Why you should shop at Cliff’s Variety

27 Dec

Well I was hoping to post some of my own BDS Christmas carols to give our tone deaf (in every meaning of the phrase) friends in BDSland something to work with other than their own contrived and butchered rhymes.

Unfortunately, everything I came up with was sung to the tune of a Gilbert and Sullivan number (no doubt an artifact of a childhood reading Mad Magazine “Sung to the Tune of…” features).  So my long-delayed BDS musical will have to wait until better inspiration strikes.

Especially since the best piece of inspiration I’ve received this holiday season comes from this little shop that could, not in Bethlehem, but San Francisco:

Two things I found inspirational from this episode of the type of BDS Christmas abuse mentioned previously include:

  • For those who occasionally feel overwhelmed by perpetual propaganda attacks on Israel, check out the video to see the true face of BDS at one of its Ground Zero locations (San Francisco), a face both pinched and self-righteous, with a fat mouth singing incomprehensible lyrics out of tune.  If that is what we are fighting (which we are, at least on the domestic front), is it any wonder that we’re winning?
  • And check out the guys and gals who work in a variety store to make their daily bread (vs. the BDSers who seem to enjoy a lifestyle that gives them plenty of time to abuse Cliff’s shoppers during the holiday season).  As far as I can tell, the guys who introduced the BDS Bozos to the pavement outside their store were not motivated by Zionist affiliation.  Rather, they were simply insisting that they were not going to serve as props (or, in this case, have their store serve as a set) for someone else’s demented morality play.

My only disappointment is that Cliff’s Variety Store’s web site doesn’t provide those of us living on the other side of the country the chance to purchase anything online (although they do offer a way to Like them and send them an e-mail of support – which I’m doing right now).

If I ever needed another excuse to visit the Bay Area, I now have one (to spend as much as I can at Cliff’s).  And I hope that those of you reading this who live within proximity to the store will be able to do this sooner than I can (and make sure to thank them for standing up to the bullies while you hand over your credit card, ideally to buy the latest and greatest from SodaStream).

20 Responses to “Why you should shop at Cliff’s Variety”

  1. Mike Lumish December 27, 2012 at 7:00 pm #

    Laurie’s been wanting to get one of these sodastream units and I did not even know until very recently that it was an Israeli product.

    Cliff’s will be seeing me walk through the door sometime within the next week or so, that much is certain.

  2. Chana December 28, 2012 at 12:27 am #

    Looks like this store has been harassed by this awful BDS crew over some time by now, which explains the employees’ swift reaction.

    Seeing these BDSers’ especially nasty previous “actions” on the street outside perhaps did turn Cliff’s into a Zionist bastion or at least they know exactly where they stand vis-a-vis these BDS bozos. Not quite the result the BDSers expected, but very predictable otherwise.

  3. fizziks December 28, 2012 at 7:22 am #

    How bout a hat tip there, Jon? :)

    As I commented before, I sent Cliff’s an e-mail of appreciation, which I encourage everyone to do. Also today I happened to be up in the city and I stopped in to give them some business – I bought a new colander and some wine glasses.

    • DivestThis December 28, 2012 at 11:27 pm #

      Sorry Fizz (I’ve been on vacation and just saw your comment on Cliff’s – looks like news reached you before it did me).

      Glad we’ve got some people in the area ready to give the store the support it deserves.

      Happy New Year, all.

  4. Sylvia December 28, 2012 at 8:57 am #

    My all-time favorite is that boycott a few years back of Pessah wine in Canada that resulted in all the wine in that store being bought out in a matter of hours. Those motorcycle riders were incredible. I wish I could retrieve that video (if memory serves, it came in several parts).

    Any chance someone could post the link?

  5. Zach December 29, 2012 at 12:49 am #

    Matt and I and our siblings all bought out parents Sodastream for the holiday. Man it felt great plunking down the cash for it. Can’t wait for the Super Bowl!

  6. Sylvia December 29, 2012 at 12:54 am #

    Thanks, Jon. It’s still as funny as I remembered.

  7. Toby December 29, 2012 at 7:40 pm #

    Dalit Baum ( in the clip) is an emplyee of Global Exchange in charge of harassing shopkeepers that sell Israeli products. She actually gets paid for doing this.

    • JayinPhiladelphia December 30, 2012 at 8:20 pm #

      Whoa, that’s the first I’ve heard of this program of Global Exchange. Well, I guess I can “B” them from now on, and it’ll actually mean something, since I’ve actually bought things from them before, in their Portland, OR location. I’ll take my Fair Trade without hate…

      • Mike Lumish December 31, 2012 at 5:00 am #

        She’s yet another progressive-left anti-Israel activist who, in the name of social justice and human rights, is spreading hatred not only toward the Jewish state of Israel, but necessarily to the Jewish people, as well.

        And, presumably, she does so as-a-Jew.

        I do not doubt her sincerity, but what she fails to understand is that the Jewish people are under siege in the Middle East and have been for 14 centuries.

