Thursday, December 23, 2010
BUYcotters thwart economic terrorism
Yves Archambault owns a shoe store called Le Marcheur on St. Denis Street in Le Plateau, a hip neighbourhood in Montreal.
For the last 25 years, he’s been selling shoes from all over the world.
On Oct. 2, Archambault received a formal demand from a radical left-leaning organization threatening to picket in front of his shop to “make St. Denis an Israeli Apartheid Free Zone”.
These extremists did not want to see shoes made in Israel sold on the Plateau. More than that, they wanted a great purge of all products from the Jewish state.
Even though he is not Jewish and the Israeli shoes in his store represent less than 2% of his sales, Archambault refused to give in to this blackmail. He has been selling these quality shoes for over 15 years. Apolitical, he simply refused to accept a handful of ideologues dictating to him what to sell and not to sell.
Every Saturday since the beginning of October, in the best trading hours, a dozen activists have blocked the entrance of his store with anti-Israel signs and distribute tracts calling for the boycott of his store, harassing his clients.
On Dec. 11, a local Member of the National Assembly (MNA), Amir Khadir, joined the protesters with well-known communist leaders.
This elected official, paid by taxpayers, set about to harm a small storekeeper in his constituency who sells a legal product coming from a country with which Canada has a free-trade agreement.
From his involvement with an “Islamo-Marxist” organization to his public support of George Galloway, a propagandist paid by Iranian state TV, this is not Khadir’s first controversy on Middle East issues.
A non-practising Muslim born in Iran, Khadir co-leads the ultra-left party Quebec Solidaire and is the only Solidaire MNA.
He does not support certain Islamist causes out of religious conviction but participates instead in an anti-imperialism alliance between the extreme left and the Islamists that are coalescing everywhere else in the western world.
Even if polls suggest Khadir is currently the most popular MNA in Quebec, he did not gather support for his boycott campaign.
Last Saturday, my friends and I organized a “BUYcott.” We all went to buy a pair of shoes from Archambault. More than 150 people broke the picket-line and went to Le Marcheur.
We beat the economic terrorism of the radical left one pair of shoes at a time.
Many political columnists were also quick to support our BUYcott and condemn Khadir’s tactics of intimidation.
The BUYcotters reaction of outrage and the almost unanimous condemnation by the Quebec press is very reassuring.
Let’s remember Quebecers were the first in the whole Commonwealth to elect a Jew when they elected Ezechiel Hart MNA of Trois-Rivieres in 1807. Since it was not permitted for a Jew to occupy such a function at the time in the British Empire, another election was called and people from Trois-Rivieres re-elected Hart to the astonishment of our British rulers.
Khadir is not going to make Quebecers turn our backs today on our great heritage of a few centuries of tolerance and friendship with Jews.
— Duhaime is a freelance writer
To write to Mr. Chambault, the owner of the store, please CLIC here: