Boycott on the horizon if Starbucks buys stake in SodaStream

ActivismIsrael/PalestineUS Politics
on 75 Comments
Starbucks Logo

Starbucks Logo

SodaStream stocks have been jumping around this week after a Globes report surfaced out of Israel that claimed “sources” alleged corporate coffee giant Starbucks, “arguably the first international symbol of globalized consumerism”, might buy a 10% stake in the home seltzer product located in an illegal Israeli settlement inside the occupied Palestinian territories.

In a recent CNBC interview Starbucks’ CEO Howard Shultz declined to comment on the rumor and thus far there has been no validation of the Globes report. We reached out to Starbucks’ media representative curious if they were intending to engage in this partnership. Their response; “we don’t comment on rumors or speculation.”

The Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) National Committee issued a stern warning stating Starbucks could face a global boycott if it partners with SodaStream; “A BDS campaign against Starbucks is expected to drastically affect its market share in the Arab world and many countries across the world”:

Starbucks’ reported interest in SodaStream comes at a time when civil society, the private sector and governments across the world are increasingly shunning businesses that contribute to Israel’s occupation and violations of international law. International supporters of Palestinian rights have responded to calls for boycotts of SodaStream, organising protests across hundreds of stores and many European retailers have pledged not to sell products produced in illegal Israeli settlements. The Dutch and UK governments have recently warned businesses to avoid business links with illegal Israeli settlements.[8]

Following the recent high profile outcry about actor Scarlett Johansson’s association with SodaStream, investment analysts have stated that SodaStream “comes with baggage” and that their illegal settlement factory is “a touchstone for controversy”.  Indeed, their first quarter 2014 results show a drop of 14% in their share price.[9]

Starbucks should abandon any plans it may have to purchase a stake in or enter into a partnership with SodaStream or any other company profiting from Israel’s occupation and settlements to avoid becoming a target for the BDS movement.

Baggage indeed. While some might argue high profile partnerships of this nature give credibility to SodaStream, their pairing with Scarlett Johansson thrust recognition of Israeli apartheid and the BDS movement countering it, into the main stage of American discourse. Even denials and apologies amount to exposure and the media that follows counters a culture of silence surrounding Israel’s crimes that has persisted for decades.

With a Starbucks decorating corners of every center of nearly every major city on the planet the opportunities for exposure are endless. I can’t think of a setting more primed and ready to serve the BDS movement by informing masses about Israeli apartheid than the local cafes in their own backyards.

CNBC international correspondent Michelle Caruso-Cabrera reports Shultz knew it wasn’t just about the coffee; Starbucks was about providing “the experience” and their product is sold at a premium because it’s “staged with the right experience.” Well, hanging at the local cafe might feel different if there is a picket line outside.

This could launch the BDS campaign into locations all across America, and the world. But could Starbucks be so clueless as to partner with a high profile company associated with apartheid like SodaStream? What possible motive could Starbucks have for plunging their brand into a public relations landmine? Money? Think again. As Yahoo Finance Senior Columnist Mike Santoli noted:

 SodaStream is always seemingly the subject of intermittent takeover rumors or strategic investment rumors, it seems like the stock pops periodically on these kinds of rumors…..if Starbucks wants to find a way to innovate on the countertop they might want to find another way to do it. 

Screen shot 2014-04-29 at 6.38.56 AMJust last week the Earth Day Network, a global environmental coalition with 22,000 partners in 192 countries, cut ties with SodaStream over its complicity in Israel’s military occupation, including the destruction that Israeli settlements have caused to the Palestinian environment.

Does Starbucks want to go up against that? The Starbucks logo, a siren designed around a 16th century Norse woodcut of a twin-tailed mermaid, is recognized far and wide. The company’s website says she is “a seductive mystery mixed with a nautical theme…She is at the heart of Starbucks.”

We can paint a bright red A for apartheid on her forehead too.

Starbucks

Starbucks Siren

 

About Annie Robbins

Annie Robbins is Editor at Large for Mondoweiss, a mother, a human rights activist and a ceramic artist. She lives in the SF bay area. Follow her on Twitter @anniefofani

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75 Responses

  1. CloakAndDagger
    April 29, 2014, 7:41 pm

    @ annie

    I have been looking for a good excuse to curtail my multiple daily trips to Starbucks. This could be all the incentive I need.

    An obvious modification to the Starbucks logo would be adding fangs to her face.

    • thetruthhurts
      May 1, 2014, 12:07 am

      i’m thinking of the one at 17th and broadway on union square.

    • radkelt
      May 1, 2014, 12:38 am

      Some years go I called to cancel my Starbucks card, the recipient of my call asked
      why; I responded that I understood that Mr. Schultz was funding illegal settlements
      in Israel, she said “oh! we hear that all the time”. It would be interesting to know
      if this had any significant effect, or if in fact that increased the bottom line.

  2. seanmcbride
    April 29, 2014, 8:04 pm

    What brands, products and vendors are Mondoweiss writers and commenters currently boycotting?

    • Dutch
      April 29, 2014, 11:05 pm

      @ Sean

      In the Netherlands: Permanent action against Veolia, G4S and Mehadrin. Ad hoc action against supermarkets and products.

      Website: http://www.docp.nl

      • seanmcbride
        April 30, 2014, 12:37 am

        Dutch,

        In the Netherlands: Permanent action against Veolia, G4S and Mehadrin. Ad hoc action against supermarkets and products.

        Thanks for responding.

        So far I haven’t been able to elicit any response on Mondoweiss from Americans who are boycotting specific brands, products or vendors or who are discussing this topic in a practical way.

        Is this thing really happening on a scale that impacts corporate bottom lines or is it more a generalized talking point in political debates about Israel?

      • Woody Tanaka
        April 30, 2014, 1:19 am

        “So far I haven’t been able to elicit any response on Mondoweiss from Americans who are boycotting specific brands, products or vendors or who are discussing this topic in a practical way.”

        I refuse to buy any product that is labeled Made in Israel. I refuse to do business with anyone who I know supports Israel unless they are working to liberate the Palestinians. I’m boycotting Scarlett Johanson’s films.

      • seanmcbride
        April 30, 2014, 1:42 am

        Woody Tanaka,

        I refuse to buy any product that is labeled Made in Israel.

        What are the most popular brands and products in leading American stores that are made in Israel?

        Which American companies are most involved in supporting Israel and what are their most prominent consumer products?

        It’s easy to understand why some people might choose to boycott Scarlett Johansson films — she aggressively placed herself right at the center of this controversy.

        What about Ben & Jerry’s ice cream? Are there good reasons for it to be on the boycott list?

        I have mixed feelings about BDS, but the Israeli government keeps building new settlements in defiance of the United States, Europe and the international community. How is it possible to get the attention of Israel without BDS?

        Certainly writing comments on websites like Mondoweiss, Informed Comment and the New York Times has had no effect whatever.

      • Walid
        April 30, 2014, 6:55 am

        “How is it possible to get the attention of Israel without BDS?”

