The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Campaign against Israel is ... working!

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Here is the email I received:


Toronto, January 13, 2011

Last week, after a regularly-scheduled review of the products it offers, the Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) discontinued sales of AHAVA beauty products, primarily because of sales results which had been declining for several years.

Although this decision was made by HBC solely for commercial reasons, it occurred at the same time as an aggressive campaign by several groups advocating a boycott of AHAVA products. At no point did political considerations enter into the exercise of HBC's business judgment. HBC has made it clear that it has not "bowed to political pressure" in the past, has not done so now and will not do so in the future. HBC neither subscribes to nor endorses politically-motivated boycotts of merchandise from countries with whom Canada has open and established trading relationships, including Israel.

AHAVA products will soon be reformulated and redesigned as a totally changed brand. The new AHAVA products will be ready by mid-spring and is planned to be re-launched at HBC stores across Canada. We encourage consumers across Canada to purchase those products as soon as they are available.

Bonnie Brooks, Chief Adventurer & CEO, Hudson’s Bay Company


al-Qa'bong wrote:

And who the bleep buys hommous?  Make your own!

I frequently do make my own, actually but my fresh stuff doesn't keep so well so if I haven't made it in a while, I'm out of luck and I'm on a strict diet with very few foods I can eat that can be purchased near my office. Besides, Sabra makes this extra spicy one that's hard to resist.


Thanks, Dodger. As you can see, Ms. CEO didn't deny a single claim made by the CJPME.



The point is that this wasn't some "victory" for the movement (if they didn't believe it to be, why issue a press release?).

A company is rebranding and is temporarily gone and will be back on the shelves by spring for those who wish to purchase it.



Why is AHAVA rebranding, I wonder?



CodePink ( has worked on its Stolen Beauty campaign for years.


Ripple wrote:

Why is AHAVA rebranding, I wonder?

Why did Pepsi just do a big rebrand? Why did Tropicana? Why did Gatorade? Why did the Gap?

Companies and products rebrand all the time in order to freshen up their image, reconnect with consumers, appeal to new audiences, etc.

Often, it's because a new marketing executive takes over or because they hire a new advertising agency and want to shake things up.

I'm a graphic designer and work on package, retail and logo designs. If companies didn't undergo rebranding initiatives on a near constant basis, we'd allbe out of work.



Why did Pepsi just do a big rebrand? Why did Tropicana? Why did Gatorade? Why did the Gap?


Low self-esteem?


I thought it was quite shrewd on CJPME's part. They want BDS on the agenda. Once people are talking about it, honest people will ask questions and eventually do the right thing. That's what helped defeat South African apartheid. Then, too, there were a handful of accomplices who held out to the end.


M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Here's an example of the kind of pressure being exerted on the Bay to break the boycott, from [url=]B'nai Brith Canada[/url].

And more from [url=]BUYcott Israel[/url]



HBC Stand Firm Against Israeli Boycott

"The Bay's reaction is a significant defeat for Israel's enemies. Stephen Cummings, chair of the Canadian Council for Israel and Jewish Advocacy (CCIJA) added:

'For Canada's flagship retailer to publicly dismiss the boycott serves as an important benchmark for responsible corporate practice. For those organizations engaged in an obsessive campaign to isolate Israel, it represents a resounding, indeed embarrassing - defeat."

Boycott The Bay - Boycott Israel!

CJPME Boycott Israel Centre


Palestinians Protest Canada's Ties with Jewish National Fund (JNF)

"Palestinians held a vigil outside the Canadian representative offices in Ramallah on Monday, 21 February, protesting Canada's ongoing relationship with the Jewish National Fund (JNF). The protesters urged the Canadian government to break ties with the Israeli land institution which has been a driving force behind the continued expulsion of Palestinians from their land since 1948.

In a memorandum to the Canadian ambassador to Israel, which was received by the representative office in Ramallah, Palestinian families originally from Latrun demanded Canadian officials meet with them and that the country divest from the JNF's preferred tax status. Uri Davis told Ma'an news that a court case in Canada against the JNF will soon follow..."

Paul Hunt Ambassador, Canadian Embassy in Israel

[email protected]

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture
M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Excellent news! I now forgive Seeger for all his political misdemeanours!

And Theodore Bikel!!

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Edinburgh University students vote overwhelmingly for boycott of Israeli goods

A motion to boycott Israel was overwhelmingly passed at the Edinburgh University Students Association (EUSA) General Meeting on Monday 14th March. In what was described as a ‘landslide’, the motion, ‘Boycott Israeli Goods in EUSA shops and supply chains’ received around 270 votes in favour, with only 20 students voting against.

Despite the meeting requiring over 300 students to attend for it to be quorate and for decisions taken to be binding, the huge level of student support for the motion means that EUSA will be under severe student pressure to adopt it as official policy.

Proposed by students from Edinburgh University Students for Justice in Palestine, the motion noted that Israel is an apartheid state and resolved to affiliate EUSA to the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, to boycott Israeli goods in EUSA supply chains and shops, and to mandate the EUSA executive to lobby the University to do the same.

Snert Snert's picture

 the huge level of student support for the motion


Huge? The quorum at EU is 300, or approximately 1% of the student population. Should we pop over to one of the electoral reform threads and ask whether less than one percent of the electorate constitutes "huge" support?


There was a football match on, Snert. Wink


I know it's a bit late, and this will probably not be the straw that breaks the back of Israeli apartheid and aggression, but the 2010 convention of the Prince Edward Island Federation of Labour concurred in the following [url=]resolution[/url] proposed by the Canadian Union of Postal Workers:


Resolution #13

2010 - Palestine

Submitted by Canadian Union of Postal Workers

Because there can be no lasting peace in Israel and Palestine without the
implementation of international law and respect for human rights; and

Because the so-called Israel Security Wall has been determined illegal by the World
Court; and

Because over 150 Palestinian civil society organizations, including the Palestinian
General Federation of Trade Unions have called for a campaign of boycott, divestment
and sanctions; and

Because Israel’s Operation Lead Cast in Gaza destroyed further infrastructure and in
2010 the Harper Government cut off funding to the UN Relief and Works Agency
(UNRWA); therefore

The PEI Federation of Labour will:

1. Demand that the so-called security wall be dismantled;

2. Demand that Israel immediately withdraw from the occupied territories in
accordance with UN resolutions;

3. Demand that the Canadian government increase humanitarian aid to
Palestinians; and

4. Support the international campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions.

Committee Recommendation:

Concurrence X Non-concurrence __

Convention Decision X

An excellent example for other feds to follow!

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

In fact, the motion did not pass quorum. It was ten short or so. I know you must have attended these motions at a University before, Snert.  Getting more than 300 people out to a student union town hall is indeed pretty big support (the quorum for the University of Fraser Valley, for example, is three). Certainly the trend in UK universities of supporting BDS cannot be easily discarded.


I dunno, Catchfire, 300 is more people than decided on behalf of 34 million Canadians to continue the occupation of Afghanistan. And we're pretty sure we know how Canadians would vote if a referendum were held on the matter. I wonder how Snert feels about a handful of rhetoric-spewing self-serving political opportunists making decisions on his behalf, without even asking him? But, as he says, that's more an issue for the electoral reform threads.

I'm just looking at the trend over the years, and decades. Israel is going down. We just need to keep pushing.


Catchfire Catchfire's picture

I don't know the numbers, but UBC just had a general referendum to lower the town hall quorum (I think from 1000 to 500). The measure didn't pass because it failed to meet quorum.


Snert just reminds me of this contarian named Magoo over EnMasse. They could be twins, Unionist.

Re. Getting quorums. They were always difficult when I was involved with the TA union at Carleton. Only large meetings we ever hand what during contract negotiations and a strike looked iminent.

Jacob Two-Two

Caissa wrote:

Snert just reminds me of this contarian named Magoo over EnMasse. They could be twins, Unionist.


I was just thinking the same thing when I read his post. I even used the word contrarian in my head. But I was thinking that it's good to always have someone like that on babble, just to keep everyone's assumptions from getting too complacent.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Shit, I thought that was my job...  [img][/img]


Catchfire wrote:
I don't know the numbers, but UBC just had a general referendum to lower the town hall quorum (I think from 1000 to 500). The measure didn't pass because it failed to meet quorum.


Jacob Two-Two wrote:
... just to keep everyone's assumptions from getting too complacent.

