Sep 19th
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Звезда не активнаЗвезда не активнаЗвезда не активнаЗвезда не активнаЗвезда не активна  

The Israeli cosmetics firm Ahava (Hebrew for "love") is the latest target of the anti-Israel BDS --"boycott, divestment, sanctions"-- movement. This is the same group that attempted not only a boycott, but also encouraged and carried out vandalism against the Trader Joe's chain for carrying Israeli products. Of course, that effort has simply resulted in a national mobilization of Israel supporters to buy large amounts of Dorot frozen herbs , Gates of Eden feta cheese, and Osem couscous. The success of that counter-effort has led to doubts being privately expressed (at least they thought it was privately) in anti-Israel circles about a strategy that results in increased sales of Israeli products. Nonetheless, the movement has decided to follow the same strategy. So, of course, it's up to us to make sure that it has the same result. 

This time, the boycotters are ostensibly targeting Ahava because it has a production facility in the West Bank settlement of Mitzpe Shalem (located in a desert area by the Dead Sea with no nearby Arab villages). But forget about the pretense that this is even about the West Bank, or about settlements, or about peace between a Palestinian Arab state and a Jewish state of Israel. Code Pink, which appears to be the lead group in this particular effort, announces proudly on the website for this campaign that they have signed on to the official "Palestinian Unified Call for Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions." That document states that one of its demands upon Israel is "Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN Resolution 194."  

Let's briefly review a few points that should be common knowledge for anyone who wants to engage in coherent conversation about "Palestinian refugees": 

1. Resolution 194 is a resolution of the General Assembly of the UN and is, as such, a statement of opinion that is advisory and not binding on member states.  

2. Nowhere in the text of the resolution is there any reference to "rights"; rather, there is the suggestion that refugees be "permitted" to return--if they wished to live in peace with their neighbors.  

3. All of the Arab member states of the UN voted against Resolution 194 at the time it was adopted, because they refused to accept the concept of living in peace with Israel. 

4. Resolution 194 makes no ethnic specification for refugees; the 900,000 Jewish refugees who fled or were expelled from Arab lands in the wake of the creation of Israel were clearly included within the scope of the resolution. This suggests that the Jewish refugees have as valid a claim to compensation for their losses as to the Arab refugees, and that the situation of both refugee populations need to be considered simultaneously. 

5. In no other conflict in the world are 2nd, 3rd, or 4th generation descendants of refugees considered to have acquired the "rights" of the actual refugees themselves-- not in India/Pakistan, with a 20 million exchange of population in the late 1940's; not in any of the multiple ethnic conflicts in Africa and Asia. Only the descendants of Palestinian refugees are somehow entitled to remain on the international dole and prevented, by their fellow Arabs, from leaving the camps to integrate into the lives of the countries in which they now live (Jordan being the sole exception to this). 

The reference to, and deliberate misuse of, Resolution 194 reveals the true intent of the BDS movement. To paraphrase James Carville in Bill Clinton's 1992 campaign, "It's the Jewish state, stupid." The promoters of the BDS movement follow in the footsteps of those who launched a war against the Jewish community of Palestine in the wake of the UN's adoption of the 1947 partition plan. They will fail, as their predecessors did; and in the process of failing they will continue to put off any possibility of Palestinian national self-determination. But of course a Palestinian state living in peace next to a Jewish state was never really the goal, was it? 

In the US, Ahava products can be purchased online here. Every bottle helps undermine the BDS movement. 

Original content is Copyright by the author 2009. Posted at

Russian version
An introduction to MAOF
Haim Goldman

Dear Friends,

Would you believe that the undersigned has anything in common with

-- Professor Victor Davis Hanson (Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University),
-- Dr Charles Krauthammer, (Washington Post, Time, The Weekly Standard),
-- Caroline Glick (Deputy Managing Editor of the Jerusalem Post),
-- Jonathan Tobin (Executive Editor of the Philadelphia Jewish Exponent).

Amazingly, the editors of the MAOF website decided that the missives of the undersigned are worthy of translation and posting along the articles written by these distinguished authors.

The first letter was published without the consent of the undersigned.
However, after thorough examination of the laudable attitude of MAOF and of the excellent contents of the website, the undersigned had most graciously granted his permission for publication of his missives in both English and Russian.

“Analytical Group MAOF” [1] is an organisation founded about ten years ago by Russian-speaking Jewish intellectuals. The attitude of MAOF is definitely pro-Zionist -- unambiguously and unapologetically.

One of MAOF’s primary purposes is providing information and analysis about Middle-Eastern and world affairs as well as about Israel’s history, values and dilemmas. In addition to extensive publication activity in various media, MAOF also organises excursions and seminars. While the vast majority of the contents of the MAOF website is in Russian, texts originally written in English are provided in the original [2] as well as in Russian.

There are arguably about 250 millions of Russian-speakers worldwide and many of them do not read English. The indisputable motivation for the author’s permission was to grant those millions of disadvantaged people the grand benefit of reading the author’s ruminations. If the author is ever maliciously accused that his tacit motivation for authorising the publication was his craving to be listed along with the above-mentioned distinguished writers, his plea will definitely be “nolo contendere”.

The editors of MAOF expressed their gratitude by granting the undersigned a privilege that no other author got – the opportunity to review and correct the Russian translation before publication. The original letters of the undersigned are at [3] and their Russian version is at [4]. At of today, only two letters are posted but several other letters are pending translation.

You are kindly ENCOURAGED TO RECOMMEND the MAOF website to your friends and colleagues worldwide, particularly those who speak Russian. Those who do not enjoy the benefit of proficiency in the exquisite Russian language can find many thought-provoking and inspiring articles about Middle-Eastern and world affairs in the English section [2].


Haim Goldman


[2] section.php3? sid=37&num=25
[3] authorg.php3? id=2107&type=a
[4] authorg.php3? id=2166&type=a