|Amir Khadir & father Jafar (holding sign)|
What was the stores transgression?
......Selling shoes made in Israel.
A coalition of communists and anti-Israeli activists has decided to intimidate the small, family run shoe store by picketing in front of the premises each Saturday afternoon, ever since October.
They accost customers and attempt to convince them not to enter the store, politely, yet determinedly.
At first the boycott organizers claimed that the shoes were made in the 'occupied territories' but when this proved false they fell back on a general plan to make the 'Plateau,' an Israeli product-free zone.
While many other stores sell the Israeli brand of 'Beautifeel' shoes, Yves Archambault's boutique 'Le Marcheur' was targeted because as a small merchant, he is presumed more likely to cave into pressure.
And so it's more convenient to target the establishment owned by Mr. Archambault, who works the store with his family and typically puts in 60 hours a week.
His store has sold the shoes for fifteen years and to his credit, he has refused to give in to the pressure to remove the shoes, even though sales generated from selling the shoes amounts to less than 2% of his sales volume.
He told the protesters and anyone who listens that he isn't going to give into blackmail.
"If they’re so concerned about human rights, I would like to hear what they have to say about human rights in China. I wonder what kind of protest they would make if they knew how much people are being paid to work in Chinese and Korean shoe factories and what those wages mean for the Canadian shoe business.”
When asked on the radio what Khadir was doing there, the man in charge of the boycott, Bruce Katz, a self-loathing Jew and founder and spokesman for Montreal’s PAJU (Palestinian and Jewish Unity,) claimed that Khadir just happened to be walking by and stayed to show support for the boycott. This was a blatant lie as witnesses and pictures show Khadir all bundled up in winter wear, prepared for the hours he spent outside the shop hassling shoppers.
If you understand French, watch this excellent report.
Once he realized that the public wasn't thrilled with a small merchant becoming the target of a vicious boycott, Khadir changed his tune. He told reporters that he only told people not to buy the Israeli product, another blatant lie, as witnesses reported that Khadir tried to get them not to enter the store. He then said that he'd like to meet with the store owner, who upon being informed, told reporters he didn't see much point.
"Embarrassed by his active presence in a demonstration urging a boycott of a shopkeeper in his constituency, Mr. Amir Khadir tried to explain yesterday, citing a "terrible misunderstanding" between him and the shoe salesman Yves Archambault."....
"Changing his tone, Amir Khadir claimed to be ready to "encourage people to go into the shop (Le Marcheur) to buy something other than Israeli products. "Khadir may have over-played his hand this time, mainstream reporters, not just the likes of Eric Duhaime, who has been just about the only high profile columnist who has taken on Khadir, are now starting to take notice of Mr. Khadir's agenda. Read Eric Duhaime's column in French
However, the owner of the store is adamant that the member of the National Assembly verbally encouraged customers not to enter his store. LINK Fr
"Do you share with your communist comrades a deep hatred of democracy? Does your primary hatred of Zionism hide more sinister designs?...
....Why only boycott products from Israel? Why not protest outside the consulate of Iran, Russia, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Cuba, Zimbabwe, Libya, Burma, Sudan?
Don't Iranian homosexuals condemned to death by hanging deserve your support, Mr. Khadir? Are Saudi women who need permission of a man in order to receive treatment in hospital not worthy of your compassion?
Why do you always demonstrate against Israel and the United States (democratic countries have had governments of both right and left) and never the Islamic countries (which, as everyone knows, are a paradises of human rights.) Your compassion seems to be double standard? " Richard Matineau Journal de Montreal
You don't have to be a supporter of Israel to know that targeting a small fry like Mr. Archambault is cruel.
I've heard many of our readers exclaim frustration at not being able to affect any real change, that one person's effort is meaningless.
Here's a real chance to prove that idea wrong.
If enough people rise to fight the boycott, it will turn into a fiasco. If demonstrators see clients visiting the store with the express reason of defeating their efforts, it is we that can prevail.
Believe me, rewarding Mr. Archambault for standing firm against extortion is a noble gesture that we can all perform. Each purchase is an act of resistance. Other merchants will take note, when they too are threatened.
Nobody is calling for confrontation with demonstrators, unlike the countries which these Islamo-communists militate for, Canada allows for freedom of assembly and expression.
The biggest punishment is to have the boycott trigger a wave of buying.
Even if you have never done a political thing in your life, here is your chance.
If you are local, you can visit the store and buy a pair of shoes. It doesn't have to be the Israeli shoe, any brand that you buy is an act of boycott-busting.
You or your loved one will forever enjoy wearing them and can imagine that each step that you take in those shoes is like stepping on the heads of these extremists bastards.
"While he (Archambault) doesn’t know what kind of effect the weekly demonstrations are having on his business, both he and his partner, Ginette Auger, said many of their customers make a point of telling them how they came to buy something in his store as a protest against the boycotters." SuburbanIf you believe that this boycott is wrong and you if don't act, don't bitch in the comments section about how unfair everything is.
Visit the store's website here.
If you can't buy something, send a message of support. Here's the email address of the store.
If you are a reader that opposes Israeli policy, that is your right.
If you are a reader that believes that targeting and terrorizing a small merchant is fair, kindly piss off......
Amir Khadir Has a Lot to Hide