A SodaStream bottle
(Photo/Flickr-Ted Eytan CC BY-SA 2.0)

Confusing boycotts and a fixation on effervescent drinks

This week, on the “(Is It) Good for the Jews?” podcast …

Larry Rosen: Before I do anything else, let me announce that on Episode 123 we discussed Sabra hummus. A listener informs me that Sabra is no longer Israeli. It was purchased by PepsiCo in 2008.

Eric Goldbrener: Interesting.

LR: So, BDS people, if you’re looking for something to boycott, look for some other hummus. Take Sabra off your list.

EG: Now wait a second; don’t they have to boycott everything from PepsiCo now? Didn’t the purchase of Sabra taint the brand?

LR: I don’t know if the hummus itself is still made in Israel.

EG: I don’t think it matters if it is or not.

LR: It’s just tainted by the stink of Judaism?

EG: It’s a secondary boycott. You’re trying to boycott Sabra, then this big giant corporate entity comes in and buys them, now you’ve got to boycott them, too.

LR: It’s so confusing.

EG: Either stick with the boycott or be a victim of the boycott!

LR: I think they should boycott Pepsi based solely on the principle of making the boycott too confusing.

EG: Just to simplify matters.

LR: I’ll tell you what I’m not boycotting: SodaStream.

EG: What, out of solidarity? You’re making a political statement?

LR: As you may or may not know, I was once addicted to soda. Coke. Never Pepsi.

EG: Were you boycotting Pepsi?

LR: No. It’s just terrible. Not even close. All of these people pretending they can’t tell the difference. Please. Though I think my dad said something once about Pepsi not building a plant in Israel…

EG: But no boycott.

LR: When I first met my wife I was going through 2 liters of Coke a day.

EG: I did not know that.

LR: Eventually, my body said, “Yeah, you’re not doing that anymore.” So I backed off. I would have one 12-ounce can a day. At lunch.

EG: OK, that’s alright.

LR: And then I go to lunch one day with a friend and she takes me to this vegetarian place that naturally doesn’t have Coke, of course, because they’re freaking hippie freaks.

EG: Of course. What’d they have, kombucha?

LR: I don’t know.

EG: Some wheatgrass juice…

LR: Some soda pretending to be good for you when we know all along that it’s still soda…

EG: Yeah. “This is green spiritgina with a shot of wheatgrass.”

LR: No. I had water. But the point is, as I was leaving the restaurant I thought, “Boy, I feel great. I feel better than I usually do after lunch.”

EG: You felt healthy.

LR: So I thought, look, you’re not going to get me to stop drinking Coke because it’s supposed to be good for me to stop. I like Coke. However, if you tell me that the reason I feel lousy every day for 90 minutes is the Coke I had at lunch, I might stop drinking a Coke every day with lunch.

EG: Because that’s the difference between someone saying it’s bad for you and actually feeling bad. Because if they tell you it’s bad for you, you’re going to say, “I feel great. I just drank a Coke and I’m on cloud nine. I’m full of energy…”

LR: Anyway, I switched — no more Coke with lunch — but I really love, uh, effervescent beverages. I was complaining to my wife and she said, “Why don’t you get one of those SodaStream things?” Now when I hear SodaStream, immediately visions of Scarlett Johansson appear in my head.

EG: With heavenly music…

LR: ScarJo, supporting the cause…

EG: Palestinian race car drivers delivering it to you…

LR: I might just go get myself a little SodaStream.

EG: You can do that.

LR: Produced not in the West Bank, of course, but instead in the Negev, and not by Palestinian workers because they all got fired thanks to the boycott.

EG: Doesn’t matter. You still get a peace credit.

LR: I get a peace credit, like an Al Gore carbon offset credit?

EG: Exactly.

LR: I’d like to buy some peace credits? I have the wherewithal to do that, so please set me up with some

EG: OK, but you stick with that Sabra hummus you’re going to get boycotted anyway. Or Pepsi. I can’t remember which.

LR: I can’t win.

This column is excerpted from a recent episode of the podcast “(Is it) Good for the Jews?

Eric Goldbrener

Eric Goldbrener is a Libertarian, Zionist, atheist and autodidact technologist. He co-hosts the podcast “(Is It) Good for the Jews?”

Larry Rosen

Larry Rosen is a writer, husband, father and author of “The Rabbi Has Left the Building,” a memoir about his son’s bar mitzvah. He co-hosts the podcast “(Is It) Good for the Jews?”