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|
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...