Monday, August 15, 2011

Scotch Whisky Counter-Boycott on IDF Radio

Imagine my surprise when a friend called me up this morning to say that IDF Radio, Galei Tzahal would be discussing the Scotch Whisky Counter-Boycott on the popular "Razi Barkai" radio show today. How strange, that none of the show's investigators even bothered to email me for comment (considering the Muqata Blog initiated the counter boycott!), as opposed to all the other serious news outlets that did contact me (ranging from the Jerusalem Post to Scottish TV).

Barkai interviewed Rabbi Andy Sacks from Israel's Masorti movement, and Sacks blew his opportunity to bring redemption to the world. It is written in Pirkei Avot, the "Ethics of Our Fathers" that whoever quotes in the name of its originator, they bring redemption to the world.

Unfortunately, Rabbi Sacks didn't mention who started the counter-boycott, or mention the Muqata Blog which started it all.

A brief listing of articles about the counter-boycott:

Initial Boycott Posting
http://muqata.blogspot.com/p/official-scotch-whisky-counter-boycott.html

Followup:
http://muqata.blogspot.com/2011/06/whisky-counter-boycott-update-1.html

Official Condemnation by the Scottish Government of Boycotts of Israel:
http://muqata.blogspot.com/2011/06/whisky-counter-boycott-scores.html

Jerusalem Post: Kiddush clubs declare boycott on Scottish whiskey
http://www.jpost.com/JewishWorld/JewishNews/Article.aspx?id=224596

Jewish Chronicle (England): Scottish whisky hit by boycott threat
http://www.thejc.com/news/uk-news/50320/scottish-whisky-hit-boycott-threat

Commentary Magazine: Fed Up With Scotch Boycotts of Israel? Boycott Their Whiskey.
http://www.commentarymagazine.com/2011/06/12/fed-up-with-scotch-boycotts-of-israel-boycott-their-whiskey/

5 Towns Jewish Times: Scotch, Israel and the Men's Club Ban
http://www.5tjt.com/featured-news/10724-scotch-israel-and-the-mens-club-ban

JTA: Whiskey boycott urged in reponse to Scottish council’s anti-Israel effort
http://www.jta.org/news/article/2011/06/13/3088122/whiskey-boycott-urged-to-avenge-scottish-councils-anti-israel-effort

The Five Towns: Conservative Kiddush Clubs Declare Boycott on Scottish Whiskey
http://www.thefivetowns.info/news-latest/18087-conservative-kiddush-clubs-declare-boycott-on-scottish-whiskey.html

Dumbarton Report: (Scotland) Boycott on whisky
http://www.dumbartonreporter.co.uk/news/dumbarton/articles/2011/06/14/414309--boycott-on-whisky/

Australian Jewish News: Council Be Damned
http://www.jewishnews.net.au/council-be-drammed/21462

After his interview, the importer for Chivas Brothers in Israel had rebuttal time, and fell into the trap perfectly. All he could say is that Chivas is a blend of whisky which comes from all over Scotland...so he was trying to get Chivas "off" the counter-boycott list through a technicality...even though in reality, its bottled in West Dunbartonshire, where the the evil regional council is boycotting our true blue and white, Israeli products.

Despite my quibble with Rabbi Sacks' failure to note the Muqata Blog during his interview, I will say this unequivocally:

Kudos to Rabbi Sacks. I'm embarrassed that leadership from the Orthodox stream doesn't have the guts to come out and make a pro-Israel statement on a counter-whisky boycott, such as that of Rabbi Sacks.

When reported in the 5 Towns Jewish Times, the reactions from the Orthodox leadership were uber-pareve at best, to say the least.
How is the local Jewish community reacting to the counter-boycott?

“Anything that is done in the interest of Israel should always be checked with the government of Israel, said Rabbi Hershel Billet, rabbi of the Young Israel of Woodmere. “If they do not agree with it, then it is pointless. It should not be a unilateral decision made by individuals alone.”

Rabbi Kenneth Hain of Beth Sholom said, “This has been rather precipitous and has gone viral; we should be very careful before we start boycotting. We should not be flippant about it. People who are engaged in the serious advocacy for Israel should be consulted.”

“Unless the religious Jewish organizations come out for this boycott, I will not join,” remarked a retired public school teacher who davens locally. “I take my cue from them. If we were to boycott every single country that has harmed the Jews we would be sitting in a hovel dressed in rags.” (5 Towns Jewish Times)
Thankfully, dozens and dozens of Orthodox lay-people have contacted me that they are proudly counter-boycotting the whiskys from the list, even though their leadership remains timidly quiet.

The BDS movement is out to destroy Israel through boycotts of Israel, divestment from Israeli companies, sanctions against Israel, and bans on Israeli Universities.

And yet, the voice of Orthodox leadership is too timid to loudly claim, enough!

And not even to boycott Scotch Whisky from West Dunbartonshire?!

Shame on you!



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3 comments:

Rafi (S) said...

It made an item on the GLZ news at 11am as well!

Anonymous said...

Remember, Bushmills is Irish. Good enough everyday antisemites, but they're not boyconning Israel, so "Slainte"!

5Town geek said...

I was rather shocked by the views in the 5TJT and similar from locals0 on this matter. Most people here don't really care about the theory of supporting Israel - as long as they get their gashmius. They will continue to be pro-Israel and give money to Israel, (and visit for vacation once in a while), while happily knowing that they are now exempt from actually changing their lifestyle.

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