Coke and Carob

By DeusExMacintosh

Gillard condemns Max Brenner protest by UNSW students

JULIA Gillard has denounced the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement ahead of anti-Israeli protest action planned at the University of NSW today.

BDS action at UNSW has turned ugly, with anti-Semitic and Holocaust-denying material appearing on a Facebook page opposing the opening of a Max Brenner chocolate shop on campus. Postings on a Facebook page promoting today’s protest have attacked “Jews and Jew lovers” and said the figure of six million Jews murdered by Nazi Germany was an exaggeration.

“Tell us again how there was no hidden Zionist agenda with the Holocaust and the eventual creation of the state of Israel,” one reads.

The Prime Minister said yesterday through a spokeswoman that the government had always been firm in its opposition of the BDS movement, which equates Israel with apartheid-era South Africa.

“This campaign does not serve the cause of peace and diplomacy for agreement on a two-state solution between Israel and Palestine,” she said.

“I welcome the strong ties our universities have with Israeli researchers and academic institutions, and I hope those ties will deepen in the years ahead.”

The University of Sydney Student Representative Council this month called for a boycott of Israeli academic institutions, including severing the university’s ties with the world-renowned Technion in Haifa…

The group Students for Justice in Palestine has called for a boycott of the University of NSW Max Brenner outlet, due to open in June.

BDS activists claim the chain is owned by the Israeli Strauss Group of food and confectionery manufacturers, which produces some rations for the nation’s defence forces and accuse it of complicity in “Israeli war crimes”. However, the local management insists it is wholly Australian owned and operated.

The Australian


  1. kvd
    Posted May 1, 2013 at 3:59 am | Permalink

    Maybe BDS could sublet the shop to Creightons of Leighton Buzzard? No, wait…

  2. Posted May 1, 2013 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    Bacon flavoured chocolate?

  3. Posted May 1, 2013 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    Speaking as a lover of bacon and of dark chocolate, bacon flavoured chocolate is just wrong.

    Nice to see our Julia is not an historical illiterate, unlike the boycott-merchants.

  4. Posted May 1, 2013 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

    I suppose that’s one step further than chocolate-covered bacon.

  5. Posted May 1, 2013 at 11:04 pm | Permalink

    Ew. Just, ew…

  6. marks
    Posted May 2, 2013 at 7:07 am | Permalink

    Very nasty indeed, if true. However, it was the Australian, that notably accurate and even handed paper that reported it, so I suppose it must be.

    The Australian would not purposely seek out extreme opinions and report them as if they were mainstream, would it?

    Not that this is a new phenomenon. I went to uni in the early seventies, and to read the newspapers, you would think we were overwhelmed by student revolution, and all at the point of overturning the State.

    Now, there is no doubt that if the Australian were not exaggerating, then this is nasty indeed. But that is a big IF.

  7. kvd
    Posted May 2, 2013 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    My son, budding chef, introduced me just now to the term ‘farce’ which, he says, is some form of stuffing. (He’s cooking a roast, and I was reminiscing about his mother’s stuffing skills) Having never heard of ‘farce’ used as such, I looked it up.

    Which lead me to turducken or, for the vegans, tofucken – which seems appropriate somehow.

    All offered, to get the crispy chocolate bacon combo out of mind.

  8. Posted May 2, 2013 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

    If you want to get the chocolate bacon combo out of mind you could watch this.

  9. Posted May 2, 2013 at 11:17 pm | Permalink

    Turducken is a three bird roast. I’m a fan of a five bird roast, starting with quail or something, and working up via various pheasants, chooks, etc, to culminate in a goose.

    *slurp*drool* (etc etc)

  10. Mel
    Posted May 3, 2013 at 12:56 pm | Permalink


    “Nice to see our Julia is not an historical illiterate, unlike the boycott-merchants.”

    The Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank are subject to a Jewish form of dhimmitude, regardless of any supposed historical illiteracy on the part of their supporters.

    The Australian has indeed waged a very transparent campaign against the BDS protests, as suggested by marks.

    But so too has the Government, both state and federal, and the police.

    The state wrongfully shutting down peaceful and legal protest is my main interest in the BDS campaigns.

    Sure, most of the BDS campaigners might be mostly idiots, commies etc. but they should still have the right to protest without being roughed up by the police.

  11. TerjeP
    Posted May 3, 2013 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

    Except they are not always peaceful. A protest is one thing a physical blockade is something quite different.