        Sean, until the Arabs decide to wholeheartedly endorse BDS, it will continue being not much more than a thorn in its backside. They are actually going in the opposite direction by normalizing relations directly or indirectly, overtly or covertly with the apartheid state. Of the 2 states still officially opposed to Israel, Syria and Lebanon, Syria until its internal problems started 3 years ago was actually buying Israeli-grown apples on the Golan of all places. The only state still holding on to its promise to not make peace with Israel until the Palestinian problem is resolved is Lebanon. Mostly all the others are tripping over each other in their haste to make up with Israel. Now because of their common problem with Iran, some are actually talking about teaming up with Israel.

      • Kay24
        April 30, 2014, 8:08 am

        Beware. Israel, devious as always, has been caught mislabeling products, and hoodwinking consumers:

        link to jfjfp.com

        More
        link to eccr.org.uk

      • Annie Robbins
        April 30, 2014, 8:31 am

        Certainly writing comments on websites like Mondoweiss, Informed Comment and the New York Times has had no effect whatever.

        if that’s your opinion why do you do it?

      • seanmcbride
        April 30, 2014, 9:00 am

        Annie,

        if that’s your opinion why do you do it?

        I think Mideast politics and Israeli policies are having an outsize negative impact on the world and on my country (the United States). I think that American foreign policy in this area, which has been largely dictated by the Israel lobby, has been mistaken. I enter into discussions on this topic in part to try to persuade others to my outlook, but even more to try to better understand the situation from a 360 view by engaging with those who disagree with me and listening to them.

        With regard to actually impacting policy, BDS, if it were taken seriously by enough people worldwide, would probably exert much more influence than writing comments. But comment-writing is not without impact (I am thinking of the trend of comment sentiment at the New York Times and Washington Post — and of Mondoweiss’s impact on the discussion).

        If Mondoweiss commenters aren’t meaningfully engaged with BDS, certainly most average Americans and Europeans won’t be.

        I am still trying to get a sense of how real this BDS thing is — is there a powerful grassroots push behind it that will continue to grow? Or will it quickly sputter out? This will in part depend on future Israeli moves and policies.

      • broadside
        April 30, 2014, 11:18 am

        I boycott the NY Times. I haven’t paid for an issue of the Times in over 30 years, I will read it in a coffee shop, I read it online, always accessed through google chrome’s incognito window, I wouldn’t even consider giving the Times a penny.

        (P.S. I also boycott Exxon, have since the Valdez. Only twice since — each for $3 — have I gone to a Exxon/Mobil station, both times so low on gas I’m surprised I made it. But it underscores the major stumbling block to hoping the American people will ever get off their butts, rally, fight back, DO SOMETHING about ANYTHING: what boycott could be easier that one against an oil company? Virtually every gas station you go to, there’s another within sight.

        A slightly more complicated boycott would be for customers of the world’s most avaricious bank, Bank of America of course, to pull their money and go elsewhere. Think of that power. Bank of America customers could put that grotesque bank out of business OVERNIGHT.)

    • Walid
      April 30, 2014, 5:34 am

      Sean, I’ve been boycotting Starbucks for years because of Shultz’ involvement with the IDF. As far back as 2002, there was a movement to boycott Starbucks but he appeared to have weaseled himself out of that controversy by denying it and when his 6 outlets in Israel were shut down. Soda Stream or no SodaStream, Starbucks should be boycotted.

      Back in 2006, Josh Ruebner and OXFAM took Starbucks to task. It’s ironic that today Shultz is showing interest in SS; maybe it’s his way of giving OXFAM the finger for his and Johanson’s sake. From a 2006 Arab News article”

      “… Fast forward to this summer. On July 22, 2006, the “Friends of Al-Aqsa and Peace in Palestine” wrote on problems between Oxfam and Starbucks on their website link to aqsa.org.uk.

      ‘Friends’ notes that Oxfam ended a yearlong contract with Starbucks.

      “Oxfam denied allegations that Muslim groups were behind its decision to terminate its collaboration with coffee conglomerate Starbucks.” ‘Friends’ also notes that Starbucks failed in Israel: “Starbucks …invested in Israel — a joint venture with Israeli conglomerate Delek Group for Starbucks outlets in Israel.”But the coffee company made heavy losses.

      And in April 2003, it announced that all its 6 cafes in Israel will be shut down and that it has ended its partnership with Delek.” Josh Ruebner, Grassroots Advocacy Coordinator for the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, is adamant about boycotting Starbucks.

      Attending a recent conference, Ruebner said he and his colleagues were “embarrassed and upset” when they were served Starbucks coffee. He wrote a letter to the organizers, saying: “many conference participants and conference organizers were highly disturbed by the serving of Starbucks coffee at our conference.

      “Schultz has been praised by the Israeli government for sponsoring pro-Israel, anti-Palestinian seminars on college campuses (“Losing the Media Battle,” Jerusalem Report, April 22, 2002) and his company has sponsored a fund-raising event for the Israel Emergency Solidarity Fund, an organization which engages in crass anti-Palestinian propaganda to raise money to support the families of Israeli soldiers who have died while protecting Israel’s illegal military occupation of Palestinian territories.”

      Reubner wrote: “Because the CEO of Starbucks is so supportive of Israel and the system of apartheid that it has foisted on the Palestinian people, we strongly urge you to reconsider your arrangement to serve Starbucks products”.

      He added, “We all have an obligation to make sure that corporations with which we do business are using those profits to promote human rights, peace, and justice, rather than racial discrimination, military occupation, and colonization.”

      Full article:

      link to arabnews.com

      • LeaNder
        April 30, 2014, 9:22 am

        All I can find over here concerning Oxfam and Starbucks concerns Ethiopia. The US Economist drops a patronizingly sick line in this context.

        This, too, seems plausible and sensible: the Ethiopian government, one of the most economically illiterate in the modern world, would do well to take Starbucks’s advice.

        Spiegel seems slightly more reliable on the issue on the surface:

        Ethiopia’s efforts to protect the “Sidamo” name actually began way back in March 2005. But the country’s application to the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) went nowhere for the next 15 months. Starbucks, as it turns out, had already applied to trademark an expression that included the word “sidamo.”

        Thanks Walid. Although a search for Oxfam and Starbucks brings up nothing under your first link. Neither does a Google site search apparently. Hmm?

      • Walid
        April 30, 2014, 4:02 pm

        OXFAM video re picketing of Starbucks:

      • Walid
        April 30, 2014, 4:45 pm

        In a nutshell, OXFAM was making noise about what Ethiopian growers were getting for their coffee beans and Starbucks decided to buy the peace by donating £100,000 to OXFAM that would use the money to help Ethiopians with projects over a one year period during which Starbucks would start paying the growers reasonable rates for their beans. 4 or 5 months into the one-year deal, OXFAM announced it would not be extending the agreement with Starbucks because it was not living up to its side of the bargain.

        The Guardian wrote about it at the time:

        “Oxfam drops link with Starbucks
        Annie Kelly
        Society
        Guardian, Friday 4 March 2005 14.40 GMT
        Aid charity Oxfam today denied that lobbying by Muslim groups was behind its decision to terminate a deal with coffee conglomerate Starbucks.

        The charity disputes claims by the Boycott Israel Campaign, a collective of Muslim organisations including the Islamic Human Rights Commission and the Muslim Association of Britain, that Oxfam bowed to pressure after months of campaigning.

        Since Oxfam announced its partnership with Starbucks last October, the Boycott Israel Campaign has lobbied against the charity, accusing it of double standards and alleging that the Starbucks chairman, Howard Schultz, is a pro-zionist activist.

