Sunday, July 12, 2009

How Sweet It Is

"Strauss Group, Israel's 2nd-largest food and beverage company, has become, over the past few years, an international corporation with a steadily growing part of its business conducted outside of Israel. The Group employs 11,600 people and operates 19 production sites in 16 countries. In the last 6 years the group has consistently achieved growth that more than doubled the volume of its business during that period, generating... around $1.7 billion in turnover at the end of 2008, of which 47% came from international activities. The Group is built around 3 core businesses: Strauss Israel, which focuses on 2 major consumption trends: Health and Wellness and Fun and Indulgence; Strauss Coffee... and Strauss North America, which incorporates the Mediterranean dips and spreads company Sabra, with product lines that target the health and wellness trend, and the Chocolate Bar chain Max Brenner that targets the fun and indulgence trend." (About Us - Overview, A glimpse into the Strauss Group business world,

"Max Brenner presented the Chocolate Bar to the world as an innovative retail concept characterized by a unique chocolate culture that strengthens the social experience and the fun of eating and drinking chocolate... Max Brenner has 24 Chocolate Bars operating around the world: 6 in Israel, 2 in the US, 2 in the Philippines, 1 in Singapore and 13 in Australia." (ibid)

"Max Brenner wanted to be an author. So it seems surprising that he ended up being a world-famous chocolatier... But his passion for the cocoa bean doesn't obscure his nuanced view of the world. When asked about politics and specifically about the protests at his Sydney stores - seen as a symbol of Israel - earlier this year, Brenner was quick to respond. 'Everything that has to do with conflict seems stupid to me. I am a very peaceful person. Whether it is in Israel, or not, anything to do with violence, aggressiveness or appearing at protests or boycotts seems silly [to me]. But then again I am just a tiny person who loves beautiful things'." (Brenner on chocolate, The Australian Jewish News, 10/7/09)

"Our connection with soldiers goes as far back as the country, and even further. We see a mission and need to continue to provide our soldiers with support, to enhance their quality of life and service conditions, and sweeten their special moments. We have adopted the Golani reconnaissance platoon for over 30 years and provide them with an ongoing variety of food products for their training or missions, and provide personal care packages for each soldier that completes the path. We have also adopted the Southern Shualei Shimshon troops from the Givati platoon with the goal of improving their service conditions and being there at the front to spoil them with our best products." (Corporate Responsibility, Over 70 years of Community Involvement,

"Sayeret Golani was created in 1951. It was originally named Machleket Siyur Meyuchedet, or Special Reconnaissance Platoon; a part of the 1st Golani Infantry Brigade... They have operated all over Israel and even beyond; in Lebanon, Syria, and even Uganda. Sayeret Golani has had a bloody but illustrious history." (Israel's Sayeret Golani,

"It was the height of the Palestinian intifada, or uprising, which began at the end of 1987, and Rabin, then Defense Minister, ordered a policy of 'force, might and beatings' to quell the rebellion. Israeli soldiers filled hospital wards with young Palestinian men with their hands in casts, their arms swollen like sausages. The Golani Brigade was in the midst of it. One day reporters came upon some of them in a Palestinian village near Bethlehem, dragging youths into a bus packed with soldiers beating their clubs on the steel seat frames in unison and chanting wildly: 'We are Golani! We are insane! And even in Golani, it seemed, few beat the Palestinians with the enthusiasm of Pvt. Yigal Amir [Rabin's assassin]. 'In Golani, everybody hits', Mr Amir's comrade, Mr Nagar remembered. 'I wasn't clean either. But Yigal was something special, a rank unto himself'. During searches in Jabalya, a refugee camp in the Gaza Strip, Mr Nagar said, 'The officer says, before breaking into a house, give them a 10,000 mile tune-up. Yigal was the enforcer, with a capital E. Hit them hard, hit here, push there. Destroy stuff. He enjoyed badgering them just for fun'... The experience was not uncommon. A government report in 1989 on the effects of serving during the intifada found troops more violent in every aspect of their lives and, among the religious right [like Amir], imbued with a deeper hatred of Arabs. Three men who had served in Golani have committed widely publicized murders of Arabs and an Israeli peace campaigner." (A son of Israel: Rabin's assassin, John Kifner, The New York Times, 19/11/95)

"Channel 10 on Thursday released footage taken by Israel Defense Forces soldiers of themselves humiliating a bound and blindfolded Palestinian man at a West Bank checkpoint. The footage shows the Palestinian kneeling and repeating sentences given to him to say by the soldiers, who belong to the Golani Brigade. One of the lines is: 'Golani will bring you a log to stick up your ass'. As the detainee repeats the words, the soldiers are heard laughing raucously in the background." (IDF troops film themselves humiliating bound Palestinian, Haaretz, 6/11/08)

"At the eye of the Gaza storm is the Golani Brigade. Golani is currently operating in the sector in which the IDF has seen the toughest battles with Hamas, the eastern part of Gaza City... Golani has a complex image within the IDF.... [I]t is known as a brigade that struggles with no small number of disciplinary problems and scandals, caused by bad behavior ranging from revolts against commanders to abuse of Palestinians." (The IDF's Golani Brigade: always first on the scene at the front line, Amos Harel, Haaretz, 6/1/09)

No comments: