Israeli goods from Judea and Samaria — also known as the West Bank — will be featured and handed out as gifts during the 2016 Kosher Food and Wine Festival in Miami on Wednesday evening, in an act of defiance against the “boycott, divestment and sanctions” (BDS) movement.
“It is important for each individual to become an active participant in our efforts to thwart the rise of anti-Semitism around the country,” Gabriel Groisman, Mayor of Bal Harbour, Florida, said in a press release. “The infamous BDS movements, which calls for the boycott, divestment, and sanction of Israel and Israeli products, academics, musicians, and even Jews, in many cases, is leading this most recent uptick in anti-Semitic activity.”
On Tuesday, Joseph Waks, also known as the “Designer Rabbi” of Florida, received $148,000 worth of boycotted items from Israeli companies in Judea and Samaria. These are the gifts that will be distributed Wednesday evening. A video documenting their arrival was posted on YouTube:
“The BDS movement is a bigoted, global propaganda campaign against Israel and is a thin cover for anti-Semitism — the levels of which we have not seen in the Western World for over 60 years,” Waks, who was heavily involved with organizing the annual event, told Breitbart News. “It is illegal to sell the products they are handing out as gifts in many countries throughout Europe and around the world.”
Chef Marcus Gershkowitz, the co-owner of Jerusalem’s famous Angelica Fine Grill restaurant, was flown in to participate in this year’s event.
Approximately 1,000 people will attend the sold-out event, which costs $250 per ticket. The proceeds of the event will benefit the Women’s International Zionist Organization (WIZO), an international non-profit group that seeks to improve the lives of women, children and the elderly living in Israel. In America, WIZO “promotes and enhances the bond between American Jewry and the State of Israel through efforts to improve social service programs and educational facilities for babies, children, youth, women and the elderly in Israel.”
Activities carried out by supporters of the BDS campaign include boycotting Israeli companies, academic institutions, sporting and cultural events; soliciting institutions to divest themselves of Israeli investment holdings; and lobbying internationally for diplomatic and economic sanctions against Israel.
States that have enacted anti-BDS legislation include Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and South Carolina. That number is growing.
Follow Adelle Nazarian on Twitter and Periscope @AdelleNaz