Aug 9, 2010

‘NYT’ piece from Dead Sea ‘kibbutz’ ignores int’l boycott of its products

In “As it Shrinks, the Dead Sea Nourishes Promises of an Economic Bloom,” [New York Times, yesterday, p. A8], Isabel Kershner presents a rosy picture of what she calls the Israeli “kibbutz” of Kalia, situated on the shores of Dead Sea. Kalia is, in actuality, an illegal Jewish-only settlement implanted in the Occupied Palestinian West Bank by Israel. (All settlements in the Occupied Palestinian West Bank are illegal under international law.).

But Kalia is not just any settlement: Kershner fails to mention that it is a co-owner of Ahava Dead Sea Laboratories (Kalia holds 7.5% of the company’s shares), a cosmetics firm whose main factory is also located on stolen Palestinian territory. Ahava is the target of a growing international boycott campaign because of its illegal practices, including the sourcing of raw materials from from Palestinian land. Indeed, sources inside Israel allege that Ahava excavates mud used in its products from the shores of the very settlement of Kalia described in Kershner’s article. This excavation and export of minerals in occupied territory is against international law (the Geneva Conventions explicitly forbid the “exploitation of occupied resources by the occupying power”).

Dianna Krall jazzes up Ra’anana, leaving politics aside.

It takes a singular talent for a singer to perform outdoors in Ra’anana on a sweaty, muggy evening and make the audience feel as if they were in an air conditioned club, listening to cool jazz amid the tinkle of ice cubes in a glass.

It also takes a singular talent for the wife of
Elvis Costello, the singer who dissed the country a few months back by refusing to perform here on ‘political grounds,’ to come and play in such a way that people no longer wished a pox on the Costello house, simply because she lives in that house.

Color me provincial, but I would have been bowled over had she stepped on stage in that black, sleeveless dress of hers and mangled some innocuous Hebrew phrase, or said, “Hello Israel,” or something at all to acknowledge that she was playing here, in Israel, and not in Belgrade, or Bucharest, or Beirut, where she was the night before.

Meg Ryan snubs J'lem Festival after ‘Mavi Marmara.’

Hollywood actors such as Meg Ryan backed out of attending this year’s annualJerusalem Film Festival, which is set to kick off this coming Thursday, following the international outcry over Israel’s attack on a Turkish-led flotilla that attempted to break the Gaza blockade on May 31, The Jerusalem Post learned Monday.

According to Cinematheque associate director Yigal Molad Hayo, while neither gave the political climate as a direct reason for canceling their participation in the festival, “it became quite clear that this was the reason,” he said.

LEBANON: Supermarket chain won't sell Melitta coffee filters with Hebrew writing on package

“We saw that they are from Israel so we sent them back," one of the retail assistants said to a customer. "Don’t worry. We will be getting Melitta’s from America instead."

No, they’re not from Israel. Though the sight of the Jewish state’s official language is enough to make some foes of Israel recoil, Melitta’s European Article Number, a bar code listed on all products from the continent, shows that the filters were made in Germany.

The U.S. government alleges that T.S.C., in cahoots with PWC, inflated the prices of fresh fruits and vegetables in their contracts with the Pentagon. After PWC paid T.S.C.’s inflated invoice, T.S.C. paid a kickback to PWC in the form of a 10% rebate.

PWC and T.S.C. have provided U.S. troops in the Middle East with food supplies since 2003.