A Call to Boycott Café Press

On January 18, 2014, in blog posts, by admin

A Call to Boycott Café Press

By Brenda Heard

Last month we came across a website called “Café Press” and did a search on this website for Lebanese calendars.  Sorted by relevance, the results were rather disturbing.  Nestled amongst calendars displaying cedar trees and slogans like I-♥-Jido (grandfather) were troublesome offerings.

Now with computerized search and sort systems, the fact that Israel-related products pop up is not really so surprising.  We’ve all been subjected to advertisements for Israeli holiday packages and the like when the google-fairies notice that you’ve typed the word a few times.  You laugh it off.

But there were more than just Israeli flags fluttering on the Lebanese calendar page.  There was one proclaiming “I support Israel, they have a right to exist,” and another shouting “Christians for Israel.”  There was one for “Israeli Paratroopers” and another singing “I want my Bibi back, Bibi back, Bibi back.”  (Uh, he’s been back for a long time now, and cute as it was to mimic the Chilli’s Restaurant commercial, I wonder if they realised the jingle was for pork ribs.)

And then there were some truly offensive calendars.  Like the ones for the Israeli Navy Seals and the Givati Brigade (units specialising in offensives against Lebanon and Gaza) announcing “Jihad—it works both ways.”  This juvenile, ill-informed taunt ostensibly issues a threat against Islamic Resistance.  Isn’t that rather tasteless to hang on your kitchen wall?

Bordering on the bizarre is that a calendar for the USS New Jersey is displayed in the Lebanese calendar selections.  This warship, you will recall, fired repeatedly into Lebanon in 1983-84, killing many civilians and ushering the Americans into the Lebanese Civil War as belligerents.  And there is even a calendar of US politician Nancy Pelosi, an Israel-firster who in July 2006 rebuked Iraqi PM al-Maliki for criticising the ongoing Israeli attacks on Lebanon.

More sinister even is the calendar of a Lebanese flag with “Lebanon” written—not in Arabic, French or English—but in Hebrew.  Really?  Referring to. . . perhaps the Lebanese conspirators who worked for the Israeli Occupation Forces and then fled to Israel upon the Liberation of 2000.  Perhaps suggesting that Israelis would finally seize the land they have for so long coveted.  Perhaps suggesting that Lebanon should be judaized.  Inappropriate, to say the least.

So we sent a brief message to Café Press:

 

To which they responded:

 

We waited and checked the “Lebanese calendars” sort again on the Café Press website.  No change.  We emailed back:

To date, there has been no further response, and no change in the Café Press selections on the Lebanese sort.  Of the first 96 displayed on the American version of Café Press, 13 are decidedly pro-Zionist Israeli—a stance clearly at odds with Lebanese pride.  Interestingly, only 1 (showing Israeli Paratroopers) of the first 96 displayed on the British version of Café Press is Zionist in nature.  What might that suggest?

Café Press, Inc. is a “multi-billion dollar personalization industry” that boasts “We create unique custom products that speak to customers on an emotional level.”  Well, in that regard I guess they succeeded: this is emotional.  For the hundreds of thousands of Lebanese who have suffered the bitter realities of the Zionist project, you bet it can be emotional.  As Friends of Lebanon, we tried to point out that it was not just the cottage-industry-spawned products that were perhaps objectionable, but the fact that Café Press so nonchalantly advertised them in a category intended for the very audience who would be offended.  So when the customer service crews says, “Please don’t hold anything against us,” we have to say that they have made it impossible not to hold their irresponsibility against them.  When the Café Press CEO states: “Not alienating customers ‘is absolutely paramount in everything we do,” we have to say too late.

If you would like to voice your opinion on this directly to Café Press, please contact the CafePress.com Support Team: support@cafepress.com and cite reference number LTK111760836893X.

 

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