ARAB BOYCOTT RESURRECTED
By Emanuel A. Winston
In the earlier Arab boycott of Israel from the birth of the Jewish State, a coalition of Arab nations threatened corporate America with a loss of markets and oil resources if they did business with Israel. A secondary and tertiary boycott operated against any company who did business with companies who did business with Israel. The U.S. Congress voted legislation that countered this threat by making it illegal for any company to assist the Arabs in a boycott against Israel.
In recent years the Arab boycott of Israel and corporate America seemed to fade - although many U.S. and European corporations subtly chose NOT to do business with Israel, so they would be more 'acceptable' to Arab nations and markets. This was functionally an 'anticipatory boycott'.
Today's story revolves around Burger King Restaurants which has established 60 locations in Israel, all Kosher. Muslims also eat only Kosher meat. Burger King has demonstrated that it is an equal opportunity, non-prejudicial corporation by franchising Burger Kings at 82 locations in several Muslim majority nations including Turkey, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar.
When Burger King opened up a new outlet four months ago in the town of Ma'ale Adumim, a town of 28,000 northeast of Jerusalem, the Arabs once again tried to use the almost dead boycott to punish Burger King. In a vicious and blatant show of barely disguised hatred, American Muslim organizations in Washington, D.C. threatened to resurrect the boycott and have gotten the Arab League to agree that such a resolution will be submitted for vote on September 4-5.
I am told by reliable sources that these Muslim/Arab organizations have launched a well-funded campaign to portray Burger King in a negative light across the Arab/Muslim world because Burger King has chosen to open up numerous restaurants in Israel. They have used the excuse of Burger King opening up in Ma'ale Adumim to launch an attack which is intended as a far broader message to corporate America.
Those who know, understand that what is really being said is that: "We, the Palestinians intend to one day take over this Jewish city and do not want any facts of normalization to be established by any other nation through investment or development." That the primary Arab/American organization is titled: "American Muslims for Jerusalem" reveals their oft-stated intent to take Jerusalem as the capital of the new "State of Palestine".
It also tells anyone with sharp vision that the facade of peace talk is a charade. The hatred is still there and being taught daily at every possible level of official communication, including school, television, radio and the print media. Grade school children speak of the honor of being suicide bombers to kill Jews for Islam and the PLO.
The not-so-subtle boycott of American and Europan corporations conveys the message clearly to all who wish to listen: "We, the Arabs hate you, Israel and will use every stratagem to undercut and finally bring you down to an ignominious defeat. If we cannot at the moment defeat you on the battlefield, we will use disinformation through the media who, while knowing it is false, will nonetheless print the information."
Regrettably, America has been chosen as the staging area for these groups and their intended future operations. As we learned during World War II, front organizations endanger the freedom of a democratic society. The CHICAGO TRIBUNE (long known for its anti-Jewish and anti-Israel editorial policies) spelled it out in 3 articles August 7 and 8. The TRIB picked up the "news releases" from the Arab organizations in Washington, quoted their statements as facts, and deliberately continued the negative spin against Israel and Burger King. Their lead editorial Saturday August 7 "Having It Burger King's Way" claims Burger King will not sell their burgers to Palestinians. Not true. Palestinians also eat at the Burger King in Ma' ale Adumim. Burger King is not refusing to open in Palestinian areas. (However, the McDonalds franchise in Israel refuses to open any branches in Jewish areas over the former Green Line, including Jerusalem.)
Why am I not surprised that Arab/Muslim organizations in Washington are inter-linked to those in Arab countries and are pursuing the same goals? Why am I thinking of Steve Emerson's exposÚs on Muslim cells organizing in America - which has deeply worried the FBI and other Counterterrorism organizations? Why am I not surprised that Arab/American" organizations can trigger a fast response? Were not these organizations supposed to be merely religious groups dedicated to raising funds for schools and hospitals in various Arab countries? How is it that they have such influence with the leaders of Arab nations that they can command so quick a response in the incitement of boycott frenzy?
