"..which was totally justified after a few Israeli soldiers were kidnapped into Lebanon territory .."
Errr...I think you'll find a lot of people standing on the outside looking in will say that the Israeli response was massively out of proportion and way over the top.
Not that this is the kind of thing we should discuss on here though.
Wim: Not that we should, but if you mention that, it's important to remember that the kidnapping was accompanied by a non stopping firing of rockets into the state of Israel, without provocation, just after another soldier was kidnapped on the other side of Israel (which has also not yet been recovered).
Israel was literally under attack. Those rockets have killed people from north all the way to the center of Israel.
Would you have reacted differently? I'm sure you can't say until this happens to you.
Ah wait- maybe you'll say "I wouldn't have bombed innocent people's buildings"
which I'd answer: What if the rockets were being fired from within housed buildings, mosques and hospitals?
Easy to judge "from the outside looking in", as you say.
Why is that such a big deal? USA restaurants stop buying french wine when France refused to go to war against Iraq.
It's their business and they can do whatever they want, even burn some cash.
Thin ice is when you fire rockets from heavily populated areas on innocent civilians, kidnap soldiers without provocation and show to the world community "hey, we're being attacked!".
Thin ice is getting women and children to bomb themselves for 25,000$ of money you got from the U.N for food, water and electricity.
On the technological side, Wim will have to see to it that his company not use anything built by Israelis (or else they are making money off of him, aren't they?) - which is quite impossible.
There's quite a distance between not agreeing with tactics of remote places of which you aren't part of the conflict, and shutting down business with people in those places.
I have no problem with Wim making that decision - but he shoudl have no problem of people knowing about it - free world, right?
One thing that came up: Belgium itself can teach a thing or two about abuse:
Its rule on the Kongo was one of the bloodiest ever.
Your post was very even handed and treated all sides with respect. It's such a passionate issue and I commend your ability to write in such a way that does not draw a line in the sand.
Israel has a right to defend itself. There's no question that the recent war was a reaction by Israel to aggression from others. I suppose one could make an argument about Israel's faults but to claim that the recent war with Hezbollah was unjust indicates partisianship and not reason or logic.
U2U is justified.
Israel is just an invader
Good on them I say! Israel gets away with to much because of the support from the US. This type of behaviour would never be acepted anywhere else in the world!
Gratulations to U2U atleat to have the guts to show a very unpopular point of view and stand to it - that type of courage is not seen often today outside of terrorist circles.
That, though, does not mean that I conform with their view. Though it is hard to say that Israel, with their behavior, does not match the defintion of a terrorist state pretty much down to the last digit. Sadly. As do a lot more of the civilized states (like, for example, the united states, today, sadly). It is not like he is making any difference.
Post Deleted (impersonating a post from another blogger)
I think you'll find the opinions abroad as to the justification of the levels of action will vary.
I think it important to note that Belgium has not taken a stance against Israel, a company in Belgium has.
Good on them I say. I think the way the Palestinians have been treated is appauling, and the action against Lebanon was way over the top.
Has anybody who posted here thought of the continent that is responsible for eliminating Jews and thus creating the "problem" Israel ??
Everybody here forgets this suddenly, especiallly.. Europeans themselves...strange.
Belgium and U2U is part of that continent.Oww the stupidity of Wim.
Do i see a safe sovereign Jewish state in Europe? No..
Do i see a wall of Europeans protecting Israeli's after the holocaust ? Yet again, nope.
Europeans have the audacy too create a problem and even openly distance themselves from it.I bet the upcoming bicultural holocaust against islam in Europe will be Israel's fault too,just as WW 4 and 5 and..
I guess the hypocrits at U2U should ban themselves from the worldstage too,and rather quickly.
Worst of all,they know that themselves all too well.
Dumb post and dumb discussion for a tech blog. Get a life and respect someone’s choice. Your post gives me the feeling that you’re frustrated about the whole situation and that you’re unable to discuss it with other people.
This is/was a tech blog, please use a other blog for political discussions!
My god these comments are so funny. Can someone please explain me why a company should be punished by decisions made by their government?
I live in Belgium and I know Wim from U2U, he is always been a special case. Imho in this case I do believe that he is wrong.
How would he feel when he starts to loose business in other countries when on the elections of next month (8th October) "Vlaams Belang" will get a lot of votes. This would be ridiculous no Wim?
Hi Roy - can you please remove the post above saying:
"Aha - so you agree that it's the bloody colonial abuse of native people. Sweet."
Posted by someone "vim" (obviously mistyping my name) and using my blog URL.
i really thankfull to the Belgian company who refuse to do business with baby killers and land grabber
Wim Uyttersprot's correspondence seems very childish and uninformed. Looks like he has believed the propoganda that we seem to have in the media nowadays.
It was during Sharon's rule that one of the most painful things Israel have done was started: start evacuating the settlements
Israel was torn up and divided on this issue, ands still, two years later - it continues.
That's one big stride Israel has done for peace from the man that you had describe.
Yes - to say that he didn't seek peace when we elected him is just wrong.
I am surprised with the comments. Is it a left-wing blog, or european population is so much brain-washed? And what and why can we discuss with people like these?
Hi - poster above.
Just because my name is Wim, doesn't mean I'm the Belgian Wim that Roy is referring to in his blog post. So don't put a link to my blog and make it out that I'm Wim Uyttersprot or whatever his name is.
I guess this will put it all in perspective the next time I see someone firing up holy wars about the Evil Empire and the poor downtrodden co-operative who only want to bring good to the planet.
