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May 01, 2009


willliam nisker

i disagree strongly with the view of victor woods and others who seek to unilaterally blame one side for the suffering experienced by both sides of the Israel -Palestinian conflict. The Palestinian lead boycott is part of a larger plan to legitimize the type of knee jerk anti-Israel bashing that regularly takes place in Europe and the Middle East and the United Nations. It is not meant to promote understanding and rapprochement, rather to isolate Israel politically, the first phase of a plan to eventually defeat Israel militarily . The boycott is part of a well planned deliberate strategy. I fail to see how this will help Palestinians or Israelis.

Kieran Nair

"The Jewish nation of Israel stands accused in the dock of international justice. The charges include being a criminal state, the prime violator of human rights, the mirror-image of Nazism, and the most intransigent barrier to peace in the Middle East. Throughout the world - from the chambers of the UN, to the campuses of universities - Israel is singled out for condemnation, divestment, boycott, and demonization. Its leaders are threatened with prosecution as war criminals. Its supporters are charged with dual loyalty and parochialism."

Israel is not innocent. Israel is guilty of persistent illegal settlement of the West Bank and Gaza. Israel has launched rockets into Gaza during the 2006 war that killed innocent civilians. Israel invaded Lebanon in July 2006 and bombed Beirut neighbourhoods resulting in many innocent civilian deaths. However Israel is not unique among the nations or peoples of the world.

Palestinians are not innocent. Hezbollah is not innocent. Hamas is definitely not innocent.

The PLO has exploited the plight of their own people for 50 years for financial benefit. They collected billions of dollars annualy in aid and invested, not in social services or health care or infrastructure, but in weapons and 'martyrdom' training camps. They invested their billions in Swiss banks and live lavish lifestyles while their people starve. The PLO, Arafat in particular, botched Palestinians only hope of nationhood by rejecting the Camp David deal in 2000 that would have given Palestinians a homeland - 98% of the West Bank and Gaza! Arafat then unleashed the most bloody campaign of violence of suicide attacks that targeted Israeli civilians. He was willing to sacrifice naive Palestinians youths to further his cause by encouraging palestinians as young as 14 to strap on a suicide vest and blow themselves up.

Hamas is not innocent. Did the plight of Palestinians improve with their election? Instead of using the billions of dollars of aid they receive annually to benefit their people, they invested in weaponary and turned Gaza into a war zone. They unleashed a series of katusha rocket bombings into neighbouring Israeli villages and then hid behind Palestinian civilians when the Israeli government decided to retaliate. This way Hamas can exploit the situation by saying that Israel deliberately targeted innocent civilians without provocation.

Hezbollah is not innocent. Hezbollah assinated the Prime Minister of Lebanon. They routinely target Lebanese Christians and have unleashed a genocide on this population for the last 20 years. They claim their only reason for existence is the Israeli occupation of Lebanon, however Israeli has not 'occupied' southern Lebanon since 2000 when they unilaterally withdrew. Hezbollah kidnapped Israeli soldiers as a provocation which ignited Israeli retaliation in July 2006. Hezbollah propagandists then claimed that Israel had attacked unprovoked and had committed atrocities against the Lebanese civilian population in their bombing campaign. As usual, Hezbollah would not allow civilians to leave neighbourhoods in Beirut that were being bombed by Israel, even when Israel sent showers of flyers from airplanes warning of bombings the next day and telling people to evacuate the area. The more bloodshed, the more beneficial it is to Hezbollah.

Israel is accused of unilaterally blocking all attempts at peace. In actuality, Israel was willing to give Palestinians 98% of the West Bank and Gaza in 2000 which the Palestinians DECLINED. Israel again demonstrated its willingness to achieve peace by FORCIBLY removing it's own citizens from Gaza during the withdrawal. Yet in response to each of Israel's concessions, Hamas and Hezbollah simply increase rocket attacks and violence against Israel. What would any other nation do? Sit idly by while their citizens are being attacked? Would Canada, the US or any European nation sit by and let rockets rain down on its coutryside?

