Kogan Along With Anaconda Targeted By Pro Palestinian Protesters
Melbourne based online store Kogan, along with Anaconda Spotlight and Chemist Warehouse have all been targeted by pro-Palestinian campaign protesters because they are owned by prominent Jewish Australians, with agitators calling for a ban of stores owned by Jews.
A social media campaign driven by the Stand for Palestine movement has targeted several retailers in Australia and businesses linked with Israel, including PC Company HP for supplying Israel with technology PC’s and border crossing facial recognition systems.
Also targeted are organisations linked with Sodastream, Disney, Siemens and Puma who recently released a new pair of buds.
Ruslan Kogan the founder of the online business that sells consumer electronics and appliances, was born to Belarusian-Jewish parents, and moved with his sister Svetlana and parents to Melbourne, Victoria, Australia in 1989, he recently worked to set up a memorial to the Jews of Belarus murdered in the Holocaust.
He is also a member of the Younge Jewish Professionals; we have asked him to comment on the situation and the possible impact on the online operation.
Prominent Jewish Australians including Paul Bassat the founder of Seek, and Mark Leibler have condemned the pro-Palestinian campaign to boycott local retailers linked to Israel.
Also targeted are Jewish owned media Companies including in Australia Morry Schwartz’s Schwartz Media with one activist website claiming it is a “systemically Zionist company with an explicit, top-down racist agenda.”
Protesters using social media have targeted Chemist Warehouse, owned by co-founders and Rich Listers Jack and Sam Gance, whose parents landed in Australia after surviving the Holocaust.
According to the AFR the “Progressives 4 Palestine” Facebook group was this week celebrating a “victory” after RMIT University issued a statement, following protests, to clarify it did not have a partnership with Israel weapons manufacturer Elbit Systems.
And around 500 Pro-Palestinian protesters blocked the road entrance to Melbourne’s port last night to protest an Israeli shipping company which they said had been a “major transporter of weapons of mass destruction” for Israel’s government.
There have also been social media posts targeting groups who are recipients of funding from philanthropist Marc Besen – co-founder of what became Sussan clothing group – who died this week, aged 99.
Mr Besen was a Holocaust survivor who fled to Europe after World War II and arrived in Australia (via Israel) in 1947.
The group have also targeted Jeremy Leibler a director of the Spotlight Foundation and also president of the Zionist Federation of Australia and urge consumers to boycott its stores which include Harris Scarfe, Spotlight sand Anaconda.
“These businesses are being boycotted simply because they are owned by Jews,” Mr Bassat told The Australian Financial Review from New York.
“It is bringing a level of antisemitism to the surface I never thought I would see in Australia.”
Arnold Bloch Leibler partner Mark Leibler also said that the “ugly campaign” was “pure unadulterated antisemitism.”
“It is reminiscent of the tactics employed in Germany in the 1930s, where Jewish businesses were vandalised as part of a very effective campaign to dehumanise Jewish citizens. I would never have imagined it possible in Australia,” he said.
More than 300 Australian lawyers have signed a letter urging the Labor government to seek an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.
Arab Australian business leaders have also called for a ceasefire, including former Australia Post and Latitude Financial CEO Ahmed Fahour, who was born in Lebanon.