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Peace Now board member jokes about owning a SodaStream

Israel/Palestine
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SodaStream

SodaStream is built in Ma’aleh Adumim, a settlement in the occupied West Bank

During the recent controversy over Scarlett Johansson’s appearance in a SuperBowl ad for the seltzer-maker SodaStream, which builds its fizzers in the occupied territories, Americans for Peace Now took a strong line against purchasing SodaStream products. Its ceo, Debra DeLee, wrote, “Reject SodaStream” because Peace Now regards the West Bank as so vital to the two-state solution:

because Israel’s occupation of the West Bank is such an anomaly, as much as I may like Scarlett (and seltzer), I will not buy SodaStream, not until it moves its headquarters away from a West Bank settlement.

Today I received a fundraising email from Peace Now, titled, “Don’t make me use my SodaStream” (link) on the occasion of the Jewish festival of Purim. Author Sara Ehrman is 95, and a Peace Now board member (and a longtime friend of Hillary Clinton’s). Ehrman’s running gag is that she was around in biblical times.

And with all the talk of piling more sanctions on Iran before negotiations play themselves out, we forget that this isn’t the first time that Iran was sanctioned for threatening the Jews. I had proposed economic sanctions on Haman, but I was overruled. The rightwing hawks in the Jewish community insisted that he be hanged along with his 10 sons.
As a result of that disagreement, I do Purim a little differently than some of my fellow Jews. I don’t carry a grogger. At the Megillah reading, at every mention of Haman’s name, I shpritz my Sodastream (I swear I didn’t buy it – it was a gift).
Even at this crazy time of year, the cause that’s most dear to my heart remains Americans for Peace Now. Through APN we can trumpet the message, at least with regard to Israel, that we will not give way to excess – the rational moderation that exemplifies APN is the way to a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

I just don’t get it. Does APN “reject SodaStream” or does it think the occupied territories are just a joke?

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35 Responses

  1. Citizen
    Citizen
    March 16, 2014, 2:21 pm

    I don’t think there’s much to “get.” She’s old and wise enough to see things are not black and white, really old enough, even when it comes to Jews and their fear obsessions, and somebody thought the idea of a robust old Jewish nana with some wit would bring in more donor dollars to APN. The model is, how many US sitcom series?
    She played her part. Something tells me the old gal doesn’t spend much time thinking about the plight of the Palestinians, but maybe I’m wrong?

    And, BTW, I can’t help but wonder how many American goys are members of APN.
    Zionist organization PACS, have a habit of cloaking with their org names directly suggesting they are American First orgs….See: http://natsummit.org/transcripts/mcmahon.htm

  2. puppies
    puppies
    March 16, 2014, 2:57 pm

    “I will not buy SodaStream, not until it moves its headquarters away from a West Bank settlement.”

    Oh, yeah! And the post-67 settlements arose by parthenogenesis, miraculous intervention of the Holy Ghost –pardon, wrong page, miraculous intervention of the other Eloh. The pre-67 state is innocent and kosher, no? Who “does” the settlements but should not be boycotted?

    Who do these “American” Zionists think they are conning with their non-boycott boycotting tricks? There is some teaching value to that, too, of course, but not when the comedy is allowed to claim all the space. Enough is sufficient.

    These Zionist organizations

    • Woody Tanaka
      Woody Tanaka
      March 17, 2014, 10:15 am

      Exactly. The entire zionist entity is an illegal, immoral settlement and should be BDS alone with anyone who supports it. Pretending that the evil is the settlements and not the zionist idea and enterprise itself is wrong. Until zionism is in the dust bin of history with its kin: racism, Nazism, Apartheid, etc., the evil will have to be fought.

  3. clenchner
    clenchner
    March 16, 2014, 3:34 pm

    She’s making fun of the Jewish community’s anti-BDS obsession – for Purim.
    The holiday where we commemorate our own attempted genocide with humor.
    There’s something utterly humorless about twisting that into ‘the occupied territories are just a joke.’

    • annie
      annie
      March 16, 2014, 3:50 pm

      i read it as a purim joke, and this part: “(I swear I didn’t buy it – it was a gift)” was a pun on people who say that, and it doesn’t mean she actually owns a soda stream.

      • W.Jones
        W.Jones
        March 16, 2014, 4:12 pm

        I tend to think you are right. Even if she did that, I doubt she would mean it as an endorsement of Sodastream.

    • W.Jones
      W.Jones
      March 16, 2014, 4:32 pm

      There’s something utterly humorless about twisting that into ‘the occupied territories are just a joke.’