        • JayinPhiladelphia December 31, 2012 at 10:39 am #

          I don’t think it’s her sincerity that is the problem. It’s what drives her to be so sincere about what she does.

          Seriously, what’s that about? What drives someone to these extremes? I… sincerely (heh)… don’t understand it.

          • Stop BDS Park Slope December 31, 2012 at 11:10 pm #

            Me, too, Jay.

            And it is maddening. There is a cognitive dissonance that is extreme. No matter what you say, it always gets turned around.

            I was in the audience at a panel that included Dalit Baum and Udi Aloni. They just ignore any statement that contradicts their world view.

            Nycerbarb

          • JayinPhiladelphia January 1, 2013 at 5:32 pm #

            Thanks to you, and everyone else here, for filling in the remaining gaps in my knowledge on this issue. I had never heard of her before, but I’m sure she’s not the only one I need to be aware of from now on as well.

            Good to keep in mind for those inevitable occasions when I’m sure I’ll read “Jewish political activist Dalit Baum agrees that Israel [fill in the rest here]…”

          • Mike Lumish January 1, 2013 at 10:15 pm #

            Jay, part of what drives someone to such extremes is because since we refuse to be fair to ourselves, why in this world should our enemies be fair to us?

            Ultimately diaspora Jews, and the Israeli Jewish left, believes the core charges against us, which is why we are constantly on the defensive and back on our heels.

            So long as we continue to deny, or ignore, Jewish history on Jewish land, of course they are going to take advantage of the advantage that we give them.

            We need, as recently discussed here, to change the paradigm, but we cannot change the paradigm without also changing the terms of the debate and so long as we continue to use terms provided for us by anti-Israel advocates then we can never win the argument.

            For example… and I use this one a lot but there are many… if Judea is the West Bank then we certainly have no right to any part of it. But if we have no right to Judea what right have the Jews to any part of historical Israel including Jerusalem, Haifa, or Beersheva?

            So long as we fundamentally believe that the Jews of the Middle East are the oppressors, and the Palestinians are the oppressed, then we will lose the debate before the international community and therefore, eventually, lose Israel, itself.

          • JayinPhiladelphia January 2, 2013 at 6:20 am #

            Fully agree with this, Mike –

            “but we cannot change the paradigm without also changing the terms of the debate and so long as we continue to use terms provided for us by anti-Israel advocates then we can never win the argument.”

          • Lynne T January 2, 2013 at 6:13 pm #

            Jay: I’m no mental health professional, but suggest you read up on personality disorders, particularly narcissism, to explain irrational acting out of the BDS-sort. Generally, these creatures view themselves as victims of some sort and seek to enhance their victim status by attaching themselves to perceived victims.

  8. Mike Lumish January 2, 2013 at 8:24 am #

    For thirteen hundred years under Islamic imperial rule the Jews of the Middle East were brutalized as second and third class citizens under the system of dhimmitude.

    That is a fact of history.

    In some places and times it was better and in some places and times it was worse, but dhimmitude was never better than Jim Crow in the United States at its worst.

    Until we respect our history, including the history of the Mizrahim, no one ever will.

  9. Good for the goose? January 4, 2013 at 8:42 pm #

    There is no reason pro-Israel advocates can’t take the same sorts of actions against the Global Exchange retail outlets. Without the biting of store employees, of course.

    But we aren’t going to do it. Why?
    Because its a symbolic act and a pointless waste of time
    Because Israel/Palestine is an extremely complex issue and we shouldn’t take our frustrations out on minimum wage retail employees.
    Because we see how silly and irrational the anti-Israel crew look when they take such actions.
    Because it does nothing to further the cause of peacefully co-existence here, there or anywhere.

    Any other reasons?

    What (if any) are the reasons we ought to consider it?
    Do we shortchange ourselves and our cause by not confronting our opponents on their own turf?

    What do you all think?

    And why is the moral high-ground such a frustratingly lonely place to be?

    • DivestThis January 4, 2013 at 9:42 pm #

      There are action-based alternatives to copying the behavior of the BDSers. For instance, rather than putting our energies into self-serving, impotent, counter-productive actions like we saw at Cliff’s, we can put our effort into actitivies that are positive and effective. One of the things I love about BUYcott is that, not only does it require less effort to buy a SodaStream and thank the store for carrying it than to harass that store for selling it, it also leaves a good taste in the mouth of those who may not have a stake in the Middle East conflict (such as the minimum wage store employees you mentioned).

      Fighting against BDS by helping civic organizations understand how the boycotters are trying to exploit them for thier own gain is another activity that is both good for Israel and good for the institutions we would like to support our views (or at least not work against the Jewish state).

      If the boycotters were actually doing their cause any good by behaving in the beastly way they behave, it might be tempting to replicate their tactics. But the fact that their tactics are both obnoxious and ineffective should point us towards picking options that do not alinate the public we are trying to win over.

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