Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Twisted Pretzel

The Twisted Pretzel - actually that sounds like a Sherlock Holmes murder mystery. Well, the story is mysterious, but not murderous, hopefully. It's more like, "I smell a rat." You just have to figure out who that rat is.
I like Beigel-Beigel's 100% whole wheat pretzels. I guess I can live without them. In fact, since they might just be boycotting me, I think I'll return the insult. Read on.

Today I read with great dismay that the Israel National News story that Beigel-Beigel Pretzels may move out of the successful Barkan industrial zone in Samaria. (But I want to remind everyone that I always say that when something sounds not-exactly right, it probably isn't.)
The Beigels are currently in the midst of a deal that would give mammoth multi-national corporation Unilever, already owner of 51% of their business, the rest of the biz.
How seemingly uncharacteristic of a family like the Beigels who have dominated the pretzel market since pre-Nazi Krakow Poland, all the way back to 1880, and then built one of the first baking factories in Israel in 1949, that it would end its proud Jewish national pretzel history, by frighteningly scurrying out of our Biblical homeland in Samaria for a safe politically-non-threatening new factory within Greenline Israel.
It's hard to believe Beigel-Beigel, Israel's top pretzel with 60% of the market, will cave in to Arab boycott pressure. I would have thought that they'd stand up in their blue-and-white way and continue exporting its crunchy snacks to 20 different countries in the world.
Unfortunately, since 2008 its dominating partner the giant, Unilever, has been acting very un-Beigel-like. In 2008 Unilever announced that it was going to divest itself of Beigel-Beigel, which it had purchased in 2001. It announced that it was going to get out of the baking business for "business-only" reasons. However, left-wing and anti-Jewish boycott groups claimed that Unilever was going to dump Beigel-Beigel because it was being manufactured in a Jewish settlement on "occupied land." reported, "The UK and Dutch-owned multinational has followed Harrods department store - which cleared its shelves of Beigel & Beigel products, such as pretzels, in August - and a campaign by Britain to crack down on Israeli settlement businesses that are allegedly dodging EU import taxes."
In a major turnaround, Unilever, whose world-famous food, home and beauty care, and nutrition products are supposedly used 160 million times a day across the globe, decided to buy out the rest of Beigel-Beigel and move them out of Yesha.
Unilever Making a Mistake
Does Unilever want to end international boycott problems by having nothing to boycott?
Unilever seems to be a company with a big heart. Its website says, "We will inspire people to take small everyday actions that can add up to a big difference for the world." In that vein, it helps people learn to improve their lives: they're involved in teaching Indian farmers to raise gherkins; helping folks in Ghana reuse waste from palm oil; cultivate tea in Kenya; spread literacy in Egypt; save water in Latin America and improve the hygiene in Pakistan.
So, it doesn't seem right that Unilever is going to sent Beigel-Beigel's Barkan workers to the unemployment line, especially since 45% of the 140 are Arab laborers.
At a time when "peace" is supposedly begin pursued, boycotts of Israeli products, entertainers and universities should be shunned, not encouraged.
Unilever owns Hellmann's, Knorr, Lipton and CIF among its hundreds of brands. Next time you're about to pick up one of their products, think about the economic mess they're about to bring on the Israeli people.

1 comment:

  1. Another way to support our Businesses located in the Yishuvim is to go to and use; Dapei Katom/The Orange Pages.
    Here one can find over 425 businesses both small and large from all types of fields.