Max Brenner chocolates in Boston is no stranger to protests. When the Boylston Street store was under construction, there was a daily protest with the visual of a large inflatable rat outside the Max Brenner construction site to protest the use of non-union construction workers.
On Valentine’s Day, another type of protest took place, this time by area college students against Israeli apartheid.
A little background:
Max Brenner is owned by the Strauss Group, Israel’s second largest food and beverage company, who are active supporters of the Israeli Occupation Forces. They have even “adopted” the Golani brigade, a unit accused by the UN of war crimes during the 2008-09 Gaza massacre. (http://www.jpost.com/Defense/Article.aspx?id=199315)
A former volunteer who spent time in Hebron stated, “I know the Golani brigade. We witnessed their style first hand in Hebron. They are particularly brutal and aggressive. EAPPI and CPT did a report on them and I did a story on them harassing children at the Cordoba school we monitored.”
Some reported incidents from 2012 (see Mondoweiss ‘Under Attack’: the Golani Brigade’s treatment of Palestinians in Al-Khalil/Hebron by Christian Peacemaker Teams and the International Solidarity Movement):
On Thursday, January 12th: Golani beat a developmentally disabled young man when he knocked on the checkpoint door after they closed it in front of him. That evening, they attacked his mother and severely beat the teenager’s younger brother, cracking his skull, and then arrested the two young men.
On Tuesday, January 17th: Golani entered a man’s home at night, pushed the family out of their house, including their 1½ year old son, and beat the father, for which he required medical treatment.
On Friday, January 20th: Golani held a 10 and 12 year-old boy behind the gate of the Beit Romano settlement. A witness said the boys had been wearing ski masks because of the cold weather, but had not been throwing rocks, as the soldiers claimed. The soldiers gave the boys’ parents a list containing the names of five other boys from the Old City, saying that if the parents brought those boys to the gate, the soldiers would release the other two.
On Valentine’s day, students from Northeastern University Students for Justice in Palestine came out to show that occupation profiteers are not welcome in Boston. With signs calling for a boycott, banners, flags, and their voices, they passed out Valentines with the facts about Max Brenner’s Apartheid chocolate.
After the protest the students reported: “Thank you SO much to everyone who came out last night!!! It was a wonderful action and despite some violent opposition we stayed steadfast and nonviolent. Have a wonderful weekend and I hope to see you all at another action very soon!”
Related links for research:
CPT Christian Peacemaker Teams in Hebron
News from Hebron
When ‘flexing muscle’ means terrorizing young children.
Valentine’s Day protest in Boston — ‘Roses are red, violets are blue, Max Brenner supports apartheid, how about you?’ http://mondoweiss.net/2013/02/valentines-supports-apartheid.html
- UPDATE on 2/20/2013
- Please refer to these links for important information about the Max Brenner Valentines Day student’s protest: