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Last Thursday British trade union Unite voted for a complete boycott of Israeli goods and services. Its motion accused Israel of having “a policy of ethnic clensing” and being “a terror state way beyond apartheid”.

On the same day that Unite was passing this motion, 15-year-old Muhammed Kalalwe was working in his family’s fields in Jenin, which is a Palestinian city in the West Bank. He noticed a deadly viper snake and before he could stop it the snake had bitten him on his right hand. He was soon in enormous pain and in imminent danger of death.

His father rushed him to Jenin Hospital but they lacked the correct anti-serum. So he was taken to an Israeli hospital – the HaEmek Medical Center. There Muhammed and his father were greeted in Arabic and rushed to the emergency room where the boy’s life was saved by a team of doctors including both Jews and Arabs. He was kept in intensive care for two days and then moved to continue his recuperation in another ward.

Established in 1924, HaEmek Medical Center is a community hospital serving a population of Jews and Arabs. With a mixed medical staff of Jews and Arabs, its guiding philosophy is ‘Coexistence Through Medicine’.

Ethnic cleansing? Way beyond apartheid?

Unite, you revolt me.

50 Responses to “This is what you're boycotting, Unite”

  1. aparatchik says:

    posturing clowns

  2. Yvetta Bagel says:

    Israel has performed life-saving operations on many Palestinian patients, and the wonderful Weizmann Institute has made many medical breakthroughs to the benefit of humankind.
    Unfortunately, the media seldom reports them, whether by design or because Israel fails to publicise them sufficiently I don’t know.

  3. jonathan s says:

    I feel physically sick.

    These repulsive, spineless, hate-filled worms make me sick.


  4. Shmuel says:

    “Unite, you revolt me.”

    Me too.

  5. Israelinurse says:

    HaEmek is my Alma Mater. Not only is the staff of many mixed creeds and ethnic backgrounds, but so are the patients. I worked there with Jews, Muslims, Christians, Druze, Bedouins and Circassians. Nobody thought about religion or race for a minute; we were too busy doing our jobs.

    In the early 1990s there was a big campaign organised there by the genetics department to help the local Arab populations of Wadi ‘Ara in particular fight the debilitating genetic disease Thalassemia Major, which was then quite prevalent in the area. The disease was practically eradicated due to co-operation between the local population, community clinics and the hospital.

  6. annie says:

    I got this via email:

    A friend of mine has written to British Airways pointing out that since many of its cabin crew are members of the UNITE Union which has passed a motion calling for a complete boycott of Israeli goods and services I would circulate family colleagues and friends urging them to choose any other airline but BA when travelling until such time as this outrageous motion is retracted. Please support this and tell your friends.

    I personally must add that BA’s services were so bad,I am not sure that we would notice any difference.

    I can’t comment on BA’s service because I haven’t flown with them for a long time, but I agree with the rest. I don’t normally advocate boycotts, but if they’re going to boycott us, they’re going to get it back in return.

    • Yvetta Bagel says:

      Great idea! If flying longhaul to Oz, I recommend Singapore Airlines, which like Qantas has an outstanding safety record. Qantas is heaps better than BA as well, but unfortunately in booking it these days you often find yourself lumbered with BA owing to a partnership agreement. Air New Zealand is also a first-rate airline, but it means flying those tedious extra miles there and then to Oz. As an aside, there’s no El Al link direct from Oz to Israel; most people take Al Italia’s legendary “red eye special”.

  7. Brenda says:

    Please let Unite know what you think of this disgusting boycott decision using this comments form on their wbsite. No abuse, swearing or rudeness please, that doesn’t help anything!

    • Jonathan Bush says:

      Thanks Brenda for the link. I have duly commented on Unite’s site. I don’t expect much from it, but at least they will receive one more dissenting voice. There is no sense or logic to their vote – Hatred without reason – Judenhass

    • Sarah Leah Lawent says:

      BS”D I think they need a barrage, a storm, of mail telling them how racist and disgusting they are. They need to receive a veritable storm – for several days…jam their servers, their post box…phonecalls…

    • Yitz says:

      thanks for link. I sent them a comment as follows (feel free to re-use):

      Unite, in a piece of vile, racist and willfully blind political posturing of no relevance to the interests of its members, terms Israel a “terror state way beyond apartheid” and accuses it of “ethnic cleansing”, a term first used to describe the policies of Serbia in the war in Croatia and Kosovo.

      Last Thursday, on the same day Unite reached this new low in its credibility and morality, 15-year-old Muhammed Kalalwe was working in his family’s fields in Jenin, a Palestinian city in the West Bank and received a life-threatening bite from a viper. After his local (Palestinian-administered) hospital was unable to save him, his parents decided, with misgivings, to have him taken across the border to an Israeli hospital, the HaEmek Medical Center.

      There, Muhammed and his father were greeted in Arabic and rushed to the emergency room where the boy’s life was saved by a team of doctors including both Jews and Arabs.

      The boy’s father later told an Israeli: “Our people do not know the truth about you, and our medicine has a long way to go. My son and I are not the same as we were before this happened and I will share this with my family and friends. May Allah bless all of you.”

      HaEmek’s HaEmek’s Head of Emergency Services, Dr. Azziz Daroushe, a Muslim Arab (!) from the nearby Israeli village of Iksal, asked what he thought about this case, answered with a twinkle in his eye and a knowing grin, “It’s a good thing there are snakes.” See

      And on this day, Unite’s motion against Israel was passed.

      I am getting in touch to let you know that I am disgusted. The decision to boycott Israel is vile, wicked and willfully ignores the truth.

      You will, however, be happy to know that I shall be doing my bit to enable Unite’s members to boycott Israel by avoiding using BA for my trips there – or anywhere else in the world either for that matter. I shall encourage others to do likewise, using my tentacled connections in the International Zionist Conspiracy (which I am a fully paid up member of, as are my good friends the Tooth Fairy and Father Christmas), which Unite unaccountably forgot to mention in its mendacious and deranged diatribe. I hope some Unite members have their interests better served in this manner by being made redundant. And should they spend some of their redundancy money on a solidarity trip to Palestine and unfortunately fall ill, I hope they will stay true to their principles and eschew any recourse to medical care from the apartheid terror-state of Israel and place their trust in Palestinian medicine.

  8. FromIsrael says:

    Let them boycott us. Why should the Israel haters benefit from Israel’s irrepressible genius! Just encourage them to do it properly. This includes boycotting all Israeli developed computer and communication technology, medicines and medical devices, irrigation systems etc, etc, etc.
    If something’s worth doing it’s worth doing well!

  9. Elan Miller says:

    I’ve complained here:

    Feel free to use this text:

    “Yesterday, 15-year-old Muhammed Kalalwe was working in his family’s fields in Jenin, a Palestinian city in the West Bank and was received a life-threatening bite from a viper. After his local hospital was unable to save him, his parents decided to have him taken to an Israeli hospital, the HaEmek Medical Center.

    There, Muhammed and his father were greeted in Arabic and rushed to the emergency room where the boy’s life was saved by a team of doctors including both Jews and Arabs.

    And on this day, Unite’s motion, accusing Israel of having ‘a policy of ethnic clensing’ and being ‘a terror state way beyond apartheid’, was passed.

    I am getting in touch to let you know that I am disgusted. The decision to boycott Israel is vile, wicked and willfully ignores the truth.”

  10. FromIsrael says:

    On a different note, yesterday, Rav Mordechai Eliyahu, z”tsal, passed away. He was one of the gedolei hador (the greats of the generation) and someone who was respected and loved by all sectors of the Israeli Jewish population. Over 200,000 people attended his funeral.
    Driving home from his eulogy, one of my friends said that the good thing that came out of the flotilla fiasco was the unity it caused in Israel. And that the same is true of Rav Mordechai’s passing away. It’s a bit sad that we need such events to bring us together, but that’s our reality.

    • Chas Newkey-Burden says:

      I read about his passing. Very sad. Thanks for showing us the positive side of two upsetting events.

  11. Adam says:

    This shows that these boycotts are just destructive expressions of hatred – they are in fact racist. It simply says Unite has a problem with Jews – why else is Israel singled out like this, and why are examples like the one above ignored?

    • Yvetta Bagel says:

      Did you see this, Adam?
      The wise words of a leftwing Spanish writer about the hypocrisy of her fellow leftwingers.

      And now it’s reported that Spain has asked the Tel Aviv Gay Pride group not to come to Spain in view of the flotilla incident!
      Truly, Israel is now “the Jew among the nations”.
      We are back in the 1930s.
      It is “the Devil’s Decade” all over again.

      • Yvetta Bagel says:

        I’m sorry, I’m so outraged and addled I forgot to provide the link

        • Adam says:

          Thanks very much for the link Yvetta – I think the hypocrisy is one of their most vulnerable points, and shows how hollow the bashers’ “concerns” really are. It needs to be pointed out again and again.

  12. La Cumparsita says:

    I`m travelling at the moment but try to log on to see the latest news etc & this blog. I have visited HaÈmek hospital several times & requested donations for them in lieu of gifts for a recent birthday. I can confirm everything that has been written above about the hospital – it really is the Hospital of Peace & Co-Existence.

  13. wendy says:

    I receive a regular newsletter from the TUC;I have always supported the trade union movement but I shall now be writing to them to express my disgust and to withdraw my support.

    Have they heard of Israel’s humanitarian mashav organisation I wonder? And what about Israel’s Histadrut?

  14. wendy says:

    Dear TUC,

    I receive your newsletter and have always supported the movement, but I now write to express my disgust and dismay at your ill-judhed condemnation of Isarel and, in particular, with the Unite Union’s call for a boycott of Israeli goods and services.

    This is quite ridiculous, hypocritical and, frankly, very stupid.

    Israel is a democracy with a healthy trade union movement : it is caught up in a protracted struggle with profound implications for the western world.

    I urge you to reconsider your biased policy and to maintain links with Israel.

    Yours sincerely,
    Wendy Kellett

  15. Tamarama says:

    This is yet another example of mob bully tactics. The vitriolic hatred thrown at Israel bares no relation whatsoever to the facts on the ground. Israel isn’t perfect, but surely does its best under impossible circumstances. The actions of the Emek Hospital and ALL Israeli hospitals show ample evidence of basic good will and way beyond in their treatment of residents not only from the West Bank and Gaza but from many other Arab countries.
    Sadly the hatred and double standards shown towards Israel have echos of very dark days from the past.Will our “critics” even listen to the facts?

  16. DaveM says:

    I offered this to Unite via their ‘general enquiries’ form. I doubt anyone there will read it, but in case anyone wants to use it:


    This is a comment regarding Unite’s recent announcement of a boycott against Israel. I noted a number of apparent factual misconceptions and a general ignorance surrounding this issue (e.g. comparisons to apartheid South Africa) and would like to suggest some avenues of research your members could engage in to correct this situation.

    In South Africa, the majority blacks could not vote, marry whites, run businesses in white areas without a permit, acquire land in ‘white’ areas, be treated at ‘white’ hospitals or take ‘white’ trains, etc.

    In Israel, the minority Arabs can vote, marry whomever they like, run businesses anywhere, buy land anywhere, are treated in the same hospitals, take the same trains, and the Israeli High Court has been vigilant combating prejudice and ensuring that the rule of law applies to all Israelis equally regardless of race (see decisions such as their forcing the JNF to sell land to Arabs and overturning the illegal banning of two Arab political parties).

    Unlike the UK, Greece and Norway (for example) Israel has no official state religion, and Arabic is one of its official languages. There are, in fact, numerous affirmative action-type policies in place in at attempt to address social discrimination, such as the city of Jerusalem providing free professional regularity advice to Arab residents which is not available to equivalent Jewish citizens.

    This apartheid meme, like so many, is easy to repeat and very catchy yet completely inaccurate and reveals ignorance of the facts in both South Africa and in Israel.

    Also, for your interest, here are some facts about Gaza.

    First, according to the Palestinians there’s no humanitarian crisis in Gaza. Google these sentences yourself:
    “Azzam al-Ahmed, a top Fatah official in the West Bank, was quoted over the weekend as saying that he was opposed to the lifting of the blockade on the Gaza Strip until Hamas agreed to end the dispute with his faction.”
    “Ahmed stressed that there was no humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip because the PA government was sending aid through Israeli border crossings.”
    “Today, Israel allowed part of the aid, which originally included construction materials and medical supplies, to Gaza through one of its land crossing points, but Hamas refused to let that shipment in, witnesses told Xinhua.”

