Thursday, May 3, 2012

CO-OP EXTENDS BOYCOTT POLICY


You may already have seen the distressing news that the Co-Operative Group has extended its boycott policy from settlement goods to all produce from four Israeli companies (Agrexco, Arava Export Growers, Adafresh and Mehadrin) that source from the settlements.

The Fair Play Campaign Group, which co-ordinates UK anti-boycott work, has issued this statement:
“The Co-op’s decision to reformulate its policy on settlement goods to include a boycott of four Israeli companies is na├»ve and a retrograde step.

This extension is significantly less than the full boycott of Israel sought by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign. However, the Co-op has not fully understood the Jewish community’s serious concerns with an ever-increasing slippery-slope boycott policy.

Despite the Co-op’s claims that they are applying their policy even-handed, goods from Occupied Northern Cyprus, for example, may still be sold in Co-ops and labelled as “produce of Turkey”.
The Co-op claims that it may buy more produce from other Israeli companies in place of these four. This remains to be seen, and we will monitor the outcome closely.”

We need to ensure that the Co-Op Group understands that people have serious concerns about this move.

If you want to express your disquiet, please write to the members of the Co-Op Group Board representing your region. Their names are here

. The postal and email addresses for contacting them are here.

If the Co-Op’s policy is going to affect your willingness to shop there, you should say this in your correspondence, so they know their policy will have an adverse commercial impact.

To shift their policy in the long-term we also need people to join the Co-Op and engage in its democratic structures as it is a membership-based organisation. You can join online here

 for only £1.
Your complaints re. the policy will carry more weight if you are a member.

If you do join, please let me know, as we want to have a presence at upcoming regional meetings to both express our concerns about the Group Board’s policy, and to vote against any more extreme positions that are put forward by members.

With thank to ‘We Believe in Israel.’