      Phil likes humor, but I think he didn’t really go along with what she was saying. For Phil, the territories are a major human rights violation, and her joke did not really bring out a full rejection of that or show how bad it is. She is making a weak “spoof” of the holiday and the occupation, where she implies that she goes along with things (she spritzes a bottle) and makes alittle fun of them at the same time (irreverence)
      This matches APN’s milder criticism of the occupation in general. There was another issue they were weak in- I think they came to Madonna’s concert with Netanyahu that Pals were virtually unable to attend.

      • clenchner
        clenchner
        March 16, 2014, 10:22 pm

        1. “APN’s milder criticism of the occupation in general.” That’s just a strange thing to say. Can you support, perhaps with a quote, that APN is somehow ‘less critical of the occupation’ than…. ??? What does that even mean? Less hyperbolic use of language?
        If there is one thing about APN folks should agree with it is that they oppose the occupation, unreservedly.

        2. I’ve seen many many pantloads of ‘humor’ on this site, quite a bit of it from commenters being despicably cruel to others. And when the unfunny, mean spirited, cruel humor flows from the more extreme to the less extreme, it passes muster. But when it comes in this one instance from the less extreme to the more extreme, suddenly, ‘whoa, dude, not a laughing matter!’
        Feels a little hypocritical, as though the pump is primed to denounce APN for something, anything, and then this came along so ‘gotcha!’

      • W.Jones
        W.Jones
        March 17, 2014, 3:25 pm

        Hi NewClench.

        APN’s position is that it opposes settlements, but that opposition is not unreserved. The opposition only goes as far as it sees as within the bounds of APN’s support of a “Jewish, Democratic state” within the 1967 borders. As a result, its positions are frequently described in terms of what is good for the state’s one-sided orientation and it campaigns against people stopping their investments in companies involved in the settlements’ abuses:
        http://mitchellplitnick.com/2012/07/05/americans-for-peace-now-right-so-often-but-wrong-on-presbyterian-divestment

        That is, a criticism that will not countenance anything that has adverse effects on the political system in the 1967 borders is a weaker criticism than one that demands adherence to international law regardless of whether there are any negative impacts on corporations based inside the 1967 borders.

        Please note: Ehrman said that she will be OK with Sodastream if it moves its headquarters inside the 1967 lines. The implication is that if Sodastream is still abusing everyday people outside the Green Line, she will be OK with Sodastream. She does not want a boycott of Sodastream, the deadly bulldozers of Caterpiller, or others, if they have their headquarters inside the Green Line.

      • W.Jones
        W.Jones
        March 17, 2014, 3:34 pm

        The APN press release blatantly mischaracterized the proposed divestment overture as “targeting Israel rather than the occupation,” despite the fact that the proposed divestment was specific to three companies whose direct involvement in the occupation has been extensively documented.

        http://www.jadaliyya.com/pages/index/6422/j-street-and-americans-for-peace-now-biggest-loser

      • puppies
        puppies
        March 17, 2014, 8:57 pm

        @Newclench – If there was any humor, it would be the kind impenetrable to anyone not steeped in our (unfortunately) incestuous inside-Jewish lore. This outfit calls itself “American”, so it may well make the effort to use some humor that’s transparent to a majority of the population –and something funny, too, while we’re at it.
        As for its “mild criticism” of the occupation, how about this:
        “I will not buy SodaStream, not until it moves its headquarters away from a West Bank settlement.”
        There you have it, a “liberal” Zionist organization posing as “American”.

    • W.Jones
      W.Jones
      March 16, 2014, 4:40 pm

      Newclench:
      If you traded Native Americans for Persians and Palestinians, and American settlers and Indian reservations for Israelis and Sodastream, you would see Phil’s point more clearly when it comes to the humor. Humor is an important tool, but the joke here was about playing along with a bad situation, albeit in an irreverent way.

      For some folks like Phil, there is a major human rights issue at hand, and so they would make a stronger point in their humor.

      • Naftush
        Naftush
        March 17, 2014, 4:27 am

        You really don’t want to make that trade because the real deal is vastly different. The Navajo narrative, for example, has the nation forcibly exiled, kicked around from place to place, and ultimately allowed to reclaim its historical homeland. The Jewish parallel goes without saying except on this kind of forum.

      • W.Jones
        W.Jones
        March 17, 2014, 3:02 pm

        Naftush.

