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As the last name suggests, Abigail Disney is the granddaughter of Roy Disney who, along with his more famous brother, Walt, formed Disney Studios. In her own right, Abigail is a documentary film maker who focuses her movies on social themes, particularly the plight of women in foreign countries. She sits on the board of directors of several women’s rights groups including the White House Project and the Global Fund for Women. She is also a very strong supporter of Hillary Clinton.
Her family’s holding company, Shamrock Holdings, has invested heavily in Israel and there begins the problems for Abigail Disney. They had an approximate $12 million stake in a company called Ahava, which makes skin care products and has stores in Israel, Europe and Asia. So far so good, except Ahava is based in Kibbutz Mitzpe Shalem on the shores of the Dead Sea. In fact, they use the mud and minerals from the Dead Sea to produce their products. Unfortunately, Kibbutz Mitzpe Shalem lies outside Israel’s 1967 borders and, thus, lies in the occupied West Bank.
Enter the BDS movement which stands for Boycott, Divest and Sanction. This arose out of a UN conference on racism in Durban in 2001. Calling Israel an apartheid racist state, the movement aims to isolate Israel economically, politically, culturally, socially, diplomatically and militarily. Using a two pronged strategy- the first being BDS and second being “lawfare,” or tying Israel to war crimes- they have gained some inroads among scholars on liberal college campuses, artists and musicians and other groups. The movement has taken greater hold in Europe than here in the United States, but then again Europe does have a longer history of anti-Semitism than the United States. In the economic world, the BDS is calling for a boycott of specific Israeli products- fresh fruits and vegetables, Ahava cosmetics, SodaStream drink machines, Eden Springs bottled water, and wine made in the Golan Heights. Some European cities have passed laws mandating that Israeli products be labeled as such. The European Union adopted these guidelines, although some countries have balked. South Africa has also mandated labeling of Israeli products from the West Bank.
In the cultural realm, Irish artists and performers refuse to perform in Israel or collaborate with Israeli counterparts. And singers like Stevie Wonder, Sinead O’Connor, Peter Gabriel and Roger Waters will not grace the stages of Israel. Nothing against any of these artists, but who really wants to listen to their out-dated hits any way? Waters, in particular, has been particularly obnoxious penning editorials and trying to bully and guilt other artists out off performing in Israel- even in places like Tel Aviv which is within their pre-1967 borders.
The source of BDS funding is a who’s who of Palestinian non-governmental organizations who nevertheless receive funding from governments to do their work. One such group- Addameer- is a Palestinian prisoner rights group that has been caught red-handed lying. For their alleged number of Palestinian prisoners to work, Israel would have to imprison 10,000 Palestinians a month. Another, Al Mezan, a Palestinian organization operating in Gaza which claims their website is the “Electronic Intifada,” has characterized recent airstrikes against Hamas leaders as “extrajudicial executions.” And the list goes punctuated by a who’s who of nefarious Leftists supporting these groups here and in Europe.
Domestically, the worst the BDS movement has accomplished is a few contract cancellations- the most notable involving Caterpillar- and non-binding resolutions by college student governments. But, the BDS movement is part of a growing pro-Palestinian, anti-Israel mood spreading in academia and the entertainment industry. J Street was founded as a counterweight to the powerful AIPAC lobbying group. Many of its donors are a who’s who of the American Left, including George Soros and Marilyn Katz (formerly of the radical Students for a Democratic Society). Obviously, their political donations have gone to Democrats including Keith Ellison, Bob Filner, Barney Frank, Jan Schakowsky, and Hilda Solis. Like the Palestinian NGOs, J Street calls for the peaceful resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Like them, that peace is predicated upon Israel compromising its security.
Back to Abigail Disney. Two years ago, she decided to divest Shamrock’s interests in Ahava. Unfortunately, it is pretty much for show. Legally, she is prevented from selling her shares. Instead, she opted to donate any dividends and a like sum equal to the value of her shares to groups dedicated to the “illegal occupation” of Palestinian lands. Many of these groups, however, have links to Hamas and Hezbollah. One- Interpal- based in Great Britain and which receives British money is a designated terrorist financier by the United States, Canada, and Australia.
Following Abigail Disney’s “divestment” from Ahava, another notorious moonbat domestic group- Code Pink- lauded her decision. That alone should perk up the ears of any sane American.
The great thing about America is that people can decide what to do or what not to do with their money. Considering that documentary films are not particularly great box office bonanzas, it is nice that Abigail Disney sucks off the family’s monetary teat. But being America, she can do what she wants with that money. However, Ms. Disney would be well-reminded that many Disney characters are used on Palestinian television to portray Jews as pigs and devils. Some have been used to inspire Palestinians to the fine occupation of suicide bomber. Mickey Mouse and company appear regularly on Iranian television. Being the great champion for social justice and women’s rights, Ms. Disney is surely aware of Iran’s “stellar” record in those areas. Hell- they even execute minors. But, has Shamrock Holdings divested from industries in Arab countries with human rights abuses considerably worse than those alleged on a kibbutz on the shores of the Dead Sea? One has to wonder how many Persian rugs adorn her home- rugs made by children in Pakistan.