  12. Mel
    Posted May 3, 2013 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

    CCTV footage showed customers inside the Brenner store enjoying their hot chocolates. As the magistrate noted re the QV protest, if anyone blocked entry to the store it was the 120 police in attendance.

    An actual blockade is another thing altogether. I would throw the book at them in that case.

  13. Posted May 3, 2013 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

    [email protected] Targeting businesses because they are Jewish remains an act of historical illiteracy, regardless of the ins and outs of the Israel-Palestine dispute.

    The pointy end of Palestinian activism has been using the same operational strategy since the 1929 Hebron massacre and Safed massacre–targeting Jewish civilians. It is an operational strategy that has never worked for the Palestinians–indeed, it has been massively counterproductive–yet still it is persisted with.

    If a losing strategy is followed for 80+ years, one is led to the belief that either:

    (1) the point is to kill Jews; or

    (2) the point is to generate and exploit enmity regardless of the harm done to the interests of the Palestinian people; or

    (3) both.

    When this patently losing strategy is abandoned, more positive outcomes become possible. Until then, the ghastly gamemanship will continue. Genuine friends of the Palestinians would point this out to them, not feed the its-all-about-Israel evasion.

  14. Mel
    Posted May 3, 2013 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

    Disagree, Lorenzo. The Palestinians imprisoned in Gaza and the ever diminishing West Bank territories have no bargaining chips. They either die fighting or die like conquered peoples. It is either the Warsaw ghetto or the trail of tears.

    According to the Jewish group, B’tselem, during operation Cast Lead 344 Palestinian children were killed. Three Jewish civilians were killed.

    Since Cast Lead, 7 to 8 Palestinian children have been killed for each Jewish child killed.

    The West Bank is already subject to Nuremburg style laws, with footpaths in various locations reserved for the use of Jews only.

    Maybe Hitler would have been nicer to the Jews if they didn’t provoke him so much …

    Maybe the Jews would be nicer to the Palestinians (and that includes the Christian Palestinians) if they stopped getting in the way of Jewish bullets.

    There will be no solution to this dispute until one side annihilates the other.

  15. Posted May 4, 2013 at 1:53 am | Permalink

    Mel & Lorenzo get off Israel/Palestine, please. Greater minds than the internetz have been arguing about this since the Romans invaded. We’re not likely to find a solution on this thread. My interest was piqued by the detail in one article that…

    WHEN the University of NSW surveyed staff and students about which new stores they wanted on campus, a Max Brenner chocolate shop was the equal second most popular choice.

    Should the BDS/SJP be trying to impose their political protest against the State of Israel over a) the will of the majority of students and staff at UNSW or b) the right of an Israeli immigrant couple to trade freely in Australia?

  16. Posted May 4, 2013 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    [email protected] I am not sure that majorities get to decide who can protest per se. And a boycott that a majority oppose is not likely to work. Though making Jews more likely to feel that Israel is their only haven is not clever strategy, if helping Palestinians is your aim. After all, the first principle of post-1948 Zionism is Jews are not safe if they do not have dedicated state and its armed forces to defend them.

    [email protected] The last two or so centuries are full of great emancipations–the British abolition of slavery, Catholic emancipation in the Anglosphere, Jewish emancipation, female emancipation, Gandhi’s struggle against British rule, the civil rights struggles in the US, queer emancipation. None of them used violence as a basic strategy; yet were remarkably successful.

    Not coincidentally surely: it is easier to agree to include folk if you do not have reason to believe that what many of them really want to do is kill you. (See particularly the end of apartheid in South Africa.)

    There are many different sorts of “bargaining chips”. Particularly when dealing with systems where elections matter accustomed to the rule of law.

    2 comments each, time to stop.

  17. Mel
    Posted May 4, 2013 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    DEM @15:

    “Should the BDS/SJP be trying to impose their political protest against the State of Israel over a) the will of the majority of students and staff at UNSW or b) the right of an Israeli immigrant couple to trade freely in Australia?”

    The exact same argument was used against those meddlesome anti-slavery Quaker types. You seem to have forgotten your history.

    The BDS have every right to protest for an unpopular cause. But they don’t have the right to physically stop people from entering stores that are the subject of their protests.