        No, I do want to make that trade. If we were talking about Jewish or Navajo suffering, it would be more visible that a joke whose point is to play along with abuse (spritz my Sodastream) is problematic.

    • RoHa
      RoHa
      March 17, 2014, 5:11 am

      “The holiday where we commemorate our own attempted genocide”

      I thought the genocide was successful, and lots of Persians were slaughtered. Or am I confusing Purim with one of the other Jewish celebrations of mass deaths of Gentiles.

      • jon s
        jon s
        March 20, 2014, 10:46 am

        RoHa, There is no “Jewish celebration of mass death of Gentiles…”
        There’s a celebration of Jews avoiding genocide and defending themselves.

  4. W.Jones
    W.Jones
    March 16, 2014, 3:49 pm

    I think that she is comparing Sodastream to a grogger. The grogger is used to drown out Haman’s name, and the Sodastream for her is a stand-in. Her position is that she only wanted economic sanctions on Haman, but instead he got :(
    She is drawing an analogy between part of the treatment given to Haman and what Sodastream does to people.
    Since she says she only wanted economic sanctions on Haman, this can imply that she finds what Sodastream does to people to also be too harsh.
    Of course, if you want to take the analogy all the way, you can say that just as she is participating in the spritzing, she is still going along with what happened then and is happening now, although it is not what she votes for. That is, someone else made the decision to do :( to Haman and someone else gave her the bottle.

    • W.Jones
      W.Jones
      March 16, 2014, 4:48 pm

      Her conclusion is that she support APN because

      “we will not give way to excess – the rational moderation that exemplifies APN is the way to a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict.”

      In other words, for her the issue is one of excess, not whether one should reject punishment or adversive measures altogether?

      Building settlements past the 1967 lines is excessive. But as regards to the situation within the 1967 lines that she experienced growing up, is her position that what happened then was “excessive”? Why not reject even “moderate” punishment against a Palestinian population that actually was not really so bad as portrayed, and in fact was rather neutral and just did not want their homes taken over, their villages destroyed, and their independence lost?

  5. jsinton
    jsinton
    March 16, 2014, 5:53 pm

    She should smash the contraption in public on video for all to see. Put your spritzer where you mouth is, madam.

  6. Henry Norr
    Henry Norr
    March 16, 2014, 7:04 pm

    When Sara Ehrmann wrote “The rightwing hawks in the Jewish community insisted that he be hanged along with his 10 sons,” she forgot to mention the rest of their response to Haman’s supposed plot: killing 500 other Persians, then sending Esther back to the king to ask for permission to go at it another day, during which they slaughtered 75,000 more people!

    When you’re 95, you’re entitled to a lot of slack for forgetting things, but somehow I suspect that’s not the real reason the letter doesn’t include that part of the Purim story. See my post here from three years ago, “We planned the Purim party, then my partner actually read the Book of Esther….”

    • just
      just
      March 16, 2014, 7:31 pm

      Thanks Henry. I don’t think being 95 and alive means that she forgot. She’s still speaking her mind.

      I only wish that she would acknowledge that her statement: “Through APN we can trumpet the message, at least with regard to Israel, that we will not give way to excess – the rational moderation that exemplifies APN is the way to a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict.” is totally weird. The Israelis never wanted a 2 state solution, or peace with the indigenous Palestinians. Israel is, and has always been, about “excess”– excessive force, excessive cruelty, excessive theft, and more. The “conflict” was one designed by Zionists and the hand-wringers (handmaidens) of the west, and perpetuated by the same folks TODAY. The Palestinians never did one damned thing to the Jewish people until and after the ongoing Nakba. They were not responsible for the Holocaust, but they have been made to pay…endlessly, with their blood, their lives, their land, their water, their freedom, and their future.

    • W.Jones
      W.Jones
      March 16, 2014, 9:20 pm

      Good post you made, Henry.

    • Naftush
      Naftush
      March 17, 2014, 4:31 am

      Henry, these ostensible victims of Jewi… er, proto-Zionist aggression were strewn across 127 countries from India to Ethiopia. The text plainly singles them out as genocidal enemies, i.e., far from random targets, anything but innocent.

      • Henry Norr
        Henry Norr
        March 18, 2014, 3:18 pm

        Naftush, I suppose it’s conceivable, if we accept the framework of a story that’s probably fiction, that Haman’s ten sons and the 500 other people the Jews slaughtered in Shushan on the first day of killing and the 300 more they killed the next day were all “genocidal enemies” of the Jews. But do you really expect us to accept that the 75,000 people they killed in the provinces were all part of some giant anti-Semitic conspiracy extending, as you say, from India to Ethiopia?