    Gaza’s population has risen by 40% in the last 10 years (published Feb 2009), and its population is expected to double in the next 20 years. Yet over the last 17 years many UN and ‘humanitarian’ organisations have claimed that its suffering from a humanitarian crises to keep their coffers full.

    Rather than simply consume the propaganda put forward by Palestinian politicians and Western supports, Google some of the facilities available in Gaza. Check out where many UN staff and journalists stay while visiting – the Aldeira (search “Aldeira Gaza” and book your room!), and where they eat (search for “Roots Club Gaza”, and after checking out their services and menus look at ‘impartial’ UN organisations on their client list).

    For the opinion of a correspondent who isn’t growing fat as part of the ‘victim’ bandwagon try Googling the Danish reporter ‘Steffen Jensen’ and ‘Gaza’ (you’ll need Google Translate to read his original piece, although the pictures speak for themselves).

    So, do some research, view some real photos and videos, and stop judging things from the very poor and biased coverage offered by BBC, CNN, Reuters (recently proved to have cropped out knives and blood from their published photos of the soldiers ambushed on the Mavi Marmara) and so on. Surprisingly, Xinhua and Al-Jazeera, as well as Israeli media, often have more balanced reporting than can be found in the West.

    Let’s also consider the Palestinian Arabs’ health demographics against other populations in their local area:

    Egypt: Pop’n Growth Rate 1.642% (21.7 births / 1,000; 5.08 deaths / 1,000); Infant mortality rate: 27.26 / 1,000; Life Expectancy: 72.12 years.

    Lebanon: Pop’n Growth Rate 1.107% (17.1 births / 1,000; 6.03 deaths / 1,000); Infant mortality rate: 21.82 / 1,000; Life Expectancy: 73.66 years.

    Syria: Pop’n Growth Rate 2.129% (25.9 births / 1,000; 4.61 deaths / 1,000); Infant mortality rate: 25.87 / 1,000; Life Expectancy: 71.19 years.

    Iran: Pop’n Growth Rate 0.883% (17.17 births / 1,000; 5.72 deaths / 1,000); Infant mortality rate: 35.78 / 1,000; Life Expectancy: 71.14 years.

    Gaza Strip: Pop’n Growth Rate 3.349% (36.93 births / 1,000; 3.44 deaths / 1,000); Infant mortality rate: 18.35 / 1,000; Life Expectancy: 73.42 years.

    West Bank: Pop’n Growth Rate 2.178% (25.44 births / 1,000; 3.66 deaths / 1,000); Infant mortality rate: 15.96 / 1,000; Life Expectancy: 74.54 years.

    With the exception of Lebanon, life expectancy for the average resident of Gaza is higher than any of the local Arab (and Persian) areas except for the West Bank (which has greater access to Israeli hospitals since Hamas stops many more sick Palestinians from crossing the border than Fatah does). Again, thanks to greater medical care and knowledge from their Westernised neighbour, infant mortality is significantly better in both Gaza and the West Bank, too. Oh, and deaths per 1,000 population is lower.

    On the subject of blockades, the Examiner did a story in May this year of the blockade of South Yemen, “Three week blockade of South Yemen brings starvation and violence”. That’s a real blockade – no food, medicine, anything. So, people are dying. And world looks on and does absolutely nothing, because there’s no way to place responsibility on to Israel. I can’t even see any reference to this event on ABC, BBC, CNN, etc.

    On the other hand, when Egypt opened its Rafah border crossing into Gaza around 01 Jun 10, the immediate reaction by ‘Free Gaza’ and other supposedly aid organisations (e.g. Viva Palestina, Tikkun, etc) wasn’t to immediately organise aid convoys, airlifts, or anything similar to bring goods to the Gazans, it was to announce that they’d be sending more ships by sea! They’re political entities, not humanitarian organisations, and their actions prove it.

    Draw your own conclusions from some real facts, and end this unjustified and meaningless boycott action.

