Siege of Ahava continues

The objective of the bi-weekly Saturday anti-Israel protest outside Ahava in Covent Garden is to force the shop to lose trade and eventually close.

In addition to the protests, the activists are now resorting to litigation.

Ahava is an Israeli company that provides skin care products made from Dead Sea minerals. Its only UK shop is on Monmouth Street.

One activist told me at today’s protest that they are suing Ahava for mislabeling goods. “Ahava’s going down,” he claimed.

40 anti-Israel activists stood outside Ahava today waving Palestinian flags and handing out leaflets to passers-by (photos below).

Headlined “Boycott Ahava” the leaflets claim Ahava’s products are “Stolen Goods” as they are “produce of the West Bank”. There was a small counter-demonstration of pro-Israel supporters.

After two hours the demonstrators moved on to the entrance to the Natural History Museum in South Kensington where their ranks were swelled (photos below).

This time there were 70 anti-Israel activists to just one Israel flag-bearer; Jonathan Hoffman.

The second protest was aimed at the environment wildlife photography competition sponsored by Veolia.

Veolia is a British company that provides environmental services to councils like Camden. For example, it helps to prepare the ground for events taking place in Regent’s Park and cleans up afterwards.

Veolia also stands accused of helping to dump Israeli waste in the West Bank and generally profiting from the “illegal occupation”.

Whoever can categorically say that the occupation is either legal or illegal is better than some of the wisest legal brains in the world.

But for these self-proclaimed lawyers there is no doubt; Israel’s occupation is illegal. However, when you ask many anti-Israel activists to cite any relevant court decisions or resolutions they go mysteriously blank.

And while some of these anti-Israel protestors may be motivated by dark forces others are not even anti-Zionist. However misguided, the latter honestly hold the belief that Israel is at fault by occupying the Palestinians. For them, if Israel unilaterally withdraws from the West Bank then peace would miraculously break out.

And when I say “dark forces” one cannot help but recall the notorious imagery of Jewish shops being singled out for boycott in Germany in the 1930s.

Such an analogy was rejected by an activist I spoke to because “these protests are valid as Israel is controlling the Palestinians and their resources and abusing their human rights and committing war crimes”.

When I asked him why he didn’t protest against and boycott Chinese, Iranian and Sudanese businesses, for example, he replied that “those countries didn’t create Israel and aren’t supported by the British government like Israel is”.

Being British he obviously feels a heavy weight of responsibility.

I suggested that maybe he should then boycott American and British goods due to the anti-war movement’s claims of high civilian casualties in both Iraq and Afghanistan. He laughed and dismissed this as a “silly idea”.

Of course boycotting America and British goods is a “silly idea” as it would be impossible to survive, but in only boycotting Israeli goods these activists are simply being hypocritical.

That said, if the unlikely occurs and the anti-Israel protestors manage to close down Ahava it will be one of the biggest boosts in their well financed campaign of delegitimising Israel.

Ahava in Covent Garden is profitable and the manager continues to claim that the anti-Israel protests actually attract business by drawing attention to the shop.

I hope she is right but, meanwhile, the defamation of Israel continues apace.

Saturday’s protest outside Ahava, Covent Garden 12-2pm (click to enlarge):

Saturday’s protest outside the Natural History Museum 2pm-4pm (click to enlarge):

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9 responses to “Siege of Ahava continues

  1. Klara Le Vine

    Tonight we remember the horrors of the Holocaust – but the point is not for emotional sadness or for the shock value of all that happened – the point is to learn so we can prevent the insanity of anti-Semitism – yet here it shows it’s ugly face again. We’ve been attacked, we defend, we “win” the war, but we are called the occupiers. What is wrong with this picture??!!!

  2. It’s called “Jews can’t Win”……………

  3. Michele Katz

    Slightly better attendance in support of Israel last Saturday (may be a dozen of us at most!!). What a show from British Jewry.
    Have tried to recruite a few young Israeli from Golders Green. They knew nothing about the boycott and promised to come and support us.

  4. David Graniewitz

    If the protests are held on Saturdays, then that is a problem for many committed Jews who will want to come to support Israel but will not be able to do so because of Shabbat. The anti-Israel mob know their stuff.

  5. To David Graniewitz

    The poor response has little to do with whether you are a committed (I suppose you mean observant) Jew, but rather to what extend one is committed to Israel. My wife and I used to stand outside M&S in Oxford St. against those boycotting Israeli goods. That was not on Shabbat but on Thursday evenings and the effort was just as puny. Our counter demo was eventually discontinued due to lack of response. No Mr Graniewitz, I’m afraid it’s all due to Anglo-Jewish apathy and little else.

  6. I think it’s more to do with the fact that Jews are statistically less likely to be unemployed, students who devote more time to extra-curricular activities than studies, or employed in part time jobs without family responsibilities.

    Their ‘activism’ consists in actively supporting Israel by going there or supporting Jewish charities. Their activism is ethno-nationalist rather than purely or merely ideological: it’s part and parcel of Jewish life. It’s not a hobby, for which you need spare time and few responsibilities.

    Jewish activism is positive, largely, not negative, screaming at people, or trying to tear things down. That kind of negative activism will always find adherents among the disaffected or malcontented. It’s one reason antisemitism has been so successful, and why there has often been little Jews could do about it. It is the same for anti-Israelism and anti-Zionism. Jews don’t generally do ‘anti-‘: history has taught them it is better to quietly go about the business of creating and building up, since they have always had to operate as a minority, according with the wishes of the powers that be.

    Anti-Israelism and anti-Zionism fits very easily into traditional cultural Christian and Islamic anti-Judaism, the discourse of the majority, of the dominant cultures in which Jews have lived for 2000 years. BDSers and boycotters think they are being so brave. But they are not. What they are doing is very easy, and easily following the path of least cultural resistance (despite their continually proclaiming ‘resistance’).

    Jews have not historically met that force head on, rather always kept their heads down, until it blows over. Unfortunately this new incarnation of antisemitism may not blow over, and, if unsuccessful against its target, the second or largest Jewish community in the world, may inevitably target diaspora Jewish relations with it.

  7. Richard, these protests are initiated supported by CodePink and ISM, notorious supporters of Islamic terrorists. There is nothing innocent abotu these people.
    Incidentally, if you go the site http://www.camera.org, and search for the term settlements not illegal, there is some information there on why the settlements in what is called the West Bank are NOT illegal, but well in accordance with international law.
    http://www.camera.org/index.asp?x_context=7&x_issue=10&x_article=259

  8. richardmillett

    Thanks, Jill. That will be useful. People just bandy around the word “illegal” without looking into the legalities of the situation.