AN ISRAELI-OWNED cosmetics store in London was targeted by pro-Palestinian activists in a protest timed to coincide with Yom Kippur.
Around 20 supporters of the London Palestine Action group entered the Sabon UK shop, in Covent Garden, on Tuesday evening last week, as the fast began.
The manager of the store, which stocks luxury skincare products and fragrances that contain minerals from the Dead Sea, said the protestors arrived at around 6pm, put up anti-Israel leaflets and attempted to steal stock.
She said: “They came in and put signs up on the inside of our windows. They
The protesters at the Sabon store brought out cardboard boxes and tried to put our stuff in the boxes and walk out with our products.”
She said the police knew about the protest in advance. “Two police officers took the protesters out of the shop and then more officers were called in,” she said.
“The officers took the boxes away from the protesters. By the end of the night, there were around 10 officers at the door of the store.”
She said there was one customer and two other saleswomen in the Neal Street shop when the protestors first entered. The store manager said they locked the shop after the protestors were removed, so “the customer could feel more secure inside. When she left, I opened the door again.”
In a tweet, a representative of the antiIsrael LPA group claimed: “Sabon profits from apartheid, so we shut it down.”
However, the manager confirmed that the shop stayed open until 8pm.
The Metropolitan Police confirmed that officers were aware of the protest in advance, and said “an appropriate policing plan was in place”. No arrests were made.
Sabon UK opened its first UK branch in London last October. At the time, there were fears that it could attract hostile activity from anti-Israel groups after the closure of fizzy-drinks store EcoStream in Brighton and the protests outside Kedem in Manchester, both Israeli-owned businesses.