Article Retracted

This article has been removed since its original publication. Nouse would like to apologise and thank those in the comments section below for bringing any inaccuracies to our attention. The University has since commented, ‘The fruit and vegetables on sale at the Costcutter on Market Square are purchased through a wholesaler solely on the basis of quality, price and availability. There is no ban on the products referred to in the article.’ After consultation with YUSU Nouse have been advised to edit the comments and close the thread as potentially-libellous comments were being posted. Please direct any complaints to the editor.

Statement from the York Palestinian Solidarity Society:

“There’s been a lot of misinformation and confusion spread over the past couple of weeks. It began with a Nouse article entitled ‘Palestinian Solidarity Society in Jaffa Ban’ (14th of February). Much of this stemmed from the article’s title itself, which was very misleading – and the UoY Palestinian Solidarity Society raised our concerns over this immediately. The article stemmed from a successful PSS action that week, with Costcutter on Market Square agreeing to switch suppliers from an illegal settlement–linked brand, Jaffa, who produce citrus fruit (no relation to McVities Jaffa Cakes), to another company. Jaffa-brand products are primarily distributed by a company, Mehadrin, which has been found by CorporateWatch and other NGOs to operate on illegal settlements in occupied Palestine.

“Members of our society suggested the removal of the misleading Nouse article on numerous occasions, due to the extent of factual errors and incorrect assumptions of ‘banning’ that arose from it. Instead, it was poorly re-edited, the revisions only clarifying a handful of inaccuracies made in the article. As a result our society suffered, and is continuing to suffer, from unnecessary abuse, insults and malicious claims. We would like Nouse to acknowledge their negligence which led to vilification of our Society and countless abusive comments both beneath the article and elsewhere.

“The Jaffa brand is linked closely with growers in illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank which expropriate Palestinian land and exploit its limited water supplies. In this way, Costcutter’s customers were unwittingly contributing to the injustice by buying products that are inaccurately labelled as coming from Israel, when in fact they are likely to come from settlements declared illegal under international law. This is then, not only a human rights issue, but a consumer rights one, too.

“Last year, the Co-operative group decided to ‘no longer engage with any supplier of produce known to be sourcing from the Israeli settlements’, leading the way in terms of ethical practice. We hoped – rightly, in fact – that Costcutter would take a similar ethical approach. And we will be writing to Costcutter’s HQ and CEO requesting that the same attitude towards the settlement produce should be considered and adopted.

“Indeed, A UN report of September 2012 from the Human Rights Special Rapporteur, Richard Falk, listed a dozen companies that undermine and violate international law through having connections with Israeli illegal settlements. Mehadrin is one such company. Accordingly, a delegation from Palestinian Solidarity Society requested the manager use alternative ethically-assured companies and suppliers or provide an explanation of Costcutter’s policy on stocking Israeli settlement produce. The manager was understanding and said that our concerns were taken on board. He has since been victimised by right-wing groups after a Twitter-fueled UKIP-led campaign against the store’s decision, following the misleading Nouse article which linked the decision, bizarrely, to a Netherlands poisoning plot, Jaffa Cakes, and sensationally declared the supplier-change a ‘ban’.

“In the face of a vociferous online campaign, overwhelmingly by non-students with no links to the University, Costcutter have now said they will continue to stock the settlement-linked produce. We encourage students to boycott these goods, and get involved with Palestinian Solidarity Society – one of the most active and fastest-growing societies on campus. The Palestinian situation is a human rights issue, and the mislabelling of goods as ‘Israeli’ when they are from the Occupied Palestinian Territories a consumer rights issue. There will be plenty more positive actions from the society in the future. We only hope student media realise, after this saga, that poor reporting can have serious ramifications for societies’ and individuals’ welfare.”

40 comments

  1. 7 people have ruined the choice of over 15,000 people… and Chris West has the audacity to say that it is good? Is he mad? This is a ridiculous move by Costcutter. I am hoping that JSoc get 8 letter writers and Jaffa Cakes are put back on the shelves for us all to enjoy (or not buy! it’s a free country, well was…).

