| Inherent in the consumer trust granted to kosher
certification agencies is that the certification granting rabbis must be
looking out for best interests of the kosher consumer. After all, items such as
crushed insects that are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for
food coloring are banned by Kosher laws. Moreover, a primary responsibility of
the overseeing rabbi is to make sure the kosher consumer is not fooled by a
lack of product information supplied by the manufacturer - The kosher overseer
must make sure ingredients are not improperly substituted.
Unfortunately, one major Kosher certification agency is
hiding a secret that would make the vast majority of their customers irate and
probably boycott all their kosher products. OK Kosher Certification based in
Brooklyn, New York certifies palm oil manufactured in Malaysia and Indonesia as
kosher, despite the fact that both those nations boycott Israel.
Indonesia is 86.1% Muslim and refuses to establish diplomatic
relations with Israel, claiming establishment of an independent Palestinian
state as a prerequisite for normalized relations. Malaysia, which also has no
diplomatic relations with Israel, is 60.4% Muslim and its prime minister
accuses critics as being "Zionist agents."
By advancing the boycotting of Israel, Indonesia and Malaysia
are working toward Israel's destruction. The Arab boycott of Israel dates back
to 1910 with the intention of starving out the Jews before Israel could be
established. In 1921 the Arab Congress for was formed with the specific
objective of coordinating all boycotts against the Jews. After the Arab states
were formed, it was renamed the League of Arab States, or Arab League as it is
more commonly known. Even today, the primary function of the Arab League is
their boycott of Israel which they reaffirm in every meeting. And, for example,
when Yassir Arafat was negotiating peace with President Clinton and Prime
Minister Ehud Barak, he was also secretly pushing the Arab boycott in Malaysia.
It should be no surprise, therefore, that Malaysia and
Indonesia both voted for Palestinian membership in UNESCO, the United Nations
Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization in a 2011 bid to grant the
Palestinians full statehood. Giving a primary export of nations that hate
Israel hidden and preferred access to the specialized kosher market is a slap
in the case to all Jewish consumers, not just those who keep kosher.
While kosher palm oil is produced in other nations, once the
palm oil gets the OK certification, it can be used by other Kosher
certification agencies in products that eventually receive the Orthodox Union's
O-U certification among others, all of which only bear the final certification,
hiding the fact that some ingredients help the enemies of Israel.
The fact is, if most kosher consumers knew the palm oil in
the food they buy is from nations that boycott Israel, they would simply refuse
to buy those products. Why then does the OK certify that palm oil kosher? I
asked that question and they did not respond. I suspect it is a business
decision - they want to make a buck but don't care what their customers expect.
Palm oil is used as an ingredient in everything from food to lipstick, and
demand has been steadily increasing because the cheap labor to produce it keeps
the prices down.
That, however, is no excuse for pro-Israel consumers to boost
the economies of Indonesia and Malaysia. Instead, palm oil from nations
friendly with Israel, including Columbia and Thailand, should be the nations
which kosher consumers support via kosher certification and therefore product
Boycotting products and companies which support those who
boycott Israel is nothing new. For a time Pepsi products were boycotted by Jews
because Pepsi adhered to the Arab boycott of Israel by selling their products
in Arab nations, but not Israel.
The newest manifestation of the Arab boycott of Israel is the
Boycott Divestment Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel, which includes an
academic boycott that is essentially the modern version of book burnings, and
Internet attacks against businesses owned by Jews regardless if they are in
Israel or not - It is the modern equivalent of spray painting "Jude"
on store windows. We are facing a modern Kristallnacht and once again some Jews
insist on appeasing those who hate us. As Winston Churchill said,
"Appeasement is feeding the crocodile, hoping he will eat you last."
People must stand up and demand an end to the kosher
certification of palm oil from Malaysia and Indonesia, nations that desire to
boycott Israel into economic starvation, thus the destruction of Israel. As the
Jewish sage Hillel was quoted in Pirkei Avot: "Im Ain Ani Li, MiLi? - If I
am not for myself who will be for me?"