        Instead the charity attributes the decision to a change in the strategic direction of its Make Trade Fair campaign and says the partnership was only ever intended as a one-year initiative.

        Oxfam said that at the time of signing the agreement with Starbucks, the company was the market leader in its policy of fair pay for its coffee growers. Since then significant developments within the coffee sector have seen AMT become the first coffee company to switch to 100% Fairtrade products and other retailers such as Marks & Spencers launch fair trade coffee brands.

        “The collaboration with Starbucks was always a one-year agreement and as an organisation with finite resources we need to ensure that we’re working in ways that will have the most impact,” said an Oxfam spokesman.

        “This has led to our decision not to focus exclusively on a partnership with one corporation but to broaden out our focus to include different coffee companies and other areas of fair trade.”

        Oxfam’s partnership with Starbucks involved a £100,000 investment by Starbucks into a rural coffee-growing project in Ethiopia and a range of expertise-sharing programmes focusing on improving trading agreements for millions of coffee farmers in developing countries.

        The charity also defended its policy of working with multinationals on campaigns such as Make Trade Fair.

        “We understand that you can’t ignore the power that corporates wield in the fight against poverty,” said Oxfam’s spokesman….”

        Full article:

        link to theguardian.com

      • Taxi
        April 30, 2014, 11:43 am

        Starbucks coffee beans are the cheapest on the market, therefore the most acidic, therefore the worst kind of coffee for your body: packaged and menu-ed to appeal to the wannabe sophisticats who are idiotic enough to pay top dollar for the crummiest brew.

        I’ve been boycotting starbucks for over a decade both for moral reasons (supporters of idf), as well as because the java there tastes like boiled dog towel.

      • chet
        April 30, 2014, 2:29 pm

        Similarly, since 2002, when Howard Schultz’s support of the IDF and Zionist propaganda first came to light, I have boycotted all Starbucks products and have encouraged all my friends and acquaintances to do so as well.

        Whenever I see any of them with a Starbucks cup I tell them that they have just paid for a bullet to kill a Palestinian child — an exaggeration, I know, but it certainly catches their attention and usually provokes a worthwhile conversation.

      • seanmcbride
        April 30, 2014, 11:17 am

        Feathers,

        I am still curious:

        What are the most popular products at the most popular supermarket chains in the United States that are most worthy of being boycotted?

        I have seen Ben & Jerry’s, Dorot, Nestlé, Sabra, Sara Lee, Starbucks and Tribe mentioned, but I am not confident that I have this issue sorted out factually and fairly.

        Boycotting Scarlett Johansson movies seems like a clear-cut issue — she went out of her way to associate her brand with the settlements movement.

      • Annie Robbins
        April 30, 2014, 12:21 pm

        sean, i think most people just boycott in there own way. for me personally, it’s hard boycotting caterpillar because it’s not a product i would normally purchase. in general i am not a big consumer and avoid purchasing from corporate enterprises anyway. i guess my point is that it’s individual and people participate in ways that are personally determined.

        natually, i wouldn’t buy a sodastream, but i ask myself, how does me not buying one sodastream sustain a boycott. well, for one thing i won’t shop at bed bath and beyond because they are still carrying that product after being informed over and over it’s an apartheid product. that is a sustained action. you have to target the stores/corporations that sustain the occupation, not just the product they carry. i also avoid home depot now because the owners are big supporters of israel. and for me that is significant because i am an avid home remodeler and have made significant purchases from them before. i am not completely strict on this but i have not been there in a few years. i don’t buy estee lauder anymore for the same reason, big israel supporters. and i quit purchasing sara lee a long time ago.

        so i could go on and on regarding my personal decisions. i just avoid corporations that import lots of israeli products. i would never consider purchasing a motorola product, just looking at the product name in my home would be a huge embarrassment to me (motorola was probably the first product i was aware of that i targeted for boycott against the occupation). recently, i found a sabra hummus in my fridge and politely informed the person who purchased it that it was the target of a boycott and they really should avoid purchasing that product. but i would not purchase that anyway because i always make my own hummus, it’s so easy to make.

        i hope that gives you enough to go on, and no i am not going to list every product or every store for you. but it’s the over all impact, especially on young buyers. when i was a teen there was a grape boycott. i didn’t buy any grapes for the next 20 years. i kept a wide berth because i just wasn’t sure when it was really over. it’s the habitual cumulative effect, it matters. even the local health food store, i remember when they caved to some cranky customers who objected to our tabling outside which we had obtained permission for. i won’t forget that.

        boycott is a longterm lifestyle choice.

      • American
        April 30, 2014, 1:05 pm

        Needs to be pointed out that half the value of boycotting Isr products and supporters is TELLING people why you arent buying them….went with a friend to the Tractor Supply Store yesterday to check out tools and told the salesperson I was looking for made in USA Bully Tools products cause I would not buy anything Israeli related and didnt have time to research every tool maker to make sure they werent….THAT started a conversation.
        My wife bought me some tees at Target one time and I happened to notice the tag said made in Israel….asked why when she went to return them, she said we dont buy anything made in Israel…..people in line heard her…..dropping little bombs where you can….even if other people dont know the story and wonder what you are talking about—-they might hear something else, somewhere else later on that connects it all up for them.

      • Feathers
        April 30, 2014, 2:28 pm

        change “annie” to “feathers” and you have my response, Sean: I too spend a lot on home remodeling materials but avoid Home Depot; I don’t buy Este Lauder (are they still in business?). I don’t shop at Bed Bath Beyond because they carry Soda Stream; there’s a cosmetics chain whose name escapes me that carried Ahava products: I’ve taken the item to cashier, asked to see store manager, and explained to manager why selling that item was inappropriate. Target carries SodaStream, so I don’t shop at Target.

        The product-by-product method of BDS is exhausting; as well, a very large chain like Giant Eagle generates revenue/profit from everything from American-produced peanuts to oranges imported from Israel to pistachios grown in California (with the goal of driving Iranian pistachios out of the market). Those profits are aggregated to support illegal settlements in Israel, so that is the stream of funding that, in my view, should be stopped.

        Aldi operates in the same market region as Giant Eagle in Midwest USA, but Aldi has been found to stock items originating in Israel but mislabeled. In Europe, Aldi has been encouraged to examine its social conscience. re BDS.

        Think of BDS as “Do unto Israel what Israel is having done to Iran.” (that would include Israel’s banking sector).

      • seanmcbride
        April 30, 2014, 4:05 pm

        Annie,

        Thanks to you and Feathers for providing a few more suggestions. My revised list of brands that might possibly be legitimate to avoid if one strongly disagrees with the expansionist and discriminatory policies of the current Israeli government:

        1. Ahava
        2. Bed Bath and Beyond
        3. Ben & Jerry’s
        4. Body Shop
        5. Estee Lauder
        6. Giant Eagle
        7. HP (Hewlett-Packard)
        8. New York Times
        9. Sabra
        10. Sara Lee
        11. Scarlett Johansson
        12. SodaStream
        13. Starbucks
        14. Target
        15. Tribe
        16. Victoria’s Secret
        17. Washington Post

        Most of us are of course in no position to boycott large defense contractors like Elbit Systems or Northrop Grumman.

