Boycott bigots…writes Michael Kuttner

September 19, 2014 by Michael Kuttner
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A common thread binds those who advocate boycotting Israeli made products and companies.

Michael Kuttner

Michael Kuttner

No matter where in the world they may happen to be these individuals display disturbingly similar traits which when closely scrutinized reveal their exact agenda. Not so many years ago Jewish businesses, their proprietors and their products were boycotted in Europe and in the inevitable conclusion to this display of hate were assaulted, vandalized and burnt.

These days the Jewish State has become the prime target although in many countries individual Jews are also the object of the boycotters’ campaign to delegitimize and shun. Apart from the real haters of Jews and Israel are those fellow travelers who through either sheer ignorance or political hypocrisy throw in their lot with the boycott advocates. They will often plead that some of their best friends are Jewish and therefore joining forces with those who wish to destroy the Jewish State is nothing more innocent than supporting the oppressed. When it is pointed out to them that the so called oppressed in Israel are actually free and enjoy a far better life and future than their co-religionists in Islamic countries the shutters come down and denial of reality kicks in.

I am not even going to mention other than in passing those self proclaimed Jews whose connection to anything Jewish is peripheral at the most and accidental in the least, who spring out of the woodwork and proclaim their divorce from Israel. These people who advocate boycotts because of a suddenly discovered moral aversion to what the Jewish State is doing to defend itself are miraculously silent about genocides and human rights violations of the worst kind in every other part of the world.

Politicians in particular and those aspiring to become politicians are particularly susceptible to displays of boycott bigotry.

Witness the latest such outbreak in New Zealand where a motley collection of such individuals have put their names to a document calling for the New Zealand Superannuation Fund to divest itself from all Israeli investments. This magnificent display of moral bankruptcy is presumably intended to strike a fatal blow to Israel and contribute to an ongoing campaign of hate against it. Perusing the list of names published one can discern the usual suspects who have a history of hating not only the USA but also western democratic values which Israel as the only real democracy in the Middle East represents. In fact if you scratch beneath the surface you will find that the elimination of Israel is the ultimate goal, no doubt to be replaced by peace loving democrats and lovers of human rights such as Hamas, Hezbollah, ISIS and other fellow terror groupies.

How does one therefore explain the signature on this document of a current cabinet minister? Does he really understand that he is irredeemably poisoned by the company he keeps? Is he plain ignorant of the facts or is he displaying a classic case of political double standards? Has the Prime Minister had words with him or is he content to let the Government be tarnished by his woefully ignorant stance?

I have no problem with these boycotters shunning falafel, hummus, tehina, Jaffa oranges and pittot. In order to be consistent however they should also boycott and refuse to avail themselves of the multitude of life saving products which Israel produces and which have attracted investments from many countries. They should shut down their computers and mobiles as quickly as possible because they are supporting Israeli innovations which in their warped thinking pose a dire threat to world peace.

Here are but a few (there are many more) Israeli contributions to a better world which these signatories should alert the NZ Superannuation Fund to avoid at all cost:

The First Care Emergency Bandage (also known as the “Israeli bandage”), invented by an Israeli military medic, is used to stop bleeding from hemorrhagic wounds in trauma situations. Credited for saving the life of US Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in a 2011 shooting, the bandage is widely used by military medics and civilian first-responders the world over.

A fatal car crash can happen in a split second. That’s why Jerusalem-based Mobileye technology for identifying and alerting to driving hazards is being built into virtually every new vehicle in the world. Mobileye is the largest private high-tech company in Israel and the world’s largest R&D center for artificial vision.

SensAheart  a product made by the Israeli diagnostic technology company Novamed, can be used at home and in the hospital to detect a heart attack coming on.

The adjustable, disposable Lubo Airway Collar by Inovytec is a novel airway management and cervical collar device for cases of severe trauma to the neck and spine. It is the first-ever non-invasive device that can open an airway by imitating a jaw-thrust maneuver while protecting the cervical spine en route to the hospital.

The Babysense breathing monitor by HiSense alerts parents of respiratory cessation (apnea) in babies. The Israeli breakthrough technology has helped protect more than 600,000 babies from crib death around the world, and has been copied by numerous other manufacturers.

XSight Systems’ award-winning FODetect advanced runway sensors keep runways around the world safe from foreign object debris (FOD), birds and wildlife with a unique hybrid optical-radar remote-sensing technology.

Hyginex makes a smart bracelet to be worn by every staff member in a hospital to make sure that all personnel wash their hands after contact with patients.

Micromedic Technologies specializes in developing and commercializing novel and innovative cancer diagnostic kits enabling early intervention. The company’s portfolio spans cancer and cancer-related indications including colorectal cancer, breast cancer, cervical cancer, bladder cancer, lung cancer, and diagnostic tools for personalized treatment.

BiondVax has completed trials of its universal flu vaccine first developed at the Weizmann Institute of Science. Pending commercial agreements with governments around the world to continue development, the vaccine could be in the market within two years.

Wherever disaster strikes in the world – be it natural or manmade – Israel is always among the first to send medical and search-and-rescue teams and supplies, even when it lacks diplomatic relations with the country in crisis.

The list is endless but I think you can get the drift. Those whose vision is obscured by hatred of the Jewish State need to be exposed for the hypocrites they really are.

As Israel and Jews worldwide prepare to observe Rosh Hashanah (New Year) one thing is certain. We as a country and People will carry on contributing to the betterment of humanity and we will continue to do so long after the boycotters have disappeared from the scene.


Michael Kuttner is a Jewish New Zealander who for many years was actively involved with various communal organisations connected to Judaism and Israel. He now lives in Israel and is J-Wire’s correspondent in the region.


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