Eretz Yisrael Time

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Thursday, May 25, 2006
This has been done to death already and I saw it coming, but the wife is upset so I have to write about it.

We were in a Home Center today and the wife picked out something she liked and went to find out how much it would cost to ship to our town.

As I already knew the pending response I wasn’t surprised by the “we don’t ship to the territories!”

The wife though, she wasn’t ready for that answer.

“You’ll ship stuff over an hour away to the middle of nowhere, but 3 minutes down the road from you is off limits!” she started off (loudly).

(She was referring to the secular settlement of Har Gilo (not where we live) which is 3 minutes from the Home Center in Malcha Mall (not where we were at), but alas it is over the imaginary Green Line so they won’t ship there).

Anyway, needless to say, we no longer buy at Home Center. I really hope Ace has what she wants, but more importantly that they deliver.

But isn’t it incredible how self-immolating Israelis can be at times, isn’t it?


JoeSettler said...

But isn’t it incredible how self-immolating Israelis can be at times, isn’t it?

I'm referring to the store owners, not the wife.

hashfanatic said...

Do they deliver to other foreign entities?

JoeSettler said...

Talk about self-hatred and look what pops up.

chardal said...

They also force their employees to work on Shabbat.

hashfanatic said...

No, I'm serious.

As a business, what is it exactly that you expect them to do?

What effect would delivering to that area have on the cost of every single item sold to every working Israeli within the state?

Yeah, there's a route every deliveryman will clamor for!

JoeSettler said...

If you're serious I will answer you.

I'll use Gush Etzion as an easy example.

I believe that Gush Etzion consists of approximately 25,000 Israeli citizens. (I could be wrong here)

Two of the Home Center branches (Talpiyot and Malcha) are physically located within 2 minutes of the Green line and thus 2 minutes from Gush Etzion.

The closest community is Har Gilo which is literally 3 minutes from the Malcha Mall. The next closest community is Efrat is around 10 minutes from both Talpiyot and Malcha.

Efrat alone is home to 9000 consumers (around 1500 families).

I assume that is a big enough market to make it worthwhile.
Nearly every single Talpiyot store that delivers major items, delivers them to Gush Etzion - Gush buyers are among their largest consumers.

But let’s compare travel times within Jerusalem (where the Home Center chain has no problem shipping to).

To go from either Talpiyot or Malcha to let’s say the Mercaz Hair, travel time on average won’t be less than 20 minutes (not including looking for parking). To go from either one to Ramat Eshkol - 25 minutes. Tzur Haddasah – 30 minutes easy. I won't even mention French Hill (mostly because I was on the bridge when a bomb blew up under it).

But your question is moot. It doesn’t cost Home Center more to ship to the Gush because the customer pays for the shipping!!! (And Gush customers are used to paying slightly higher shipping prices for no reason at all).

Plenty of drivers love the Gush Etzion route because they get to charge a little more, despite that it is easy highway driving.

On the other hand I would even assume it probably raises prices slightly for other Home Center customers as there are some 300,000 (or something like that) potential settler consumers that won’t buy there because of Home Center’s political ideology.

JoeSettler said...

Chardal: Then that's 2 more reasons not to buy from them, for both the religious and social aspects of forcing them to work on Shabbos.

hashfanatic said...

Yeah, but look at the long run.

The management may be thinking long-range. Settlers purchase less home-improvement materials per capita then Israelis, by virtue of the fact that there are more people per square foot, and most things need only be bought once.

I'd imagine liability issues may crop up in relation to the drivers.

It's unlikely they're interested in cultivating customers within the territories just out of pragmatism. They probably figure the vast majority of settlers are likely not to be there within a fixed number of years, loath to waste money on improving properties they'll be forfeiting, and realizing that many of the families will end up living in homes substantially smaller than what they have now, and will require less (and that's if they choose to stay in Israel at all, under those conditions).

The Ace stores are different, because they are franchises. They made a conscious decision to commit to serving communities, most likely because it dovetailed neatly with their corporate mission statement and some of their personal ideologies (and could be kept, without fanfare, in a seperate shell from the rest of their business).

Except possibly for supermarkets, I believe that the Israeli business community largely regards segments of the haredi market to be dead in the water, regardless of demographic trends.

Anonymous said...

They won't even ship to post-67 Jerusalem neighborhoods like French Hill.

JoeSettler said...

I’d love to know what you’re smoking to come up with logic like that.

Since Talpiyot is the shopping center for Gush residents I think repeat business is quite likely.

I imagine that we ‘settlers’ have quite the same buying habits as other private home owners with regard to volume and recurrence. As most of the Gush is private homes with gardens, that is actually their biggest potential Jerusalem market for all their garden care supplies, furniture, and products and services.