  17. Steve R says:

    My socialist anticedents must be turning in their graves. Why has the left turned against Israel and I’m sorry to say this, the Jews. Is it a cause they are looking for since the cahanges in South Africa ? the fact is very little HAS changed there, the townships are still there and as nasty as they have always been. Hitler used us for his own ends now the left are doing the same. There is now no home for any left leaning Jews.

  18. wendy says:

    Dear Wendy,

    Thank you for your email.

    The TUC’s position is set out on our web site. Please see the text below.

    The TUC believes that only when a sovereign, independent, democratic contiguous and viable Palestinian state is created, living side by side with a secure Israel will there be a chance for peace and stability in the Middle East. We remain committed to a two-state solution to the crisis in the Middle East and support for the Road Map. We recognize the enormous suffering of the Palestinian people, and we call upon the British Government to make appropriate representations to the international community to secure lasting peace through a negotiated settlement based on mutual respect and self-determination, on justice for the Palestinians and on security for Israel. Please refer to the TUC General Council statement on the Middle East for more on the TUC’s position on the Israel/Palestine conflict.

    In increase the pressure on Israel to end its occupation of all Palestinian territories, the TUC, working in conjunction with the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, is calling for a targeted consumer boycott of goods from the illegal Israel settlements. To promote the Don’t buy settlement goods campaign, the TUC and PSC have produced a, “Would you buy stolen goods?” leaflet and a briefing for trade union officers.

    Further information on our position can be found on our web site at:

    We have contacts with Israeli trade unions.


    Jennifer Rockliff
    Information Service
    —–Original Message—–

    Reply from TUC to my recent message :see above

  19. MonkZy says:

    The claims being made by the Unite members are way beyond the truth. They are using terms which poorly describe Israels true position.
    The TUC however are a little more focused, they are only calling for a boycott of goods produced in the West Bank Israeli settlements. The TUC pamphlets consider the settlements illegal and not useful to building peace in the region.
    I think the Unity people have made statements they need to retract, they are not helping build peace in any way. I am not sure about the TUC, they seem to be supporting the two-state solution, which I also feel may be a workable solution for peace. In my opinion boycotts are not a great way of effecting change, it generally hurts common folk who are trying to make a living.

    Divestment is nothing new though, the US has been doing this (with huge support from pro-Israel lobbyists) for a few years now…please read :

    This divestment is to stop the growth of an Islamist state that is currently developing nukes. In my opinion, if one wishes another state not to develop nukes it would be logical for them to disarm their own arsenal of nuclear weapons, rather than try to economically force them (which would probably make them more resolute on the need for such weapons).

    • MonkZy says:

      I really think Unity should be publicly chastised for using the term ‘terror state’ in relation to Israel during their boycott talks.

      Israel is not a ‘terror state’ and do not operate ethnic cleansing, that is ludicrous talk. The security barrier/wall was however built on the basis of separation of clashing cultures, and could be seen a form of ‘apartheid’. This is an old position from the 90′s, and has now changed to a position of necessary border security as a response to continued attacks on civilians (actual terrorism). The original statements made by the Israeli government in the 90′s is set to hang around and be used by anti-Israel commentators wishing to compare Israel with older settlement regimes such as the South Africans.

  20. Leonie Lachmish says:

    Hi, Chas,
    First time visitor to Oy Va Goy and I’d like to subscribe to your blog but nothing happens when I try – can you register me and if I get a message to my email, I’ll confirm it from there. Thanks!

  21. MonkZy says:

    I know I am new here as a commenter, and I never really said ‘hi’ or introduced myself.

    Yesterday I watched this series of video’s from youTube. They are all mobile phone footage of the rocket attacks on Israeli cities/towns. They all have low view counts (all less than 150,000 some as low as 6,000 views). Sorry for the bold type warning below, but I do feel a need for it. I sat and immersed myself in the experiences of common Israeli people living in the threat of rocket attacks


    I did not cry while watching the footage, I do not know why. I feel a huge welling sadness and tears well in my eyes. Maybe a hope for something better to come makes me feel there is no need for grief just yet. Israel is not dead, it is very much alive.

