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An Ominous Turn of the Tap

John Rentoul

 An Ominous Turn of the TapGuest post by Tom Doran

Ominous news via the Daily Mail:

A water company has replaced an Israeli-built meter in the home of a customer who objected to the “repression of Palestine”.

Caroline and Edmond O’Reilly asked Southern Water to replace the device because the manufacturers, Arad Technologies, are accused of “profiteering” in the West Bank.

The company has now agreed to install a second-hand appliance built by a different manufacturer.

The problem here should be apparent to anyone, but matters of justice for Israel have a way of inducing selective immunity to reason, so let’s clarify.

The O’Reillys naturally have every right to complain to their water supplier for any reason, this is free speech. What should concern us is the acquiescence of Southern Water. They have evidently made the calculation that giving in to the demand was less hassle than facing the public relations mess that would follow if they hadn’t. This, in turn, suggests that the UK movement to delegitimise the Jewish state has become too powerful and influential for comfort. Can anyone imagine the company responding in the same fashion to a customer refusing a Chinese meter in solidarity with Tibet? I cannot.

But the O’Reillys may have done us a favour inadvertently. Those of us who support Israel against attempts to delegitimise and destroy her – and have no doubt, this is the aim of the “boycott, divestment and sanctions” movement – are not without strength and ingenuity of our own, or so I hope. Here is an opportunity to show it. Please make your feelings known to Southern Water by whatever peaceful method you prefer.

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  • Pacificweather

    I guess that some would consider not approving of the Israeli government is a choice a consumer is entitled to make in a democracy. I see they claim that the company has supplied water meters to illegal settlements in the West Bank. They claim these settlements have deprived Palestinians of water which is their primary objection. I have no idea if these claims are true or false but people are entitled to take a stand it they wish. It is such a small protest that it will have no effect on Arad Ltd., which is now a multinational company, or the State of Israel. If they lost the SW contract, which is not going to happen, Arad would survive and so will Israel.

    I know you despise the personal but my water meter is an American Sensus but I am willing to swap it for a Arad if it helps to calm the responses.

  • Pacificweather

    You left out shale gas. Following your natures bounties argument I have been having a fruitless discussion with my MP about shale gas price control. Like many MPs he struggles with the concept of democratic representation. Perhaps he is thinking of retiring and taking a job with a gas exploration company.

  • mightymark

    “I guess that some would consider not approving of the Israeli government is a choice a consumer is entitled to make in a democracy.”

    It would be the grossest of hypocrisy in this case given that they have teamed up with the Boycott movement (see DM pic) who certainly do want to deny freedom of choice to people who wish to buy Israeli produce.

  • Pacificweather

    You are right to see this as threat. When the French government murdered a Greenpeace supporter in New Zealand I boycotted French wine for New Zealnd wine. Now New Zealand wine is probably more popular than French wine in the UK. It could not possibly be anything to do with the price/quality ratio so it must have been my protest. Sorry for slipping in another personal anecdote.

  • mightymark

    Far be it from me to interfere with your delusory consumer megalomania!


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