Trust me, as a Settler, I and all us other Settlers definitely invest money in improving our homes. We plan to be here for a very long time.

And I’m sure if a Settler had to move to a smaller house, he would need to buy even more stuff to replace the old stuff. That sounds like potential for repeat business to me.

If there was a question of liability with the drivers or the workers, then you pass the cost onto the settler public with higher rates with other delivery companies do already. And besides there are even drivers and workers from the settlements who aren’t afraid to travel the well lit and protected roads of the Gush.

It comes down to a political decision by the local owners who would rather forfeit profits than serve a public they despise.

Moze said...

And what about Office Depot? They won't even *mail* you your order of 2 ink cartridges and a ream of paper.

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Joe: Well, I just got a call from the US embassy in Tel Aviv, that my passports I ordered 3 weeks ago are ready, and they will be delivered to my settlement on Sunday. That's service!

Unfortunately, when ELAL lost my luggage 2 years ago on erev pesach, they refused to send it to me, and I had to pick it up at the machson. Jerks.

Jerusalemcop said...

What have you been smokin Hash?

Just because you live in a community that these stores dont discriminate aganst doesn't mean that you should support this discrimination. As Joe stated eloquently, these descisions are never solely politically based, they are finacially based and if many other stores in Talpiot deliver to the Gush area, it measn that even if the stores have to charge a bit more, its finacially viable for them to do so.

There are many solutions, the problem is that they wont say what the problem is.

If they want to claim that it isn't financially viable because they don't have enough work for 1 driver, 6 days a week, so only deliver to those areas twice a week.

It's always been said that the people who hates Jews the most are Jews themselves.

When I was in the police, they had a rule that police cars are not allowed to drive on the tunnel road without explicit permission from an officer. This was not due to any political reasons, it was just that most police cars weren't "rock" proof.

shabbat shalom


hashfanatic said...

Joe, your last statement is spot-on, and I may have been tap-dancing around coming right out and saying it.

The settlers ARE despised by the establishment. The fact that that particular outlet (I am not at all familiar with it, or the immediate area) only vexes them more, for, if it's indeed profitable, they probably CAN'T pull out from a business standpoint.

Yes, I realize you believe you'll be there for a long time, and wish to behave accordingly. This is absolutely your choice. What I'm saying is, in no way does the secular Israeli business establishment share your optimism on that, and they're not going to exert themselves to build up strong relationships with potential customers in a culture where that dynamic is rare at any rate.

They'll take your money in the short run, however. I'm sure you're not the only one on your side of the fence that feels that.

I'm not sure there is an answer to your problem (apart from supporting different supplies and paying whatever premium that involves).

hashfanatic said...

Jcop, I'm not saying it's right from a moral perspective. I'm simply pointing out that business people are business people all over.

If they are dependent on your business but don't like you at the same time, and have an opportunity (and a valid excuse, meaning liability issues and the like) to serve you in an unsupportive manner, well, that's just gravy to them!

For the time being, they have the upper hand (and the vast majority of Israeli customers do concur with this outlook, with an eye to the future).

Joe, you're right, I didn't take take the gardening stuff they sell (which adds up) into account.

JoeSettler said...

No, it is hardly the ‘Establishment’ that despises the Settlers. It is a minority group of hard core Leftists (I’m contemplating no longer using the adjective ‘radical’ before leftists as it is redundant).

And it is hardly just the Settlers that this group despises.

The franchise owner of McDonalds in Israel purposely opened up 2 McDonalds in Jerusalem that (besides obviously being not kosher) are open on Shabbat.

Unlike his competitors Burger King and Burger Ranch, his Jerusalem branches are never full. In fact they are almost always empty.

But he hates the religious so much (not conjecture, this is known about him) that he would rather keep these stores open and not kosher than gain the additional business (as they continue to bleed him financially).

It's certainly impossible to say that Israeli’s put money before everything. For some hate is #1.

Lucky for us, most Israeli business aren’t owned by Leftists or at least don’t feel that way. Personally I can buy at Ace, the smaller independant stores, and even Ikea has shipping to over the Green line.

Anonymous said...

hashfanatic above makes an implicit distinction between "settlers" and "Israelis". (Or, I might say, between "post-'67 settlers" and "post-'48 settlers".) Did he/she/it really mean to imply that the "settlers" are not also Israelis? Anyone care to remark upon this?

-- MAOZ (Settler of Yerushalayim 'Ir HaKodesh)

hashfanatic said...

Joe, do you believe that most secular Israelis identify with the term "leftist"?

JoeSettler said...

Absolutely not.

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