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Americans Forbidden to Inquire about Israeli-Made Products

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posted on Jun, 30 2004 @ 02:20 AM
This seems so bizarre I'm not sure I believe, but ... here it is!

Apparently, Americans are not permitted to ask companies whether or not their goods are produced in Israeli.. Supposedly has something to do w/ "prohibiting discrmination" against Israel, but... if (a) the law is for real and (b) that's the real reason for it, then.. well.. seems like a bit of stretch to me.

Apparently, it must be *somewhat* for real, since the Commerce Department has press releases about it on their Web site:

Commerce Department

Link to the original article in the Kansas City Star:

Link to Original Article

Apparently over $26 million in fines have been levied already b/c of this law..

Truth is stranger than fiction!

Company fined $6,000 for
not reporting customer's question

"Is any of this stuff made in Israel?"

by Helen & Harry Highwater, Unknown News June 27, 2003

A Missouri company has been fined $6,000 for not reporting a customer's question to the federal government. The question that's punished by law is: Are any of these products made in Israel, or made of Israeli materials?

The Kansas City Star reports:

The anti-boycott provisions bar U.S. companies from providing information about their business relationships with Israel. They also require that receipt of boycott requests be reported to the Bureau of Industry and Security, formerly known as the Bureau of Export Administration.

We ask: Why is this question forbidden? Why is any question forbidden?

It sounds more like the USSR than the USA, to punish people for asking a forbidden question, or for not immediately reporting to the government that someone else asked a forbidden question.

Only a few years ago, during South Africa's apartheid era, it was considered the height of good moral backbone to ask whether a product came from that country. Today, many Americans are asking such questions about products they suspect came from France, after the French government declined to join "Operation Iraqi Freedom."

The newspaper's article doesn't make it clear whether these restrictions apply only to US companies selling stuff outside the US, or whether the law applies to everyone. Either way, it's reprehensible.

Editor's note: Here's what the US Office of Antiboycott Compliance says: "The antiboycott provisions of the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) apply to all "U.S. persons," defined to include individuals and companies located in the United States and their foreign affiliates. ..."

And here's a press release from the US Department of Commerce: "Commerce Under Secretary for Industry and Security Kenneth I. Juster today reiterated to U.S. companies that the Department will vigorously enforce its regulations prohibiting U.S. persons from taking any action in support of foreign government boycotts against Israel. ..."

If K-Mart is having a sale on cheap plastic chess sets and we ask the clerk whether the board or pieces were made in Israel, is the clerk allowed to answer? Must the store promptly file a form with the Bureau of Industry and Security reporting that we asked?

Well, we'll be asking the forbidden question in every store we enter. Not because we're boycotting Israel we're not. Heck, if we were boycotting products from countries whose policies are abhorrent, we'd start by boycotting anything marked "made in USA."

We'll be asking the forbidden question because we believe in freedom. In a free society, the government doesn't tell people what questions they can ask, and what questions they can't, and what questions must be promptly reported to the authorities.

We had heard of this law before banning people from even asking about boycotting Israeli products but we had foolishly assumed it wasn't often enforced.

According to the article, though, "more than $26 million in fines" have been levied for violations of this law, suggesting that enforcement of the Forbidden Question Law is not at all uncommon. The fine in this case was $6,000, so assuming that's average and doing the math, more than 4,000 Americans or American companies have been fined for asking the forbidden question, or failure to report that someone else asked the forbidden question.


posted on Jun, 30 2004 @ 03:14 AM
WTF. I'll ask. And I'll ask with a big smile and challenge them to do something about it. All I can say is smooch smooch smooch... right here. lol. How nuts is this?

posted on Jun, 30 2004 @ 06:33 AM
Yep, I have been aware of this one. In terms of providing an effective means of boycott, it is totally unfair. It's about as ridiculous as calling french fries "freedom fries".

The point being, the consumer has the right to refuse spending his or her money on what he or she does not want to support. Be it France or Israel, if someone doesn't want to buy something from either location, that's their prerogative.

That's not to say Israeli goods are substandard merchandise. Israeli technology is quite excellent. I think this issue has more to do with the Mossad blackmailing the US, aside from how much money taxpayers actually spend in terms of supporting Israel. Business as usual.

posted on Jun, 30 2004 @ 08:36 AM
Apparently, if you check the barcode, a number starting with 729 indicates it's probably an israeli product.

posted on Jun, 30 2004 @ 08:39 AM
thanks!! thank you very much, muppet! that link also seems quite insightful. as it says; it may not be totally accurate, but at least it does help to identify the source of the product in some way or another.

I have a lot of bar codes to look at now...

If I find anything, I'll post it here so people can know ahead of time what kind of products they can expect from places they may not want to support.

[edit on 6/30/2004 by AlnilamOmega]

posted on Jun, 30 2004 @ 08:50 AM
I am starting to think that our democratic government is not so democratic after, all I have not problem from products from Israel and another country coming into US, but find people for asking were the products we spend our hard earned money comes from, it sound like taking away our freedom of speech, I will challenge that in any court it this is true.

I wonder what other littler silly but very damaging to our freedom of expression as Americans laws are out there.

posted on Jun, 30 2004 @ 08:52 AM
This is creating more questions than it is answering them. Means we're on to something!