      • W.Jones
        W.Jones
        March 19, 2014, 11:03 am

        Mordechai in Esther 8:11 gives permission to kill women and children, however later in recounting what happened it does not mention whether they did.

    • bilal a
      bilal a
      March 17, 2014, 5:53 am

      This was a joke about the Book of Esther, celebrated at the Purim festival, in which intrigues led to the mass murder of Persians including women and children. Most likely ahistorical, it, The Book of Esther, nonetheless has some motivational merit, Netanyahu handing a copy to Obama in 2012. Historical near east massacres of Christians by Jews may have found motivation in this Biblical text:

      ————–
      Israeli historians have backed the BBC after the corporation stood by comments made in a TV documentary claiming that an ancient Jewish tribe massacred Christians who refused to convert..Ms Humble said the Jews had offered the villagers the choice between conversion to Judaism or death and that 20,000 Christians had then been massacred.
      http://www.thejc.com/news/uk-news/historians-back-bbc-over-jewish-massacre-claim

      “The Vengeance of the Jews Was Stronger Than Their Avarice”: Modern Historians and the Persian Conquest of Jerusalem in 614
      http://connection.ebscohost.com/c/articles/983080/vengeance-jews-was-stronger-than-their-avarice-modern-historians-persian-conquest-jerusalem-614
      Netanyahu gives Obama a copy of the book of Esther
      http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Security-Watch/Backchannels/2012/0307/Netanyahu-gives-Obama-the-Book-of-Esther.-Biblical-parable-for-nuclear-Iran

      • jon s
        jon s
        March 20, 2014, 10:49 am

        bilal a, I suggest that you actually read the Book of Esther. There’s no slaughter of innocent women and children.

  7. Daniel Rich
    Daniel Rich
    March 16, 2014, 7:56 pm

    Jokes, eh?

    Depends on who’s poking whom?

    “‘The last time a German looked this hot was when they were pushing Jews into the ovens” – Joan Rivers.

    Question for German Lefty: what was Germany’s reaction [very much in general] after hearing this insult [as I don’t recollect as much as a peep in MSM]?

    • W.Jones
      W.Jones
      March 16, 2014, 10:34 pm

      Are you comparing joking about Sodastream, Persians, and Haman’s :( to joking about the Holocaust?

    • puppies
      puppies
      March 18, 2014, 12:33 am

      @Daniel Rich: It seems that you are exaggerating the Germans’ seriousness. They can get a joke at least as well as any American. Or, reconsidering: some might get a funny joke better than certain Americans.
      The soda “joke” still needs a couple tomes to explain where the point may lie.

  8. hophmi
    hophmi
    March 16, 2014, 9:51 pm

    The fact that you don’t get that it’s a joke says a lot about you.

  9. Naftush
    Naftush
    March 17, 2014, 4:19 am

    Ms. Ehrman may have been around in biblical times but hasn’t read the plain biblical text. Had she, she would have known that the idea of hanging Haman and his sons was hatched not by the Jews but by Harvona, one of Ahasueros’ chamberlains.

    • Henry Norr
      Henry Norr
      March 17, 2014, 3:24 pm

      According to the text, Harmon A’s only contribution was to point out, after the king turned against Haman, that the gallows that Haman had had built for More chain was available. It was the king who then ordered that Haman be hanged on it. But nothing in the text suggests that either Harmon a or Ahashueros had any direct role – except by giving the Jews carte blanche (or should we say carte rouge?) – in the later hanging of Haman’s sons or in the rest of the bloodshed.

      • Henry Norr
        Henry Norr
        March 18, 2014, 3:27 pm

        Oops, should have know better than to post a comment from a phone with hyperactive auto-correct. My message of March 17 at 3:24 pm should have read:

        According to the text, Harvona’s only contribution was to point out, after the king turned against Haman, that the gallows that Haman had had built for Mordecai was available. It was the king who then ordered that Haman be hanged on it. But nothing in the text suggests that either Harvona or Ahashueros had any direct role – except by giving the Jews carte blanche (or should we say carte rouge?) – in the later hanging of Haman’s sons or in the rest of the bloodshed.

    • W.Jones
      W.Jones
      March 17, 2014, 3:37 pm

      Sorry, Naftush. I wish very much that Esther had been more merciful.

      It is nice that you would like her to see this way too. But one must recognize the facts and see how to deal with them in a kind and ethical way.

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