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Muslims, Arabs, Palestinians ignore Nordstrom support of Israeli settlements
The Arab, Muslim and even the Palestinian community in America is so easily misled by the mainstream American news media which is the primary source of anti-Muslim, anti-Arab and anti-Palestinian racism and hatred. The news media has twisted a controversy, again, exaggerating President Donald Trump’s actions while downplaying his critics in the back-and-forth over Nordstrom’s political dismissal of his daughter’s clothing line.
By Ray Hanania
You have to wonder how fickle or weak the Muslim, Arab and Palestinian community is in the United States when they quickly line up to defend Nordstrom, one of the nation’s high end woman’s clothing retailers.
Nordstrom became the center of a political battle fueled by media lies and exaggerations this week. Nordstrom, which had issued an internal memo attacking President Trump over his immigration policies, followed that by announcing they were removing Trump’s daughter’s clothing fashion line from their store.
President Trump immediately issued a post on Twitter defending his daughter and saying it was unfair, but never criticized Nordstrom’s directly.
Trump posted this Tweet at 9:51 AM on Tuesday Feb. 8:
“My daughter Ivanka has been treated so unfairly by @Nordstrom. She is a great person — always pushing me to do the right thing! Terrible!”
Anti-Trump media immediately jumped on the Tweet calling it “vicious,” “political,” and described it as a “political attack” on a private business. The haters also argued wrongly that Trump’s Tweet was intended to hurt Nordstrom, but totally ignored the real context of the Tweet, as they always do, which was to express support for his daughter Ivanka.
Immediately, Muslim, Arab and even Palestinian activists jumped on the media’s hate-Trump Bandwagon, attacking Trump and piling on criticism of Trump.
Yet NOT ONE of these Muslim, Arab or Palestinian activists said anything about Nordstrom’s political history and its support of the exploitation of West Bank resources by Israelis and Israeli settlers.
Nordstrom is one of the resellers of a product made by Israeli settlers in the Israeli occupied West Bank that uses resources from the occupied West Bank and the Dead Sea. The product is called AHAVA, a skin and beauty product critics complain is incorrectly labeled as being “Made in Israel.” The product is sold in the West Bank at the Israeli settlement of Mitzpe Shalem where the company has operated a manufacturing plant and a showroom. The illegal settlement was founded in 1970 after the West Bank was occupied.
Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Protestors targeted AHAVA sales in the United States beginning in 2009.
The Israeli company was reportedly purchased by a Chinese conglomerate, Fosun, last April 2016 for $77 million but the product is still made from West Bank resources in the illegally occupied territories. Last year, it was also reported that AHAVA was planning to relocate their factory out of the Occupied West Bank into pre-1967 Israel’s borders. But the ingredients that are used to create the product still come from the Dead Sea in the Occupied West Bank and activists believe that is wrong.
I’m not surprised that the mainstream news media made no mention of the Nordstrom problems at all. That’s what the American mainstream news media does all the time, distort facts to fit their political agenda. The mainstream news media is also anti-Muslim, anti-Arab and anti-Palestinian and are the primary sources of the racism in America against Muslims, Arabs and justice for the Palestinians.
AHAVA can be praised for responding to the protests and Boycotts by the BDS movement. But Nordstrom cannot. They continued to sell the products in the face of the criticism and despite the criticism.
The mainstream American news media marginalized stories about protests against Nordstrom to protect the major retailer. In any other circumstance, the news media would have put a bright spotlight on the protests but because it was viewed as criticism of Israeli policies and involving discrimination against Muslims, Arabs and Palestinians, the media ignored the issue.
Today, Nordstrom is again being defended by the media and the sheep in the Muslim, Arab and Palestinian community are running to jump on the “defend Nordstrom bandwagon” ignoring the company’s history in supporting the illegal occupation of Palestine.
Nordstrom is no angel in this controversy. President Trump did not attack Nordstrom. All he did was express support for his daughter. That we allow that to be twisted around is a reflection of our own corrupt morality and how deep the claws of the racist and biased American mainstream news media are in the Muslim, Arab and Palestinian community.
Worse is the fact that activists who support the BDS movement have also been targeted by the mainstream news media and by the very Democratic elected officials who have organized against President Donald Trump.
I guess for many misguided Muslims, Arabs and Palestinians, the issue isn’t about justice, facts or what is right. It is about popularity, protests and politics.
That these protestors turn away from defending Palestinian rights should be disturbing to everyone who cares about international law, justice and what is right.
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Ray Hanania is an award winning political columnist and author. He covered Chicago Politics and Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992. Hanania began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He later published “The National Arab American Times” newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East food stores in 48 American States (2004-2007).
Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at www.ArabNews.com, and for TheArabDailyNews.com, and TheDailyHookah.com.
Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem.
Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media;In 2009, he received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. Hanania has also received two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild, and in 1990 was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.
His wife and son are Jewish and he performs standup comedy lampooning Arab-Jewish relations, advocating for peace based on non-violence, mutual recognition and Two-States.
His Facebook Page is Facebook.com/rghanania
Email him at: RGHanania@gmail.com
Visit this link to read Ray's column archive at the ArabNews,com www.arabnews.com/taxonomy/term/10906
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