        If Walid is correct — and he seems to understand the Arab world quite well — I am skeptical that BDS will go mainstream in American and European society when the Arab world itself seems to care so little these days about the plight of the Palestinians. If fact, Arab powers may be moving into a political alliance of convenience with Israel in opposition to Iran. The future of the Palestinians may be more bleak than its past.

      • jon s
        April 30, 2014, 12:47 pm

        If you want to boycott corporations that do business in Israel , here’s a partial list you should consider : Coke, Pepsi, Unilever, Nestle, Microsoft, Google, Intel (announced a $6 billion investment today) , Apple, GM, Ford , Toyota (and the rest of the auto industry), United Airlines, Delta, British, AirFrance, Turkish, Lufthansa (and most other airlines), MSNBC, BBC, Sky, Fox, Al Jazeera, CNN…
        Good Luck

      • Woody Tanaka
        April 30, 2014, 1:04 pm

        jons, I see no reason to boycott American companies that do business in Israel, so long as they aren’t supporting the settlers or are instrumental in the oppression regime. Frankly, so long as the American companies ship the profits back to the USA, I’m happy that some Americans, ast least, are getting back some of the $3B in American taxpayer money which the various traitors, fifth columnists, I-firsters, spies and no-accounts in Washington steal to give to you parasitic ingrates every year.

      • Annie Robbins
        April 30, 2014, 3:15 pm

        If you want to boycott corporations that do business in Israel , here’s a partial list you should consider :

        speaking of sustaining the occupation. i quit using estee lauder because the company’s chairman Ronald Lauder is also the chairman of the Jewish National Fund.

        like i said, it’s a personal thing, ‘doing business in israel’ is not my criteria. however, i understand the point you are making.

      • seanmcbride
        April 30, 2014, 3:51 pm

        jon s,

        I don’t have any interest in boycotting companies simply because they do business with Israel. If BDS moves ahead, it should should focus on those businesses that are most involved in supporting, enabling or exploiting the occupation. Use a laser beam focus. And back off as soon as Israel modifies its policies.

        BDS is a kind of brushback pitch — not an attempt to throw a beanball.

      • Sumud
        May 1, 2014, 1:02 am

        jon s thinks he is making a funny, he thinks what happened to South Africa – widespread sanctions by the 1980s – can’t ever happen to Israel.

        I disagree.

        A great BDS goal would be to pick the lowest hanging fruit among those global companies he listed and campaign until they end their business activities in Israel.

        My pick is Apple, because of their very high mind-share and previous responsiveness to bad publicity. Witness the way have responded to the use of toxic materials in computers, bad labour practices among suppliers and currently their response to global warming.

        The current Apple home page says “We want to leave the world better than we found it” with lots of info about their environmental performance here:

        link to apple.com

        What about social environment – are they pro-apartheid? They’re extremely vulnerable to bad publicity on this front, and may just respond to sustained pressure. People don’t really give a shit about Coke or Pepsi or Intel or Sky but Apple is different. Aim high I say.

  3. ritzl
    April 29, 2014, 8:21 pm

    Great article, Annie.

    A) Starbucks positions itself as a “do-gooder” brand. Sodastream also. Sodastream is parked in an abyss of its own making. For Starbucks it’s a choice.

    B) Just as an indication of the huge stakes involved, Starbucks (SBUX) market cap is $54B today link to ycharts.com. A 1% swing in that is $540M. That’s money lost by voting shareholders. Paralleling that, Sodastream’s (SODA) market cap today was $940M link to investing.money.msn.com .

    It’s hard to see how a likely and upfront, though admittedly potential, $B (generously; 2%) hit to Starbucks for spending $90M for 10% in Sodastream baggage is in any way justifiable, financially. The long-term benefit of that SODA stake purchase would have to vastly and justifiably outweigh the very real short-term SBUX cap hit. It sure doesn’t seem like it does.

    This is the leverage that BDS has to work with. It’s huge.

    And frankly in further research after my missteps last week on this, SBUX seems to be particularly susceptible to this leverage, in product, managerial (larger market access; i.e. Arab market) and “conscientious corp.” image terms.

    Thanks, Annie. Good, positive stuff.

    • pabelmont
      April 29, 2014, 9:13 pm

      ritzl, assuming the correctness of your financials, it shows that BDS has not made it onto the “big board” yet — for all we here at MW imagine its notoriety.

      The proposed deal w/b a bit like casual sex with someone you know has AIDS.

      Well, hope you are right and BDS can make a splash if the deal goes ahead. Terrible if they cancel or drop it w/o explanation.

      • ritzl
        April 29, 2014, 9:20 pm

        Hey, pab. You’re absolutely right in that BDS isn’t or wouldn’t be necessarily the cause for a $B hit, though I believe it would be a significant contributing factor, particularly in SBUX case. I was just trying to outline what’s at stake.

        Thanks for adding that qualification. Important.

  4. pabelmont
    April 29, 2014, 8:54 pm

    Well, I do go into Starbucks occasionally — in extremis — to use their bathrooms.
    I’d love to use their bathroom and then go to the counter and tell the barista/us that I must decline the $5 whatever because I’m boycotting SodaStream.

    Come to that, if boycotting, why not decline the $10 whatever?

  5. Denis
    April 29, 2014, 9:15 pm

    Personally, I think not. And on a number of levels.

    This is likely just the latest in SODA’s program of leaking stories about some big company about to snatch them up. They’re still trying to claw back the stock’s price to pre-SuperBowl level. Pepsi was the latest, I think. Punking the public to pop the stock prices is just part of SODA’s business plan, and that’s a lot of “p’s” in one sentence.

    Second, BDS squaring off w/ Daddy Starbucks? Can’t imagine a more obvious fail in the making. I mean look at MW’s favorite punching bag, ScarJo. After all the BDS brouhaha, ScarJo flipped off Oxfam and moved on w/out so much as a look-back. Getting Oxfam off of her list of things to do just freed up more time to do her ambassador thing for SODA.

    Did BDS give her a spanking? Don’t think so. Captain America came out a few weeks ago, is still busting the box offices big time, and nary a single theater boycotted, at least so far as I have heard. BDS gets blown out of the ring by a 112 pound air-head actress, and they think they’re going to take on Starbucks?? Don’t think so. Nice thought, tho’.

    • Annie Robbins
      April 29, 2014, 10:24 pm

      After all the BDS brouhaha, ScarJo flipped off Oxfam and moved on w/out so much as a look-back.

      hmm, i don’t think so. can you name one promotion she’s done for sodastream since the superbowl? plus the relationship w/the apartheid company dogged her in numerous interviews she did promoting her films as well as the vanity fair interview. last i heard she was planning on leaving the US and moving to switzerland. link to video.xin.msn.com

      But we might be seeing a lot less of Scarlett, since she said recently she might be moving away.

      but apart from that, netanyahu mentioning BDS 18 times in that aipac speech. kerry uttered the word boycott in tel aviv. the campaign thrust awareness of the movement. open the “baggage” claim up there: link to fool.com 4/21:

      A SodaStream Partnership Won’t Be an Easy Sell

      …….Regardless of whether you think it’s valid criticism or not, SodaStream’s operations in an Israeli settlement in Palestine are a touchstone for controversy. Actress Scarlett Johansson’s appearance in a Super Bowl ad for the DIY soda maker sparked an uproar earlier this year and led her to step down from a major anti-poverty organization that criticized her promo.

