that yesterday a few people came inside the store and laid down on the floor, "occupying it," but Ahava remained open and was able to conduct business despite the major disruption. The occupiers claimed that Ahava profits "finance and support war crimes by the Israeli state."

At one point I wondered if todays protests were going to happen - but they did. Pictures and details below.

This was the "crowd" that showed up to protest Ahava. Hehe. However, what they lacked in numbers they made up for in lies, lies, lies. The "crowd" was pretty friendly - especially in comparison to other anti-Israel events I have covered [and by that I mean nobody threatened me with physical harm or death] - but it is a wolf in sheep's clothing.

Can I call this a blood libel? Notice he is carrying an Oxfam bag.

Pretend Jews.

The barricades were empty as the protesters were few. Instead those who came lined the street and handed out flyers full of lies to people passing by.

Flyer front.
Partial text: You can't be 'soothed and smoothed' by Ahava's creams and cosmetics. They are produced by a firm complicit in the theft of Palestinian land and livelihoods. Ahava is an Israeli company with a factory and visitor centre in Mitzpe Shalem near the Dead Sea. This is one of the illegal Iraeli settlements in the occuped Palestinian West Bank. Since 1967 Israel has moved over 260,000 settlers into the Occupied Palestinian Territories, flouting international law and dozens of UN resolutions, and forcing Palestinians off their land."

Flyer back.
Partial text: "Palestinian farmers have lost over 40% of the West Bank to the illegal settlements. Palestinian workers in the settlements are exploited and child labour is used. Scarce water resources are often confiscated by Israel and used for settler houses and swimming pools and to irrigate settlement produce for export to UK, whilst Palestinian farmer are losing their crops through lack of land and water. Settlements harshly obstruct the daily lives of Palestinians. Movement is restricted through an Apartheid system of separate roads, hundreds of checkpoints and the illegal Apartheid Wall. Palestinians also face violence from armed settlers. Palestinian producers face huge difficulty reaching export markets hwile ISraeli illegal settlement produce easily reaches the UK. Palestinians in Gaza have suffered death, destruction and war crimes from the Israeli attack. They are facing a humanitarian crisis; over 80% are dependent on food aid under the siege imposed by Israel. Ahava fraudulently benefits from customs duty exemptions under the EU-Israel Trade Agreement - by labelling its settlement produce as from Israel. ....
This call for a ban on illegal settlement produce is part of a campaign to boycott all Israeli goods - the BIG campaign, until Israel abides by international law and respects human rights."

What a crock.

Oh man. Stay classy.

They also stood across the street handing out their trash. Apparently nobody told the man that M&S sells Israeli produce. Wolf in sheep clothes.

God bless this man who showed up to show his support for Ahava and Israel. He had a nice handout put together which I have posted below.

Partial text: "Those who are seeking to boycott Ahava products are seeking to make the West Bank a Juden-frei zone by attempting to deny Jewish Israeli businesses (specifically) the ability to earn a living in areas they have lived for generations, where their ancestors have lived for millennia. ... The misguided stance of the boycott movement is comparable with the boycott of Jewish businesses in Nazi Germany in the 1930s. In furtherance of their boycott their movement is holding their demo' on the Jewish New Year - a cynical attempt to avoid counter demonstrations that adds insult to injury. ... Please do NOT support this bigoted, complicitly and politically antisemitic boycott of Israeli Jewish businesses."

There's no beauty in anti-semitism.

Ladies in mud, who believe Ahava is a 'dirty business.' You know what actually is a dirty business? Spreading lies and anti-semitism.

It was nice to see two young men go into the store, stock up on Ahava products - and then take the time to stand and hold the Israeli flag outside the store on their way out. People were shopping in Ahava despite what was going on outside.

Unfortunately I was not able to stay until the end of the protest, but I was so glad to see people there to support Ahava. Please continue to show your support for Ahava by purchasing their products and shopping at stores who carry them. The numbers today may have been small but you cannot underestimate the influence or reach of these anti-Israel groups. They will not give up - and we cannot give up either. Stand up for Israel and shop Ahava.

Update: A reader emailed to say that shortly after I left 3 other Israel supporters arrived to stand with the Israeli flag in front of the store. Woo hoo! Please continue to shop Ahava - anti-Israel groups are targeting Ahava at various events September 18-28 and specifically going after Ahava kiosks in the West Midlands on September 26th. Shop Ahava.