Israel, Zionism and the Media

Tag: boycott (Page 2 of 2)

Clerical error

images73The Arab and Muslim world is awash with anti-Semitism. Some times it is blatant, sometimes it is in the guise of anti-Zionism. Sometimes it’s just plain ludicrous.

A video on the MEMRI website has been posted which shows an Egyptian cleric railing against Starbucks. This time the canard that Starbucks gave money to Israel and/or the Israeli Army is avoided. Instead Safwat Higazi concentrates on the Jewish symbolism of the Starbucks logo. Yes, you read correctly. Now read on.

Apparently the logo depicts Queen Esther.

This queen is the queen of the Jews. She is mentioned in the Torah, in the Book of Esther. The girl you see is Esther, the queen of the Jews in Persia.

the MEMRI video translates. He goes on to urge good Muslims to boycott the Starbucks stores in the Middle-East.  After a complete misrepresentation of the Purim story, which he has clearly never read, thence to the peroration:

We Want Starbucks To Be Shut Down Throughout The Arab And Islamic World… Can you believe that in Mecca, Al-Madina, Cairo, Damascus, Kuwait, and all over the Islamic world there hangs the picture of beautiful Queen Esther, with a crown on her head, and we buy her products?

What do you notice about this story? Israel is not mentioned at all. It’s a rant against Jews. Why should this man be stirring up trouble without grounds (all puns intended, by the way)?

For some time rumours have been spread that Starbucks gave money to Israel and the IDF.  This is denied on the Starbucks website:

Is it true that Starbucks provides financial support to Israel?

No. This is absolutely untrue. Rumors that Starbucks Coffee Company provides financial support to the Israeli government and/or the Israeli Army are unequivocally false. Starbucks is a publicly held company and as such, is required to disclose any corporate giving each year through a proxy statement. In addition, articles in the London Telegraph (U.K.), New Straits Times (Malaysia), and Spiked (online) provide an outside perspective on these false rumors.

 Has Starbucks ever sent any of its profits to the Israeli government and/or Israeli army?

No. This is absolutely untrue.

 Is it true that Starbucks is teaming with other American corporations to send their last several weeks of profits to the Israeli government and/or the Israeli Army?

No. This is absolutely untrue.

Clearly Mr Higazi has heard these rumours and presumably he has also heard the ones about the Jews being responsible for 9/11, World Wars I and II, global warming and the tooth fairy.

Anti-Semites will find whatever fuel they can to stoke their own prejudices. Please observe that this is a rant against Jews, so any pretence of anti-Zionism can go straight out of the window.

Anti-Semitism is rife in Egypt. Almost a national obsession. On the streets of Cairo you can easily find a copy of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion which is a best seller. Blood libels against the Jews abound. And all this is a nation that is Israel’s ‘peace partner’. Who knows to what extent this trash is believed in Egypt where there is a current battle between Islamists and the existing regime and political status quo. Mubarak’s government isn’t exactly a Western democracy but at least it provides some sort of stability and resistance to Jihadis.

But what about poor Queen Esther?  Well, the current logo has moved on since the early days when the nature of the Queen Esther figure was a little more obvious. Wikipedia tells us:

Valerie O’Neil, a Starbucks spokeswoman, said that the logo is an image of a “twin-tailed siren” (the siren of Greek mythology).[25] The logo has been significantly streamlined over the years. In the first version, which gave the impression of an authentic 15th century European woodcut, the Starbucks siren was topless and had a fully visible double fish tail. The image also had a rough visual texture. In the second version, which was used from 1987-92, her breasts were covered by her flowing hair, but her navel was still visible, and the fish tail was cropped slightly. In the current version, used since 1992, her navel and breasts are not visible at all, and only vestiges remain of the fish tails.

Higazi is representative of a large group of Muslim clerics for whom the Jews are simply evil. Just consider: so what even if the logo DID represent Queen Esther, is that such a crime? No, the true crime is that because some of the founders and management of Starbucks are Jews that makes the company persona non grata in the Muslim world. But here’s the killer punch: the Starbucks website also tells us:

Do you work with a Middle East partner to operate Starbucks stores?

Through a licensing agreement with trading partner and licensee MH Alshaya WLL, a private Kuwait family business, Starbucks has operated in the Middle East since 1999. Today Alshaya Group, recognized as one of the leading and most influential retailing franchisees in the region, operates more than 274 Starbucks stores in the Middle East and Levant region. ….

We partner with Alshaya Group to operate Starbucks stores in Egypt, Kuwait, KSA, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, UAE, Jordan and Lebanon in the Middle East region….

We are also committed to hiring locally, providing jobs to thousands of local citizens in the countries where we operate.

In other words, the operation in the Middle East is merely a franchise operated by a Kuwaiti company and provides employment for thousands of people. But Mr Higazi isn’t interested in that, he is only interested in his narrow-minded Jew-hatred.

[On 23rd April 2018 I received an email linking to a thorough explanation of the logo on the website]

The hypocrisy of the Science Museum boycotters

The Science Museum has come under an unprecedented attack by a group of 400 academics.

The Zionist Federation has organised two Israel Day of Science events at the Science Museum in London and its sister museum in Manchester.

The academics who are aligned with supporters of the British Committee for the Universities of Palestine (Bricup) argue that such events give “respectability” to universities in Israel which are linked to the Israeli military and which are, therefore, so they argue, complicit in the recent Gaza conflict.

The Science Museum is resisting this effort to add to the long list of Israel demonizers, de-legitimisers and boycotters.

Clearly, the fact that the organisers have the word “Zionist” in their name is like a red rag to a bull(y).

To these people any contact with Israel or Israeli institutions, however worthy or non-political is to be condemned.

Whilst such events clearly have a propaganda aspect to promote Israel and its outstanding achievements in all areas of science, this is no different from similar events which all countries organise.

Israeli science is second to none and has brought untold benefits to mankind totally out of proportion to its population.  It is important that the world see this side of Israel instead of the constant flow of negative images and reporting.

It is clear that these academics view Israel as a pariah to be singled out for boycotting and academic disengagement.

But if this is the case then these academics and Bricup at hypocrites.

Do they support the daily assault on southern Israel which caused an almost complete breakdown of school life in Sderot and its neighbourhood? Would they therefore be as forthright in boycotting a Palestinian science event were it to take place? I don’t think so.

Recently there was an exhibition at the British Museum of Iranian art and culture. Would Bricup contemplate demonstrations against this exhibition because Iran is building nuclear weapons and supplying arms (presumably developed by Iranian scientists)  to Hamas and Hezbollah so they can be used indiscriminately against Israeli civilians?  And if they would argue that such an exhibition is not scientific and therefore a different issue, then it could be equally argued that an Israeli Science Day where the presenters are particle physicists working at CERN, hydrologists, nano-technologists and geneticists has absolutely nothing to do with the military.

And what if it had? Do not British scientists and American scientists and Arab scientists and Chinese scientists work at universities where military technology is studied, produced and even tested?

Will we have no exhibitions of science at all then? Are not some of these very academics engaged, perhaps, in scientific enquiry that could have military use? Maybe not.

This has nothing to do with science and everything to do with the obsession of a certain cadre in British academe that has an animus against one country above all others. Why is this? Go figure.

Dubai, an Israeli Tennis Player and the Muslim Denial of Israel

Dubai has refused entry to Shahar Pe’er, an Israeli tennis player who is one of the best players in the women’s game.

Dubai does not recognise Israel, so anyone trying to get into Dubai on an Israeli passport will not be able to do so. This, apparently, is nothing to do with sport.

Question is, what the hell is the WTP doing holding a tournament in a country that refuses entry on the grounds that it does not recognise the passport from a country that was legally created by a vote in the United Nations in 1948 and a member state since 1949. Qatar has previously allowed Ms Peer into the country.

Dubai’s failure to recognise Israel is part of an ongoing agenda to deligitmise the State of Israel. 36 countries have no diplomatic relations with Israel and 26 refuse to recognise it at all. Israel is the only country in the world that is in such a position. Most of these countries are Muslim countries and many have appaling Human Rights records. Here is a full list of countries that do not recognise Israel at all:


  • Algeria
  • Chad
  • Comoros
  • Djibouti
  • Libya
  • Mali
  • Morocco
  • Somalia
  • Sudan
  • Tunisia
  • Western Sahara


  • Cuba

ASIA (outside Middle East)

  • Afghanistan
  • Bangladesh
  • Brunei
  • Maldives
  • North Korea
  • Pakistan


  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Lebanon
  • Kuwait
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Syria
  • Yemen
  • United Arab Emirates

Countries who do not have full diplomatic relations:

  • Bahrain
  • Bhutan
  • Bolivia
  • Indonesia
  • Malaysia
  • Mauritania
  • Oman
  • Qatar
  • Taiwan
  • Venezuela

In addition to this, anyone who has an Israeli stamp on their passport is not allowed entry into any Arab and many Muslim states other than Egypt or Jordan.

It could be argued that many Muslim countries who may otherwise wish to recognise or have diplomatic relations with Israel feel that such a move would risk their own people turning against them and also the realtions they enjoy with other Muslim countries.

It doesn’t take too much analysis of this list to determine that Muslims do not like Israel and they are joined by a very strong supporter of the PLO, namely, Cuba.

The WTP should seriously reconsider prostituting itself by holding tournaments in countries who do not recognise the nationality of any of its members for whatever reason. Yes, the UAE tournaments bring a lot of money into the game but does anyone remember the D’Oliveira affair when the England cricket team called of a tour to South Africa in the days of Apartheid because they would not allow a ‘Cape Coloured’ to play with white people? Is this case any different?

Only Israel and Israelis are subject to this sort of harrassment as part of a global attack on Israel for daring to exist and defend itself. And most of the countries who are so appalled by the very existence of Israel are undemocratic, tyrannies, human rights abusers and worse.

Dubai itself has a terrible record of abuse of Asian guest workers who are subject to the most appalling treatment. Look here Wikipedia entry on Human Rights in Dubai and here Human Rights Watch

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