BDS Fail in Seattle: Zim Ship Arrives, Offloads And Sails Without Incident.

ZIM ANTWERP ARRIVES AND LEAVES ON SCHEDULE – NO DISRUPTION OR DELAY

The Zim Antwerp sailing into the Port of Seattle yesterday. 10/29/2014. Photo Credit Inbar Gazit.
The Zim Antwerp sailing into the Port of Seattle yesterday. 10/29/2014. Photo Credit Inbar Gazit.

Despite Seattle’s reputation as a hotbed of caffeine fueled anarchist mayhem, Puget Sound’s anti-Israel activists have so far been unsuccessful in their efforts to disrupt Israeli shipping line Zim’s operations at the Port of Seattle.

 Since early this summer a coalition of organizations affiliated with the BDS movement dubbed blocktheboat have targeted Zim shipping nationwide as part of their larger goal of threatening the viability of the Jewish state. The August 25th attempt to prevent the unloading of a Zim cargo ship in Seattle achieved nothing more than annoy the Port of Seattle police officers charged with babysitting the protesters that day.

Anti-Israel activists protesting in front of Zim offices this past Monday.

Anti-Israel activists protesting in front of Zim offices this past Monday.

As reported earlier this week, a group of about 40 blocktheboat activists hurled threats and ultimatums outside the Zim shipping offices in Seattle this past Monday. Yet when the mammoth Zim Antwerp sailed into Puget Sound yesterday, there was not a blocktheboat protester to be found.

Federation CEO; Keith Dvorchik. Federation's efforts have helped neuter impact of anti-Israel extremists.

Federation CEO; Keith Dvorchik. Federation’s efforts have helped neuter impact of anti-Israel extremists.

The reluctance of Seattle’s anti-Israel extremists to dispatch a contingent to harass the Zim Antwerp is likely due to a convergence of factors, some public, some not.

First and foremost is the clear lack of interest of ILWU 19, the local dockworker’s union,  in becoming embroiled in a heated centuries long dispute. Such demonstrations cannot achieve even token success (such as a delay in offloading) without the collusion of the dockworker’s union. Additionally the Port of Seattle and their police force in conjunction with the Seattle Police Department have displayed a determined effort to keep the peace at the port. A third factor though has been the quiet behind the scenes efforts of Seattle’s Jewish Federation.

According to Keith Dvorchik, CEO and President of the Seattle Jewish Federation “the Federation has been working behind the scenes on the Zim Boat issue with the Port Authority, Homeland Security, the police, and the unions, to ensure that the boats can be offloaded.”

The Seattle experience demonstrates that whatever small successes blocktheboat activists have achieved in other cities may have less to do with the protester’s effectiveness and more to do with a lack of determination by local ports and municipalities to keep the peace and enforce the law.

Whatever the reasons, the Zim Antwerp’s majestic, unimpeded entry into and graceful exit from Puget Sound this week represented a nasty black eye for the blocktheboat movement and another BDS fail.

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