Sunday, July 19, 2009

Anti-Israel Group Boycotts Trader Joe’s

Last month there was a call for a boycott of Israeli products sold at Trader Joe's.

Members of the boycott group were asked to hand out anti-Israel leaflets in front of Trader Joe's stores across the United States.
Kate Raphael, one of the organizers of the event, said she joined approximately 20 others as they marched into a Trader Joe’s store in Oakland, Calif., passing out hundreds of leaflets, which condemned Israel’s actions. Protesters removed Israeli products from the shelves in order to show customers which products they should not buy. They also met with the store managers and asked them to notify their headquarters that they no longer wanted to carry Israeli herbs, couscous and cheese. Similar actions were held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Seattle, Washington; and Sacramento, California. The activists were inspired by campaigns to de-shelve Israeli products in Wales and France.
The Los Angeles Jewish Journal reported that the demonstrations failed to take place, and that Israel supporters visited the stores and insisted on buying Israeli products.

But more important than what actually happened is the attitude of management at Trader Joe's.
Alison Mochizuki, a spokesperson for Trader Joe’s more than 300 stores, reiterated the privately owned chain’s stance.

“Trader Joe’s will not be used as a political tool, and we will not remove any products under pressure from any group. We believe our customers are smart and capable enough to make their own choices,” she said.

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