So here I am, sitting in my home office and staring at a bottle of Glenlivet. This is not because I wish to drink on the job. On the contrary, I drink more than a little wine with dinner and I wake up with a headache appropriate to a much more wild night of debauchery. But my husband is a whiskey man, and it is especially enjoyable for him to buy said whiskey in the duty-free shop during a trip abroad. The bottles are so big! And so cheap! And also big! So we’ve amassed quite a collection of large bottles of whiskey.
But now I am wondering if I should take this Glenlivet, march into my bathroom, flush it down the toilet, and then sing HaTikvah. Right now, this may be the most patriotic thing I can do for my country. As I found out via my trusty news source, Facebook, the Federation of Jewish Men’s Clubs—the Big Daddy of Kiddush clubs—proposed a boycott of Scotch from certain distillers in Scotland. The local council in this particular region instituted a boycott of Israeli goods, following what they considered to be the IDF’s “disproportionate use of force” against Palestinians in Gaza during Operation Cast Lead in December 2008.
The FJMC boasts more than 250 affiliated clubs with more than 20,000 members across North America. That, my friends, is a LOT of whiskey. I am proud that these guys decided to fight the unjustified boycott of Israeli goods. West Durbanshire, it is ON! After all, in the pithy words of my five-year-old, “You started it.”
I wholeheartedly applaud this boycott. You gotta stand up for your people. We’re not going to sit idly by, sipping our whiskey, while the people of West Durbanshire refuse to buy our goods. We will fight back! Your whiskey is dead to us! Even Chivas Regal! (I know that’s a good one, because I recall once when we sponsored a Kiddush at our synagogue, we were specifically requested to bring one of these whiskeys and not—the scorn could practically be felt vibrating off the page—Canadian blended.)
But now I wonder what to do with my half-empty bottle of Glenlivet. (And yes, I promise it was half-empty before I started writing.)
1. Drink it, ‘cuz you know, I already bought it, and it would be such a waste….?
2. Dress up like an American Indian and throw my whiskey into the nearest harbor? (Hmmm….something might have gotten lost in translation, there.)
3. Dump it into my plants? (Though I hear peonies get super rowdy when they’re liquored up.)
Now, I know these liquors are considered premium and people invest considerable money into purchasing them to enhance their weekly Kiddush. The thought of getting rid of them may cause not a small amount of anguish. And you know, we bought them before this whole Israeli boycott thing, so…
But despite the loss of investment that may be painful, I think solidarity should rule the day. Whether you’re having a few friends over for Shabbat lunch or sponsoring Kiddush for your entire congregation, leave the Chivas, Glenlivet and Ballantine in the closet. Even the ones you purchased pre-boycott. They have no place at my table, and I hope that they have no place at yours, either. There are plenty of other whiskeys out there! Though not, of course, Canadian blended. Standards, people!