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  2. “It is unclear whether the ban will include products containing jaffa-type oranges, including jaffa cakes”

    is Nouse’s way of saying, ‘here is a story about oranges that students won’t care about but maybe if we tenuously link it to jaffa cakes, people will misread it and accidentally give a shit.’

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  3. M&S Jaffa Cakes are better anyway..

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  4. ‘…were likely to have been sourced from “illegal settlements” in Occupied Palestinian Territories.’

    What’s with the scare quotes? Who disagrees that the settlements are illegal? The International Court of Justice says they’re illegal. The UN says they’re illegal. Most Israelis say they’re illegal. Even the US says they’re illegal. The only people who dispute this are the settlers themselves, and apparently the deputy online news editor of Nouse.

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  5. 14 Feb ’13 at 10:01 pm

    U Knw Ur @ UoY

    …When someone comments about M&S Jaffa Cakes…

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  6. @What?! The article is saying that 7 delegates (or representatives) went to Costcutters on behalf of the society so no it wasn’t just 7. And Jaffa Cakes are not what are being protested against here its the Jaffa brand/ company.

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  7. Yep, Jaffa Cakes are not affected in anyway. Trying to sensationalise much, Nouse?

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  8. I can just imagine them clearing the Jaffa Cake shelf for the photo!

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  9. McVities Jaffa Cakes have no relation to Jaffa-branded citrus fruit (which are actually made of apricots!). Jaffa Cakes have not been withdrawn (they just sold out). Silly Nouse!

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  10. So, Nouse understands what item was banned (the Jaffa fruit brand which buys fruit produced on illegal Palestianian settlements, with no relation whatsoever to Jaffa Cakes made by McVities) yet still tries to provoke outrage by mentioning Jaffa Cakes despite knowing there is no connection between the two.

    This is some utterly shoddy journalism.

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  11. Agree with Ben. Despicable. I thought better of Nouse than this sort of thing.

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  12. I’ve just been in to costcutter – Jaffa cakes are back on the shelf.

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  13. Then to remove all erroneous traces of Jaffa Cake from the article so silently, without a dignified note, smells just slightly of negationism. A latecomer would get the impression that some commenters just decided to bring up the subject themselves, having jumped to some conclusion for no apparent reason.

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  14. Hi guys,

    Thanks for alerting us to the inaccuracies within this article. Apologies, the fault is on my part – misunderstanding the article during the addition of photos. I’ve now corrected the mistake, and have informed other readers of the change.

    It’s lovely to know there’s such passion about the orange-flavoured cake.

    Thanks,

    Josh Boswell
    Nouse Deputy Editor
    [email protected]

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  15. Mmmm, I could go for some Jaffa cakes right now. Who’s with me?

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  16. Why does the following come as no surprise .

    Jaffa oranges have been a source of disputes between Israelis and Palestinians before. In 1978, Israeli-grown Jaffa oranges sold in the Netherlands were reportedly poisoned with mercury in an effort to sabotage Israel’s economy. Four Dutch children were hospitalised after eating the oranges.

    It shows the lengths the PSC are prepared to go to in order to undermine and delegitimise Israel . It’s why Norman Finklestein , no friend of Israel reevaluated his opinion of the PSC ,labelling it a minority cult with no mainstream political support and negligible critical mass .

    Brain washed students are always good for a laugh . Removing oranges from shelves while using Israeli technology in their phones and computers . Hilarious . Cross UK Israel trade last year exceeded £8 billion .
    That’s a lot of oranges but keep the red / green flag flying .

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  17. 17 Feb ’13 at 2:41 pm

    Afternoon Delight

    When will Costcutter realise they are being duped by unscrupulous ‘activists’?

    Trade between Israeli and Palestinian businesses is extremely important, and supports families on both sides. Strong trade is also regarded as a prerequisite for peace.

