Co-op Boycott Israeli Goods

Posted: May 2, 2012 in Palestine, UK

The Co-operative Group stresses that its move is not an Israeli boycott and that it will use other suppliers in the country that do not source from illegal settlements.

The Co-operative Group has become the first major European supermarket group to end trade with companies that export produce from illegal Israeli settlements. In a statement Britain’s fifth largest supermarket chain said “Following an audit of the Group’s supply chain, it will no longer do business with four companies, accounting for £350,000 worth of sales, as there is evidence that they source from the Israeli settlements in the Palestinian occupied territories, the Group will also continue to actively work to increase trade links with Palestinian businesses in the occupied territories.”

Welcoming the supermarket chain’s move, Palestinian human rights campaigners said it was the first time a supermarket anywhere in the west had taken such a position. Hilary Smith, Co-op member and Boycott Israel Network (BIN) agricultural trade campaign coordinator, said the Co-op “has taken the lead internationally in this historic decision to hold corporations to account for complicity in Israel’s violations of Palestinian human rights. We strongly urge other retailers to take similar action.”

A spokesperson for the Palestinian Union of Agricultural Work Committees, which works to improve the conditions of Palestinian agricultural communities, said: “Israeli agricultural export companies like Mehadrin profit from and are directly involved in the ongoing colonisation of occupied Palestinian land and theft of our water. Trade with such companies constitutes a major form of support for Israel’s apartheid regime over the Palestinian people, so we warmly welcome this principled decision by the Co-operative. The movement for boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel until it complies with international law is proving to be a truly effective form of action in support of Palestinian rights.”

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s