Sure - it's difficult to keep perspective when your own people are getting killed. Anyone who manages to do so deserves respect for the courage that it takes to receive incoming fire and then not over-react.
Sorry Roy but I'm gonna have to agree with Wim's right to not do business with a country he doesn't want to politically support. I don't know much about the "Israel problem" and as I'm not even remotely close to the area geographically, I don't want to know any more about it. However when I see things in the paper about the number of cluster bombs dropped by Israel on Lebanon, the Israeli cause instantly loses all of my sympathy. Cluster bombs are a sick pseudo-legal way of making large tracts of land uninhabitable. Only Israel and the USA still use them as far as I'm aware as every other country has recognised what a terrible type of munition they are. There's numerous other things that I didn't like about the war and I know hundreds of people with a similar mindset to me and to Wim. You obivously have a political opinion on this and so does Wim and you're both standing by them. That's the point of free speech.
Is it unreasonable to expect you to make a point or critique someone elses position?
Feel free not to take part in the discussion, but submitting a post that lets us know that you don't feel like taking part is just a waste of everyone's time.
DaveB: I'm not going to start a full on political debates about every facet of israel's actions - right or wrong as you think israel is, it is a hypocricy to "breaK' relations with israeli companies and keep relations to other countries which seem to be drawing just as much heat (like my previous comment).
Roy, I appreciate your point about not broadening the debate to cover every perceived or actual shortcoming of a particular country and I think we're in total agreement about the charge of hypocrisy.
I'm not going to waste to much words on this one Roy (like you did), but this is a very lame post. I know lots of U2U employees and they are very tolerant and I'm sure Wim just tried to avoid getting connected to an Israeli company. I was reading your blog for the technical content and so far I ignored your childish bursts of anger but now you've gone too far. You are a famous technical blogger, if I want to read politics I will go somewhere else. [Unsubscribed]
I'm not really see why you'd be offended by Wims comments especially as it seems like they have been sent in a private correspondence.
He doesn't want to be associated with Israel because, I presume, he's worried about the implications of being associated with a regime that a lot of people (and the UN) believe behave in a highly questionable manner.
You are of course right, other countries also behave poorly and personally I amn't overly impressed with the foreign policy of my own country. For that reason I could fully understand if companies from other countries didn't want to be associated with the UK either.
Message to the Israeli Businessman:
I am ashamed as a belgian by the merely scandalous discriminating response from U2U. This will be a company that I will NEVER work with and I also recomended my colleagues in the IT sector against working with these far-left extremists.
However, since we too are int IT sector with 15 years of experience, I would appreciate if you inform this Israeli business man that he can contact us whenever he is interested.
I did NOT mention the URL of my IT site since such would be suicidal for my company. Far Left which is active in our country cannot be faught without risk. If they knew my real IT company they would immediately do everyting to put mu out of business.
Nevertheless, the URL given contains my contact data as well without linking to our IT business.
I apologize in U2U's place for their discriminating behavior!
Congratulation for being able to consider your ethic in your business position. Would the mankind be able to follow your example, then good solutions to real problems could become possible. The problems of our societies require long term vision & processes, no dogmatic position of thruth owner or opportunism of people with money but no ethic. That the readers guess who are the best propmotor of these 2 approaches.
Why don't you publish the name of the company in Israël? It seems they are not at all behaving ethically correct either .. making a private conversation between two companies into a flaming war. Where are we going if private mails and conversations are published and used for propaganda like this.
Dandy - I would but the company name was not published in the original article, so I don't know it's name.
As for propoganda, the minute U2U decided to make a business decistion in high tech based on a policial issue, I think they made it fair game. Especially, since they were contacted before going public on that newspaper and chose to not respond.
Fair enough but if the company name was not published in the original article, I am very sceptical about your accusations. Seen this happening to a company in Australia here too, mosquitos turning into elephants, blogs picking it up, blowing the whole story up, and yes, everybody is getting pretty excited about all of this.
It is obvious that most of the people expressing their sympathy and understanding for Mr. Wim Uyttersprot's (and the so called Palestinian and Arab cause) do so out of complete ignorance of past and present history and the facts on the ground. In my opinion, there must even be more to it, like some latent, long suppressed anti-Jewish feelings which can all of a sudden be openly expressed using Israel as sort of "moral" fig leaf! The combination of ignorance and hatred is devastating as shown by the Nazi regime and indeed by the nowadays version of it, namely Islamo-fascism. I am so outraged by European's misplaced and despicable attitude towards Israel that I invite anyone to a debate on the subject. email@example.com
The people calling Israel an Apartheid state do not know the meaning of the word and/or what it means or are ignorant liars.
I love your blog posts, but indeed you are going 2 far on this point. Leave the politics as is, stay at the subject of your blog.
War is always wrong, and who started it is out of the question, you always need 2 parties to have a war.
U2U is right, even more : they don't have to/or shouldn't give an explaination why they dont' want to work together with this company.
The whole thing around racism is now a days exploited by a lot of people. They abuse the word racism, just to get what they want.
Roy, your only mistake is to engage in discussion with the anti-semites and hatemongers. Zealots don't respond to reason, they only seek evidence to support their bias. Stay strong...
Roy, I immensely enjoyed your blog - until this post.
Whether Wims decisions was justified or not I have my opinion, but I might be wrong. But anyway:
Wims letter has more profesisonalism than this blog entry, and many war crimes would have been avoided if more companies showed the "unprofessionalism" of U2U.