Tuesday, August 12, 2014

A Month of Boycotts


 Malaysians protest in support of Gaza on Sunday. Picture by Choo Choy May
Hot on the heels of the one-day boycott of McDonald’s in Malaysia, Muslim NGOs (the usual bunch of misfits, i.e. Isma, Perkasa, Pembina, Pembela, PPIM) spearheaded by pro-Palestine group Aman Palestin has launched a month-long initiative called Bulan Kemarahan Ummah (The Month of Ummah’s Wrath), calling on Malaysians to support a concerted boycott of McDonald’s, Starbucks, and British bank HSBC – as part of an anti-Israel campaign. And for good measure, they also added soft drink brand Coca-Cola and Swiss multinational firm Nestlé to the blacklist.
Actually, these birdbrains are saying any company that has links with Israel is to be boycotted. They didn’t list everybody – and if they did, they will have to include almost everybody – except the five unfortunate targets. In fact, they would look very stupid if they did list everybody!
I am not even intending to highlight American or other countries' products. We cannot be boycotting everything and everybody. For this post, let me just focus on Israel. From technology to entertainment, the country has given some pretty cool things to the world. They include Microsoft Windows XP, Waze, Viber, WiX, cherry tomatoes, USB Flash Drive, Power Rangers, Amazon’s Kindle, SodaStream and computer printing as we know today, to name just a few.
Get real! Can we forego them?
And consider these Israeli inventions that are changing the world in some significant way!
The Oxitone watch is a wearable device that could save your life by measuring blood oxygen levels and alerting to a potential heart attack well before it happens. It’s expected on the market within a year.
Autotalks – maker of the world’s first automotive-grade chipset for series-production for vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication – aims to keep drivers and passengers safer by allowing cars to exchange data. The technology analyzes data transmitted by the on-board processing units of nearby vehicles and warns drivers of any imminent danger. The Israeli company expects all car manufacturers will integrate its systems by 2015.
Netafim is a worldwide pioneer in smart drip and micro-irrigation, starting from the idea of Israeli engineer Simcha Blass for releasing water in controlled, slow drips to provide precise crop irrigation. The kibbutz-owned company operates in 112 countries with 13 factories throughout the world.
MobileEye combines a tiny digital camera with sophisticated algorithms to help drivers navigate more safely. The steering system-linked device sounds an alert when a driver is about to change lanes inadvertently, warns of an impending forward collision and detects pedestrians. MobileEye has deals with GM, BMW and Volvo, among others.
Ormat Technologies designs, develops, builds, owns, manufactures and operates geothermal power plants worldwide, supplying clean geothermal power in more than 20 countries.
Pythagoras Solar makes the world’s first solar window, which combines energy efficiency, power generation and transparency. This transparent photovoltaic glass unit can be easily integrated into conventional building design and construction processes.
Intel Israel changed the face of the computing world with the 8088 processor (the “brain” of the first PC), MMX and Centrino mobile technology. Israeli engineers at Intel in the 1990s had to convince skeptical bosses to take a chance on MMX technology, an innovation designed to improve computer processing. It’s now considered a milestone in the company’s history.
SensAheart a product made by the Israeli diagnostic technology company Novamed, can be used at home and in the hospital to detect a heart attack coming on.
BabySense is a non-touch, no-radiation device designed to prevent crib death. Made by HiSense, the device monitors a baby’s breathing and movements through the mattress during sleep. An auditory and visual alarm is activated if breathing ceases for more than 20 seconds or if breath rate slows to less than 10 breaths per minute.
Leviathan Energy innovated the Wind Tulip, a cost-effective, silent, vibration-free wind turbine designed as an aesthetic environmental sculpture, producing clean energy at high efficiency from any direction.
Solaris Synergy innovated an environmentally friendly and economically beneficial way to float solar panels on water instead of taking up valuable land, generating energy while protecting and limiting evaporation from reservoir surfaces.
PrimeSense revolutionizes interaction with digital devices by allowing them to “see” in three dimensions and transfer control from remote controls and joysticks to hands and body. It is the leading business provider of low-cost, high-performance 3D machine vision technologies for the consumer market.
Lest I be misunderstood to be a pro-Israeli supporter, I am not! Neither do I support Palestine.

Across the great divide - Israeli versus Palestinian. Image credit: AFP

The Israel-Palestine conflict is about two peoples fighting for the same thing a piece of territory they called 'home'. And this collision between the two started from 66 AD until today! Each blames the other for being the one who "started it all".

I happen to believe that the two parties are both right and wrong. Whether we care to admit it or not, I think both sides need to demonstrate political maturity if they truly desire lasting peace. At the moment, nobody is interested.
Still, I do feel for the Palestinians. But they need to remember that while there is overwhelming sympathy for their plight, nobody really gives a shit about them! And that is the sad truth. I have said it before and I am saying it again.
Allow me to return to the starting-point of this post. Why are these simpletons being very selective in their boycotts?
I say, if they truly support Palestine – then boycott everything and everybody that has direct or indirect links with Israel. No exceptions.

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