    Bring back the Jaffas, we need our 5 a day :-)

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  18. 17 Feb ’13 at 3:52 pm

    Marrin Sugarman

    A disgraceful piece of boycotting of Jewish/Israeli businesses; just like the 1930’s. Jewish towns and villages in Judea and Samaria (West Bank to ignoramuses) are not illegal and many international lawyers say so; just because a few lawyers say ‘illegal’, and advise quick fix politicians, and are unelected and unaccountable to anyone, does not make it so. If Arabs can live in Israel, Jews can live in Judea and Samaria ON DISPUTED TERRITORY, UNTIL SUCH TIME as a peace treaty says who can live where. Such Jewish villages are not displacing any Arabs and are not harming anyone’s lives; nobody gets killed, nobody is driven away ;the land built on is EMPTY; people get jobs. It is typical of know-it-all students who are supposed to be educated and yet never question such Arab propaganda, to get unhinged about anything to do with Israel; it is seen to be cool. Please get a life and educate yourselves about the 4,500 history of Jews in Israel.

    The Palestinians want to see Jews ethnically cleansed from Israel , wherever it has borders! And UN Article 80 says quite plainly that Jews may live anywhere between the River and The Sea – and said article has never been abrogated. All people of goodwill should boycott Costcutter and its silly manager until Israeli produce reappears and boycott all branches everywhere until thus is put right; further, every good person should BUYCOTT Israeli goods as a protest; next time one of these idiot students, or their loved ones, is being treated by Israeli biomedical equipment in our hospitals, let us see if they have the guts to refuse help! Not to mention ditching their mobile phones, colour TVs and computers -all of which have components invented and made in ALL parts of Israel – to name just a few items.

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  19. Costcutter you have been deceived into supporting a Nazi-style boycott. If Israeli Jaffa oranges marketed by Mehadrin came from West Bank settlements, the PSC might have a point – but they don’t. All the Mehadrin orchards are within the Green Line. Which means that the PSC are against Jaffa oranges simply because they are being produced by Jews. That’s what is known as racism.

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  20. The uni’s palestinian solidarity society is not part of the York PSC so why is that continually mentioned?

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  21. From the article it’s clear that it’s not Israeli produce that has been asked to stop but the supplier/company that sources produce from the occupied territories so what’s all this ‘Nazi-boycotting’ and ‘anti-Semitism’ business. Seriously grow up and stop applying such labels so arbitrarily.
    You’d think it would be obvious to any sane, reasonable person that objecting to an action in this case a criticism of an Israeli company doesn’t mean discrimination or ‘anti-Semitism’. You think people would learn from history not to use that word so flippantly..if only out of respect to Jewish people.

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  22. 17 Feb ’13 at 5:21 pm

    Marrin Sugarman

    Silliness by name and silliness by nature. You have had it carefully explained that –
    1.there is no Occupied land, only disputed land
    2. the produce in question is not even from Judea/Samaria but INSIDE Israel
    3. AND I add for your benefit that ANY attempts to undermine Israel’s economic base it to try to undermine its ability to defend itself and thus bring about its destruction; this is what motivates the Israel bashers, but clearly this line of thought is too much for your addled brain.

    If peace broke out tomorrow your Arab friends and their PSC supporters worldwide would then start arguing that the agreed borders were themselves illegal and the whole of ‘The Holy Land’ belongs to the Arabs. Mot of them say this anyway – you should go to their demos and meetings and see their banners and listen to their racist slogans. Wake up mate!

    And thus it is racist and anti-Semitic to call for the destruction of the only Jewish nation on earth, stolen from the Jews in the 7th century colonialist and imperialist invasion by the Moslem Arabs, by the ‘death of a thousand cuts’, whilst saying everyone else is entitled to a nation – Irish, Africans, Indians, Palestinians etc etc – but not the Jews! So what else do you call this train of thought by the Palestinians and their racist supporters if it is not anti-Semitism??

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  23. The labels ‘occupied’ and ‘disputed’ depend on how you choose to interpret the situation.
    Also, it was already established earlier on in this thread of comments that the university’s PSS is not the PSC.

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  24. Just what is going on here? I was under the impression that this was a free and democratic country. But seven people come in on behalf of a tiny minority and tell a store not to stock a product (which is not illegal and does not come from an illegal source). Who the hell do these people think they are, that they can stop me and thousands of other people from buying legal products? They have, presumably, brains and can surely make their own decision not to buy. Instead, they have to behave as fascists, telling everyone else what they can or cannot do. Nobody elected them to have that power, and they should be hauled over the coals by the university for their temerity. What they do is nothing but anti-Semitism, just as it was when the Nazis boycotted Jewish shops. If they can’t think that hard, they shouldn’t be at university in the first place.

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  25. Sorry chum
    You implement the same fascist tactics of the PSC . You are no different regardless of what you call yourselves . It’s one and the same.
    Time for the York J Soc to grow some and organise a regular protest outside the store against unilateral boycotts which are not the policy of Her Majesty’s government .

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  26. I think this the right thing to do. Its not right for any business to gain profits from oppressive regimes. It was wrong in South Africa & its wrong in this situation too.

    Israel has long broken International Law and has even been accepted to be colonising Palestinian Land by the US & UK Foriegn Secretary.

    Im sure CostCutter would know better than to risk their image over what is widely know to be “damaged goods”

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  27. 17 Feb ’13 at 11:58 pm

    Non-UKIP commenter

    The orchestrated outrage on this piece is laughable – and some of the comments very very offensive (‘little Hitlers’? Disgraceful language). The UKIP/Campbell-ite brigade are clearly out in force and spreading untruths as usual. Costcutter were asked to switch suppliers of a tiny proportion of goods away from an illegal settlement-linked company to more ethical ones. I think you’ll find the majority of students would probably support such a move.

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  28. Well done to York PSS for this boycott campaign. Mehadrin who supply oranges in to UK under the Jaffa brand has orchards and packing houses on illegally occupied Palestinian land, notably the settlements of Beqa’ot and Massua in occupied Jordan Valley. In addition the company supplies water from its wells to Mekorot the Israeli water company, this water is used for the irrigation of illegal settler farms only, while Palestinians suffer Israeli imposed severe restrictions on their water supply.

    These activities make Mehadrin complicit in Israeli violations of international law and subject to the Palestinian call for boycott, divestment and sanctions. The 2005 call targets only the Israeli state and organisations, institutions and companies who assist Israel in the denial of Palestinian human rights. The United Nations and the International Court of Justice have declared by resolution and opinion that Israel’s annexation and settlement of the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem to be illegal under international law. The UK, USA, EU, Russia, China and Japan to name only a few have continually endorsed this view.

    On February 9th demonstrations were held in over 40 European cities supporting the ‘Farming Injustice’ call from Palestinian agricultural organisations. These are farmers who suffer land theft, water deprivation and demolitions of homes and wells & fishermen who face violence, intimidation and boat confiscation at the hands of the Israeli navy. Find out more & get involved here: http://www.bdsmovement.net/

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  29. 18 Feb ’13 at 1:15 am

    usual_hasbara

    Offensive name calling. Insults. Accusations. (Nouse? Anyone there?) Purpose: To distract and deceive.

    It is about the produce from the illegal settlements and the illegal Israeli settlements in the Palestinian West Bank have long been recognised by the UN, the US and the EU as the biggest barrier to peace in the region!

    Richard Falk, a United Nations independent expert:

    “All Israeli settlements in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, have been established in clear violation of international law,” said Mr. Falk.

    “My main recommendation is that the businesses highlighted in the report – as well as the many other businesses that are profiting from the Israeli settlement enterprise – should be boycotted, until they bring their operations into line with international human rights and humanitarian law and standards,” the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territories, Richard Falk, said in a news release issued as he presented a report on his work to the Assembly.

    Highlighting the activities of companies such as Caterpillar Incorporated of the United States, Veolia Environment of France, G4S of the United Kingdom, the Dexia Group of Belgium, Ahava of Israel, the Volvo Group of Sweden, the Riwal Holding Group of the Netherlands, Elbit Systems of Israel, Hewlett Packard of the USA, Mehadrin of Israel, Motorola of the USA, Assa Abloy of Sweden, and Cemex of Mexico, the Special Rapporteur noted that a wide range of Israeli and international businesses are involved in the establishment and maintenance of the Israeli settlements.

    http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=43376

    In 2012, 22 non-governmental organisations including Christian Aid and Quakers in Britain call on the EU/UK government to ban the import of products from illegal Israeli settlements.

    In June 2010, the British Methodist Church decided to begin boycotting products originating in Israeli settlements.

    Co-op, one of Britain’s largest supermarket chains in 2012 has decided to boycott all companies which source produce from Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

    In August 2012, the United Church of Canada (UCC) adopted a resolution to boycott products originating from illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank. The UCC represents the country’s largest denomination of Protestant Christians.

    “TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said: ‘Professor Crawford’s opinion is clear. The Israeli settlements are illegal under international law and on this basis the UK could, under EU and World Trade Organisation law, unilaterally ban the trade that sustains them.

    ‘Every settlement that is built weakens the hope of a sovereign Palestinian state that can live peacefully alongside a secure Israel.”

    Quite simple really.

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  30. ‘Every settlement that is built weakens the hope of a sovereign Palestinian state that can live peacefully alongside a secure Israel.”

    Quite simple really.

    Far from simple really . There was no so called occupation and no settlements prior to 1967 . What prevented the Palestinians from declaring independence at any time between 1948 and 1967 ? The reality is there was never any intent . In reality the objective was never a two state solution – 2 states for two people but to wipe out Israel in any form .
    Fedayeen terrorists were crossing into Israel – pre 67 – and carrying out murderous attacks on Israeli civilians well before the so called occupation . In the months leading up to the 6 day war , gamel Abdul Nasser promised the Arabs that ‘ the time was at hand to rise up and destroy the usurpers ‘ . Al Ahram Egypts leading national newspaper , promised a river of Jewish blood flowing into the Meditterranean further exacerbating the situation .
    The 6 day war put paid to those immediate threats but the objectives never changed . Hamas will never countenance the existence of a Jewish state in the so called Islamic Waqf.
    ‘ Israel exists and will continue to exist until Islam obliterates it as it has all before ‘ . The PA add the caveat of ROR for 4 or 5 million second and third generation palestinians to any peace treaty thus hoping to destroy Israel by stealth and demographic change .
    Don’t take Israelis to be fools . They are not about to commit national suicide by returning to former suicide borders faced by an entity which maintains its long term strategy of River to the Sea and nothing less

    Just because the PSC has in the interests of its corporate image ,changed its logo from that of the River to the Sea format to a more neutral user friendly image doesn’t mean it to has changed its objectives .

    Israelis have witnessed the murder and mayhem of the Arab Spring and what is happening in Syria . That is the nature of their neighbours . They will do what is necessary to insulate themselves from this and it will take more than the boycott of a few stores to change their perception of both Arab intent and their enablers in the West .
    If students want to do some real good they should be demonstrating outside the Syrian embassy . 70,000 dead including 4,000 Palestinians to date . The two situations are not mutually exclusive – unless of course you are a member of the PSC which Finklestein correctly labels a cult .

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  31. I love it when the UKIP/Israel boys talk about “Judea and Samaria.” Where IS that place exactly? Is it in the Bible?

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  32. Luckily for Benjamin Netanyahu, Stand For Peace has leapt into action, its friends writing thusly:

    “The Costcutter supermarket at the University of York has initiated a boycott of Israeli goods. We ask you to stop this discrimination and damage you do to Israeli economy and democratic Israeli society. Arabs are living free in the Jewish State of Israel, and your hateful boycott will only work counter-productive.”

    As soon as Costcutter can work out what this means, I am sure they will take appropriate action.

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  33. Nothing beats a little schooling in Marxist propaganda technique down at the PSC commissariat headquarters .