My assumptions aren't too complacent. They're just complacent enough.

M. Spector wrote:
Shit, I thought that was my job... 

There's enough shit here to warrant more than one disturber. Your employment is secure.

Now, what happened to our thread topic??

Le T Le T's picture

In other news, the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario (RNAO) has decided that 2012 is the year that they should "co-host" an international nursing conference in Jerusalem. The conference title, "Caring to Know, Knowing to Care" makes their description of Jerusalem most ironic:

"The special setting of the conference is Jerusalem, which is ranked as one of the ten most beautiful cities in the world; home to the three major religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. It is a city rich in history and culture dating back over two thousand years. This unique city is a most appropriate venue to host this conference. On behalf of the Organizing Committee we are pleased to welcome you to take part in this meeting. We are expecting it to be an exciting professional as well as a social and personal experience."

They obviously don't care to know about the illegal settlements in the city, nor do they know to care about the fact that Palestinian nurses will be unable to attend their conference.




Those Ontario Nurses' commercials on AM640 make a lot of sense now.


This nurses' association are guilty of some pretty scummy behaviour.

If you follow their link, "About Israel", it takes you straight to some [url=]government of Israel tourist site[/url] and invites you to choose one of three links:

- General Interest

- Christian Interest

- Jewish Interest

So much for the nurses' association's hypocritical bullshit about beautiful Jerusalem, home of three religions.

Someone should really advise them to go fuck themselves, in my very humble opinion.



Le T Le T's picture

I sent a nice GFY email to RNAO back in January, three short month later they replied with this:


Thank you for the email that you sent to RNAO back in January about the conference being hosted in Jerusalem June 2012.

I want to assure you that the partnership that RNAO has built with Hadassah University; School of Nursing to facilitate this international conference is in no way a deliberate message to exclude Palestinians from RNAO's professional development opportunities including our conferences. As a background, RNAO builds relationships with many international partners in order to promote the nursing profession, inform nursing evidence based practice globally and to assist nurses in finding their voice in all nations. In 2008 we co-hosted a conference in Beijing China with the Nightingale Organization and this commenced our strategy of co-hosting an international conference (outside of Canada) every 3 - 4years.




Karen Ellis-Scharfenberg RN BScN MBA

Associate Director, RNAO Centre for Professional Nursing Excellence

158 Pearl Street Toronto, Ontario M5H 1L3

416-408-5633 or 1-800-268-7199

[email protected]


Haddassah Univesity is founded by the Women's Zionist Organization of America. Their hospital, with whom RNAO has partnered, is located in the "depopulated" town of Ein Kerem. WZOA also has ties to JNF projects in the West Bank. I would appreciate any more info that people have. Also, does anyone have links to OFL/CUPE or other labour org BDS policies? Most nurses in Ontario are members of Ontario Nurses Association (member of OFL) or CUPE.


Don't be surprised of a Mossad asassination team shows up on babble in the near future.


IDF officers say special department has been created to monitor left-wing groups that the army sees as aiming to delegitimize Israel; department will work closely with government ministries.


Military Intelligence officials said the initiative reflects an upsurge in worldwide efforts to delegitimize Israel and question its right to exist.

"The enemy changes, as does the nature of the struggle, and we have to boost activity in this sphere," an MI official said. "Work on this topic proceeds on the basis of a clear distinction between legitimate criticism of the State of Israel on the one hand, and efforts to harm it and undermine its right to exist on the other."

The new MI unit will monitor Western groups involved in boycotting Israel, divesting from it or imposing sanctions on it. The unit will also collect information about groups that attempt to bring war crime or other charges against high-ranking Israeli officials, and examine possible links between such organizations and terror groups.


France Tries 4 Over Israeli Boycott

"Four French pro-Palestinian activists have stood trial over their call for a boycott of all Israeli products manufactured in the occupied Palestinian territories. The trials are the latest measures taken against those who dare criticize Israel, including members of teh long running Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign against Israel...

The four defendants are facing the charge of inciting anti-Semitism...

'We have some sympathizers and we have to be proud. We have to continue to boycott,' Maha Ahmed, a co-defendant, told Press TV"

boycott French and Israeli goods:

[email protected]

Snert Snert's picture


The four defendants are facing the charge of inciting anti-Semitism...


