Today I found out that H&M is about to open a new store in Israel’s capital, Jerusalem. Normally, I couldn’t care less – another retail giant opening yet another outlet, big deal. Well, this time, it is a big deal.
Or at least it was made into a big deal by Melbourne scumbags from the BDS movement. What’s their issue with a shop opening halfway across the world? Nothing really. Nothing except a blind hatred towards the state of Israel.
Now, if you ask the people (and I use the term “people” very loosely here) from BDS what their goal is, thy will tell you that it is to bring Israel to its knees, stop it from any activities in Judea and Samaria and by doing so advance creation of an independent state of Palestine.
Noble cause, right? No, not really. To me, a noble cause is the one that improves the lives of poor and oppressed. A noble cause is the one where you do all you can to make sure that your workers work and live in a humane, sustainable conditions.
So let’s look into it a little bit deeper.
H&M has stores in dozens of countries. Including in the Middle East, countries that might not necessarily be Israel’s friends. They have stores in Bahrain. They have stores in Jordan. They have stores in Kuwait. They have stores in Lebanon. Oman. Qatar. Saudi Arabia. United Arab Emirates. All these countries have benefited from having H&M stores in their shopping centers. All these countries recognize the importance of having a robust economy based on free trade and sound management. How many of them are going to close down H&M chains in their countries, just to piss Israel off? None.
So why is the BDS different? Is it because they care more about the plight of the Palestinian people than the Arab countries do? Hardly. If they did, they wouldn’t cause the closure of the SodaStream factory in Judea and subsequent loss of jobs for 500 Palestinians. If they did, they wouldn’t oppose $15 Billion gas deal between Israel and Jordan, a deal that is set to benefit people of Jordan immensely.
But let’s go back to H&M for a moment. If anyone from BDS bothered to look at H&M website, they would find that the level of morality and justice advocated by this company is something that every company in a world should try to imitate. They work hard to make sure that everyone who works for them is earning enough to live on. H&M philosophy – Everyone who’s employed by the fashion industry should earn enough to live on – whoever they are and wherever they work. To this end, H&M set a goal that all of workers should have improved pay structures for fair living wages in place by 2018. This will affect around 850,000 textile workers. They take care of workers conditions, they pay attention to things like sustainability and animal welfare. They use their influence to positively change people and countries they involved in.
But all of this means little to BDS. They rather see people lose their jobs, farmers unable to sell crops, than to allow a new shop in Jerusalem. I guess it’s hard to see the reason, to see unmistakable advantages to hundreds of thousands of people, when your head and your heart filled with hate.
All this reminds me of something Golda Meir once said: “We will only have peace with the Arabs when they love their children more than they hate us.” Today, it can also be applied to BDS and all the other Israel haters.