  18. Posted May 5, 2013 at 12:48 am | Permalink

    Different argument I think you’ll find, Mel. Those meddlesome anti-slavery types were protesting a legal status quo on religious/moral grounds not a nation state on political grounds – they weren’t anti-capitalists, remember (in fact they were amongst the foremost capitalists of the era).

  19. Mel
    Posted May 5, 2013 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    Not really the point, DEM. You invoked majoritarianism to support your argument that the BDS protests are not legit. That is is silly argument and you don’t believe it yourself.

  20. Posted May 7, 2013 at 6:02 am | Permalink

    [email protected]: Someone should have said that to Patrick Harrison

    A KEY supporter of the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement has been caught on camera admitting “there isn’t really any connection” between Australian Max Brenner chocolate shops and Israel.

    Palestine Action Group spokesman Patrick Harrison made the admission in a video of a BDS protest last November at the Max Brenner outlet in Parramatta, in Sydney’s west, posted recently on YouTube by a graduate filmmaker.

  21. Mel
    Posted May 7, 2013 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    Lol. The Oz has been running a campaign against BDS and you’ve swallowed it hook line and sinker. Do your own thinking.

  22. Posted May 8, 2013 at 3:13 am | Permalink

    I did, Mel, I particularly wondered what it must be like for the Israeli immigrant couple who just want to get on with expanding their popular business in Australia – far, far away from possibly the very same stuff BDS have been shoving in their faces.

  23. Posted May 8, 2013 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

    Meanwhile: Stephen Hawking joins academic boycott of Israel.

  24. Mel
    Posted May 8, 2013 at 9:52 pm | Permalink


    My thimble sized violin gently weeps.

    Given BDS campaigners often have surnames like Rosencrantz, Hynek and Goodstein, I rather doubt they are Stormfront affiliates.

    According to the Israeli Strauss Group website:

    Max Brenner’s sinfully delicious chocolates and the distinctive Max Brenner Chocolate Bar chain that is spreading around the world are now widely recognized as a matchless innovative retail concept. With their unique chocolate culture, Max Brenner subtly enhances the social experience of going out and enjoying the pure fun of drinking and eating chocolate. The Max Brenner chocolate brand is developing into a global indulgence concept in various parts of the world, and currently operates 44 Chocolate Bars: 6 in Israel, 30 in Australia …

    And Max Brenner has indeed supplied free chockies to the Israeli army, including special deliveries to units that it has “sponsored” and that have put bullets in the bodies of Palestinian women and children.

    At the time everybody hated those bastard anti-apartheid protesters who tried to disrupt those rugby matches in Joh Bjelke-Peterson’s Queensland. Remember how the protesters kept getting in the way of the policemen’s truncheons? Remember how the conservative rags and pollies said they were commies who should be shot or jailed?

    BDS may not be as noble as those campaigns but I’ll always support the right of people to protest peacefully, even if that means DEM’s beloved majority is upset occasionally.

  25. Posted May 9, 2013 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

    All that aside, I’d still cheerfully flatten any protestor who tries to interrupt my quiet enjoyment of hot chocolate.

    Hippies can go without a bath, smoke drugs, sit around & talk shit, root each other’s women, refuse to vaccinate their kids, even cheat the dole office.

    But get in the way of my hot chocolate drinking, & I’ll convert their teeth to shards.

    They can protest up the street, or better still, sit around at their commune or somwhere, carving their soap (gotta use it for something, rite?) into little Max Brenner dolls then sticking pins into it.

  26. kvd
    Posted May 10, 2013 at 4:32 am | Permalink

    I’m with you Steve. There’s nothing more enjoyable than a mug of hot chocolate enjoyed on a sunny spring day whilst watching the jelly wrestling. (That wasn’t you, back in 2008, by any chance?)

    I dunno. These young people today…

  27. Posted May 10, 2013 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    What is “Spring”? (Wikipedia says it is a southern concept, one of the mythical “Four Seasons” we learned about in school, and read about in Enid Blyton books, but never actually experienced in real life – sort of like fireplaces, chimneys, falling leaves and frost!)

    Alas I’ve never seen jelly wrestling anywhere but in blog comments. The concept of women

    Furthermore I’ve not partaken of hot chocolate since I was in primary school. Until the deadbeat social class started picketing Max Brenner it never entered my head that there’s such a thing as a “hot chocolate” shop!
    2008? I was doing the same as I am now, except I was 5 years less disillusioned!

