Eretz Israel is our unforgettable historic homeland...The Jews who will it shall achieve their State...And whatever we attempt there for our own benefit will redound mightily and beneficially to the good of all mankind. (Theodor Herzl, DerJudenstaat, 1896)

We offer peace and amity to all the neighbouring states and their peoples, and invite them to cooperate with the independent Jewish nation for the common good of all. The State of Israel is ready to contribute its full share to the peaceful progress and development of the Middle East.
(From Proclamation of the State of Israel, 5 Iyar 5708; 14 May 1948)

With a liberal democratic political system operating under the rule of law, a flourishing market economy producing technological innovation to the benefit of the wider world, and a population as educated and cultured as anywhere in Europe or North America, Israel is a normal Western country with a right to be treated as such in the community of nations.... For the global jihad, Israel may be the first objective. But it will not be the last. (Friends of Israel Initiative)

Friday, 4 May 2012

"Produce Of Turkey": The Co-op, The Boycott, & Double Standards

Under pressure from the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Britain’s fifth biggest food retailer, The Co-operative Group (Co-op), which has boycotted Israeli produce from the West Bank goods since 2009, has now widened that policy with the announcement that it will "no longer engage with any supplier of produce known to be sourcing from the Israeli settlements".

It's thought to be the first supermarket chain in Europe to implement such a policy.

Declares the anti-boycott Fair Play Campaign Group:

'The Co-op’s decision to reformulate its policy on settlement goods to include a boycott of four Israeli companies is naïve and a retrograde step.

    This extension is significantly less than the full boycott of Israel sought by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign. However, the Co-op has not fully understood the Jewish community’s serious concerns with an ever-increasing slippery-slope boycott policy.'

The Group also points to the double standards involved:

    'Despite the Co-op’s claims that they are applying their policy even-handed, goods from Occupied Northern Cyprus, for example, may still be sold in Co-ops and labelled as “produce of Turkey”.

    The Co-op claims that it may buy more produce from other Israeli companies in place of these four.  This remains to be seen, and we will monitor the outcome closely.'
  [My emphasis]

Crows the Boycott Israel Network (BIN) via agricultural trade campaign coordinator Hilary Smith:
"We welcome this important decision by the Co-op to take steps toward fully realising their policy of support for human rights and ethical trading.  The Co-op has taken the lead internationally in this historic decision to hold corporations to account for complicity in Israel’s violations of Palestinian human rights.  We strongly urge other retailers to follow suit and take similar action."
As the Jewish Chronicle discloses, despite the fact that the Co-op’s decision will ostensibly immediately impact on four suppliers of Israeli fruit, vegetables and herbs (Agrexco, Adafresh, Arava Export Growers,and Mehadrin), it will in fact make no difference to the latter two, since they were not in fact contracted to sell produce to the Co-op.

But, as a spokesman for Mehadrin added:
"We have many Arab workers with us in the fields and packing houses. There are families who have been with us for many years. Any attempt to harm us harms the Palestinians, too."
Such is the mischievous, malign influence of the PSC that at four regional meetings of Co-op members  to be held on the 12th and 13th of this month, motions backing a full boycott of all Israeli products are still expected to be tabled.

I suggest that, should those motions be passed, supporters of Israel withdraw their custom from the Co-op and shop at Tesco, Morrisons, or one of the other British supermarket chains.  They're a lot cheaper than the Co-op, to boot.

As in the old days, when, linked to the Labour movement, it was a boon to cash-strapped households, the Co-op still pays out "divi" to customers who are members.

But these days that return comes at a rather extortionate price.  Compare  the prices at the Co-op with those at Morrisons, for instance, and you'll see what I mean. 

An anti-Israel activist causing havoc in a Tesco store
No wonder, given the price discrepancies on identical or similar products,that  in areas where there are other supermarkets in close proximity to the Co-op outlets, the competitors tend to be far more crowded at any given time of day.

And if the Co-op implements a full-on boycott, no amount of "divi" should induce supporters of Israel to continue shopping at the chain!

After all, there's a mint to be saved by switching to a certain el cheapo no frills German-owned chain.

Yep, if the Co-op boycotts Israel, it might be time to show a Lidl love.

Maybe that time has come already...


  1. I don't get it. Why wait for a full boycott to tell this racist filth where they can shove their supermarket chain? I hate telling other people what they should do in their country, but really, why aren't British Jews and Israel supporters organising picket lines outside these stores?

    1. Anglo-Jewry doesn't like to make too many waves, it seems, especially in public.
      Anglo-Jewry needs an Isi Leibler, that's for sure.

  2. Daphne,

    I, too, intend to add you to my blogroll.

    Keep up the excellent work.


    Israel Thrives

  3. Being an ex-Anglo Jew, I can tell you Geoff.

    British Jews are pathetic wimps in the main

  4. I'm not Jewish, but I am very pro-Israel, and I wish Anglo Jewry would give a little leadership to people like me. To be fair, they do up to a point--the British Israel Coalition, for instance, does good work. I have a Co-op card which I will now take great pleasure in not using! Tesco is my usual store anyway.

  5. Sally, couldn't agree more. I'm also not Jewish, but will be boycotting the Co-op. I shopped there regularly for years, and my wife and I have bank accounts with the Co-op as well - we will be cancelling these, and telling the Co-op why we're doing so. It is sad that British Jews still think the softly softly approach works - they should be expressing outrage, and the Co-op needs to hear our anger.

    Where is Jewish leadership in the UK?

  6. Some updates (new correspondence) on the Co Op boycott:


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