Saturday, March 9, 2013

SodaStream: Walking the Walk

by oldschooltwentysix

I wish I could treat this subject in greater detail, but something is better than nothing, especially if information is worth knowing in helping to form judgments.

I do not drink soda, except once in a while, but want to give a shout out to SodaStream, Israel’s successful home soda device company. Some want to shut it down (I hope no environmentalists) because its products are made in an “illegal settlement” and it harms local Arabs. Here is what one such opponent, Code Pink, says:
[T]here is nothing friendly about the destruction of Palestinian life, land and water resources! SodaStream is an Israeli corporation that produces all of its carbonation devices in an illegal settlement in the West Bank. All Israeli settlements exist in direct contravention to international law!
But are these allegations true?

Here is a video about SodaStream I saw at the Step Up for Israel blog. Watch it and decide for yourself if this is a bad company or not, or perhaps one that should be admired.

If this causes a shift in perception, follow it. See where it takes you. So much is shielded from view. Is there more the Code Pinks are not saying because they don't want you to know?

(originally posted at oldschooltwentysix)


  1. One big problem with the Code Pink statement quoted above is that only two of the three sentences have exclamation points!!

    The more exclamation points the better because, y'know, that always changes people's minds.

    As for "international law," it's a club by which the Arab League uses to smack around Israel on a regular basis.

    International law is morally empty.

    It is a ghost without any meaning.

    Not only does it have no real means of enforcement (and what good is law without enforcement?), it's also grounded in corrupt international politics rather than anything that even remotely resembles justice.

    I sometimes wonder if Israel should not simply get the hell out of the UN and endure the ensuing shit-storm.

    After all, when you think about the weakness of the yishuv at the end of the nineteenth-century and you think about what it was like in the 1950s and 1960s and then compare where we are today, there is no question but that the Jewish nation and state have made of themselves an absolutely remarkable success.

    By all rights, we should be exceedingly proud.

    Given the fact that the Holocaust took place right in the middle of this development, it becomes an absolutely miraculous accomplishment.

    I don't underestimate Israel's enemies, but I don't want to overestimate them, either. The fact is that Israel has made of itself a vital part of the international economic and technological scene.

    BDS and Israel Haters and anti-Semitic anti-Zionists, including those in government, are hampered by the fact that Israeli ingenuity in a whole variety of fields has made it exceedingly attractive to power centers, including corporate power centers, the world over.

    When my father was a kid the Jews were not a confident people. I think that we can be now because we earned it.

    Good for the Upstart Nation.

    1. I believe in international law, but it is open to abuse, no question.

      Israel would not exist without international law, nor the fledgling human rights movement that includes individuals as subjects.

      It's hard to know if the world would be a better place without it, but I tend to think not. It helps moderate behavior because it creates norms which most states consider, even if it also creates a shield to avoid scrutiny.

      In any event, Code Pink is not qualified to determine what is legal under international law, any more than Human Rights Watch can determine humanitarian law, try as it might.

      Code Pink is not interested in law, but politics.

    2. I think that where I mainly disagree with you, School, is in this:

      Israel would not exist without international law...

      I cannot agree with that. What UN 181 did was acknowledge a condition that already existed. It deserves serious kudos for doing so, but the UN did not in any way create Israel.

      The Jews created Israel.

      You are among the last people that I would need to lecture to about this kind of thing, but I think that you know where I am coming from.

      Just as the American slaves in the south mainly freed themselves, once the opportunity arose to do so, so the Jews in the Middle East grabbed their opportunity and nurtured their own possibilities from long before the demise of the Ottoman Empire.

      I write this mainly for others, but the Jews in the Middle East built the necessary economic, military, political, and material infrastructure for a state many years before the world community, via the UN, recognized that state.

      And the truth of the matter is that if the local Arabs had done likewise we would not be having this conversation, because this blog would not even exist.

    3. "Israel would not exist without international law,..."

      International law didn't set the right of the Jews to a nation-state in 1947; if it had, the question wouldn't have been put to a U.N. vote.

      Two factors swayed Britain to give up its mandate, and the world to recognize the Jewish State:

      1) The facts on the ground—the numerous Jewish population centers that had been set up since 1882.
      2) Guerrilla warfare on the part of Jewish groups like Etzel and Lehi making it a living hell for the Brits.

      At the end of WWII, even with millions of Jewish victims, the limeys were in no rush to give up Mandate Palestine. How long they could have held to it, you need only look at other British colonies to find out—Kenya, for instance, gained independence in 1963.

      It was the twin factors of an existing infrastructure for a Jewish nation-state together with subversive activities against the British authorities that forced on Britain the reality of having to give the issue of Palestine over to the United Nations. Without those, Britain could have—and the U.N. would have dealt no pressure to the contrary—waited with giving the Jews self-determination at her leisure, just as with Kenya.

      Also, don't forget the U.N. declaration in 1975 of "Zionism as racism." Although it was later rescinded, there is no better example as to how basing a nation's right to self-determination on United Nations decree is like building a house on shifting sand. Rights that men have given you, they can take away.

    4. International law set up the stage for Israel in the San Remo Conference in 1920, followed by the Article 22 of the League of Nations Covenant, followed by Article 80 of the UN Charter.

  2. What a great video. Thank you for it. It is inspiring and reminds me why we do what we do.

  3. ps

    The next time someone talks about "international law" and Israel in the same sentence anywhere remotely within hearing distance of me I swear to God I will not be responsible for my actions.

  4. "If this causes a shift in perception, follow it."

    That's not the shift in perception I'm aiming for. The video is along the old line of protesting Israel's innocence, showing how good we are. It doesn't address the anti-Zionists' aggression at all.

    My aim is not to show how the Jewish State is an "enlightened occupier" in the "illegally occupied and settled West Bank." That's fighting the war on the enemy's terms. What I want to be made clear is that, by definition, no matter what anyone says—not even the U.N. and international "law"—Jews cannot be occupiers or settlers on Judea and Samaria, on any part of the Land of Israel, which is theirs; that the only illegal settlements are the Arab ones, like Ramallah and Umm El-Fahm, by definition.

    This is a war. The war of ideas is an adjunct to the physical war. Debate is only a deceit, an appearance of gentlemanly, academic, Oxfordian "seeking of the truth" while in reality the anti-Zionists have no interest in conceding the slightest ground. The reason they have set up this "debate" is to make Zionists concede theirs. A Zionist loses this game by merely playing it.

    The way to win the war of ideas is through an equal reaction in the opposite direction to the anti-Zionists. For every anti-Zionist "Occupied Palestinian Territories" a Zionist "Arab-Colonized Jewish Territories." For every anti-Zionist "Israeli colonialist aggression" a Zionist "Islamic imperialist aggression." Trumpeted far and wide. Rammed down everybody's throats, as we know full well that most people don't willingly seek the truth. And to the Jewish State the duty of coercing the hostile worldwide media outlets to cease and desist with their anti-Zionist propaganda, their carrying water for the Islamic imperialist agenda. Who is in a war must do as in a war.

    We must stop protesting our innocence, and start believing that we are the innocent ones by our very circumstances, the circumstances of wishing for one and only nation-state on the one and only small piece of land in the world (even under the most expansionist interpretation, the Land of Israel never exceeds Algeria in size) while being opposed to that by those who have either over 20 states (the Arab nation) or nearly 60 (the Islamic Ummah), covering a huge mass of the globe. In the view of this, protesting our innocence and showing how good we are is comparable to a peasant trying to show how well he treats the rich man's sons on their visit when he should be standing with a shotgun near a sign that says "This is the land of my fathers" whenever those spoiled brats think of appropriating the fruits of his hard-earned labor.

    1. The shift in perception is to the one held by progressives that are ill informed, to think that Israel is an evil, occupying power because this is what they learn from a one-sided approach.

      To put a dent into that perception, no matter how, addresses the anti-Zionists because it helps raise doubt about the dishonest one-sided view they have been exposed to, here and elsewhere.

      The activists are already decided. It's the open-minded who need to be reached.

  5. No no no no no. There is no international law that says Jews must be ethnically cleansed. At least not yet. There are no Jewish towns that are actually 'illegal' under any statute ever created. There are simply idiots like Code Pink who say that. And if there were, then I nominate all 30,000 Israel Arabs who applied for moved into and were granted residency in East Jerusalem to be added into the basket 'illegal occupiuers' with everyone else. Because what's fair is fair. And if they claim their threats and assertions are indeed not antisemitic then I call on the Code Pinks of the world to at least pretend to apply equity of the very 'international law' they claim to speak for.

    Because I have to wonder about international law and the legitimacy of Hamas and Hezbollah and the PLO mass murdering people. I would like them to point to the written statute that permits them the legal and moral authority to suicide bomb buses and hurl 17,000 rockets at children. If you, as the purportedly legal representative of a people, such as Hamas claim as your duty, privilege and your right as encoded in your own national charter, the freedom to fire a Russian built AT-4 Kornet anti tank missile at a yellow school bus in Israel then I would with all due respect invite the legal eagles of Code Pink to point me to that international law. And then I would ask for the actual and precise legal reasoning which equates Hamas mass murder of Jewish children on the one hand, with the construction of a 300sqm apartment in Shilo on land already legally owned and titled to Jews on the other hand.

    Then I would ask them for their deep insights in the legal dilemma of the FACT that thousands of British subjects, have, since 1974 purchased land and homes in Northern Cyprus from the illegally occupying Turks who stole it from the Greek Cypriots already living there subsequent to their illegal invasion and occupation.

    1. Exactly.

      If only more Jewish people were mindful and, therefore, sane, such as you are, Empress Trudy, there would be no widespread genocidal anti-Jewish bigotry, and, therein, there would be no mortal danger to the Jewish people. Jewish people would simply tell the truth, and would, thereby, quash genocidal anti-Jewish bigotry whenever it might arise. Moreover, widespread genocidal anti-Jewish bigotry would not arise if Jewish people would be mindful and would simply tell the truth and would thereby prevent widespread genocidal anti-Jewish bigotry from arising.

      However, unfortunately, very many Jewish people, particularly socially prominent Jewish people ("Jewish leaders" (leaders of so-called "Jewish Organizations", Jewish Western politicians, leaders of the government of Israel, etc.), and Jewish so-called "intellectuals", etc.) are not mindful. However, hopefully that will change.

      Western Culture, the Holocaust, and the Persistence of Antisemitism, a talk by Dr. Catherine Chatterley University of Winnipeg (Canada), Department of History, Introduction YIISA* Seminar, Yale University, 5 March 2009

      "After almost 2000 years of indoctrination, which has worked very hard to fix the Western imagination—and our individual attention—upon this abstract collective called 'the Jews,' we should not be surprised to discover that Western culture is riddled with antisemitic perceptions and habits of thought about the Jewish People. And this complex invisible reality has not been exorcised by the Holocaust. Negative beliefs and attitudes about Jews are so normal and so ingrained in Western perceptions and attitudes that people—both gentiles and Jews—are simply unable to recognize them for what they are. Like a second skin, antisemitic thinking has become invisible to most people. ..."

      Video of the Talk (Streaming Video (RealMedia)):
      Direct Link to streaming video file: rtsp://,554

      Discussion Draft of the talk:


      The Psychology of Populations under Chronic Siege, by Kenneth Levin

      Explaining Jewish Political Behavior, by Barry Rubin

      The Paradox of the Jewish Mind, by David Solway


      Note: * YIISA (Yale Initiative for the Interdisciplinary Study of Antisemitism) was founded in 2006 and was was shut down in 2011. It was shut down in accordance with, and as part of, the anti-Jewish bigotry that is discussed in this talk by Catherine Chatterley.

      Antisemitism in America - Yale Kills YIISA, by Clemens Heni