What I mean is that the EAN code lookup website does NOT list Israel as a country of origin, and that is supposed to be an archive of all consumer products with EAN and UPC codes. huh! However, it does list Israel with a 729 prefix.

Many other websites also deem 729 as the Israeli barcode, such sa this one:

Israel = 729, just like the Islam Youth site suggested.

[edit on 6/30/2004 by AlnilamOmega]

posted on Jun, 30 2004 @ 09:01 AM
This just goes to show you how our govornment kisses major ass to Israel.

They claim they must report such things, cuz anyone who wants to boycott Israel must either be a skinhead or a Muslim terrorist. WHAT CRAP!!!!!!

Do they ever think about how people might want to know where thier product is made for other reasons? Some people want to boycott Israeli products because they are against Israel's policies. Others want to boycott Israel for religious reasons. So what?

Since when is boycotting a rpoduct a terrorist act? In that case, put Bill O Reilly on the terrorism watch list since he wants to boycott France.

I have known about this gag order for quite some time. Its quite unfair. So what if someone is Muslim? It is thier right to boycott a country they feel is trying to destroy thier religon. Its a peaceful form of protest, and it sure beats the hell out of suicide bombing aNd other terrorist activities.

posted on Jun, 30 2004 @ 09:14 AM

[edit on 2004-7-2 by Teknik]

posted on Jun, 30 2004 @ 10:26 AM
i can't say this surprises me. it seems very strange and hypocritical if its true, though. my understanding of import/export regulations here is that all products being imported MUST state their country of origin. this being the case, why would a consumer be prevented from asking or a retailer prevented from answering a question involving the very same information US law requires be made available?

-koji K>

posted on Jun, 30 2004 @ 01:09 PM
People should have the right to find out whatever they hell they want to know. Period. If you want to boycott someone's products, enjoy. Last time I checked that's your choice.

posted on Jun, 30 2004 @ 05:33 PM
welcome to the united states of israel.

has anyone else had enough for this "we cant criticize question or disagree with israel because of the holocaust" bull#? i know it doesnt mention the holocaust but this is brought up more times than i can imagine as being the reason why we should be nice to israel and i bet its part of the reason for this ""law"

i dont care if they're israelis or not. i have a right to know where the products i buy come from, to hell with them and this law.

fine me and i wont pay the fine. report me all you want.

posted on Jun, 30 2004 @ 05:45 PM
Consumer knowledge in this country should have nothing to do with any of that. Regardless of past history, this is something that should be publicly available to everyone.

If you do not wish to buy products made somewhere, that is your choice and your right. Period.


posted on Jun, 30 2004 @ 11:12 PM
Wow, that's strange. I generally look at where the things I use come from, and I can recall a big, blatant, "Made in Israel" stamp on lots of things. I can't say with certainty whether or not any of these items came from ___-____ or not, but it's a good chance they did, as that's virtually the only shopping option there is in my town (which saddens me greatly, but that's for another post). Some products that do jump to mind are automotive components (small metal objects, fuel filters and the like). Like I said, bigass "MADE IN ISRAEL" stamp in the steel straight from the die. Kind of a hard thing to hide. I guess it's OK to see it if it's there, but not OK to ask?

posted on Jul, 1 2004 @ 03:02 AM
Wow, that's pretty messed up. Kudos to the Kansas city star & you for bringing this up. This is way wrong. People have the right not to buy from people they don't want to support. This is good example where special interest has more influence on our government then we do.

Without the links, I would have thought this was one of those urban myths or a joke. Strange indeed.

posted on Jul, 1 2004 @ 05:47 AM
This way we control the Holy Land.

It's not called that for nothing.

posted on Jul, 1 2004 @ 06:01 AM
On the other side of the coin (pun intended) , you have the Jewish extortion tax
(The "K" or "U" typically found on many food packages)

Without it, no Jewish folks will buy your product.
I have read that it costs at least $100,000 to have your product certified, and the money goes to the local head Rabbi, if I am not mistaken.

posted on Jul, 1 2004 @ 06:18 AM

Originally posted by muppet

Apparently, if you check the barcode, a number starting with 729 indicates it's probably an israeli product.

This is sooooo weird! I clicked on the link above provided by muppet and read the bar code bit (which is very strange - the whole boycott thing) and just as I was about to close the page, I spotted New World Order in the menu on the sidebar - so I opened that page and started reading it and oh boy - too much! Take a look at *that* page!

posted on Jul, 1 2004 @ 12:32 PM

On the other side of the coin (pun intended) , you have the Jewish extortion tax
(The "K" or "U" typically found on many food packages)

Without it, no Jewish folks will buy your product.
I have read that it costs at least $100,000 to have your product certified, and the money goes to the local head Rabbi, if I am not mistaken.

Mistaken is an understatement. More like "way off".

The Circle K, Circle U etc are a way for an observant Jew to know that the product he/she is purchasing does not contain anything that violates their dietary laws. For example if something has lard in it, a consumer who doesn't eat lard has a right to make sure they know that.

Your comments have been disproved on numerous websites such as While I know the "kosher nostra" hoax is a wonderful way at getting people to believe that Jews are taking over the world or what not, you should just know that such things have been circulating for many years and most people have learned to disregard it.

If dieters have a right to know what has carbs, and people with allergies have a right to know what has peanuts, I fail to see why a Jew doesn't have the right to know if a product is kosher or not.

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