Israeli Flag Manufacturer Thriving due to Unexpected Customers
Shlomo Herzberg walked past the raucous din of row upon row of humming sewing machines to show off the latest addition to his football field sized factory warehouse, four brand new state of the art textile machines alongside three older models. The huge machines tirelessly spewed out endless waves of white knitted polyester, with a bright blue stripe on either side.
Mr. Herzberg’s family is the third generation owner of Tiv Textiles, a manufacturing plant located in Ramat Gan, an industrial zone just outside of Tel Aviv. Over the past four decades the Herzberg family has managed to support themselves and about thirty employees, primarily manufacturing materials used in children’s clothing. But the ever increasing hostility of the Arab world, particularly Palestinians, towards Israel has impacted Tiv Textiles in unexpected ways. “We have long had a side business of sorts manufacturing Israeli flags” says Herzberg. “We would put out about ten, sometimes fifteen thousand flags each year before Israel Independence day, it was more of a public service as our profit margins on the flags are real low”.
Flags are no longer a side business for Herzberg. Tiv Textiles is now the primary supplier of Israeli flags worldwide and their primary market is not in Israel. “Frankly Arabs are by far our number one customers”.
In the tense build up prior to the last military skirmish with the Palestinians in 2008, code named Cast Lead, export orders for Israeli flags took an unexpected spike. The small company found they could not keep up with the demand from purchasers in Turkey, France and Belgium. Tiv Textiles’ director of sales, Yakov Bentzion could not explain the sudden demand until the second week of the Cast Lead operation. “I was watching the news, they were doing a report about protests in Ramallah when the militants began burning an Israeli flag for the cameras. I nearly jumped out of my seat! It was one of our flags. I know the material, the cut, the dyes that we use and that was a Tiv Textile flag they were burning!”.
Bentzion contacted their French distributor who acknowledged that his company, and others, were reselling the flags to several different militant organizations operating inside the West Bank and Gaza. Bentzion could barely contain his pride as he shared seeing his flags burning in places far and wide; from Tahrir Square in Cairo to London, England and even to the campus of Evergreen State College in Washington State. “There is no substitute for quality and at Tiv Textiles quality is all we do” said Bentzion, adding that “our cusomers know the difference”.
“People think that a spontaneous protest just happens, but it can take weeks, even months of preparation to plan a successful spontaneous protest”
Ahmed Al Masri, a 23 year old militant affiliated with the Islamic Sora (revolt) group is responsible for the organization of all spontaneous protests in the northern neighborhoods of Gaza City. “People think that a spontaneous protest just happens, but it can take weeks, even months of preparation to plan a successful protest” said Al Masri. “Before we even know what we are angry about we already have the posters printed with the date and location.”
Whether it be in Gaza or Ramallah no Palestinian protest is complete without the traditional burning of the Israeli flag. “Frankly” lamented Al Masri “it’s sad when you see some so called terrorist groups burning a homemade Israeli flag that looks like an arts & crafts project made by their three year old daughter”. Focused as much on quality as ideology, Islamic Sora insists on using only knitted polyester flags. “the colors really come out on knitted polyester, and there is no material that burns quite as nicely as polyester” explained Al Masri adding, ” nobody does it better than Tiv Textiles, they just know how to do it”. In Ramat Gan, Tiv Textiles no longer manufactures textiles for children’s clothing, they have diverted all of their machinery to the production of Israeli flags. Sales rose by 200% during the recent Gaza war and the recognition of Palestine as an observer state by the UN has pushed the factory to the limit of their manufacturing capability. “We can’t keep up, the Palestinian Authority just ordered 250 cases of Israeli flags, that’s 30 flags per case!”. With 243 new employees and major investments in new equipment and factory space, the once small company is now a major employer in the region.
“it’s sad when you see some so called terrorist groups burning a homemade Israeli flag that looks like an arts & crafts project made by their three year old daughter”.
Mohammed Muhammad, Assistant Minister of Incitement for the Palestinian Authority acknowledged that between Fatah and all of the splinter terror organizations “we probably buy more Israeli flags for burning than we buy Palestinian flags for waving.” “Which is just fine with me” shouted Shlomo Herzberg above the incredible din of flag making on the factory floor of Tiv Textiles”. “If the Palestinians ever actually focus on building their own country rather then destroying ours, this factory will be in big trouble.” But with no sign of such a change coming anytime soon, the incomparable quality of Israeli flags from Tiv Textiles will likely be burning in the Arab street for many years to come.
A MIKE REPORT ORIGINAL PARODY.