Tuesday 29 July 2014

Boycotting Israeli Products: a Moral Imperative?

In response to Greg Manahan’s photo (above; © aforesaid) on facebook yesterday, I posted the following update:

Irish Tesco ONLY as far as I know - but it's a start. Perhaps Waitrose & Abel & Cole you two could also follow suit, please?

I boycott Israeli products in the same way that I have been boycotting Australian goods for the way they treat those who are not "one of them". Waitrose by economically supporting the Isreali state is culpable of supporting potential acts of genocide and at the very least war crimes. But then so is UK which is more than happy to sell arms or products that can be used against people to Israel. It is very difficult too to boycott because some products that say Israel are actually made/produced in occupied land and others in the defined State of Israel. Quakers have produced guidance as we wish to avoid purchasing products from these illegally occupied Palestinian/Syrian territories: http://www.quaker.org.uk/settlement-produce. We support the right of Israel to exist; but not Israeli war crimes and occupation.

I heard nothing from Waitrose about my concerns; so I thought I would peruse what facebookers had been writing on the supermarket's eponymous page. This from 27th July at 16.04:

Waitrose will always grow produce in Britain where possible - we will only source from overseas if we can't get the right quality in this country or if it is out of the British season.
Our sourcing decisions aren't politically motivated. Instead our priority is to make sure our food is fully traceable, and produced with the highest standards of worker and animal welfare and respect for the environment. We clearly label all produce so that customers can act on their own beliefs.
Any Israeli Waitrose produce comes from internationally recognised (pre-1967) borders. We know this because we have absolute traceability for all our food and we only source from known farms.

In response, I submitted the following comment

Good to know you are in line with Quaker guidance: http://www.quaker.org.uk/settlement-produce. However, I buy mainly organic and at times your produce comes from Israel when there is perfectly tasty produce available in Spain. I know because Abel & Cole or Riverford manage to source. There may be alternatives to purchasing from Israel and thus by-passing Israel. You could always try to seek out Jewish farmers elsewhere, so that you cannot be tarnished with the anti-semitic brush. %)

That was some eight hours ago, but again Waitrose have not as yet responded.


For years now the Israeli state has badly treated Arabs residing within its boundaries as well as committing heinous acts against Palestinians, this is despite many Jews both in Israel and within the wider diaspora vociferously objecting to this renegade state's behaviours. In the UK, the US, France, and so on, none of our countries can take a stand because they are similarly guilty of dreadful misdeeds, warmongering and profiteering on the backs of misery and death. It is for this reason that we as citizens must take the moral stand and hit states where it hurts - economically. I ask you to now boycott Israeli produce and services. Write to your MP, your MEP (as Europe gives Israel lots of economic benefits) and the main-stream media: let them all know how much you actually care.

Israel will only be at peace when it learns to love its neighbours.

My prayers!

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