Board plots ‘buy­cott’ to beat the boy­cott

The Jewish Chronicle - - News - BY LEON SY­MONS

IT IS the buy­cott ver­sus the boy­cott — and it starts a week to­day.

The “buy­cott” is a call to Jews all over the coun­try to buy as many Is­raeli prod­ucts as they can.

The ini­tia­tive has come from the Board of Deputies and the anti-boy­cott Fair Play Cam­paign to thwart a planned anti-Is­rael boy­cott against two ma­jor su­per­mar­ket chains by the Pales­tine Sol­i­dar­ity Cam­paign.

The PSC has asked its fol­low­ers to boy­cott Waitrose and Mor­risons be­tween Novem­ber 7 and 15 af­ter it claimed that the firms had re­fused to dis­cuss the is­sue of pro­duce from West Bank set­tle­ments which they might stock.

In an email, the PSC called on its sup­port­ers to “del­uge Mor­risons and Waitrose with phone calls on Novem­ber 11”, as well as or­gan­is­ing demon­stra­tions, writ­ing let­ters and set­ting up leaflet stalls out­side branches.

It stated that its action was given “added im­pe­tus” by the “ex­cel­lent mo­tion passed by the Trades Union Congress”, which agreed for the first time in Septem­ber to a par­tial boy­cott of Is­rael goods.

In re­sponse, the Board and the Fair Play cam­paign have sent a flyer to all deputies, syn­a­gogues, schools, uni­ver­si­ties and com­mu­nal or­gan­i­sa­tions across Bri­tain, call­ing on peo­ple to make sure that they buy as many Is­raeli prod­ucts as they can from Waitrose and Mor­risons dur­ing the same week.

A spokesman for the Fair Play Cam­paign Group said: “Fair Play is run­ning this cam­paign to en­cour­age friends of Is­rael to stand up to the boy­cotters, and sup­port those su­per­mar­kets who refuse to give in to anti-Is­rael in­tim­ida- tion.The PSC is try­ing to pre­tend that the TUC’s mo­tion has in­spired them, when in truth it was they who in­sti­gated and cam­paigned for the TUC mo­tion in the first place.”

Waitrose, which is owned by the John Lewis Part­ner­ship, said it was aware of the PSC’s threat­ened ac­tions.

The store said: “We source a small se­lec­tion of herbs from the West Bank area, grown on two Is­raeli-man­aged farms, on which a Pales­tinian and Is­raeli work­force have worked side by side for many years.

“We are not mo­ti­vated by pol­i­tics. Our pol­icy is to en­sure high stan­dards of farm­ing and worker wel­fare on the farms from which we source.”

It said its buy­ers had vis­ited the farms to make sure they met Waitrose’s high stan­dards and were au­dited ev­ery six months.

Mor­risons was un­able to com­ment.

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