Please promote the Boycott of Israeli & those Jewish Products made in Israel or made outside of Israel that directly or indirectly support Israel.
The easiest way to inform people in boycotting Israeli and those Jewish products made in Israel or made outside of Israel that directly or indirectly support Israel is by simply sending out an email to all you email contacts, tweeting, sharing facebook pages, post boycott information on forums and different blogs, send out text/SMS messages to people in your mobile phone book, call people and tell them.
Note: Jewish companies outside of Israel that do not support Israel by their produce, services or technology are not part of the Boycott. We, as people of humanity and justice, support Jews against Zionism (few examples below):
09/08/2014: Buycott App gets public to boycott Israeli produce See video below:
01/08/2014: Note: Israel Products have appeared on supermarket shelves (in the UK) with a bar code starting with 871 as well as 729. Although the bar code is a good identifier I’d strongly suggest reading the label on the product to find country of origin if unsure.
By buying products made by Israel & those Jewish companies who make products in Israel or outside of Israel and directly or indirectly support Israel, you are contributing to their economy hence supporting the massacre and genocide of innocent Palestinians, who are surrounded and are being attacked by Air, sea and land.
A bar code starting with “729” indicates that this product is produced in Israel 729 Israeli Bar Code Association – EAN Israel.This is a modest, simple and effective way to support Palestinian struggle against Israeli occupation and ethnic crimes against human beings. Sometimes brands are misleading, a bar code never lies if it carriesthat729
Below is a list of products that are made in Israel & those Jewish companies who make products in Israel or outside of Israel and directly or indirectly support Israel , the information was taken from a website www.boycottisraeligoods.org I will try keeping this list updated as I continue finding products. If anyone has more information then please comment with reference and I will update this post as soon as.
The boycott of Israeli products and companies supporting Israel is a peaceful means of putting international pressure on apartheid Israel and follows in the footsteps of the successful boycott against South African apartheid. Help end Palestinian suffering by boycotting Israel today!
The guilty companies (Boycott Israel card [front])
The guilty companies (Boycott Israel card [back])
Why are these companies on the boycott list?
Summary of how each company on the boycott list is supporting Israel:
Israels Keter Group is one of the world’s leading manufacturers and marketers of plastic consumer products. The Israeli plastics giant is privately owned by the Sagol family, and has a turnover of $1.1 billion, 90% of which is derived from overseas sales.
Its product range includes garden furniture, outdoor storage solutions and sheds, shelving systems and utility cabinets, tool boxes and storage products for the DIY market, household products, baby and toddler products.
Its brands, subsidiaries, and sister companies (all owned by the Sagol family) include ‘OutStanding Solutions’ (Keter garden storage), Lipski (plumbing accessories), Allibert (bathroom accessories), Curver (plastic home & food storage), Jardin (garden furniture), and Contico Europe (plastic storage boxes). Keter products are also sold under the Black & Decker, B&Q and Homebase brands.
Whilst the profits end up in Israel, not all the products are produced in Israel, for example Allibert has factories in France & Belgium, whilst Curver has factories in Poland & Hungary. Keter has 12 factories in Israel, 2 of which are in the illegal settlements.
Stanley toolboxes are also made in Israel by Israeli plastics company ZAG (90% owned by Stanley).
For more information see the Shopping Can Kill campaign.
FOOD & DRINK
The Straus Group is Israels second largest food company with a turnover $1.8 billion in 2010 and 13,500 employees operating twenty-five production sites in twenty-one countries around the world. Its brands in the USA include Sabra (hummus dips) and Max Brenner (chocolate cafes). Strauss Coffee is currently the fifth-largest coffee company in the world, dominating the central and eastern European markets (Doncafe) as well as Brazil.
The Strauss Group on its website, on the page on “Corporate Responsibility – Community Involvement” reveal their deep rooted support for the Israeli army, and in particular the infamous Golani platoon, known for its brutality, which the Strauss group has “adopted” for over 30 years.
In July 1998 Danone opened its R&D facility in Israel – the Danone Insitute, and later the same year in October 1998 Mr. Franck Riboud, on behalf of Danone received the Jubilee Award by the Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu.[Jubilee Award]
Danone owns a 20% share of Israel’s second largest food company, the Strauss Group. Danaone Israel is the hub supplying Danone products to the whole Middle-East including Turkey, Greece, Egypt and Jordan.
