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   SEPTEMBER 1999 -  Issue #117    


The Right Response to Burger King

Herbert Zweibon

A number of American Jewish organizations have protested Burger King's announcement that it will boycott Jewish communities situated beyond the 1967 Arab-Israeli armistice lines.

It is disturbing to note, however, that the Israeli government has remained silent throughout the controversy. Ehud Barak's government claims to support the continuation of "most" of the settlements, certainly the largest ones and those closest to Jerusalem. Ma'ale Adumim, the site of the disputed Burger King franchise, is one of the largest communities in Judea-Samaria and is closer to Jerusalem than any of them. Yet in the face of a foreign company brazenly declaring that it will boycott what is, in effect, a suburb of Jerusalem, Barak is silent.

If the Barak government had any self-respect, it would speak out--and it would point the finger of blame where it belongs: at the Palestinian Authority. It is the PA which determines the line that the Arab world takes on matters involving Israel, settlements, and the like. It is the PA whose supporters in the United States mercilessly pressured Burger King and set up picket lines outside Burger King restaurants in various cities. And it is the PA which incited the Arab League to threaten an all-out Arab boycott of Burger King unless the Ma'ale Adumim franchise was shut down.

This is not intended to in any way absolve Burger King of its decision to boycott the Jews of Judea and Samaria. Obviously it had no moral right to collapse before threats of Arab boycotting. But at the same time, it is important to know the original source of this economic warfare against Israel--and to draw the appropriate conclusions on the basis of knowing who is to blame.

The appropriate conclusion would be for the Barak government to immediately halt its negotiations with Yasser Arafat--not because of a hamburger stand, but because of the much larger issue that the hamburger battle represents. The essence of the Oslo process was supposed to be Arab acceptance of Israel. If not the "New Middle East" that Shimon Peres promised, then at the very least, an end to Arab terrorism, threats, and economic warfare. One by one, each of those promises has turned out to be a fraud.

The Arab boycott weapon has no limit. Last year, it was used with great effectiveness to stop the Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream outlets in Israel from using water that originated in the Golan Heights. Boycott threats kept McDonald's from opening any branches beyond the 1967 border, and now they have shut down Burger King as well. Next in line: an exhibit at Disney World that refers to Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Since the Arabs regard Tel Aviv and Haifa as "occupied Palestine," too, it is only a matter of time before the boycotters turn their gunsights on pre-1967 Israel as well. Indeed, Arafat has set the stage for such a move with his recent campaign for a return to the United Nations partition lines of 1947. Soon anything beyond the 1947 borders, not the 1967 borders, will be called "occupied Arab territory."

The Arab campaign has received a significant boost from the far-left Israeli organization "Gush Shalom," which for some time now has been urging Israeli citizens to boycott the Jewish communities of Judea-Samaria. If a group on the Israeli right undertook similar action aimed at Arabs or the Israeli left, the Barak government would undoubtedly jail its leaders. But Gush Shalom is able to actively undermine the well being of the State of Israel without the slightest interference from Barak.

It is worth noting that among the leaders of the economic jihad against Burger King were three Arab-American groups that have been invited to the White House in recent years: the American Muslim Council,

(Continued on p.12)


The Israeli Death Wish - Part 2 ...3

Lies Become Truth ...8

The Less Said, the Better ...10

September 1999               - 1 -               Outpost


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