The First Victory of the BDS Campaign against Israel in Japan
Palestine Forum, Osaka, Japan 3 December 2010
On 1st December, the Muji officially announced the cancellation of its plan of opening a store in Israel on their website. Since the Muji released its plan on 12th April 2010, in order to respond to the BDS Campaign against Israel called upon the people in the world by Palestinians, we, Palestine Forum, had appealed to the Muji to cancel the plan along with other civil organisations and individuals.
Stop Muji Campaign message card,
cards would be filled in and handed in at the local Muji store
For over 7 months, various nationwide actions such as appeal actions in front of some of the Muji branches, constant appeal through websites or Twitter and sending message cards to the Muji, had been addressed as the Stop Muji Campaign. Additionally the appeal action in front of the Muji branch in Seoul, South Korea, was organised. Since the campaign was gradually growing into the international movement, the Muji management finally had to cancel the plan.
According to the Muji's announcement, the cancellation of its plan was made because of the "economic reason". However, when some members of the Palestine Forum made inquiries at the Muji management in last August, they replied that it seemed hard to be understood its plan of supplying Muji's brand goods into Israel by all the people, therefore, we had to say that our plan had been "undecided". So from this reply, we could substantially say that the final decision of the cancellation was made due to the request for cancellation by citizens of Japan.
The official announcement of the cancellation can be placed as the first historical victory of the BDS Campaign against Israel in Japan. We can also expect that this victory will bring big progress to the internationally expanding BDS Campaign in Asia. The Victory in this context means the first and certain step to change the international society which has kept silence against Israel's criminal act.
We also believe that this tiny victory is one of the examples of which people's anger against Israel's continued criminal act even after the Gaza Attack conducted from the end of 2008 to early 2009, such as blockade of Gaza or expanding settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, and deep sympathies for solidarity to Palestinians moved the reality.
We, Palestine Forum, have a high opinion of the Muji's sensible judgement that opening a store in Apartheid state Israel does not bring not only economic profit but also moral profit to the company. We request the Muji to keep and raise its corporate ethics and business sense which do not slight the issue on human rights and racism from now on, too.
We, Palestine Forum, declare that we will continue urging Japanese corporations which benefit from Israel's human rights abuses and war crimes against Palestinians, such as retail shops selling cosmetic products of the settlement company "Ahaba" which extracts resources from occupied Palestinians' land. We also call upon many civil organisations and individuals for a joint struggle towards the next victory.
A report of the "Stop!! Muji Action for Peace in Palestine in Osaka"
Stop Muji Campaign eptember 5, 2010
On Sunday's afternoon, more than 10 people gathered in Namba, Osaka and held a collective apeal to ask the MUJI not to deal with Israel.
First, we, wearing original T-shirts and showing banners, apealed to passersby with a hand-mike about necessity to stop the Muji to advance into Israel.
We also collected signatures on our message cards from passersby. With dozens of cards filled with signatures, we moved to the Muji shop in Namba.
Then, we played the Muji's commercial music with a PA system, and chanted our slogan "Free! Free! Palestine!" and "No! More! Occupation!"
Afterwards, we met the manager of the shop, explained about the aim of our action, and submitted the message cards with signatures. The manager promised that he would send the card to the head office of the MUJI.
Lastely, though we, still wearing the original T-shirts, moved to the Muji Cafe in the same building to have a rest, we couldn't find any vacant seats. However, this became an additional apeal to the customers in the cafe because of our T-shirts.
"1763 in the Ohio river valley you got Lord Jeffrey Amherst committing to written order an instruction to his subordinate Henry Bouquet, having been defeated by Pontiac Ottawa confederacy in the field. The order essentially says that they have been defeated militarily and is therefore necessary for Amherst forces to request a peace, to sue for peace from Pontiacs people. He instructs Bouquet to convene a parlay with the Indian leadership for that purpose. And as is the custom, as is common courtesy among native populations as was known to the Brits at that time, it would be necessary for those who requested the council to give gifts to those requested to attend. Make those gifts, Amherst says, items taken from a smallpox infirmary in order, I'm going to quote directly now, this isn't a paraphrase: 'in order that we may extirpate this execrable race'. Now key is on this last word, had he said that we might eradicate the opposing combatants, their military capacity, their warriors.. what ever term he wanted to use, it would have been biological warefare. But he didn't say anything about that, he said the 'race'. His intent was to use biological means, to use disease, quite explicitly so, to eradicate an entire population group. And Bouquet was also kind enough to commit to writing in his response the next day, I have done as instructed, dispersing three blankets, two handkerchiefs and sundry other items, hopefully, he says, they will have the desired result. They did.. the lowest estimate of the number of people who died of smallpox as a result of that little gesture of friendship and goodwill is a 100,000!"