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  34. Jaffa Cakes
    Protest outside cost cutter against the sale of Iranian Pistachio nuts .
    I hear they are giving two for one with every protest .
    But of course Iranian gays hanging from crane jibs in market squares and young women bleeding to death on the streets doesn’t quite have the same cache as Israel . I wonder why . The two are not mutually exclusive even if a world apart .

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  35. 18 Feb ’13 at 9:58 am

    usual_hasbara

    Harvela, I do understand your fustration and an urge to express it here. You have NOTHING to support your claims but unrelated empty rant in hope to distract from the main topic.You seem to have a familiar passion for the meaningles and unfunded arguments. You also seem to be confused (Iran/Israel/Palestine/settlements/Pistachio nuts/Marxism) – if you are so concerned over young Iranian women’s (and ‘guys’) plight – maybe you should think of hooking up (if you are not already ;-) with those guys from stand for peace, last I’ve heard, they are doing marvelous work in the region, with a special focus on – York!? ;-)

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  36. So sorry! I was confused by the fact that the letters ‘U’ ‘K’ ‘I’ and ‘P’ in that order appear in a certain person’s Twitter name.

    Last year the Foreign Office funded a team of lawyers to look into Israel’s imprisonment and torture of children, and after that downgraded Israel in its human rights report, now classing it with Iran.

    http://www.childreninmilitarycustody.org/

    Torturing children, holding them for months in solitary confinement, is against international law; and it’s also against Israeli law, which is why some people are less than totally impressed with claims that Israel is the Middle East’s only democracy.

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  37. 18 Feb ’13 at 12:03 pm

    usual_hasbara

    Harvela et al. your methods and responses are soooooo dated and soooooo easily detectable. Why? Because they come from the same ‘handbook’. For those who do not know, it is a handbook which advises on how to shape a pro-Israel message in the media and other critical power brokers; also there is one to be used specifically on and for uni campuses. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M9Sdkps0Quo

    I would really encourage everyone interested to look at this link and see how Harvela builds his meaningless arguments following the guidelines – it is always the same http://www.haaretz.com/…/think-tank-israel-s-poor-international-image-not-the-fault-of-failed-hasbara.premium-1.490718

    Quite simple really :-) Rules for (in)effective hasbara communication can be reduced to the use of highly the inflammatory language:
    1. Name calling. Check. Always use insulting buzzwords to relate to and describe ‘the other’, this links a person or an idea to a negative symbol.Done that really well so far – fascism, terrorism, Nazis, terrorists,racist, Marxist etc. https://twitter.com/JCampbellUKIP/status/303155020650668032
    2. Why are you still talking about Israel/settlements? Are you some kind of anti-semite? Proceed to accuse people of Anti-sematism – casually.Check. Remind them of Hitler and Nazi Germany and, if you are really up for it, what the heck – call them – ‘Hitler(s)’
    3. Relate everything that criticises Israel and is disliked by Israel as somehow related to Iran(??!) Check. https://twitter.com/StandforPeaceUK/status/303126777348362241
    4. There is no place called Palestine hence there is no problem. Check. Talk history, make claims to Judea and Samaria.
    5.”Make the Ziophobes insult good-looking people on the beach or Israel’s latest high-tech invention that is saving lives. They will end up looking like the fools that they are.” Check.
    6. oh, I have other things to do….the list is so long!

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  38. I’m sure your list does go on for ever but you’ve failed to answer the money shot so here it is again .
    Why did the Palestinians fail to declare statehood at any time between 1948 and 1967 when there was no occupation and no settlements ?

    Don’t worry if you cannot provide an answer . It falls outside the remit of PSC propaganda manuals . Check with Norm for his views on the BDS movement

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  39. 18 Feb ’13 at 2:49 pm

    Bonnie Prince Charlie

    Perhaps the Gay and Lesbian group at the university could persuade Costcutter to stop stocking products from Iran such as pistachios because Iran – and, indeed, other Muslim / Arab countries – execute homosexuals just for being homosexuals.

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