Anger as M&S serves Syria but not Is­rael

The Jewish Chronicle - - News - BY MAR­CUS DYSCH

MARKS & Spencer has been crit­i­cised for ex­clud­ing Is­rael from its on­line in­ter­na­tional de­liv­ery scheme, de­spite the ser­vice be­ing on of­fer to shop­pers in Libya, Syria and Le­banon.

The com­pany has re­ceived com­plaints from dis­ap­pointed Is­raelis, but this week de­clined to ex­plain its rea­sons for not de­liv­er­ing to the Jewish state.

Ear­lier this month, M&S ex­panded its on­line de­liv­ery ser­vice to cover 80 coun­tries, of­fer­ing mil­lions of Bri­tish ex­pa­tri­ates and over­seas cus­tomers the chance to or­der from abroad.

Among the Mid­dle East coun­tries in­cluded are Egypt, Jor­dan, Saudi Ara­bia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emi­rates. The com­pany’s web­site boasts that the ser­vice is avail­able “from Al­ba­nia to Viet­nam”.

An M&S spokesman de­clined to com­ment on whether items pro­duced in Is­rael, such as chil­drenswear, lin­gerie and menswear, are be­ing sold to cus­tomers in coun­tries which do not have diplo­matic re­la­tions with Is­rael, be­sides not be­ing sold back to the Is­raeli mar­ket.

He said: “Marks & Spencer does not de­liver to ev­ery coun­try in the world. Is­rael is cur­rently one of the coun­tries we do not de­liver to. In­ter­na­tional de­liv­ery is a new and grow­ing part of our busi­ness and we will con­tinue to re­view new lo­ca­tions and mar­kets.”

M&S cus­tomer Sharon Faith had hoped to buy two dresses on the web­site, to be de­liv­ered to her home in Ne­tanya.

She said: “I have emailed them four times for an ex­pla­na­tion and have been given the an­swer, with in­creas­ing ir­ri­ta­tion on their part, ‘keep watch­ing our web­site’. If they are re­fus­ing to post to Is­rael they should at least say so.

“If M&S is op­er­at­ing a boy­cott pol­icy then the Jewish com­mu­nity should be aware of it. I don’t be­lieve there can be any bona fide rea­son for not post­ing items to Is­rael, which I am sure has more ex­pats, a bet­ter postal ser­vice, and a higher GDP than some coun­tries they do de­liver to, such as Syria.”

The com­pany has had his­tor­i­cally strong links with Is­rael and was last year thought to be looking at lo­ca­tions in Haifa, Ra’anana and Jerusalem to launch six stores.

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