Monday, March 12, 2007

The Zionist Boycott - of Coca-Cola?

If fighting the Illegal Arab boycott and all the other anti-Israel boycotts weren't enough, enter the Zionist boycott of Soft Drinks. The ZOA decided to fight fire with fire and start its own boycott of Coca Cola.

Wait a second
Coke vs Pepsi. Did you know that from 1966, Coca Cola has been a firm supporter of commerce with Israel? Coca Cola has refused to follow the Arab boycott for decades. Pepsi followed the boycott and didn’t begin trade with Israel until 1992. Coca Cola not only sells its soda in Israel, it built and currently operates a plant there as well. The next time you are looking for a cool taste to simmer down the summer, remember – Coke is it! -
This also goes against the grain of most Jewish and Zionist organizations who are very hesitant to get involved in boycotts, even the very careful one about Darfur.

It seems like the ZOA have a point though

ZOA: "Don't Buy Coca-Cola"

New York — The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) condemns the Coca-Cola Company ("Coca-Cola" or the "Company") for occupying and using certain property in Egypt, all the while knowing that the property was stolen by the Egyptian government from its Jewish owners, the Bigio family. This participation in anti-Semitic and immoral conduct is made even more egregious by how boldly and self-righteously Coca-Cola describes itself.
Now here is the thing. The ZOA is a Right Wing organization on the fringe of anything that people would call mainstream Zionism. They are not going to be listened to, we already know that from the UPZ controversy.

It seems they weren't content with simply using the strategy of the Arab Boycott, but they also got writing tips. Its fair enough that they want to stress how this property was stolen from the Jewish owners and they see the Palestinians making claims and getting listened to. The 1,000,000 Jews who fled Arab lands and lost everything could probably use some of the double speak that is used against Israel and instead use it for the truth.

But Come On! "occupying" isn't that a bit much?

anti-Semitic - I'll say the same old line: There is no such thing as Semitism, call it Antisemitism, not Anti-Semitism. This makes it clear that it is not a valid position; unlike Anti-abortion or Anti-Zionism, Antisemitism is not up for discussion. Also it will make it clear that it just refers to Jews, not other "Semites"

Having said that Coke has some explaining to do

For approximately 60 years beginning in the early 1900's, the Bigios owned land and factories near Cairo, Egypt. Coca-Cola leased a factory building from the Bigios for over 25 years, and the Bigios' factories provided bottle caps and other products to the Company.

In 1962, the Egyptian government forcibly stole the Bigios' property from them, without any compensation whatsoever, for one reason only: they were Jews. The Egyptian government's actions were part of a campaign of anti-Semitic discrimination and persecution that caused almost a million Jews in Arab/Islamic countries, like the Bigios, to lose their homes, properties, businesses and livelihoods.

In 1980, the Egyptian government ordered that the property be returned to the Bigios. But the occupier, a government-owned and operated entity, never returned the property.

In approximately 1993, the Egyptian government decided to privatize the entity that was occupying and using the Bigios' property. When the Bigios learned that Coca-Cola intended to bid for the entity, they contacted Coca-Cola to remind the Company of the family's right to the property. But top Coca-Cola officials cavalierly brushed aside and ignored the Bigios' legitimate pleas to be justly compensated for the loss of their property, and went ahead with the bid. Through subsidiaries, Coca-Cola purchased 42 percent of the entity occupying the Bigios' property, knowing full well of the immoral and anti-Semitic manner in which the property had been stolen from the Bigios by the Egyptian government. The Company then formed a joint venture known as the "Coca-Cola Bottling Companies of Egypt" that has been occupying, using and benefiting from the Bigios' stolen property since 1994.

The Bigios repeatedly requested that Coca-Cola compensate them for their loss, but Coca-Cola never offered them a penny. The family was thus left with no choice but to file a lawsuit to obtain justice. They sued in Egypt 12 times. All of their lawsuits were dismissed and not permitted to go forward, some in a matter of weeks. In 1997, the Bigios filed suit against Coca-Cola in a federal district court in New York. In the almost 10 years since the lawsuit was brought, Coca-Cola's lawyers have used every legal maneuver to avoid reaching the merits of the Bigios' case because the Company has no legal or moral defense for its conduct. - ZOA

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