  28. Posted May 24, 2013 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    Hi all, Patrick Harrison here.

    As has been articulated by others in this discussion – boycotting Max Brenner has nothing to do with the identity of the company’s owners, just as the campaign to boycott the firm Veolia for its operations in the occupied territories has nothing to do with the religion or race of its bosses.

    It is about raising awareness of the Israeli government’s crimes in Palestine, and targeting companies involved in those crimes like Strauss (or their local franchises and operations, which also includes two brands of dips, Copperpot and Red Rock Deli).

    If you want to hear my response to this beat up and distortion by the Australian, check out my blog here:

  29. Mel
    Posted May 24, 2013 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

    I think Patrick Harrison’s considered argument makes DEM look like a well-spanked arse.

    A couple of years ago I would’ve derided anyone who said Israel operates an apartheid state but it is now blatantly obvious that it does. No doubt some of the person’s involved in BDS are obnoxious wannabe revolutionaries but that doesn’t make the cause wrong, provided the campaigners demonstrate peacefully and do not obstruct entry to the premises they target. For the most part, this is what they are doing.

    I think the best course of action for the western world would be to pick up stumps and leave the Greater Middle East, from North Africa to Pakistan, to its own devices. That is to say:

    – no foreign aid
    – no acceptance of asylum seekers
    – no diplomatic initiatives, and
    – most definitely no military intervention.

    Let the bastards sink or swim as their own actions dictate.

    A possible fringe benefit of such a policy is that China and Russia might be enticed to hop onto the back of the crocodile. That should tie them quite nicely.

  30. Posted May 24, 2013 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

    [email protected] Palestinians are not citizens of Israel but do include people who are patently a threat to Israeli civilians. Israeli Arabs are not required to serve in the IDF, but otherwise vote and participate in Israeli politics. The apartheid comparison manages both to elide issues about Palestinian choices and slander Israel.

    Israel withdrew from Gaza, and gets rocket attacks from it. Does not exactly encourage them to give up control over the West Bank. Barak offered a two-state deal to Arafat at Camp David which he rejected without any counter-offer. If the only Palestinian demand is that Israel abolish itself, that also does not encourage Israel to be “reasonable”.

    And what do we call Hamas’s treatment of Palestinian Christians? Which also does not encourage Israelis to be :”reasonable”.

    Israeli policy did not develop in a vacuum. My objection to focusing on Israeli policy is that it encourages Palestinian choices to remain the dysfunctional mess they have been since the 1920s; well before Israel existed.

  31. Posted May 24, 2013 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

    On a lighter note, we may have a Palestinian-Armenian Treasurer after the next election.

  32. Posted May 24, 2013 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

    I think Patrick Harrison’s considered argument makes DEM look like a well-spanked arse.


  33. Posted May 25, 2013 at 5:51 am | Permalink

    Palestinians are not citizens of Israel but do include people who are patently a threat to Israeli civilians. Israeli Arabs are not required to serve in the IDF, but otherwise vote and participate in Israeli politics. The apartheid comparison manages both to elide issues about Palestinian choices and slander Israel.

    Couldn’t be further from the truth. There are around 20 laws in Israel which differentiate in citizenship status between Jewish and non-Jewish citizens. Indeed, Israel is the only nation in the world where the basic laws – laws of migration to Israel and citizenship – are not defined around “citizens”, ie the people who make up the country, but around a ethno-cultural category. Israel is defined legally as the home of the “Jewish nation”.

    Starting from there and working up to a variety of other institutional racisms (there’s a reason the 10 poorest villages or suburbs in Israel are all Arab ones), all you can call Israel is apartheid, a regime based on ethnic separation – regardless of how many Muslimiyah are sitting in Max Brenner in Tel Aviv.

  34. Posted May 28, 2013 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

    [email protected] Which is the other reason I get leary about the concentration on Israeli policy. Yes, Israel is self-consciously a Jewish state, a homeland for Jews. Asking it not to be that is, in effect, asking Israel to abolish itself.

    Which does not make it ethnic separation. If there are unjust restrictions on Israeli Arab citizens, that is a fair issue to consider. But merely saying there are laws which reflect that Israel is a homeland for Jews does not make for apartheid.

    Jews have, after all, learnt the hard way–both in Europe and the Middle East–that no state can be relied upon to protect them. And if your program is to tell Israelis that there are not entitled to a Jewish state, then you will get nowhere.

    So, what about your program is not about punishing Israel for being a Jewish state?

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