Wednesday, June 13, 2007

whereupon Hell gets a momentary chill

Recently there's been a bit of a flareup around Heather (Indigo) Reisman and Gerry Schwartz's establishment of the HESEG Foundation for Lone Soldiers, which makes scholarships available for lone soldiers who join the Israeli Defence Force.
According to this, HESEG plans to donate about $3 million dollars a year to the estimated 5000 to 6000 soldiers eligible. The reason this comes up now is that June 8 was the fortieth anniversary of Israel's occupation of the Golan Heights, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
There are a lot of reasons for Indigo to be viewed negatively in the book trade. I've done so rather often; obviously out of some self interest, but also because I have real problems with some of their fundamental tactics and practices. I'll spare you the list, it's kind of long and not particularly relevant here.
But because a politically connected business person decides to put some money into a cause (a cause in which there are two sides worth considering) it doesn't automatically merit a boycott, as some are calling for.
Without getting into the sticky politics of the issue, Reisman's organization is the result of one power couple flexing a bit of muscle for a cause close to them. This differs from giving sixty per cent of their political action money to the Republicans in 2004. The political connection is a good deal more solid, and make no mistake; when you go sixty vs forty in a presidential election, that's still playing to win.
Heather & Gerry actually quit the Liberal party federally last year over the flare up last year, when new PM Stephen Harper backed Israel unequivocally. That's just fine, though now that she's a connected Tory, I'd like to hear her thoughts on the Kyoto accord for example.
Ah well, that's likely not going to happen.
Still and all, in terms of choosing to put your book budget somewhere other than Indigo, there are far better reasons than this.
The video of the protest is here.
Posted by Dave

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