Tuesday, July 13, 2021

  • Tuesday, July 13, 2021
  • Elder of Ziyon

The Seattle Times wrote an editorial on June 25 opposing those who tried to stop the Zim San Diego container ship from unloading its cargo at the Seattle port:

More than 100 years ago, with the creation of the Port of Seattle by King County voters, our community decided it would look out as much as look in when making our fortune in the world, establishing our reputation as an international port city.

Over a tense six days this month, that reputation — and our region’s standing as an open trade hub — was challenged after protesters temporarily blocked a cargo ship from unloading.

Activists with the “Block the Boat” campaign targeted the ZIM San Diego, which is owned by the publicly traded ZIM, an Israeli-based shipping company. The effort was part of the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement that seeks to put economic pressure on Israel to withdraw from occupied territories.

Thanks to outstanding Seattle leadership, however, the effort failed in Seattle, with its reputation as a reliable international seaport intact. Port of Seattle officials, working with Mayor Jenny Durkan, the Northwest Seaport Alliance, terminal operator SSA Marine and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, were able to accommodate protesters while ensuring the safety of workers. The ship’s cargo was unloaded Friday without incident.

Surrendering to protesters would have set a harmful precedent and caused irreparable damage in a highly competitive environment, said Port of Seattle Commissioner Stephanie Bowman.

“We fight for every single box that comes into the harbor,” she told the editorial board. “Looking as though we’re turning cargo away, that we’re inefficient, that we’re not welcoming, is not the message we want to be sending.”

Our region is vying for discretionary cargo — freight that could go to any other port — not only against West Coast seaports such as Los Angeles-Long Beach and Prince Rupert, but even through the Panama Canal to East Coast terminals.

The math is simple: The more cargo that comes here, the more jobs and opportunities there are for our manufacturers and exporters to ship their merchandise out. Thanks in no small part to the Port of Seattle, Washington was the fourth largest state exporter of goods in 2018, according to federal data, representing 13.8% of the state’s gross domestic product.

The combined ports of Seattle and Tacoma support more than 20,000 jobs and $1.9 billion in labor income, according to a 2019 report by the Northwest Seaport Alliance, and the region’s marine cargo industry produced an average annual wage of $95,000 and directly supported $5.9 billion in business output.
The message is clear: you can protest all you want, but blocking international commerce has direct consequences for the livelihoods of thousands of people in the Seattle area.

The BDSers wrote an amazingly tone-deaf response that pretty much said, "screw you, Seattle:"
As Jewish Seattlites who care about justice, we were deeply disappointed to see The Seattle Times editorial board applaud Seattle’s connection to the global economy, while refusing to acknowledge our complicity in Israeli apartheid through commercial interactions.

Injustice in Palestine/Israel is not a faraway issue, from the ZIM boat docking here to the Boeing-made bombs used by the Israeli government to massacre Palestinians in Gaza. There is no “over there” when it comes to Palestine/Israel.

The Block the Boat campaign, led by the local Palestinian group Falastiniyat, offered Seattle a chance to refuse injustice. The campaign responds to the Palestinian call for pressure in the form of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) of Israel until it ends its system of apartheid.

The longshore workers and community organizers acted from a principle that eludes the editorial board: When commerce supports apartheid, there can be no business as usual.

Is there any better illustration of how hypocritical these people are? They claim to care about justice, yet they are willing to sacrifice the livelihoods of thousands of Seattle area residents for their cause! 

Where is the justice for the people of Seattle - the dock workers, the exporters, the businesses that depend on the import/export business? That is not even addressed. Like toddlers, they scream about what they want, and cannot even consider the feelings or desires of anyone else. 

Of course, endangering Seattle's cargo economy doesn't cost them a dime. They continue to use laptops with Israeli-designed chips, tweet from mobile phones with Israeli technology, watch streaming media with Israeli content - all of which far more directly help the Israeli economy than a delaying the unloading of a ship carrying medical supplies owned by a publicly traded container company whose headquarters is in Israel. 

The rabid haters are very proud that this letter was published. (They don't even know the difference between an editorial and an op-ed.) 

I'm also happy that this letter was published, and I hope that everyone in Seattle sees it. It shows how childish, selfish, short-sighted, hateful, antisemitic and hypocritical the BDSers are, and how little they care about their city and its residents.


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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 14 years and 30,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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