I'm curious what they might have said in promoting the boycott. Surely it can't be illegal in France to choose how to spend your money.

Le T Le T's picture

Of course, Snert. Because there isn't an active campaign to paint all criticism of Israel as anti-semitism or anything.

Snert Snert's picture

I wouldn't suggest there isn't.  But that doesn't mean people can't actually be anti-Semitic at the same time.  Maybe they used a term like "Israeli Apartheid" and that got conflated into "anti-Semitism".  Or maybe they said something worse. 

This isn't an accusation -- I really am just curious.  Because the third possibility -- that France charges people with hate crimes for simply boycotting products  -- doesn't seem that realistic to me.


You want realism in the realm of politics, especially where Zionism is concerned?  If so, I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you; it used to be owned by a settler in the West Bank.

VanGoghs Ear

Snert wrote:


The four defendants are facing the charge of inciting anti-Semitism...


I'm curious what they might have said in promoting the boycott. Surely it can't be illegal in France to choose how to spend your money.

It seems similar to Canadian human rights cases in that all that's needed is a complaint filed by anyone who feels offended and that's it - there's no need for any other secret unreported real crime - Anti-semitism is being incited if someone says it is, apparently.



In France, BDS or anti-Zionism is now a crime. Here's another, earlier version of this persecution masquerading as prosecution. Make no mistake, they're working hard to criminalize BDS here too:

"On 29th October, representatives of CAPJPO Europalestine, a French BDS group, are to appear in a French court in Paris, to answer charges that publishing the above video of a BDS action that took place in July 2009 at a Carrefour Supermarket in Avey, constituted an

'offence of incitement to discrimination, hatred or violence against a group of people on account of their belonging to the Israeli nation."

The plaintiff, the 'National Bureau of Vigilance Against Anti-Semitism (because naturally, according to anti-semites and fake 'vigilantes against antisemitism' alike, to speak against Israel is to attack Jews for being Jewish), is looking for opportunities to promote repression of Palestine solidarity activism, and the French state is happy to oblige.

Please take action to protest this type of attempt."


Freedom 55

Today, setting a worldwide precedent in the academic boycott of Israel, the University of Johannesburg (UJ) has effectively severed ties with Israel’s Ben-Gurion University (BGU). 

This was after UJ’s Senate rejected a last ditch motion by pro-Israeli lobbyists to have two separate bilateral agreements - one with a Palestinian University and another with an Israeli University. UJ chose instead to uphold its previous Senate Resolution that required taking leadership from Palestinian universities. Palestinian universities unanimously rejected any collaboration with BGU (in any form) and have come out in full support of the the academic boycott of Israel. UJ chose to respect this.

UJ is the first institution to officially sever relations with an Israeli university - a landmark moment in the growing Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) of Israel campaign. Throughout the campaign, academics and international human rights activists have been anticipating this decision. This boycott decision, coming from a South African institution, is of particular significance. This has set a precedent and must start a domino boycott effect!


Military Intelligence Monitoring Foreign Left-Wing Organizations

"Military Intelligence is collecting information about left wing organizations abroad that the army sees as aiming to delegitimize Israel, according to senior Israeli officials and IDF officers. The new MI unit will monitor Western groups involved in boycotting Israel, divesting from it or imposing sanctions on it. The unit will also collect information about groups that attempt to bring war crimes or other charges against high-ranking Israeli officials.."

And because Canada has a comprehensive Security Agreement with Israel, Canadian authorities will assist them to do it. This is a major announcement that should be sending alarm bells across the networks of BDS and anti-zionist activists. The only consolation is that 'Military Intelligence' is most definitely an oxymoron and with zionists especially the latter..

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Thank-you, Freedom 55, for momentarily returning this thread to the topic of the successes of the International BDS campaign.

Others should note that we already have [url= threads[/url] devoted to discussion and news about the efforts of the Zionists to demonize criticism of Israel.  


Since it targets BDS'ers I put it here but the linked thread is better thanks, I'll put it there.


Boycotting Israel...From Within

Leehee Rothschild, 26, is one of the scores of Israelis who have answered the 2005 Palestinian call for BDS. Recently her Tel Aviv apartment was raided. While the police did this under the pretense of searching for drugs, she was taken to the station for a brief interrogation that focused entirely on politics.

