December 14, 2006, - 12:44 pm
Brownshirts Cover Their Asses: UPS Backtracks on Israel Delivery Policy B/C of Schlussel Site; Ends Package Delivery Apartheid
By Debbie Schlussel
**** UPDATE: More at Boycott Watch, which confirms UPS’ Package Apartheid policy and credits this site for exposing and ending it. ****
On Tuesday, I posted this item about how UPS–the United Parcel Service a/k/a the “Ummah Parcel Service”–refuses to deliver to Jewish settlements in the West Bank. I sent the statement to my friend, best-selling, Israel-based novelist Noami Ragen, who sent it out to her list. Readers of both this site and Naomi’s missives called UPS, and now UPS is backtracking.
Still, the company is lying, demonstrating that you cannot trust the Brownshirts, especially when they are trying to cover their very exposed rears. UPS told a million different stories about what their policy in Israel is and why, and the story kept changing.
First, UPS confirmed to one news source that, in fact, the company does NOT deliver to those areas, but only–UPS claimed–for economic reasons, not for the political or “security” reasons that were communicated to me by UPS personnel. Hard to explain why it is so economical to deliver to Palestinian areas of the West Bank, but not Jewish ones.
Then, UPS changed its tune and claimed that it has always delivered to all areas of the West Bank and that UPS Customer Service Reps–whom I called 7 times over the last 2.5 days and who read me the same official UPS statement each of those 7 times–were giving customers “incorrect” information. Well, how the heck did each of those Customer Svc. Reps each utter the exact statement about Jewish settlements which also included the names Negev and Golan Heights (these CSRs couldn’t even pronounce the names and have no idea where these places are), if it was “incorrect information”? I’ll tell you how: It was the OFFICIAL STATEMENT OF THE UNITED PARCEL SERVICE, from which the company is now backtracking, because it has angered my readers and Naomis, as well as Israel supporters and Jews all over the world. Here is the statement I was read 7 times:
UPS service is provided to and from most addresses within Israel and the Palestine [sic] Authority area, except for Jewish settlements in the West Bank, a few remote areas in the Golan Heights, and the Southern Negev desert.
Plain and simple, I and reader Ruth G. (who alerted me to the problem in the first place) caught UPS with its pants down, and now Brown is trying to cover its ass. Regardless, we’re glad UPS is changing its tune and policy, even if it is lying about what that tune and policy were before it got caught. Blogs do have results. And in this case, you–the readers of this site–helped me to stop UPS’ Package Delivery Apartheid. Give yourselves a pat on the back.
And check out UPS’ latest story/excuse–an official statement released late yesterday by the company:
UPS offers worldwide express service to and from Israel to both residential and business addresses and a domestic service within Israel through its authorized service contractor, O.P.S.I. International Handling Limited. Regrettably, information provided recently by UPS customer service representatives regarding UPS’s service territory in Israel was incorrect, but this is currently being addressed. [DS Translation: We got caught with our pants down, but now we're covering our butts.]
Through O.P.S.I., UPS covers 99% of the population in Israel outside the West Bank except for a few remote areas in the Golan Heights and the Negev Desert, where it would be cost prohibitive to provide service. Only remote areas in the West Bank with very low population density are not covered – on both the Israeli and Palestinian sides.
In the West Bank, UPS’s service reaches over 80% of the population and covers approximately 60% of the territory, including the Gush EtZion area. UPS’s overall coverage area is on par with or even better than our competitors. All packages coming from abroad are delivered into all areas of Yehuda and Shomron, including Gush EtZion. Customers residing in this area do not have to go to Jerusalem to pick up their shipments.
UPS does not tolerate any type of discrimination and would not associate with any parties who do not embrace UPS’s concern for fairness and equality.
Again, dear readers, thank you for contacting UPS to help end the company’s Package Delivery Apartheid in Israel. We will be watching the company closely to make sure it does not revert to the policy it had on Monday of not delivering to Jewish settlements, but delivering to Palestinian areas.
Why did UPS have this policy in the first place? Politics. Although I could not confirm this, I’m told Saudis are significant shareholders in UPS. Whether or not that is true, UPS does business in all of the Arab Muslim countries who enforce the boycott against Israel and force companies that do business there to abide the boycott. So maybe this was UPS’ version of a compromise boycott. Who knows?
What’s important is that we got them to change, even if it petends it did not. And we’ll continue to make a difference.
Tags: authorized service contractor, Debbie Schlussel, Golan Heights, Israel, Jerusalem, Negev, Negev Desert, Noami Ragen, novelist, official, P.S.I. International Handling Limited, Palestine, Southern Negev desert, Ummah Parcel Service, United Parcel Service, West Bank