An Open Letter to the French Telecom “Giant”
In the words of Cnaan Liphshiz, the claim by French telecommunications giant Orange that its decision (announced June 4) to terminate its relationship with Israeli affiliate, Partner Communications “Was made harder to believe by the fact that it came only a day after Orange CEO Stephane Richard, speaking at a conference in Cairo, said he would abandon Partner “tomorrow morning” if not for contractual penalties.
I know that it is a sensitive issue here in Egypt, but not only in Egypt,” Richard said. “We want to be one of the trustful partners of all Arab countries.””
It was a big deal. In the words of business magnate Haim Saban, quoted in this Jerusalem Post article from Saturday announcing that “Orange has clarified it intends to honor its contract with Israel’s Partner Communications, set to expire in 2025”
One thing is for sure, this is not over, this is the beginning…Any company that choses to boycott businesses in Israel is going to look at this case, and once we are done they are going to think twice if they want to take on Israel or not.”
Richard tried to back pedal, even chirping this apology:
Affected & sorry about the controversy. @orange is not doing politics & cares about Israel #viaccess #orangefab #OBS http://goo.gl/zxZEQR”
Those childhood knock-knock jokes we laughed about as we discovered the nuances of language come to mind:
Stephane Richard who?
ORANGE you sorry you tried to do us in?!
Ha. Ha. Ha. (Laughter all round.)
I am not amused. I emailed Richard and roughly 20 of his cohorts prior to learning of their retraction and thought I’d make that letter public. Here you go.
Mr Stephane Richard and crew,
Your decision to cut business ties with Israel has come to my attention.
What you present as action on behalf of the beleaguered is nothing other than sour anti-semitism. By your action, you align yourself with those throughout history who have chosen to persecute the Jews – cowards who have left behind a legacy of bloodshed and whose “civilized” and “sophisticated” ways have long since ceased…while the nation they intended to wipe out has survived and thrived and contributed to the overall well being of humanity!
Are you insane? Do you honestly believe the lies you perpetrate?!
Israel is the upholder of freedom and justice in a region of the world where “sanctity of life” is mocked on a daily basis and life itself is regularly snuffed out – or chopped up…or…burned to a char…etcetera! (I will not disgust you with the details you presumably already know.) Over the past two weeks, terrorists in the Gaza Strip fired rockets into cities in the Land of Israel (named for Israel, the third patriarch of the Jewish people. You may know him as Jacob.) But you attempt to delegitimize “the most embattled democracy on earth.”
Do you truly believe in freedom? Do you support life?! Then you should not be boycotting Israel!! To the contrary, anyone who upholds the Divine sanctity of all life should be supporting Israel, the only symbol of freedom in the Middle East.
It’s. Not. That. Complicated. Crew. If you believe in life and human dignity, support those who support life and human dignity!
Your boycott is only slightly different from conventional warfare. Islamists fight with metal and fire and money. You fight with money! You h-y-p-o-c-r-i-t-e-s are singling out the people of Israel for “crimes” they do not commit while at the same time ignoring gross human rights violations in other countries, many of which you do business with.
Shame on you!!
I hold out a hope that in the not too distant future you receive a letter from one savvy, brilliant and remarkable lawyer. Her name is Nistansa Darshan-Leitner. And she founded Shurat HaDin.
Until that time, here’s an excerpt from Ms Leitner’s warning letter to the Park Slope Food Co-op in the good ole’ US-of-A as they considered their own rotten version of BDS:
…We wish to put the PSFC on notice that the BDS movement’s efforts are unlawful racial discrimination on the basis of national origin and/or race, creed and religion under the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (“Anti-Racism Convention”) and numerous U.S. state and federal statutes…A boycott is not protected by the freedom-of-speech language of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution because a boycott is not speech, it is action. ” (Italics are mine. When you have a moment, you can read the full letter here. And whereas your company is not bound by US law, it certainly is by the Anti-Racism Convention.)
While G-d takes care of His nation and you (presumably) smirk at the email of an “ultra-orthodox Jewish extremist,” I leave you with two verses from a text written by a wise man. His name was King Solomon, reputed to be the Wisest of Men.
A righteous person is extricated from trouble, and a wicked man comes in his stead.” (Proverbs 11:8)
And just six chapters prior,
A wicked man will be trapped by his own iniquities and will be hanged with the ropes of his sin.” (Proverbs 5:22)
You would do well to heed King Solomon’s advice. Drop the hatred of the Jews. Have the courage to allow us to live. You will find that blessing and peace ensue. To paraphrase the words of the Talmudic sages, “If the nations of the world knew the benefit the Temple brought to the world, not only would they not have destroyed it! They would have sent their armies to defend it.”
Goliath was also a giant Richard.
Awaiting acknowledgement of your receipt of my correspondence,
The Kabbalah Coach™
That’s my letter folks. I encourage you to write to the Rotten Orange crew as well using the following email addresses:
email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, Gervais.Pellissier@orange-ftgroup.com, Thierry.Bonhomme@orange-ftgroup.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
And in closing, a screenshot of @Orange’s retweet of @karinelabonne’s tweet in support of @srichard. If their apology to Vice Premier Silvan Shalom was sincere, why this retweet? Sigh.
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