    Thank you Chas for allowing me to speak in this public place. I think it is time for me to make my own blog however, instead of blogging in other folks blog comments :P

  22. Jill says:

    OK, I’ve just sent this. Apologies as usual for spelling.

    I haver just read abotu your proposed of Israel becaseu a bunch of Turkish jihadists tried to break a perfectly legal blockade and got killed according to their stated desire for martyrdom. (See Turkish TV).

    Does belonging to a trade union mean that all perception is mandated to see killers as angels? gazans live in a anIslamic Sharia state and iot would make more sense for you to help them leave, stop women having acid thrown in their face, oprotest against the return of Sharia law and crucifixion.

    have you people read the hamas Covenant?
    Have you ever lived under threat of annihilation by Islamic maniacs and still managed to create life for the diverse Israeli population , including blacks, whites, gay Arabs, rabbis, women, men, of all nationalities?

    Do you dues-paying members know you are using their hard-earned pennies and pounds to support terrorists, many of whose relatives live in the UK and are threatening native British people?

    How is the protection of Islamist terrorists part of your brief to help members of your union?
    How does this disgusting boycott help fellow Israeli and Palestinian unionists in Israel?
    Are you aware Israel was established with a strong union and socialist culture
    that helps Arabs and non-Israeli nationalities all over the country?

    All you are doing is helping jihadis destroy Israel. Well, Isklamists are ruling your country and you’re falling by the wayside too!
    While you pound on Israel you’re forgetting to protect your own country from these Islamist thugs.

    I shall be boycotting every possible connection to your union.
    By the way, I’m Australian
    and will not fly BA again.

    • Alina says:

      Wow, superb blog louyat! How long have you been running a blog for? you make running a blog look easy. The full glance of your web site is fantastic, let alone the content material!

  23. Jill says:

    I HAVE to adopt a Preview mentality!! :)

  24. Steve R says:

    Unite should look after workers rights and forget about anything else. Do they know what Hammas and Hizba-arsoles really want. Who do they think inspired the London bombings ? the Jehovah Witnesses !!!

  25. cityca says:

    My email to them reads as follows:
    “I read about your boycotting of Israel and the standard reply you are sending out to those who write to you in connection.

    Part of that reply reads, “The TUC believes that only when a sovereign, independent, democratic contiguous and viable Palestinian state is created, living side by side with a secure Israel will there be a chance for peace and stability in the Middle East. We remain committed to a two-state solution to the crisis in the Middle East and support for the Road Map”.

    Clearly this is a nonsense, because if you were committed to a two state solution, you wouldn’t be taking sides in the way you have.

    Unite has been hijacked by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and you have allowed it to skew facts to suit their own particular agenda.

    It seems unlikely to me that the majority of your membership have full knowledge of this hijacking, nor of the way you have moved the union away from representing your members interests, to becoming involved in the political problems of people outside your country and remit.

    The PSC are connected to some of the most fascistic organisations in the world, namely Hamas and Hez B’Allah, both of which are trained, supported and directed by the Iranian regime, which itself is going through violent internal struggles, during which ordinary working people, gays, women and any opposition are dealt with in a violent and deadly manner.

    Your action shows up the paucity of your leadership and as a result, your union will probably go backwards in the coming months and years.

    My name and address are withheld because your friends in the PSC have already made threats of violence which I take seriously. These are the people you have now linked arms with.”

    If it puts a grain of doubt in just one mind…

  26. Adam says:

    Excellent email cityca!

  27. Highnlonesome says:

    I am now non-unionised having quit Unison several months ago. Unite and GMB are the other two major unions in my workplace. Do you think it’s safe to join GMB?

  28. Matt says:

    Shocking though this is I can’t say I’m all that surprised given how the trade union movement tends to be dominated by left wing militants. All of these anti-Semitic organisations are ultimately sewing the seeds of their own demise, but I worry that Britain will be dragged down with them unless we speak out more.

  29. Ros says:

    The problem is that Unite want the demise of BA, so saying that you won’t fly on BA again is self-defeating. Apart from ‘buycotting’ and targetting supermarkets that DON’T stock Israeli produce, there’s very little that we can do against this vile organisation.

  30. Matt says:

    I didn’t get a reply from Unite after I wrote to complain…

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