For over 10 days the ZIM San Diego, a large container ship owned by an Israeli shipping company, has remained moored in the middle of Elliot Bay near Seattle since Antifa-backed, anti-Israel groups have threatened to block the ship from unloading.
The Post Millennial has learned that the ship has not been unloaded due to the protesters harassing port workers entering the facility and continued threats against them. The ship was scheduled to dock and unload Saturday, but over 200 protestors from Falestinyat and Antifa showed up to stop them. Workers arriving at the port were heckled, and in some cases, attacked. A female security guard trying to enter the Port of Seattle Saturday to get to work, was reportedly mobbed by a group of anti-Israel protesters. Her rear window was smashed and her was car dented. The ship still has not docked in port.
Israeli goods and companies are regularly targeted by the antisemitic Boycott, Divest, Sanction movement which is committed to stopping the sale of goods from the Jewish state. This recent resurgence comes in the wake of the conflict between Israel and Hamas last month.
Studies have shown that the BDS movement has little to no effect on Israel but rather, adversely affects retailers in other countries that are attempting to sell the products, Palestinians and Arabs who work for Israeli companies, as well as workers who ship the products.
ZIM is a member of the 2M Alliance, one of the world’s largest shipping organizations. The company transports products from many different countries all over the globe. The Post Millennial has obtained a summary of the manifest of the ship which included: general goods, machinery, spare parts such as parts for cars from China and Korea. According to the summary, there is no Israeli cargo on board only imports to the US from China and Korea.
As a result, those primarily impacted by the actions of the activists will be local stores, consumers, and the workers at the port workers. Many workers only get paid if the ship is unloaded. Many truck drivers only get paid if they pick up and drop off containers. If they are blocked, they will not get paid, impacting their livelihood and their families.
The Port of Seattle has made different claims to different outlets about why the ship has not docked ranging from a shipping backlog, to even claiming there is nothing stopping the ship from docking.
Sources told The Post Millennial that Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan has allegedly been pushing for the ship’s unloading however, has not instructed Seattle Police to handle the protesters blocking access. Mayor Durkan recently signed the Mayors United Against Antisemitism Initiative, along with 36 other area mayors, led by American Jewish Committee (AJC) and The United States Conference of Mayors.
Sources close to the Mayor’s office claim that Durkan will be issuing a letter stating that the ZIM ship has every right to dock at the port and to be unloaded.
Other local activist groups such as the Seattle chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America, which has backed candidates on the city council such as Marxist Kshama Sawant and socialist Tammy Morales, have joined in boycotting stores and goods they think are Israeli or supportive of the Jewish state.
However, they seem to be targeting companies owned by or affiliated with Jews regardless of the ramifications to Arabs in Israel who work for the companies. One example is the SodaStream plant which used to be in the West Bank industrial zone of Mishor Adumim, where the Israeli carbonated beverage company employed 1,300 workers. According to The Times of Israel, of that workforce, 350 were Israeli Jews, 450 were Israeli Arabs and 500 were West Bank Palestinians. Pay and benefits were identical for workers in comparable jobs, irrespective of their citizenship and ethnicity.
In October 2015, following pressure from the BDS movement, which launched a vicious campaign against SodaStream and spokeswoman Scarlett Johansson who is Jewish, the company closed the plant and caused 75 Palestinians to be laid off.
Similarly, the BDS movement continues to target Pillsbury, an American company which has a plant in Israel which employs Jews and Arabs. Another target of the movement is Sabra hummus, of which 50 percent of the company is owned by Pepsi/Fritos Lay.
The most ironic target of the BDS movement is Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, which has been a staunch supporter of many liberal causes including Black Lives Matter, even after antisemitism was revealed in the organization. Support of a Palestinian state and an end to Israel was in the original BLM charter. Ben and Jerry's consistently provides products and support to Palestinians and also has factories in Israel that employ both Jews and Arabs.
Last week, a ZIM ship was forced to leave Oakland Harbor in California without unloading after longshoremen refused to cross an anti-Israel picket line of activists.
Port spokesman Robert Bernardo said in a statement that Port officials support free speech as well as the right for people to assemble peacefully but added, "federal policy dictates that international commerce cannot be stopped. This means that groups can protest, but they cannot disrupt commerce. The Port has been engaged with our public safety partners to maintain safety and security while ensuring the timely flow of commerce at the Oakland Seaport."
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