Posted By Steven Plaut On July 26, 2013
The Israeli Far Left has long been promoting an international boycott of all Jews and Jewish settlements located outside Israel’s pre-1967 “Green Line,” meaning the Jews living in what the Left calls “occupied Palestinian territory.” The mischief of the Left has caused serious damages to numerous Israeli enterprises and business. Just one such example is the Ahava cosmetics company, one of the most recent targets of the Left because its headquarters are located outside the “Green Line.” Ariel University in Samaria has been the target of the most venomous attacks by the Far Left both in Israel and abroad, who are demanding total international boycott of it. Israeli Arab enterprises and entrepreneurs that operate in the West Bank are not targeted by these discriminating bigots.
In recent days the European Union has announced that it too will be implementing a broad boycott against all commercial interests of Jews located in Judea and Samaria, the so-called “West Bank,” possibly including Jewish “settlers” who are simply people living in the suburbs of Jerusalem. Indeed most “settlers” in the “West Bank” live in Jerusalem suburbs. There can be no doubt that this new economic assault against Israel in the form of the EU boycott was itself largely motivated by the lobbying activities of the Israeli Left. These people and their many picayune foreign-financed NGOs have long urged others, including anti-Israel groups and governments abroad, to join in the boycott against “settlers.” The radical Left has been unable to persuade the Israeli electorate that all settlers must be vanquished from their homes and all settlements eradicated, so they prefer to achieve their agenda anti-democratically, by means of recruiting foreign hostile international pressures and sanctions against Israel.
While members of the Israeli Non-Left have long been at wit’s end about what sort of appropriate response there should be to these boycott campaigns by the radical Israeli Left, there is in fact a perfect response to them, one that has been staring us all in the face for years. The very best response by Jewish patriots and friends of Israel to the boycott campaign by the radical Left is to boycott the boycotters. Sure, most of the boycotters do not themselves have any commercial interests that can be boycotted in any serious “Boycott the Boycotters” campaign. But there are exceptions. And the most effective, most promising, and most morally-unambiguous response to the Leftist boycott of “settlements” must be the call for an international boycott of the Arledan company.
Why the Arledan company? Because it is largely owned by the founder of Peace Now, Tzali Reshef. He is a leading proponent of boycotting Israeli settlers and settlements. Moreover, the company does business not only in Israel but also in the US and Europe and so would be particularly vulnerable to a Boycott the Boycotters campaign that carried over into these continents.
Tzali Reshef is one of the most radical, most anti-democratic, and most vocal promoters of international efforts to boycott settlers and settlements. Most delicious of all is the fact that his own company can be harmed simply by letting the Bash-Israel lobby know that it is involved in construction outside Israel’s “Green Line” pre-1967 borders in Jerusalem suburbs. [Ironically, Arledan has already been targeted by anti-Israel activist groups for participating in this construction.] Reshef’s own malevolent political activities would then bite him in his own pocketbook! Reshef can be made to pay a price for his Boycott-Settlers initiatives simply by passing on information to the Anti-Israel lobby that his own company deserves to be boycotted by them. What irony it would be should Reshef be penalized by sanctions against his own company coming from BOTH the Zionist-patriot camp and from the Destroy-Israel movement!!
The 60 year old Tzali or Tsali (short for Betzalel) Reshef was one of the original founders of “Peace Now.” He sat in the Israeli parliament briefly. He is a lawyer by training, frequently files leftist politicized “petitions” to the courts to advance the Left’s agenda, and has been involved in the filing of anti-democratic SLAPP harassment lawfare suits in Israel designed to suppress the freedom of speech of critics of the Far Left. Reshef is also the CEO of and a major stockholder in Arledan. In 2004 Yediot Ahronot reported that he was making 1.4 million shekels a year. This rose to two million shekels by 2009. Not a bad windfall for a socialist! Reshef and Peace Now have been trying to create a broad socialist party in Israel, but we were unable to find any evidence on the web of his using his enormous Arledan wealth to alleviate poverty and redistribute (his own) wealth in order to build equality in wealth distribution.
Before becoming CEO in 2004 he was chairman of the board of directors at Areldan. Other major investors in the company include Tzali’s father, brother and sister. In 2010 Tzali Reshef was involved in a conflict that became the focus of media interest when a number of large investors in Arledan (investors who were NOT Reshef family members) opposed the compensation package Reshef was paying himself. Israel’s Securities and Exchange Commission claimed his package was approved illegally.
Arledan is a public company whose shares trade on the Tel Aviv stock exchange, but the Reshef family are the major shareholders. Arledan is a major real estate holding company in Israel. It is a classical ownership “pyramid” of the sort that political parties and public figures in recent years have been demanding be reformed and reined in. Finance Minister Yair Lapid could tackle Arledan as his very first foray against pyramid structures (he was elected on a platform of fighting against them). The Arledan “parent” holding company owns other holding companies, including Arledan Luxembourg and Arledanamerica, which in turn own other companies. In 2008 (the last year for which it posts its accounts on its web site), Arledan lost 24 million shekels. According to the Tel Aviv stock exchange, it also had a (small) loss in 2011, although made profits in between. It held 600 million shekels in assets, with a net worth of 240 million NIS (about $67 million). Among Arledan’s other holdings is a 90% ownership in the Keter book publishing house. It also owns about half of Telsys, a company that imports and markets computer components.
Reshef tried but failed to enter the Knesset on the Labor Party ticket in 1996. He became a Knesset member from the Labor Party in 2002, and used his time in the Knesset to demand an “end to occupation.” Later he joined far-leftist semi-Marxist Meretz and ran unsuccessfully on its party slate. He is on the “Board of Sponsors” of the anti-Israel Far-Leftist “Palestine-Israel Journal.” He also admits that he is a manipulator.
Peace Now has long led the campaign for boycotts of Israeli settlers and settlements. Reshef himself is cited on the Peace Now web site as endorsing the boycott. According to the site, Tzali Reshef stated: “Peace Now calls and will call upon the public to boycott the goods of the settlements. It is our duty to say, ‘no further, you’ve [referring to the pro settlement bloc in the Knesset] crossed the line.’ PN also immediately set up a Facebook page headed ‘Prosecute Me! I Boycott the Settlements,’ and within two days over 6000 people had joined it.” Reshef has also called for division of Jerusalem.
Moreover, when a bill was submitted to parliament to penalize those who boycott Israel and/or settlements, Reshef denounced the initiative as anti-democratic and illegal. He also called for violating the law if it passes, a curious position for an officer of the court. He insists there is a natural right to boycott anyone one chooses. Well, I say that we apply his principles and call for a world boycott of his Arledan company as our natural right!
So, comrades, we need your help! Spread the world! Let everyone you know hear about the need to Boycott the Boycotters. Drop an email to Tzali at firstname.lastname@example.org and let him know why you are boycotting his company. Email addresses of other company officers are here. Spread the word in the US, Israel and everywhere. Get a Boycott Arledan bumper sticker.
The moral response to the Boycott Settlements movement must be to boycott the boycotters! Make them pay a price!
Sauce for the lemming is now sauce for the gander!