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Let's All Take a Deep Breath

I got one of those emails today. You know the kind: Run for the hills! Save yourselves! Anti-Semites and Anti-Israelis are on the attack! Klingons off the starboard bow!


Fortunately my friend simply wanted to know if I had heard anything about an email that had been sent to her. In a nutshell, it said that Whole Foods boycotts and removes Israeli goods and supports Ramadan - TAKE ACTION NOW!!! This person claimed to have investigated every possible website that does investigating and it's true and we have to take action now.

Did I mention that we have to take action now?


It took me about a minute to find the ADL's response; you can read it here. Bottom line, it's not true. Well, except for the teeny, tiny reality that - to help its Muslim customers celebrate/observe Ramadan - WF has provided halal foods that "meet the company's high quality standards."

Let me quote from the ADL's press release: "In particular, some have specifically cricized a Whole Foods seasonal promotion around halal foods that meet the company's high quality standards. Such criticism is misguided, inappropriate and contrary to American values. We live in a multicultural, multi-ethnic and multi-faith society. Just as Whole Foods provides prepared food, recipes and specialty items (including products imported from Israel) to Jewish customers for Passover and other holiday observances, it is entirely fitting for them to do the same for customers marking Muslim, Hindu and other religious festivals."

Here's my problem: our society is so polarized and we are so sensitized and scared that something with even the remote chance of being true becomes a scandal and conspiracy. And once something - even patently false - is repeated ad nauseum, it takes on the patina of truth. How sick is it that the person who originated this nonsense appears to have heard that Halal/Muslim products might be sold by a store and automatically assumed that the store would take its Israeli products off the shelf? We have enough trouble with reality, folks - the divestment movement is real and powerful in and of itself - do we really have to indulge in fantasy?

And the bigger problem is that when you cry wolf often enough, when the wolf really is at the door, no one cares and no one believes it.

So can we please take a collective deep breath and do some research (it really only took me a minute) before forwarding narishkeit? And may - just maybe - at the same time stop making ourselves the perpetual victims?

Enough already.


ellynmae said…
So refreshing to read some sanity! Thank you for this post!

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