TV pic­tures failed to sway opin­ion

The Jewish Chronicle - - News -

Kell­ner added: “Even among those who think that Is­rael has acted too harshly, just 24 per cent think sanc­tions would work. Sixty-two per cent think ei­ther that sanc­tions would make no dif­fer­ence or that Is­rael would har­den its line [in the event of their be­ing ap­plied].”

De­spite the YouGov find­ings, talk of boy­cotts has con­tin­ued to ap­pear in a va­ri­ety of dif­fer­ent places.

Food writer and au­thor Joanna Blyth­man, writ­ing on the Guardian’s “Com­ment Is Free” web­site on Fri­day, called for a to­tal boy­cott of Is­raeli pro­duce. She wrote: “By re­fus­ing to buy Is­raeli pro­duce, eth­i­cally-minded con­sumers can be part of the wider Boy­cott Is­raeli Goods cam­paign (BIG) and add to the in­ter­na­tional con­dem­na­tion of Is­rael’s tac­tics in Pales­tine.”

Re­ply­ing on Wed­nes­day on the same web­site, Seth Freed­man wrote: “Is she re­ally pre­pared to forgo not just the av­o­ca­dos and or­anges about which she writes, but also ev­ery sin­gle med­i­cal and tech­no­log­i­cal de­vice that is man­u­fac­tured in Is­rael and can be found in houses, hos­pi­tals and com­mu­ni­ties the length and breadth of the world?

“And is she re­ally ad­vo­cat­ing a to­tal boy­cott of all Is­raelis, re­gard­less of what they do to earn their keep … what about the Is­raeli search-and-res­cue teams who are sent around the globe to as­sist in dis­as­ter zones where the lo­cal gov­ern­ments lack the re­sources or skills to help them­selves?”

Last week, with the ex­cep­tion of one ab­sten­tion, Ox­ford City Coun­cil voted in favour of a mo­tion con­demn­ing Is­rael’s “dis­pro­por­tion­ate” re­sponse in Gaza and call­ing for a boy­cott of Is­raeli prod­ucts and com­pa­nies.

The mo­tion, pro­posed by the Green Party’s Craig Sim­mons, did not re­fer to Ha­mas. Labour coun­cil­lor John Tan­ner, who sec­onded the mo­tion, said the coun­cil oc­ca­sion­ally de­bated in­ter­na­tional is­sues. The last time was the Iraq war, when it voted against Bri­tain’s par­tic­i­pa­tion.

Asked why Ha­mas was not men­tioned, he replied: “Of course the [Ha- mas] rock­ets are a prob­lem but not on the scale of de­struc­tion in Gaza, which was dis­pro­por­tion­ate. Dur­ing the de­bate, I re­called the IRA bomb­ing of civil­ians in Birm­ing­ham. We didn’t send in the RAF, we dealt suc­cess­fully with the IRA vi­o­lence.”

In Ire­land, the Pales­tine Sol­i­dar­ity Cam­paign is try­ing to raise money for a full page ad­ver­tise­ment in the Ir­ish Times which will call on the Ir­ish gov­ern­ment to cease buy­ing Is­raeli arms and for a boy­cott on Is­raeli goods and pro­duce. The Ger­man-owned Lidl su­per­mar­ket chain has put a no­tice on its web­site stat­ing that it has not made any do­na­tions to Is­rael.

Lidl PR man­ager Marco Ivone said the no­tice had been posted in re­sponse to al­le­ga­tions on in­ter­na­tional web­sites dur­ing the Gaza in­cur­sion claim­ing that both Lidl and Aldi, an­other Ger­man su­per­mar­ket chain, gave money to Is­rael. “We have no idea why or where th­ese claims came from but they are sim­ply not true,” said Mr Ivone.

The num­ber of re­ported an­ti­semitic in­ci­dents in Bri­tain has risen to more than 250, the Com­mu­nity Se­cu­rity Trust said this week.

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