How can Israel achieve peace with such an unwilling partner? A partner that exploits their own people and uses propaganda to demonize and invalidate Israel's actions.

Most important, those who single out Israel for unique criticism not directed against countries with far worse human rights records - IRAN, SYRIA, LIBYA, JORDON, SAUDIA ARABIA, SUDAN - are themselves guilty of international bigotry. When a Jewish nation is the only one critized for faults that are far worse among other nations, such criticism crosses the line from fair to foul, from acceptable to anti-Semitic.

Kimberly Mander

Israel's disregard for international laws, UN resolutions and human rights abuses is wrong and there is no diluting it. The military occupation of the Palestinian Territories is internationally condemned. It is disheartening a Canadian company with a moral view chooses to continue to do business with Israel. If an outside country invaded and militarily occupied Canada would you want the world to look the other way?


Here we go again. Last year we wrote letters because there was a boycott Israel campaign and now because there is a new board of directors, we have to repeat the same facts we put forward last year.

It is the intention of Hamas, which means violence by the way; it is the intention of the Violence Party in Gaza to destroy the State of Israel rather than set up a democracy for their own people. They have only to look next door to Israel to see how Arabs can fit into a democratic society and have the rights they deny their own people.

Hating Israel is the new anti-Semitism. People can't use the poisoning of wells or the blood libel anymore (Little St. Hugh of Lincoln - 1255 - which shows how long a lie can be perpetrated) so they lambast Israel, pretending it isn't about the Jews.

Mountain Equipment Co-op finds appropriate goods for sale from around the world. This world includes Israel. If the Palestinians produced goods that were appropriate for sale, I'm sure Mountain Co-op would buy from them too.

The only thing the Palestinians haven't tried is Peace. Stop bombing Israel and sending suicide bombers and watch how speedily they gain a country. And face reality. Jews can prove a link to the land that dates back to biblical times. I can't say the same for the Palestinians.

Reg Saretsky

Is it Group tour time?
Given that Israel is quiet, & air rates are still recession low, should MEC arrange a tour to Palestine for members to see the factories first hand? We could hike the Golan...
Early fall is a very good time. I would pay to be part of the tour if time & finances allow.
Regarding the Palestine border fences,
Historically, passive frontier border walls are good things. The Great Wall of China, Hadrian’s Wall, the Roman Limes, etc illustrated periods when a dominant power wanted to stabilize a frontier. Border walls create centers’ of trade & wall upkeep, while they keep armies busy with strictly defensive weapons (rather than periodically sacking their neighbors.)
In desert areas they also become, in time, great anti erosion traps & sources of rubble concrete for peaceful construction. Even the Siegfried line, useless in war, has been a great natural biozone in peace.
In this case, the desert wall is the best of a series of options, none of them perfect. Good fences, in time, make good neighbors. You need to separate Israel from its neighbors, until the old scars heal.

Peter Onyschuk

In my opinion MEC should not do business with any country whose government has caused human suffering. However to focus on Israel seems strange considering the small volume of products we carry with a made in israel label. Look at the amount of suffering China's government has inflicted on a much larger scale, and then look at the large amount of product MEC carries that is made in China.
I hope that anyone who feels passionate about sourcing and MEC carrying Israeli products realizes the larger ethical problem that is China.

Mike Tulley

From Source Vagabond System's website:
" ... we now work with two subcontractors in the west bank."
Does this mean that MEC brand products are manufactured in the occupied West Bank?
Would MEC carry products manufactured in occupied Tibet?

from Der Spiegel International:
EU Court Allows Duties on Products from the Settlements
25 February 2010
"Europe's highest court ruled on Thursday that Israeli products manufactured in settlements in occupied Palestinian territories are not exempt from paying EU customs duties. Though nominally a finding on a trade-related matter, the decision has much wider political implications."


Rather than boycotting products from a specific country, I'd rather boycott all products that have military ties no matter what country.

Here's to coexistence.

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