      Whether you agree the West Bank settlements in Gaza are illegal or not is really beside the point, though it obviously colors your opinion of a company that operates from there or does business with one that is, and it’s just that kind of polarization that will make corporate boardrooms skittish. So investors trying to read the tea leaves over which “major beverage company” is planning on partnering with SodaStream, assuming there really is one, also must calculate whether the company will want to be dragged into a debate with all the negative connotations, publicity, protests, and boycotts that will come with it.

      the campaign used her celebrity to call attention to israel apartheid and the bds movement. and it didn’t cost us a thing, all of it was paid for by sodastream. a big name like starbucks would get the same treatment, for sure. don’t under estimate the bds movement, it is growing.

      • Walid
        April 30, 2014, 5:40 am

        Annie, both OXFAM and Josh Ruebner’s BDS group have already crossed swords with Starbucks in the past. See my post above.

      • Zach S
        April 30, 2014, 9:39 am

        Annie did you forget Mondoweiss’ coverage of Johansson’s attack on BDS?

        link to mondoweiss.net

        She clearly isn’t ashamed of her decision to promote Sodastream.

      • Annie Robbins
        April 30, 2014, 3:19 pm

        no i didn’t forget zach. in fact i referenced that which you called attention to. from your link: ““There’s a lot of anti-Semitism out there,” Johansson told Vanity Fair, in an interview for the cover of their May edition.”

        that is what i meant by as well as the vanity fair interview.

        she may not be ashamed, but she’s on the defensive. i don’t think denis’s characterization of moved on w/out so much as a look-back. fits w/:

        [Writer Lili] Anolik hears the hurt in Johansson’s voice as she talks about being called “the new face of apartheid.”

        and thanks for adding the link!

    • ritzl
      April 29, 2014, 11:06 pm

      @Denis- BDS doesn’t have to “square off” against Starbucks. It just has to make Sodastream (or any Israeli business) too costly to purchase, in whole or part.

      Starbucks isn’t the issue.

      • Denis
        April 30, 2014, 9:23 pm

        ritzl, you raise a really interesting distinction there. It’s the distinction between the “B” and the “D.”

        annie’s vision is: “Well, hanging at the local cafe might feel different if there is a picket line outside.”

        IOW boycotting not the primary producer [SODA] by refusing to buy the goods [sodamaker] made in the WB, but boycotting an investor who has no direct connection to the WB and is not selling coffee or mugs made there. That is a secondary B to achieve a D or to try and prevent the investment in the first place.

        If international sanctions vs. GoI were in place, a forced divestment approach might work, but your local joe-fiend is not going to take notice until that happens. It’s probably selective memory because I was part of pickets against U. of Virginia and Harvard to divest from companies operating in S. Africa, but it seems to me that most of the S.A. fight in the US was on the divestment battleground. But by then there were already international sanctions against S.A. (A much larger and, ultimately, successful approach was the international ban on the Springboks rugby team, but that will never work against GoI. The closest Israelis come to international sports is shooting Palestinian soccer stars in the legs.)

        Screaming for divestment makes for a big stink, sure, and sometimes it’s all you have. Boycotting Caterpillar, fer instance, is not going to be that effective because not many of us are in the market for a bulldozer. The only way to put pressure on Caterpillar is to go after those who invest in it, and I don’t see that happening anywhere. Personally, I don’t think a grass-roots demand for divestment is going to work until international sanctions are in place, especially against a company so loved as Daddy Starbucks. You might as well boycott Microsoft for selling Windows to the apartheid Israelis.

  6. Citizen
    April 29, 2014, 10:06 pm

    Starbuck’s is all about life style & image; there’s plenty of able content competition, even if mundane. Can’t imagine Starbuck’s would take on Sodastream’s baggage. Worse move it could possibly make.

    • Annie Robbins
      April 29, 2014, 10:32 pm

      i don’t think they’ll do it either citizen, they’ve got to be smarter than that.

      • Egbert
        April 30, 2014, 4:25 am

        All bets are off if the CEOs are Zionistas.

  7. LeaNder
    April 30, 2014, 8:37 am

    I am with Mike Santoli on this. In other words as long as there is no evidence that this is based on facts I don’t see any reason to boycott Starbucks.

    I am not an expert on rumors in economics, but I read a couple of books on it, admittedly quite some time ago. Interesting topic. Triggered a basic position, I do not act on rumors in economics. At least mostly.

  8. seanmcbride
    April 30, 2014, 9:11 am

    Walid,

    Sean, until the Arabs decide to wholeheartedly endorse BDS, it will continue being not much more than a thorn in its backside. They are actually going in the opposite direction….

    Thanks for the background info on Starbucks in your other comment.

    With regard to the participation of Arab nations in BDS — you seem to be saying that it is weak and declining.

    Would it be reasonable to predict that Americans and Europeans are not likely to be more strongly committed to Palestinian human rights than Arab nations and the worldwide Arab community?

    And has Israel already succeeded in substantially crushing its Arab opposition in its own neighborhood?

    • JeffB
      April 30, 2014, 9:59 am

      @Sean

      And has Israel already succeeded in substantially crushing its Arab opposition in its own neighborhood?

      Yes. Though substantially is not completely. There is still a lot of opposition but nothing like there was in the 1970s which was far less than the 1950s which was far less than the 1930s.

      Would it be reasonable to predict that Americans and Europeans are not likely to be more strongly committed to Palestinian human rights than Arab nations and the worldwide Arab community?

      Yes.

    • Walid
      April 30, 2014, 12:54 pm

      “With regard to the participation of Arab nations in BDS — you seem to be saying that it is weak and declining.”

      It never really took off, Sean; not much was left to decline. So much bogus information had been spread around by Israel over decades about its existential whatever, people imagined that the Arabs as one huge formidable force about to squish poor little helpless Israel. The official Arab League boycott that started in 1948 hurt the Arab states more than it hurt Israel.

      From the boycott’s start, members Mauritania, Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia did not participate in the boycott. By 1999, Mauritania actually established relations with Israel in 79, 93 and 94; after Israel signed peace treaties with them, Egypt, Palestine and Jordan got off the boycott program. In 1994, the GCC states, Saudia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman and the UAE dropped the boycott and started getting into joint ventures with Israel. In 1994, Coca Cola and the Ford Motor Company back into Lebanon after an embargo of 30 years. In 2005, Saudia to join the WTO, had to formally get off the boycott bus. The remainder of the states not listed were either far away like Iraq, Somalia, Djibouti and so on or didn’t really care like Libya. So much for the Arabs’ boycott.

      If there’s to be hope for the Palestinians, it would be coming from American and European Jews of good will that they alone would force Israel to stop its tyranny.

      Your prediction is probably correct; the worldwide Arab community is even less into it than those in the countries surrounding the apartheid state.

    • libra
      April 30, 2014, 3:44 pm

      @seanmcbride

      With regard to the participation of Arab nations in BDS — you seem to be saying that it is weak and declining.

      sean, I suspect myself that Israel does very little trade with its Arab neighbours – certainly in consumer products – so it would seem unlikely there would be any real grassroots BDS activity.

