TV pictures failed to sway opinion
Kellner added: “Even among those who think that Israel has acted too harshly, just 24 per cent think sanctions would work. Sixty-two per cent think either that sanctions would make no difference or that Israel would harden its line [in the event of their being applied].”
Despite the YouGov findings, talk of boycotts has continued to appear in a variety of different places.
Food writer and author Joanna Blythman, writing on the Guardian’s “Comment Is Free” website on Friday, called for a total boycott of Israeli produce. She wrote: “By refusing to buy Israeli produce, ethically-minded consumers can be part of the wider Boycott Israeli Goods campaign (BIG) and add to the international condemnation of Israel’s tactics in Palestine.”
Replying on Wednesday on the same website, Seth Freedman wrote: “Is she really prepared to forgo not just the avocados and oranges about which she writes, but also every single medical and technological device that is manufactured in Israel and can be found in houses, hospitals and communities the length and breadth of the world?
“And is she really advocating a total boycott of all Israelis, regardless of what they do to earn their keep … what about the Israeli search-and-rescue teams who are sent around the globe to assist in disaster zones where the local governments lack the resources or skills to help themselves?”
Last week, with the exception of one abstention, Oxford City Council voted in favour of a motion condemning Israel’s “disproportionate” response in Gaza and calling for a boycott of Israeli products and companies.
The motion, proposed by the Green Party’s Craig Simmons, did not refer to Hamas. Labour councillor John Tanner, who seconded the motion, said the council occasionally debated international issues. The last time was the Iraq war, when it voted against Britain’s participation.
Asked why Hamas was not mentioned, he replied: “Of course the [Ha- mas] rockets are a problem but not on the scale of destruction in Gaza, which was disproportionate. During the debate, I recalled the IRA bombing of civilians in Birmingham. We didn’t send in the RAF, we dealt successfully with the IRA violence.”
In Ireland, the Palestine Solidarity Campaign is trying to raise money for a full page advertisement in the Irish Times which will call on the Irish government to cease buying Israeli arms and for a boycott on Israeli goods and produce. The German-owned Lidl supermarket chain has put a notice on its website stating that it has not made any donations to Israel.
Lidl PR manager Marco Ivone said the notice had been posted in response to allegations on international websites during the Gaza incursion claiming that both Lidl and Aldi, another German supermarket chain, gave money to Israel. “We have no idea why or where these claims came from but they are simply not true,” said Mr Ivone.
The number of reported antisemitic incidents in Britain has risen to more than 250, the Community Security Trust said this week.