I fear that what America is seeing is a brief glimpse of a far more malevolent organization, with goals that may not be in the best interests of our nation. Attacking American corporations and enlisting the media is hardly the act of a friend, although many of these Arab/Muslim organizations have been invited to the White House as guests of the Clintons. Investigative reporting has shown that many of these organizations use their American fund-raising to finance terrorist operations against Israel and to expand their presence here in America. Boycotts may be trivial compared to what they could do. Perhaps this action is a blessing in disguise as we are given a preview of what is developing in our free society.
I fully expect the now cowed and submissive Prime Minister of Israel, Barak to respond that this is a minor issue and should not disturb the peace process. But, then Barak has already stated that he would implement the Wye River withdrawals - even if Arafat implements none of his obligations in any of his signed Accords - neither Oslo, Hebron or Wye. The homily, "There are none so blind as those who refuse to see" is quite appropriate for Israeli and Jewish leadership. No matter how many times the Arabs make it plain that they hate the Jewish State, weak and subservient Jewish leadership pretends that spit is rain. Within the Arab culture, weak governments who do not defend themselves are to be conquered by the sword of Islam until Islam rules victorious. Unfortunately, both Israel and America are now manifesting this inner weakness which inevitably leads to defeat.
In a speech in Ramallah on August 4, celebrating his 70th birthday, Arafat proclaimed that the Palestinian flag will be able to fly from the mosques and churches in Jerusalem. "Allah willing, we will continue our struggle, our Jihad." (JERUSALEM POST August 5, 1999) Yassir Arafat has been consistent in telling the Israeli people, Bill Clinton , the State Department, the world media, the U.S. Congress that he is engaged in a struggle to the death through Jihad. Is this a replay of Hitler's Mein Kampf proclamation which was also ignored by the Jews and the "free" world. Granted Madame Albright may pretend the words were not said, but, if said, not meant. The facts of unceasing terrorism and the deliberate breaking of all agreements cannot be ignored nor rewarded with U.S. tax dollars.
As for Israeli leaders, as Jews are murdered, Israeli politicians, in deference to clinging to their official seats, ignore the packs of dogs chewing on their legs. Let us wait, for Barak, as Rabin and Peres did before him, to apologize and excuse the Arabs' boycott of Burger King. The Clinton Administration is now wooing Iran and trying to get Syria off Congressional list of terrorist nations (although Syria supports at least 10 terror groups in Syria as well as the Iranian-backed Hezb'Allah terror attacks against Israel). It seems as if Yassir Arafat can do no wrong in the eyes of Clinton and is exonerated by the State Department from keeping any of his commitments signed in the Olso/Hebron/Wye Agreements. Local Arab organizations seem to easily get the Clintons to host them and appear at their fund-raising functions.
Why have these organizations been given free access, carte blanche, to the White House? Do I smell campaign contributions like others which came from China, Asia and the Middle East? The threatened Burger King boycott tells us that America remains "The Great Satan" while Israel is called "Little Satan" in Arab lore. Nothing has changed - except the words of 'peace' which mean nothing. The operative sayings for the Islamic militants are "Kiss the hand of your enemy, until you can cut it off" and "First the Saturday People; then the Sunday People".
Be aware that the Arab-American Muslim organizations' campaign has resulted in a massive response (they claim). The Arab-American Action Network sent out a mailing last month calling on supporters "to Email or phone their demands on a single day, July 30, for maximum effect, that Burger King close the Ma'ale Adumim restaurant and threaten a boycott that will hurt their profits in the short term and business expansion in the long term."
Burger King Corporation deserves our support against this blatant blackmail. Please write:
Mr. Dennis Malamatinas, CEO Burger King Corporation, 17777 Old Cutler Road, Miami FL 33157
Ph: 305-378-7770 Fax: 305-378-7403 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org & email@example.com
Also, please contact your local media, the national media outlets, your Congressmen and women, the U.S. State Department, the Clinton White House 202-456-1111 (public opinion line).
Emanuel A. Winston is a Middle East analyst & commentator as well as a research associate of the Freeman Center For Strategic Studies.