      Rather than doing unscientific surveys on Mondoweiss why not use your search engine of choice (have you boycotted Google yet?) to look for evidence of Israeli consumer products being sold in Arab countries? I checked sodastream.com and they offer no Arab country on their list of locations, not even Abu Dhabi or Bahrein with their large number of western residents and visitors.

      Would it be reasonable to predict that Americans and Europeans are not likely to be more strongly committed to Palestinian human rights than Arab nations and the worldwide Arab community?

      This seems s a poorly phrased question. I’d be fairly certain that, if asked, a greater percentage of people in the Arab world would express concern about the plight of the Palestinians than in Europe and America – though quite a few might have more pressing immediate concerns of their own. If you mean being by committed to be taking an active part in an campaign such as BDS then see my response to the issue above.

      Bottom line Sean, if you end up on the same page as JeffB you need to up your game in the thinking department and, depending on what you are trying to prove here, maybe the moral department as well.

      • seanmcbride
        April 30, 2014, 5:16 pm

        libra,

        Bottom line Sean, if you end up on the same page as JeffB you need to up your game in the thinking department and, depending on what you are trying to prove here, maybe the moral department as well.

        I always take care in political analysis to strictly separate what, based on my values, I want to happen from what, based on objective reality, I think will actually happen. Those are two separate tracks, and it would be a mistake to confuse them.

        I don’t get the sense that Palestinians have a strong base of political support anywhere in the world — and that is why Israel continues to get away with pushing them around and abusing their human and civil rights. I strongly oppose those policies but I doubt that you have any practical political program for changing this historical dynamic.

        BDS might move the needle a bit — but I continue to wonder about how much support BDS will acquire in the United States and Europe.

        I strongly opposed the Iraq War, but I knew it was going to happen no matter what I did. The forces pressing it forward at the time were much stronger than the forces opposing it.

      • Walid
        May 1, 2014, 2:46 am

        libra, Sean’s assumptions (for whatever reason) are not wrong and I’m far from being in the same camp as JeffB. In general, all Arabs are sympathetic to the Palestinians’ plight but not many are willing to cross the street to help them out of it. That’s the sad fact and their inactions and failures of the past 65 years have proved it time and again. I’m not pretending to be a one-person survey, but I’ve been around long enough to describe the general Arab mood towards the Palestinians’ problems. You don’t have to go too far back to get the picture; of the 400 million Arabs, how many were moved to action while Israel was raining phosphorus on Gaza?

  9. Kathleen
    April 30, 2014, 9:12 am

    Starbucks will take a hit if they do this.

    Anyone see Chris Hayes get rolled by Josh Block from the Israel Project. Chris allowed Block to get away with repeating a bucket full of false claims. A mountain of lies.

    Chris Hayes knew he was getting rolled by Block and parsed his response with guilty looking restraint. link to msnbc.com

    Wonder if Hayes will have anyone on like Noura Erekat to counter Block’s endless list of lies?. Block even said there was democracy in the West Bank. Hayes has the knowledge base to take Block’s lies and rip them to shreds but he did not.

    • Kay24
      April 30, 2014, 9:22 am

      Chris Hayes did get rolled by Josh Block from the Israel Project. Block tried hard to blame the breakdown of peace talks on the Palestinians, and Hayes did manage to refer to the illegal settlements as a reason, but it went by too fast, Block managed to get his (unchallenged) talking points across.
      I have yet to see ONE member of the US zionist media, criticize, question, or present the true picture of, Israel. They seem to be terrified to be seen as, or accused of, being antisemitic. They are afraid of losing their jobs, and never finding work again.
      Case and point, the recent racist comments by the Clippers owner, referring to his upbringing, culture, and the fact that blacks are treated like dogs in Israel, is never mentioned and discussed. It is conveniently overlooked.

    • JeffB
      April 30, 2014, 9:57 am

      @Kathleen

      Anyone see Chris Hayes get rolled by Josh Block from the Israel Project. Chris allowed Block to get away with repeating a bucket full of false claims. A mountain of lies.

      Chris Hayes knew he was getting rolled by Block and parsed his response with guilty looking restraint. link to msnbc.com

      Yep in my desperate quest not to hear anything more about the NBA last night I saw the whole interview. Chris’ facial expressions were pretty strained. I think Chris did make the core point that in the West Bank Jews live under Israeli civilian law while Palestinians live under IDF military law. They never really got to the core point that this situation isn’t going to last for generations. Once there is no peace process Israel will create a different legal framework.

      BTW MSNBC is generally only about 4 days behind on transcripts to the web so if this thread doesn’t close you might be able to post the transcript.

      • Kathleen
        April 30, 2014, 11:06 am

        MSNBC seldom touches the I/P issue. In fact almost never. Chris Hayes has touched lightly on the issue when he was the host of UP…actually huge for MSNBC. Interesting that you tried to escape the Sterling scandal and went to Chris Hayes program. He spent three quarters of his show on this issue. Even after his interview with Bill Maher where they both agreed that if the MSM were to really focus on critical issues fairly they would become so obsessed with one issue and run with it for weeks on end. I guess there was a theme racism in the NBA and Israeli racism although Chris Hayes does not have the balls to call out that racism like he is the Sterling racism issue.

      • JeffB
        April 30, 2014, 12:27 pm

        @Kalthleen

        Chris Hayes has touched lightly on the issue when he was the host of UP…actually huge for MSNBC.

        That was a good episode I agree.

        . Interesting that you tried to escape the Sterling scandal and went to Chris Hayes program. He spent three quarters of his show on this issue.

        I Tivo Chris, Alex, Rachel and Lawrence. Normally I only watch Rachel unless I’m really interested in the topic. I did the non-NBA parts of Chris and Rachel.

        As far as the mainstream media and dumb issues I’m really proud of MSNBC. They are getting mauled by CNN with the Malaysian plane stupidity and they’ve held their ground in not pandering. Taking the high road when it costs earns mucho points in my book.

        I guess there was a theme racism in the NBA and Israeli racism although Chris Hayes does not have the balls to call out that racism like he is the Sterling racism issue.

        Jon Stewart made the racism theme explicit with the Cliven Bundy & Sterling comparison. Anyway Chris would be off the air if he didn’t approach Israel delicately. His viewership is way down form Keith O and I think on good months is up to Ed Schultz’s numbers. If he were he to then compound that and offend viewers… Being here you get immune to how out of mainstream BDS type speech is about Israel. Think about it this way. MSNBC got rid of Pat Buchanan (a mistake IMHO) for less than that with regard to Black, Jews and gays. Buchanan’s big anti-Jewish comment was just pointing out heavily Jewish women were involved in the pro-choice movement and drawing the obvious inference (one that’s factually wrong but…).

        You aren’t going to get the MSM attacking Israel that directly unless Liberal Jews becoming willing to do it (or at least not completely offended by it). Phil Weiss is right about that 100% IMHO. Just like Sterling couldn’t bash blacks and then go back to running a team, Hayes couldn’t bash Jews and then go back to being the 8:00 PM host on what amounts to the DNC’s official news outlet.

      • Kathleen
        April 30, 2014, 2:17 pm

        Jeff B I read , watch and listen to left, right and center. Don’t kid yourself that I get all my news about the middle east or anything other issue from one source. I am a news junkie. I even subject myself to full hours of Rush Limbaugh just to listen to what right wingers are subjecting themselves to. Yes even got through their radio screener once. Had to bs to get through…and then you ask what you want and they cut you off. But at least you get a plug in

      • Annie Robbins
        April 30, 2014, 11:25 pm

        chris hayes hosted an excellent interview w/noura erakat and rashid khalidi link to mondoweiss.net

        pretty straight forward.