"The person who came to release me [from interrogation] was an intelligence officer who said that he is in charge of monitoring political activity in the Tel Aviv area," Rothschild says. It was this officer who had requested the search warrant.

Since Operation Cast Lead, Israeli activists have reported increasing pressure from the police as well as General Security Services - known by their Hebrew acronym, Shabak.

The latter's mandate includes, among other things, the goal of maintaining Israel as a Jewish state, making those who advocate for democracy a target.

House raids, such as the one Rothschild was subjected to, are not uncommon, nor are phone calls from the Shabak.

"Obviously [the pressure] is nothing compared to what Palestinians are going through," Rothschild says. "But I think we're touching a nerve."

When asked about the proposed Boycott Law, Rothschild comments: "If the bill goes through, it will peel off, a little more, Israel's mask of democracy."

Maysie Maysie's picture

BDS Flash mob in New York City's Grand Central Station on March 26th, Palestinian Land Day and the Global BDS Day of Action.


N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

clap clap. Isn't solidarity grand?


BDS: Breaking New Barriers   -  by Eric Walberg

"The upcoming flotilla to break the Gaza siege is gathering steam from a flood of innovative BDS activities around the world..."


Largest Student Union in Europe Joins Boycott of Israel

"..The University of London Union has voted 10-1 to institute and campaign for BDS in support of Palestine. ULU is the largest students' union in Europe with over 120,000 members..'

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

South African students endorse nationwide boycott against Israel

Submitted by nora on Fri, 08/05/2011 - 18:19

Representatives of South Africa’s oldest and largest student bodies in Johannesburg hosted a press conference on Thursday in which they denounced the upcoming visit by a delegation of Israeli officials and propagandists to South African college campuses.

In the past five years, Israeli public relations professionals and governmental officials have traveled across the world in order to promote a “positive image” of Israel through its multi-million-dollar “Brand Israel” hasbara (propaganda) campaign, and this upcoming visit includes some 150 Israelis meted out to 5 colleges in order to “create some doubt in their [South African students’] minds” — most likely because of recent actions in support of the Palestinian-led boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) call.....


Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Borrowed from a friend on Facebook:  Uncovered: Israel’s role in planned US lawsuit to fight BDS

excerpt (of a much longer article):

A group of pro-Israel activists, backed by StandWithUs, a national US pro-Israel US organization, is planning to take legal action to force the Olympia Food Co-op to rescind its historic decision to boycott Israeli products.

The Electronic Intifada has obtained a copy of a 31 May 2011 letter sent to the Board of Directors of the Olympia Food Co-op in Olympia, Washington, threatening "expensive" legal action if the pro-Israel activists' "demands" to end the boycott of Israeli products are not met.

Other documents, supported by interviews, confirm that the Israeli government has taken part in discussions about, and been given advance knowledge of, the planned lawsuit and another planned action against Evergreen State College in Olympia in response to Palestine solidarity activism by students.

Evergreen State is noted for being the school attended by Rachel Corrie, who was killed by an Israeli occupation soldier operating a bulldozer in the Gaza Strip in March 2003.

These developments indicate new, even more aggressive tactics by pro-Israel organizations to suppress, deter and malign any form of Palestine-related dissent, protest or solidarity action.

Ken Burch

Maysie wrote:

BDS Flash mob in New York City's Grand Central Station on March 26th, Palestinian Land Day and the Global BDS Day of Action.


  Unfortunately, the clip in that link was removed due to "a copyright claim".

Hopefully, another link to that clip can be found.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

The copyright claim was made by agents of the rock band Journey, whose music was heard in the video.

Perhaps it's time to add Journey to the [url= of performers to be boycotted[/url].

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

[url= in Israel as BNP Paribas pressured to pull out[/url]

The powers that be are furious at BNP Paribas [one of the top 3 banks in France] for shuttering its operations in Israel, and suspect it is acting due to Arab and anti-Israeli pressure in France, the bank's home base.

Bank of Israel Governor Stanley Fischer, Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz, Banks Supervisor David Zaken and their top officials believe the bank's board of directors caved to pressure groups, contrary to its claims.

This is the first case in years of a foreign bank leaving Israel.


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