Petition against Co-op over its settlement boycott gets 5,000 signatures
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Petition against Co-op over its settlement boycott gets 5,000 signatures

Pro-Israel activists in campaign launched by We Believe in Israel, urge the chain to 'drop this discriminatory and unjustifiable boycott'

Pro Israel activists demonstrate outside the Co-Operative in Hampstead Garden Suburb
Pro Israel activists demonstrate outside the Co-Operative in Hampstead Garden Suburb

The pro-Israel grassroots group behind a petition against the Co-op for its boycott of goods from West Bank settlements say it has received more than 5,000 signatures.

The petition from We Believe in Israel calls for Co-op Food, part of the Co-operative Group, to “drop this discriminatory and unjustifiable boycott of Israeli companies”.

It follows a protest by Jewish community members last month outside the group’s new Hampstead Garden Suburb store.

The Co-op said it did not source goods from areas “where there is a broad international consensus that the status of a designated region or state is illegal”. It said Israeli settlements in the West Bank were included.

However, it denied that it boycotted “Israeli companies,” saying it sourced avocados, figs, pomegranates and mangos from Israel when the supplier did not source the produce from the settlements.

The petitioners said they “deplore the Co-op Group’s discrimination against Israeli suppliers,” adding: “Egregious human rights abuses by dictatorships around the world do not trigger a boycott under the Group’s Human Rights and Trade policy”.

Arguing that Israel was being “singled out” for boycotts, they said: “Boycotting Israeli companies in this way has not had any positive impact on advancing peace. The major impact has been to alienate from the Co-op Group a large section of the Jewish Community and other customers in the UK who are sympathetic to Israel.”

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