Monday, June 13, 2011

The Great Whisky Boycott Debate

A lot has been said and written about a threatened whisky boycott by the Jewish world due to the Anti-Zionist policies of the Scottish Nationalist Socialist West Dunbartonshire council and in particular, the anti-Semitic comments of one communist racist council member, Jim Bollan.

Report: Scottish boycott leader defends Fogel killers,7340,L-4080433,00.html

Scottish councilor: Hamas are freedom fighters,7340,L-4077577,00.html

Scotland: Glasgow districts boycott Israeli books,7340,L-4073097,00.html

The Conservative and Reform Movements

I noticed that the call to boycott has been taken up by The Reform and Conservative Masorti movements Kiddush clubs. Considering the Reform and Conservative’s poor record of support for Israel in the past, it does leave me slightly puzzled.

The Conservative/Masorti as well as the Reform movements are involved in many left wing pro-Palestinian organisations such as the grotesquely named “Rabbis For Human Rights” organisation. This organisation in particular thinks it’s the “Jewish way” to demand the dismantling of Army checkpoints and the security fences which have saved numerous Jewish lives. Their misplaced and corrupted sense of morality gives aid to Israel’s enemies.

See article in Haaretz for example:

The idea of a boycott

The boycott idea seems to have originated from the pro Zionist blog Muqata. I am very uncomfortable about this boycott for a number of reasons.

Before I begin I feel it’s only fair to say that I’m not objective in this issue as I love Scotland, having visited there many times and am crazy about Single Malt Whisky so confess a bias from the start.

I wrote to the Muqata blog today and am waiting for an answer to my question as to why the blog’s owner selected these whisky companies for a boycott. Muqata kindly published my comment here:

As I explained in my comment post on the blog, the headquarters of Morrison Bowmore are in Glasgow city centre and Bowmore distillery is on the Isle of Islay. The same company however does own a distillery in West Dunbartonshire called Auchintoshan. I'll give them that one.

By the way, until a few years ago, Morrison Bowmore's Computer department head was an Orthodox Jew who had served in the IDF! The company is very much involved in kosher whisky production and possible batches of kosher wine casks in cooperation with Israeli vineyards. Any Whisky company that works directly with Israeli companies (such as Bruichladdich of Islay) should certainly not be on the boycott. (Personally speaking, I'd recommend not drinking Bowmore anyway as its pretty awful stuff. However Glen Garioch and Auchintoshan are quite good).

The Glenlivet distillery is in the Speyside region and is owned by Chivas Brothers whose headquarters are in Paisley which is in the council area of Renfrewshire which is south of West Dunbartonshire. Why the boycott on them?

The third company on the list is Loch Lomond. Loch Lomond's headquarters and distillery are in Alexandria which is within the Strathclyde Regional Council. So why boycott them?

I do think though, that with enough pressure on Morrison Bowmore, they might be willing to make a public statement condemning their own council’s policy. It would certainly endear them to the many whisky drinkers within Am Yisrael and probably increase their sales.

What would Purim be like without a Chumantashen with a glass of Auchintoshan?


Reb Mordechai said...

My thoughts on the whisky boycott debate.

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Shalom Reb Mordechai -

A few comments:

1. I have slightly modified the counterboycott to include Whiskys distilled or bottled in that location, this way the current list is more accurate. A resident of the area kindly investigated the distilleries and I believe the current infromation on my blog's updated post is the most accurate.

2. The boycott is working. The idea is to use the pressure from the Whisky companies on the west dunbartonshire council to stop their boycott of Israel. 10 other Scottish councils are also considering boycotting Israel -- and if they believe whisky distillers in their region will be counter-boycotted, they will think twice. The distillers are VERY unhappy with their local council's politics now.

3. As I clearly wrote -- my issue is not with the distillers themselves, and I also enjoy Auchintoshan 21. Yet it is more important that the boycott of Israel be stopped. We must do everything possible to prevent the international isolation of Israel.

4. Lastly, why are you so upset at Conservative Mens Clubs for joining the counter boycott? Yasher Koach to them! If anything, its embaressing that they can publically announce their support for the Jewish State, yet the "frum" world remains rather silent on the issue... I am far from a fan of the "Rabbis for Human Rights" (and they would be against the counter boycott) the real question is, which side do you want to be on? That of the Mens Club which is pro-Israel, or that of Rabbis for Human Rights, which is pro-Terrorist...


Kol Tuv,

Jameel Rashid.
The Muqata Blog