SodaStream and the Absurdity of BDS

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam. He is completing a book on the international challenges America faces in the 21st century.


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Contrary to most people’s expectations, the BDS boycotts of Israel rarely target heavily pro-Israel companies or individuals. The academic boycotts are most prevalent in non-scientific areas of academia where the Israeli scholars they are targeting lean to the left.

Imagine French academics boycotting US History professors over the Iraq War and you get a taste of how ridiculous the whole thing is. And not just because the godfather of BDS is a foreigner who studies in an Israeli university that he wants everyone else to boycott.

And then there’s SodaStream. The rationale for targeting SodaStream is that it’s popular. Contrary the media coverage of the BDS rhetoric which might make you think that SodaStream is some hard core settler enterprise, it’s a successful mainstream company with close ties to the wealthy left-wing establishment, which happens to have a factory in an area that is undeniably going to remain a part of Israel.

Its CEO is liberal, his rationale for keeping the factory going is helping Muslim workers, he claims, and it likely is true, that everyone in the company opposes the “occupation”.

Again, picture Europeans trying to get back at the Tea Party by boycotting a Warren Buffett owned company.

If SodaStream gives in to pressure and closes its plant, the sole outcome will be that a whole bunch of Muslim workers will lose their jobs and the company will go on operating.

Having companies like SodaStream operating was supposed to be the whole premise of the bridge to peace and a lot of money was put into making that work.

But BDS isn’t interested in bridges to peace. Its whole goal is to destroy normalization, which means any vestige of fellowship or cooperation between Israeli Jews and Arab Muslims. The people most likely to be present at that intersection are on the left, not the right.

Again, imagine a campaign whose sole purpose is to force black people and white people to stop interacting. That’s BDS and its targets inevitably end up being left of center.

Finally there’s SodaStream’s spokeswoman Scarlett Johansson, another Hollywood actress of liberal tendencies who became the accidental hero of the pro-Israel crowd by refusing to pull out of an endorsement deal for a company whose whole pitch is environmentalism.

And so the BDS movement will now spend its time accusing her of being a Nazi, as Reza Aslan did, or hating Muslims, because she did an ad for a company that refuses to close a plant that employs Muslims.

None of this has anything to do with peace, fairness or justice. Or even sanity. It’s hate dressed up in ideology. And that’s BDS.

  • Judahlevi

    Liberal Jews will have to decide to either support Israel or keep their leftist ideology. Rationality does not convince the left.

    When you make your decisions only with your emotions, you don’t need to be rational. This is the left.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NYRtmMxB5yw CrossWinds

    The most rational country in all the middle east, is Israel…….

    • truebearing

      No offence to Israel, but that isn’t much of a compliment. There isn’t a sane country, other than Israel, in the entire region. Islam is the antithesis to rationality.

  • Softly Bob

    Liberals of all persuasions are accelerating towards their own doom with their nonsensical behavior. The Liberal Jews will eventually suffer the most.
    As for BDS, it doesn’t even make any sense, at least not to anybody with a rational mind; regardless of their political persuasion.
    Everything that the Left touch is like Midas in reverse. They are conceited fools and history is going to reveal that at some point.

  • cheechakos

    Follow the money?

    Oxfam leads the BDS movement against SodaStream.

    One of SodaStream’s most prominent competitors—the Coca Cola company—has donated more than $2.5 million to Oxfam over the past several years, leading some to wonder if Coke is supporting Oxfam as a means to defeat the competition.

    “In 2011, Coca Cola contributed $400,000 to a research project ‘analyzing the poverty footprint of beverage giant Coca Cola and multinational bottling company SABMiller in Zambia and El Salvador’ and, in addition, $2.5 million in 2008-2010 for humanitarian work,” the website Israellycool.com reported on Friday.