Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A solution to the "Made in Israel" problem

Things are really bad in England.

In just the past few weeks, we saw:

A judge instruct a jury to acquit vandals who damaged a factory because they said it was manufacturing weapons to be used by Israel;

An appeal to the British Advertising Standards Authority to overturn a ban on Israeli tourist posters showing  the Western Wall was defeated;

and, today,
Four anti-Israel activists were today cleared of all charges after they locked themselves onto concrete-filled oil drums inside the Israeli-owned Ahava shop on Monmouth Street in Covent Garden forcing it to close down for one day in September 2009 and another day in December 2009.

Taherali Gulamhussein, Bruce Levy, Tom Ellis and Ms Crouch were found not guilty of failing to comply with a police officer’s orders to leave the shop.

The activists insisted that they were legally justified in their actions as they claim the shop’s activities are illegal because the products on sale in the shop originate from Mitzpe Shalem, an Israeli settlement on the West Bank and are deliberately mislabeled as “made in Israel”.
At this moment, the word "Israel" is essentially purged from the Ahava (US) website. They are clearly worried and the effects of the BDS movement is affecting them. This is a problem.

However, I think there is an easy solution.

Stop using the phrase  "Made in Israel."

Instead, replace it with "Made in the Land of Israel."

The phrase "Land of Israel" is not political at all. It comprises most of the State of Israel, all of Judea and Samaria and even parts of Jordan and Lebanon. (OK, so Eilat would have to continue advertising itself as being part of "Israel." ) It refers to historic boundaries, not current political boundaries.

No one can dispute that the Dead Sea or all of Jerusalem are within the boundaries of the Land of Israel.

Even better, the phrase is evocative of the entire reason why Jews want to live on that land to begin with - because of their strong historical and emotional connection to the Land.

Imagine how well Ahava would do if they proudly advertised that all of their products were made in the Land of Israel!

Similarly, Israel's Tourism Board should advertise "Come to the Land of Israel." The statement is completely accurate and it is more effective than "Come to Israel" would be. The Advertising Standards Authority should have no problem with the accuracy of that statement.

If the corrupt British court system has a problem with that phrase as well, then they might have no choice but to dust off the old Jewish Agency tourism posters.