      • Kathleen
        May 1, 2014, 9:23 am

        Yes Annie many of us are well aware of that interview and panel discussion. Watched it live and alerted folks here.

  10. Nevada Ned
    April 30, 2014, 10:30 am

    I wondered if Hayes was going to balance the interview with Josh Block with an interview with Ali Abunimah. Of course not. No interview with Palestinians, any Palestinians.

  11. brenda
    April 30, 2014, 10:45 am

    go get ‘em, Annie

  12. JeffB
    April 30, 2014, 2:55 pm

    @Kathleen

    I get all my news about the middle east or anything other issue from one source. I am a news junkie. I even subject myself to full hours of Rush Limbaugh just to listen to what right wingers are subjecting themselves to.

    My cousin (also a solid dem) does that too. I read RedState and paleoconservative stuff. I don’t think you get all your news from one source. I’m just saying this source tends to make desensitize you towards anti-Israeli dialogue. Things that would never get said on mainstream TV get said all the time here.

    “France is an apartheid state because the Franks ethnically cleansed the Visigoths and the French don’t let the Spanish back in…” or “any French that think that France should be culturally French and not Spanish after what they did to the Spanish is a racist bigot…” sounds ridiculous. It takes a while hearing those sorts of arguments applied to Israel till they don’t sound like ravings.

    • Woody Tanaka
      April 30, 2014, 4:18 pm

      “‘France is an apartheid state because the Franks ethnically cleansed the Visigoths and the French don’t let the Spanish back in…’ or ‘any French that think that France should be culturally French and not Spanish after what they did to the Spanish is a racist bigot…’ sounds ridiculous. It takes a while hearing those sorts of arguments applied to Israel till they don’t sound like ravings.”

      What a stupid argument. Those statement sound ridiculous because they are ridiculous. But more to the point, they have nothing to do at all, even by analogy, with the Palestinian situation.

      To the extent that the kind of frank and truthful arguments and statements about Israel which are voiced here are never said on maintstream TV in America is simply a function of the fact that the media’s gatekeepers are either themselves workers in favor of this alien state or are in thrall to those who are, all for various reasons (none of them particularly valid, moral or right).

    • lysias
      April 30, 2014, 5:36 pm

      The Franks ethnically cleansed the Visigoths? That’s one I never heard of before. It’s true that the Visigoths briefly ruled Southwest France, from most of which they were displaced by the Franks after the Battle of Campus Vogladensis (Vouillé) in 507 A.D. I imagine most if not all of the Visigoths fled these sreas into Spain or into the part of France that remained under Visigothic rule (until the Arab invasion, as it happens), but they were only a ruling class, a small stratum of the population, and I think “ethnic cleansing” is a wildly inappropriate term for such a population movement, whether voluntary or not. Anyway, it’s ridiculous to equate the Visigoths of the time (another Germanic tribe like the Franks) with Spaniards. The bulk of the population, in both what are now called France and Spain, consisted of Romans and Romanized local inhabitants.

      And France has never been unwilling to accept Spanish migrants. Go to Paris now, and you can see them there. Quite a few Spaniards fled across the border into France after the Loyalists lost the Spanish Civil War in 1939. Spaniards in France:

      Spanish immigration to France began from ancient times up to the present time and the French Republic is the second largest Spanish community outside Spain. The Spanish arrived mainly attracted by the job and new lifestyles, as well due to conflicts and armed movements in Spain which prompted the Spanish to emigrate to France.[2] Of these, according to the census of 2010 in Spain, 183,277 reside in the French Republic.[3]

      • JeffB
        April 30, 2014, 6:01 pm

        @lysias

        The Franks ethnically cleansed the Visigoths? That’s one I never heard of before. It’s true that the Visigoths briefly ruled Southwest France, from most of which they were displaced by the Franks after the Battle of Campus Vogladensis (Vouillé) in 507 A.D.

        Look up the migrations of gothic people’s. 507 is about a century after when they are solidifying borders.

        and I think “ethnic cleansing” is a wildly inappropriate term for such a population movement, whether voluntary or not.

        Tribe A kicks tribe B out of their territory and moves them. How is that an inappropriate term?

        but they were only a ruling class, a small stratum of the population, … The bulk of the population, in both what are now called France and Spain, consisted of Romans and Romanized local inhabitants

        So your claim is that the bulk of France and Spain wasn’t inhabited by goths but rather by descendants of Romans? When did those populations get established? Why didn’t any of the Romans notice that most of the locals were Roman…? I’m not following what you are claiming here.

      • Ecru
        May 1, 2014, 2:46 am

        @ Jeff B

        We’ve been over this Visigothic/Frankish thing before Jeffy Baby, you were shown to be wrong then and nothing’s changed since.

        link to mondoweiss.net

        And just so you know, prior to the fall of Western Rome Gaul, as it was then, was populated by Romanised Gauls – it’s called acculturation. Look it up. It’s the same process that changed Late Antiquity native Jewish and Christian populations of the Levant into today’s Palestinians.

        You know you can’t just change the past and then use that fiction to try and justify present Israeli crimes against humanity Jeffy, it doesn’t work any more. At least not outside the MSM.

      • JeffB
        May 1, 2014, 9:56 am

        @Ecru

        We’ve been over this Visigothic/Frankish thing before Jeffy Baby, you were shown to be wrong then and nothing’s changed since.

        No we weren’t over this. You have never answered basic questions like why you are contradicting all available evidence like the writings of people contemporaneous with this migrations and the archeological evidence that such migrations occurred.

        Comments got closed but I’ll respond to part of the old comment:

        If you like we can also look at the Frankish cemetery at Frenouville in Normandy. Everything about it is Frankish. Except that is for the people buried there. They’re that same core population that lived in the area even before the Franks arrived, it’s just the style of burial that changed not the population the burials served.

        If the style of burial changed that means the culture changed. People don’t adopt a new culture instantly. That requires marriages and the state establishing a dominant culture. So at the very least you are looking at a mass migration. If there is no mass migration you need to explain the massive very fast cultural change.

        Well it’s a general rule of history that conquest rarely involved population replacement and this is the case in Palestine with the Arab Expansion.

        I agree that most conquest didn’t involve population replacement. I’m not disputing that. I am however willing to consider what people of the time described as mass migrations to be mass migrations.

        They weren’t one people any more than the Ostrogoths or even the Franks were – they were made up of many different people from different “ethnic” backgrounds – their very name only appears from the 6th Century onwards.

        “Vesi” itself is Latin.
        “Tervingi [a name for the Visigoths], another division of the Goths (Tervingi pars alia Gothorum), joined with the Taifali to attack the Vandals and Gepidae”.” ( Claudius Mamertinus, 305 CE).

        Notitia Dignitatum (388 CE) uses the term Vesi explicitly and informs the reader this is another term for the Tervingi.

        Now let me address the DNA stuff:

        And might I ask that if the population at large was replaced – how did the Jews manage to escape the process that worked on Christians and Pagans?

