Why I support the boycott of Sodastream

The Ecostream store in Western Road has been the scene of protests and counter-protests
The Ecostream store in Western Road has been the scene of protests and counter-protests

The death of Nelson Mandela was symbolic of the struggle for liberation in Africa, the scene of terrible massacres and genocide.

The death of Nelson Mandela was symbolic of the struggle for liberation in Africa, the scene of terrible massacres and genocide.

Apartheid South Africa was in a league of its own because you cannot change your colour or "race".

Israel has entrenched apartheid within the law. Benjamin Netanyahu was the only leader not to attend Mandela’s commemoration. Apparently, he could not afford the fare!

Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the Nobel Peace Prize winner wrote: "I have been to the Occupied Palestinian Territory and I have witnessed the racially-segregated roads and housing that reminded me so much of the conditions we experienced in South Africa under the racist system of apartheid."

Chris McGreal showed (The Guardian, May 24 2010) that Israel was South Africa's closest political and military ally. PW Botha asked Israel for nuclear warheads and Shimon Peres, now Israel’s president, offered them "in three sizes".

My first political demonstration was against the whites-only 1970 tour of the Springbok rugby team. Apartheid’s supporters also argued that there worse black African regimes.

Israel claims to be the "only democracy" in the Middle East, despite ruling over four million Palestinians. On the West Bank, there are two systems of law: one military and another for Jewish settlers. Thousands of Palestinians are put in administrative detention where Palestinian children are shackled by the feet in military courts. It would not happen to an Israeli Jewish child. The "peace talks", after more than 40 years, are about preventing peace by giving Israel an excuse.

Israel is a state of all Jews, wherever they live, not its citizens. I can "return" to Israel, but Palestinian friends of mine cannot. In Tamarin and Uzi Ornan, the Supreme Court ruled that there is no Israeli nationality. In most states, citizenship and nationality are coterminous. In Israel, one-and-a-half million Israeli Arabs are tolerated at the very best.

In 2005, the Supreme Court ruled, in Kadan, that refusing to lease land to Israeli Palestinian citizens was illegal.

The Jewish National Fund controls 93% of "Jewish" national land. Britain’s Jewish Chronicle ran a debate August 2 2007) entitled: "Is it racist to sell Israeli land only to Jews?" All you have to do is substitute "Jews" for ‘Arabs.

This is betrayed in popular attitudes. In March 2007, 75% of Israeli Jews did not approve of shared apartment buildings; more than half believed the marriage of a Jewish woman to an Arab man is equal to "national treason"; and 60% would not allow an Arab to visit their home. More than half agreed that Israel should encourage its Arab citizens to emigrate and 55% said “Arabs and Jews should be separated at entertainment sites”.

The Orthodox Rabbis are Israeli Ayatollahs. They have state power in personal matters. Alone among western democracies, there is no civil marriage in Israel. In 2010, Rabbis Yitzchak Shapira and Yosef Elitzur wrote a book on when a Jew is permitted to kill a non-Jew “Torat Ha’Melech”.

It was claimed: "There is justification for killing babies, if it is clear that they will grow up to harm us." Israel’s Military Chief Rabbi, General Ronski, did likewise. There are even Orthodox rabbis who advocate sending Arabs to the gas chambers.

In the Talmud, it is forbidden to save a non-Jew’s life on the Sabbath and murder of a Jew is more serious than a non-Jew.

All this became obsolete as Jews adopted the emancipation. Israel has reverted to the Middle Ages. The Chief Rabbi of Safed, Shmuel Eliyahu, banned the letting of apartments to Arabs and the worst bigot, settler Rabbi Dov Lior, told the Israeli army: “There is no such thing as civilians in wartime… A thousand non-Jewish lives are not worth a Jew’s fingernail! and captured Palestinian militants could be used to conduct medical experiments.”

For over a year, there has been a boycott, which I support, of Sodastream, maker of home-carbonated soft drinks.

Because boycott is a weapon of the oppressed. It was used against slave-grown sugar, the siege of Nazi shops, and apartheid.

Sodastream’s main production facilities are based in Mishor Adumim, on confiscated Palestinian land. It benefits from the labour created by the occupation. It is a small sacrifice not to purchase its products.

Is soda water worth the lives of the Palestinians?

See a response to this article: Boycotts simply do not work: Green Brighton supports green Ecostream