| It is not uncommon to see boycotts started based on
false or incomplete information. Making sure boycott information is accurate is
the primary goal of Boycott Watch, thus this report. As part of Boycott Watch
being the undisputed leader when in boycott reporting and monitoring, we are
also the undisputed experts in the Arab boycott of Israel, about which we have
heavily reported. Additionally, our subsidiary site
Divestment Watch has been built to
monitor the illegal foreign campaign to boycott Israel. That is important to
note because this time instead of exposing another illegal or false Israel
boycott attempt, we are busting a false claim of a company boycotting Israel.
In this report we will show that the claim of Princess Cruises boycotting
Israel is false, and therefore the counter-boycott against them is wrong. Let's
examine the case and claim.
For starters, we need to understand the circumstances at the
time before reading the boycotters email. Early morning, May 31, 2010, a
flotilla of ships heading toward Gaza was boarded by the Israeli Navy to
enforce Israel's and Egypt's joint blockade which is 100% legal under
international law. In summary, fighting broke out and people on both sides were
killed. Boycott Watch is not discussing the politics of that situation here, as
it will distract from the boycott call and our report. The event became
At the time of the incident, Princess Cruises has a passenger
ship heading to Israel as part of their regular seasonal Holy Land Cruises,
which have been an active part of their business for more than twenty years. As
are many itineraries in the cruise industry, it is seasonal, operating between
May and November; and the company has ten such cruises scheduled for 2010. The
starts with Italy, and makes stops in Croatia, Egypt, Turkey, Greece, and two
stops in Israel, thus making stops in religiously significant places.
Let's now examine an email that is circulating:
Subject: PRINCESS CRUISE LINES
WE MUST BOYCOTT THIS CRUISE LINE. JEWS TAKE CRUISES FREQUENTLY, AND WE MUST
SHOW THEM THAT THEIR WALLETS WILL SUFFER BY DOING THIS TO US.
SHOULD WE USE PRINCESS CRUISE LINES ANYMORE LIKE WATCHING MEL GIBSON MOVIES
ANYMORE SINCE HIS COMMENTS ABOUT HIS FAMILY AGAINST JEWS
Subject: PRINCESS CRUISE LINES Date: Thursday, June 3, 2010, 10:45 AM
Yesterday, 6/2/2010, the Pacific Princess, carrying 700 passengers, canceled a
stop at Ashdod, Israel. Instead, they informed the passengers they would stop
in Egypt as an alternative. Princess is now bowing to pressure and boycotting
Israel. Please pass this on to all Jewish Americans in order to let them know
that there are alternatives to Princess. Thank you.
In response to the boycott emails, Princess Cruises released
the following press release:
Statement on Cruise Calls to Israel
In response to recent inquiries, we would like to clarify why we cancelled the
Pacific Princess' call to Ashdod, Israel on June 2. The ship did call at Haifa,
Israel the previous day on June 1.
Just two days prior to our scheduled call to Ashdod, a violent incident
occurred between the Israeli Defense Forces and a flotilla of ships carrying
aid to the Gaza Strip. This unfortunate event resulted in several fatalities.
Upon careful review of the situation and information provided by the US State
Department and other sources, we were concerned about potential violence in
reaction to the incident. Our decision, which was not politically motivated,
was made in the best interest of the safety and security of our passengers and
Pacific Princess is scheduled to call in Israel at the end of June, and we
expect to maintain the published itinerary. However as with all of our ports of
call, we continuously monitor information that may affect our ships' routings.
Should a decision be made to make any adjustments, affected passengers would be
advised as soon as possible.
Boycott Watch President Fred Taub, who is an expert in the
Arab boycott of Israel, was concerned with the reports and contacted Julie
Benson, Vice President for Public Relations at Princess Cruises. He asked some
very tough questions and the following is our report:
The basic fact that the ship did not stop in Ashdod is
correct. Boycott Watch, however, points out that the rest of the boycott email
contains false information, thus the resulting boycott call is false. The day
after the flotilla raid, June 1, the Pacific Princess ship was docked in Haifa
where the passengers reportedly had, as expected, a wonderful and safe
excursion. That day though, the flotilla news was centered on Ashdod which is
where the flotilla ships were taken and arrests were made. Ashdod was the
center of international news and were concerns, including those of Israeli
police, of potential violence there. The pacific Princess ship was scheduled to
be in the Ashdod port the following day, a fact which rightfully created
security concerns for the cruise ship company. The fact is nobody knew what was
going to happen next.
Princess Cruises, like every good company, is concerned with
the safety and welfare of their customers. They were scheduled to arrive in the
Ashdod port, and, naturally, started to ask experts if they felt Ashdod was
safe the next morning. After consulting with Israeli police, their own on the
ground people among others, they decided to skip Ashdod in this one cruise only
in order to play it safe. Let's face it - any complaints about skipping the one
port of call would be better than having to deal with potential liability
issues after the fact, thus the company acted prudently.
The boycott claim says the cruise line should be boycotted
because they are complying with the Arab boycott of Israel, but that is not
true. The cruise line cancelled one port of call on one trip, and then
continued on to their next port of call for that itinerary, which is Egypt. The
change in their itinerary is actually part of their policy and in the contract
every passenger signs.
In the contract, the term "Carrier" means
"Princess Cruises" and the contract states:
"3. NOTICE CONCERNING SAFETY AND SECURITY.
Carrier visits a large number of ports in numerous countries around the world.
At any given moment there are likely to be "trouble spots" in the
world in terms of war, terrorism, crime, Act of God, civil commotions, labor
trouble, and/or other potential sources of harm. Local conditions and
infrastructure may also create hazards to Passengers while off the ship.
Accordingly, it may be necessary to change, cancel or terminate the scheduled
cruise or any activities related to the cruise, including without limitation
shore excursions and port visits. Although Carrier endeavors to provide
reasonable protection for Your comfort and safety onboard its ships, Carrier
cannot guarantee freedom from all risks associated with war, terrorism, crime
or other potential sources of harm. Carrier reminds all Passengers that they
must ultimately assume responsibility for their actions while ashore. The
United States Department of State and other similar government agencies
regularly issue advisories and warnings to travelers giving details of local
conditions in specified cities and countries according to such agency's
perception of risks to travelers. Carrier strongly recommends that Passengers
and their travel agents obtain and consider such information when making travel
Princess Cruises, therefore, acted without regard to
politics, but for what they saw as a potential safety concern. While some
people may not agree with their judgment call, it was just that. More
importantly, the next cruise making the two stop in Israel will be at the end
of June, and Israel remains a popular destination on the cruise line schedule.
The cruise line is not, therefore, taking part in the Arab boycott of Israel as
claimed, thus the call to boycott Princess Cruises is unfounded. Boycott Watch
urges those who have forward the erroneous report to link to this article and
not just forward this, as we will post updates if and as needed.