        The Jews mostly weren’t there at the time. They had been mostly driven out centuries earlier by the Romans. The Palestinian Jews are either:
        a) migrants who had returned along with the Christian pilgrims during the 2nd-7th centuries
        b) later migrants from other areas that interbred with the local population through the centuries.

        Had Palestinians been the result of recent immigration then that would show up as a closer affinity to Arabs but instead Palestinians cluster WITHIN local Jewish populations clearly proving a common ancestor with, as I recall, a genetic distance of roughly 2000 years.

        DNA studies over 2000 years are worthless. Palestinian Jews are genetically going to be Palestinian. The same reason I look Eastern European not Arabic and Chinese Jews look Chinese. If we were going to argue for some sort of genetically pure Palestinian race that inhabited the region continuously we’d want to compare their DNA to dead Jewish bodies from the 1st century not to contemporaneous Palestinian Jews. Of course those people are going to match.

        And it is here your bias is made so obvious because you make no argument of population replacement for the earlier conquests of Palestine – only of the Arabs.

        That’s false. I over and over say the area was cleared by the Romans. Then there was a migration back to the region. Then the Arab invasion happened and a swarm of new people arrived. Those new people became Levant people of Syria, Palestine and Lebanon (and yes including the Jewish population). The Palestinians became a separate people as a result of a different history starting in the 20th century.

        Perhaps because if you held to your “migration” argument for the other invasions your “special pleading” that Jews were somehow miraculously not replaced at these times would be even more obvious than it is already.

        What are you talking about? The Jews were replaced, twice.

      • seanmcbride
        May 1, 2014, 11:04 am

        JeffB,

        Comments got closed but I’ll respond to part of the old comment:

        Feel free to pursue discussions that have been closed on Mondoweiss here:

        [Mondoweiss on Friendfeed link to friendfeed.com ]

        It’s always wide open. Some conversations never end.

      • Ecru
        May 1, 2014, 4:50 pm

        @ Jeff B

        Which are you Jeffy, thick as two short planks or crazier than a sack or rabid weasels? Combination of the two maybe?

        ” You have never answered basic questions like why you are contradicting all available evidence like the writings of people contemporaneous with this migrations and the archeological evidence that such migrations occurred.

        Yes because we all know that quoting and citing historians and archaeologists who specialise in this period and area is of course contradicting them…..You’re the one contradicting here not I. And note – I didn’t say migrations never occurred, but that they were neither as large or as important a mechanism for social change as had previously been thought. For crying out loud I even corrected your use of the term “Dark Ages” with, amongst other more correct terms “Migration Period.”

        People don’t adopt a new culture instantly.

        Culture’s can change incredibly rapidly. Cargo cults in Papua New Guinea – complete change in cultural beliefs in little more than 10 years. Irish culture after the famine – massive change in one generation. The Protestant Reformation again massive change in less than a generation. I could go on….and on….and on…..

        That requires marriages and the state establishing a dominant culture.

        Why marriage? People only copy things if they marry into another group? Back that up with references. And you’re revealing that fascist streak of yours yet again. Why does it need a state actor?

        So at the very least you are looking at a mass migration.

        Well that’s a hell of a leap. Where’s it come from? Please again back it up with MODERN quotes (sorry ones from 1910 won’t do) of people who’ve studied the Frankish and Visigothic kingdoms.

        Tervingi [a name for the Visigoths], another division of the Goths (Tervingi pars alia Gothorum), joined with the Taifali to attack the Vandals and Gepidae”.” ( Claudius Mamertinus, 305 CE).

        A name for the Visigoths? MAYBE an ancestral group, but referring to the same culture? That’s still being debated given that the name Visigoth itself is a (flawed) neologism of Cassiodorus (5th-6th Century). Goth is a collective term much as is Celt, and it’s not enough to say all Gothic peoples shared the same culture. Similar ones probably (at least in core) but not the same.

        The Jews mostly weren’t there at the time. They had been mostly driven out centuries earlier by the Romans.

        An exact date please. Considering there’s been NO evidence of depopulation in Palestine published I’m interested how you’ve found it when it’s escaped every archaeologist working in the area.

        Jews are either:
        a) migrants who had returned along with the Christian pilgrims during the 2nd-7th centuries
        b) later migrants from other areas that interbred with the local population through the centuries.

        Citation?

        DNA studies over 2000 years are worthless.

        Really? My and all those genetic researchers just wasting their time, especially those who can trace population movements back over 100,000 years. How pray do you come to this conclusion? Please. Share.

        If we were going to argue for some sort of genetically pure Palestinian race that inhabited the region continuously we’d want to compare their DNA to dead Jewish bodies from the 1st century not to contemporaneous Palestinian Jews.

        Funnily enough I’m not one into “pure populations” I leave to Zionists and Nazis. And you REALLY don’t understand how genetic studies work do you? I mean really? Take a course or avoid the subject – cause you’re coming off as a fool and I have no time or desire to educate you.

        What are you talking about? The Jews were replaced, twice.

        FINALLY we have something. My bad Jeffy, I missed that original claim of yours. It’s still ludicrous but I did miss it.

        Basically Jeffy I quoted modern specialists in the period of Visigothic/Frankish studies and you haven’t. Wonder why…..

      • lysias
        May 1, 2014, 10:28 am

        Why do you suppose the overwhelming majority of people in both France and Spain today speak Romance languages descended from Latin, not Germanic languages? In contrast, both the West Frankish dialect (as spoken in what became France) and Visigothic have been extinct languages for well over a thousand years.

      • JeffB
        May 1, 2014, 10:49 am

        @lysias

        Why do you suppose the overwhelming majority of people in both France and Spain today speak Romance languages descended from Latin, not Germanic languages?

        Well first of all the romance languages have heavy German influence. I’m not a linguist and don’t claim to be one. But my understanding is that the educated classes spoke Latin and the language migrated down the socio-economic ladder all during the dark ages. Certainly when we read 2nd century (CE) authors they don’t have the peoples you are talking about speaking Latin. Conversely the 9th century authors do have the people speaking varieties of Vulgar Latin where the dialects have started to split enough to become the separate Romance languages.

        Take for example Charlemagne who is much later. His native tongue is Frankish. He learned to speak Latin and some Greek. He then pushes out a massive Latin education program to create an educated clergy: getting local priests to be able to read and write in Latin. By Charles the Bald (grandson) we have good quality reports of Vulgar Latins as the dominant languages of the court. Under your theory Charlemagne’s native tongue should have been a Romance language but we don’t even know if they existed during his life.

    • Kathleen
      May 1, 2014, 9:22 am

      JB I am not a solid Dem. While I have worked for many Dems over 45 years of working on Dem campaigns and for the Dem chair of our county (they tried to lobby me for that position) and she was also the chair of all the County Dem chairs in Ohio…now she is a solid Dem she (attorney Susan Gwinn) devotes her time, money etc to any Dem running. She is a die hard Dem. I have voted for local Republicans and Inde’s. Have yet to vote for a Republican in a national election. But get someone up there who is not a warmonger like Hillary and a moderate on domestic issues and I might consider it.

  13. ThorsteinVeblen2012
    May 1, 2014, 12:27 am

    I’m in.

    Starbucks invests in Soda Stream and I’m out.

    • Walid
      May 1, 2014, 3:34 pm

      More about OXFAM/Starbucks from Diane Krauthamer 2007:

      and part 2

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