ZOA Urges Officials: Take Action Against BDS “Block the Boat” and Collaborating Union Local Blocking Israel-Based ZIM Carriers From Unloading
News Press Release
June 21, 2021

“Block the Boat” BDS Harms Tens of Thousands of American Jobs; Prevents PPE and Medical & Other Vital Supplies from Reaching Americans 

Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) President Morton A. Klein and Chair Mark Levenson, Esq. released the following statement:

Lawless, violent, antisemitic BDS “Block the Boat” actions are endangering Americans’ safety and tens of thousands of American jobs by preventing Israel-based ZIM Integrated Shipping Services Ltd. (ZIM) ships from unloading medical, PPE, and other supplies at U.S. ports. “Block the Boat” rioters have blocked entrances to American, Canadian, and Italian ports; vandalized dockworkers’ cars; physically threatened, assaulted, and severely harassed dockworkers; assaulted Jews and a journalist; and celebrated that they caused ZIM millions of dollars of damage, by preventing the ZIM Volans from unloading in the Port of Oakland, and by delaying other ZIM container ships from unloading.

ZOA urges Congress, the National Labor Relations Board, the Commerce Department, and federal, state, and local law enforcement to take all necessary actions to stop these dangerous “Block the Boat” riots from further interfering with American ports and shipping. These lawless rioters and their collaborators should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. So far, the only arrests that we are aware of are 10 (out of 150) rioters who blocked the entrance to the Port of Seattle.

These lawless “Block the Boat” actions are being organized by the anti-Israel, extremist, Tides Foundation-funded, anti-Israel AROC (the Arab Resource and Organizing Center), at the behest of the terror-affiliated “Palestine General Federation of Trade Unions-Gaza” (PGFTU-Gaza). Other organizers include Antifa; Samidoun (a subsidiary of the Marxist terror group PFLP – Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine); terror-tied Al AwdaAmerican Muslims for Palestine (AMP); Hezbollah-supporter ANSWER; and other extreme anti-Israel BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) groups. In addition, a self-described “militant” union local (ILWU Local 10 in Oakland, CA) – which previously refused to take a position – has now unlawfully sided with Hamas and Palestinian Arab terrorists against Jews, Israel, and Americans. ILWU Local 10 refused to unload the ZIM Volans in Oakland this month; and its union district (ILWU Northern California) issued a vicious, libelous, antisemitic statement condemning Israel, and standing with Israel’s attackers. 

Ironically, ZIM’s 32% shareholder is a liberal Jewish philanthropist, Idan Ofer, who left Israel to live in London in 2013, and who gives scholarships to attend Harvard, to Palestinian Arabs and Israelis dedicated to peace. But perhaps this is not so ironic. BDS targets all Jews, targets Americans, and seeks the only Jewish state’s destruction —not peace. The fact that ZIM’s Israel office is in Haifa—not in the so-called “West Bank settlements” (Jewish communities in historic Jewish Judea & Samara)—further shows that BDS seeks to destroy all of Israel.

And the fact that “Block the Boat” has been blocking ZIM container ships from unloading supplies from Asia needed in the United States reveals that BDS wreaks destruction on the American public.  

Port of Oakland spokesman Robert Bernardo explained that 84,000 jobs are provided by the Oakland harbor and affiliated trucking companies, and that blocking commerce at the port will jeopardize local jobs: “Many Port truck drivers only get paid if they pick up and drop off containers. If they get blocked from going in and out, they won’t get paid. This will impact their livelihood and their families.” These numbers need to be multiplied by the multiple ports targeted by “Block the Boat” BDS actions. Bernardo further explained that: “federal policy dictates that international commerce cannot be stopped. This means that groups can protest, but they cannot disrupt commerce.”

“Block the Boat” BDS actions in June 2021 have included:

  • Preventing unloading of the ZIM Volansin Oakland, CA (June 4), causing the ship to leave the port (to eventually unload in Canada);
  • Attempts to block the ZIM Tarragona from being unloaded at the Port of New York & New Jersey (June 6, 2021); 
  • Blocking the entrance to a terminal in Prince Rupert, British Columbia, Canada, in an unsuccessful attempt to prevent ZIM Volansfrom unloading (June 14);
  • Occupying ZIM’s offices in Naples, FL (June 10);
  • Anti-Israel demonstrations outside ZIM’s offices in Romulus, Michigan and Staten Island (June 9); and outside a Boeing facility in Houston (June 5). 
  • Blocking the entrance to the Port of Seattle, resulting in 10 arrests(June 17), in an attempt to block the ZIM San Diego from being unloaded, after the ZIM San Diego was unable to unload for two weeks. Pictures show the demonstrators at the Port of Seattle carrying “From the River to the Sea, Palestine will be Free” signs calling for Israel’s destruction. A Post Millennial article reported that “Marxist Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant” helped incite the demonstrators; that Antifa helped publicize these events and sided with Hamas; that videos of antisemitic attacks were shared on social media; and that the anti-Israel rioters obstructed roadways; assaulted a journalist; destroyed the journalist’s phone; mobbed and smashed the car window of a female security guard; harassed a preacher and workers; shouted antisemitic slurs; falsely accused Israel of committing genocide; defied multiple police warnings, and ignored the designated safe protest zones. 
  • Blocking Seattle traffic, preventing workers from getting to the Port of Seattle; heckling workers and blasting workers’ license plates and VIN numbers on twitter, when a ZIM ship was sitting in the harbor for 10 days and scheduled to unload that day (June 12). Safe Seattle reported what occurred.

“Block the Boat” Actions Also Took Place in 2010, 2012, and 2014. Anti-Israel groups: 

  • Blocked the ZIM Piraeus from unloading in Oakland by physically attacking and blocking dockworkers and blocking the entrance to the Port of Oakland for four days in August 2014; the Piraeus seemingly left the port, heading elsewhere, and then returned so that dockworkers could unload the vessel at night; 
  • Tried to block a ZIM cargo ship from unloading in the Port of Los Angeles (August 2014);
  • Tried to block the ZIM Chicago from unloading at the Port of Tacoma, Washington (August 2014);
  • Blocked the ZIM Shanghai from unloading in Oakland in September 2014 (the ZIM Shanghai was later offloaded in Long Beach); and 
  • Planned to blockade ZIM Beijing stop from offloading during a scheduled stop in Oakland– until ZIM decided to bypass the Oakland stop.

It’s time to take strong action against these dangerous antisemitic groups’ violent actions endangering Jews and interfering with U.S. commerce and workers.

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