Israeli food company Tivall is one of the world’s leading suppliers of meat-substitute products. It has a turnover of $74 million and has 451 employees It has a manufacturing base at Kibbutz Lochamei Hagetaot in Northern Israel, and a new facility in the Czech Republic.
Tivall brand products can mainly be found in health food stores – their website mentions Holland & Barrett, Fresh & Wild, and Planet Organic. But most of their sales are through the supermarkets who rebrand Tivall products as part of their own frozen “Meat-free” range. This includes Tesco, Asda, Morrisons and Sainsbury’s. Morrisons also stocks Tivall brand Frankfurter. Waitrose online site Ocado sells a full range of Tivall products.
Osem is Israels 4th largest food & beverages company (by turnover) after Tnuva, Strauss and Coca-Cola. It has a turnover of $712 million and nearly 5000 employees with 14 factories in Israel.
Its brands include Beit Hashitah (pickles), Of Tov (frozen meat products), Habait (ready made cakes) and Sabra Salads (ready-made salads and spreads). Osem also owns 58% of meat-substitute manufacturer Tivall Foods.
According to Osem’s website its products are sold in Marks & Spencer, Tesco, Sainsbury and Morrison, with each store marketing them under their own label. Waitrose online site Ocado sells a range of Osem products from soups, crackers and croutons. Tesco online sells a range of Osem cakes.
In April 2009, Osem UK announced its acquisition of Yarden GB. Yarden GB’s product range includes chilled meats and Yarden wines from the Golan Heights Winery, located in Katzrin on the occupied Syrian Golan Heights. Golan Heights Winery exports 38% of all Israeli wines, its wine brands also include Gamla and Golan. According to Yarden GB’s website its products are available in Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury, Morrisons, Budgens, Somerfield, Waitrose and Harrods. Waitrose online site Ocado sells a range of Yarden meat and houmous products.
Nestlé is the world’s largest food company, it owns 53.8% share of leading Israeli food manufacturer Osem, an investment worth over $850 million.
In 1998, Mr. Peter Brabeck-Letmathe on behalf of Nestle, received the Jubilee Award by the Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu [Jubilee Award]. Following the award in June 2002 Nestle opened its Research & Development Centre in Israel, in Sderot. And since then it has steadily increased its investment in Israel, its initial 10% stake in Osem has now grown to a controlling 53.8%. Nestle also owns Nespresso Israel Ltd in Tel Aviv which supplies coffee brewing equipment. In 2010 Nestle acquired a 51% stake in Israeli babyfood company Materna Laboratories for $72 million.
Nestle has 9 factories in Israel, which after China(18) and Russia(11) is the highest number in any country in Asia – disproportionately high when one considers its size and population. And in May 2011, Nestle announced plans to build another factory in Israel, an ice cream plant worth $40 million.
Nestlé also owns 30% stake in L’Oréal, another company on the boycott list.
A detailed account of Coca-Cola’s links to Israel is provided here:
From 1966 Coca-Cola has been a staunch supporter of Israel. In 1997 the Government of Israel Economic Mission honored Coca-Cola at the Israel Trade Award Dinner for its continued support of Israel for the last 30 years and for refusing to abide by the Arab League boycott of Israel.
Every year Coca Cola bankrolls the American-Israel Chamber of Commerce Awards which honors companies that have contributed most to the Israeli economy. In 2009 a Coca-Cola sponsored award went to Israel’s Lobby AIPAC for its successful lobbying of the Senate to reject of the UN call for “immediate ceasefire” and endorse the continuation of the Israel military assault on Gaza.
In 2008 Coca-Cola tasked the Israeli venture capital Challenge Fund to locate suitable investments in Israel with a promise of “a blank cheque” . This agreement is exceptional in the Israeli venture capital industry.
In 2009 Coca-Cola hosted a special reception at the Coca-Cola world headquarters to honour Brigadier-General Ben-Eliezer. Ben-Eliezer is a wanted war criminal, during the Six-Day War his unit was responsible for the execution of over 300 Egyptian POWs. Under Sharon, Ben-Eliezer served as Defence Minister presiding over the massacre at Jenin.
For the past two decades, nearly every year, Coca-Cola has sponsored the JCC Maccabi Games whose stated aim is to cultivate Jewish youth in an informal setting to “encourage their identification with the state of Israel”. As part of this, Coca Cola has sponsored young children to visit Israeli military bases and spend time with war criminals in order to engender empathy, in their own words “visit an air force base.. talk with the pilots that are the elite Israel Defense Force units..meet fighters of the army.”.
Coca-Cola Israel, Israel’s third largest food & beverages company, owns dairy farms in the illegal Israeli settlements of Shadmot Mechola in the Jordan Valley and a plant in the industrial zone of Katzerin in the occupied Golan Heights.
Eden Springs is an Israeli water cooler company that in Israel steals water from the Salukia spring in the the illegally occupied Syrian Golan Heights. This is in violation of UN resolution 242 and Article 55 of the Hague Regulations which specify that you cannot acquire territory by war and that you cannot plunder the natural resources of occupied territory. To clarify, the water in Eden Springs Coolers found in the UK is sourced locally, but the profits go back to Israel to finance its illegal activities.
SodaStream is an Israeli company manufacturing and distributing home carbonating devices and flavorings for soft drinks. The company’s main plant is located in the industrial zone of Mishor Edomim which is an illegal Israeli settlement in the West Bank. Kav LaOved, the NGO committed to protecting the rights of disadvantaged workers in Israeli companies, has reported that SodaStream factory workers, in particular Palestinians, are paid less than half the minimum wage and has described the working conditions in the factory as “one of the worst”, with workers being fired if they complain of the conditions.
SodaStream brands include: SodaStream, Soda-Club, AlcoJet, Sprudelino, Aquabar, Gazoz, Aquafizz, Aquabubbler, Penguin, Sodamaker, Fountain Jet and Edition1. Its products are available in Argos, Asda, Comets, Currys, Harvey Nichols, Homebase, John Lewis, Robert Dyas, Selfridges and House of Fraser.
Howard Schultz, the founder, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Starbucks who also owns 31.6 million shares of Starbucks stock (worth around $1.4 billion in Nov 2011) is an active zionist.
In 1998 he was honoured by the Jerusalem Fund of Aish HaTorah with “The Israel 50th Anniversary Friend of Zion Tribute Award” for his services to the zionist state in “playing a key role in promoting close alliance between the United States and Israel”. The ultra-right wing Jerusalem Fund of Aish HaTorah funds Israeli arms fairs chaired by the butcher of Jenin, General Shaul Mofaz, and the zionist media pressure group honestreporting.com, they were also implicated in the production and distribution of the infamous islamophobic film ‘Obesession’. Starbucks proudly displayed the award on the company’s website under the section of ‘awarda and accolades’ the Starbucks company has won, however, once the boycott started to bite the award mysteriously disappeared from its website.
Howard Shultz work as a propagandist for Israel has been praised by the Israeli Foreign Ministry as being key to Israel’s long-term PR success. On April 4th 2002, whilst the Israeli army was slaughtering Palestinians in Jenin Howard Shultz made a provocative speech blaming the Palestinians, suggesting the intifada was a manifestation of anti- Semitism, and asked people to unite behind Israel. Starbucks also sponsors fund raisers for Israel.
At a time when other businesses were desperately pulling out of Israel, Starbucks decided to help Israel’s floundering economy and open Starbucks in Israel. The venture failed but Shultz has vowed Starbucks will “return to Israel in due course”.
Starbucks has opened outlets in US bases in Afghanistan and Iraq, and at the illegal torture centre in Guantanamo Bay. Customer Relations say “Starbucks has the deepest respect and admiration for U.S. military.. who risk their lives to protect Americans and our values of freedom and democracy”. Petty Officer Barry Tate who is serving in Guantanamo Bay agrees that Starbucks is helping “lift the morale” of the guards and interrogator’s at Guantanamo Bay.
McDonald’s Corporation is a major corporate partner of the Jewish United Fund and Jewish Federation. According to the Jewish United Fund, through its Israel Commission it “works to maintain American military, economic and diplomatic support for Israel; monitors and, when necessary, responds to media coverage of Israel”. The Jewish United Fund also runs “Fun-filled Summer Family Missions to Israel” where families get to “visit an army base and meet with Israeli soldiers” and “visit our sister city, Kiryat Gat and see the important work we are doing there”. Kiryat Gat is built on stolen Palestinian land – the lands of the villages of Iraq Al Manshiya and Al-Faluja whose residents were ethnically cleansed in 1949 in contravention of International Law. Through its “Partnership to Israel” programme, the Jewish United Fund provides $1.3 million annually to help further settlement and development of Kiryat Gat. The Jewish Federation, through its Israel Action Network is tasked to fight “efforts to boycott Israeli products” and “campaigns, such as equating Israel with apartheid South Africa”.
Another way McDonald’s supports the Jewish United Fund is by running a partnership scheme whereby they will match any donation an employee make to the Jewish United Fund with its own equal size donation.
McDonald’s first restaurant in the Middle East was in Israel, opened in 1993, since then it has 160 restaurants in Israel (1996) with a 60% market share, employing around 4000 Israelis. Since April 2009 McDonald’s has also opened 15 branches of McCafe chain in Israel, with plans to open 10 new branches every year.
McDonalds discriminates against its Arab workers, in 2004 it sacked an Arab worker in Israel because she was caught speaking arabic to another Arab employee. Arabic, along with Hebrew, is the official language of Israel spoken by 20% of the population.
According to the American Jewish Committee (AJC), whose Executive Director “regularly meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu”, McDonald’s in July 2001 immediately pulled an advertising campaign in Egypt when the ADC contacted them to complaint that the singer featured in the advert had in the past performed a song critical of Israel. Within 24 hours of the complaint, the advert was cancelled and according to the Egyptian franchise of McDonald’s “all copies of the tapes were whisked ‘back to the main offices'”!
Israeli Fresh Produce
In 2010 exports of Israeli fresh agricultural produce was worth $1.41 billion and most of it, some 87% was exported to Europe (UN Commodity Trade Statistics). Fruit, vegetables and herbs grown in Israel and on its settlements in the West Bank can be seen on sale at all the major supermarkets and greengrocers. Always check the label – avoid Israel and West Bank.
Until recently the main player was Israeli state owned company Carmel Agrexco, responsible for about 60-70% of all Israel’s agricultural exports. But in September 2011 Agrexco went bankrupt. This was due in part to fact that Agrexco has been the target of a sustained international boycott campaign. It has been recently reported that the Israeli Bickel Export Group has acquired Agrexco with plans to revive it in 2012 (target sales 50 million euros).
With the privately owned Israeli company Mehadrin Tnuport Export (MTEX) set to take Agrexco’s place as Israel’s biggest agricultural exporter the focus of the international boycott campaign is now firmly on MTEX with actions already having taken place (Nov 2011) outside its UK headquarters in Borehamwood and its French headquarters in Chateaurenard.
MTEX is Israel’s largest grower and exporter of citrus fruit responsible for 65% of overseas sales of Israel’s most recognisable brand on the supermarket shelves – JAFFA. They supply most of the supermarkets including Tesco and Sainsburys. MTEX ownes 50% of Miriam Shoham Ltd whose mangoes and pomegranates are available in Tescos and Asda.
Hadiklaim, the Israeli Date Growers Cooperative, which includes illegal settler plantations in the Jordan Valley, sells 65% of all Israeli dates. Its dates have brand names King Solomon, Jordan River, Tamara, Karsten Farms / Kalahari and Bomaja. Agrexco date brands include Jordan Plains and Jordan Valley.
Most supermarkets sell fresh herbs sourced from the illegal Israeli settlements on the West Bank. These include basil, sage, chives, rosemary, parsely, sorrel, marjoram, mint, thyme and tarragon. They are labelled ‘West Bank’ or ‘Israel’. ‘West Bank’ never refers to Palestinian goods as they don’t make it past the military checkpoints. Often settlements goods are labelled ‘Produce of Israel’ to avoid payment of tariffs when entering the EU – according to the EU-Israel Association Agreement goods produced outside the recognised borders of Israel (ie on the Israeli settlements on the Palestinian Occupied Territories) are not exhempt from import duties. A July 2008 Channel 4 news report revealed herbs grown on the illegal No’omi settlement on the West Bank, destined for the UK, were being mislabelled ‘produce of Israel’ in breach of the EU-Israel Association Agreement.
Other Israeli fresh produce brands to avoid include Edom (peppers, tomatoes and mangoes), Carmy (sweet potatoes), AdaFresh (herbs), Arava (peppers, Tomatoes, herbs) and Tali (table grapes).
..Information on other companies to follow shortly..
[Jubilee Award]On October 14, 1998, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu presented a select group of international business people with the highest tribute ever awarded by the “State of Israel”. The Jubilee Award, marking Israel’s fiftieth year of independence, recognizes those individuals and organizations, that through their investments and trade relationships, have done the most to strengthen the Israeli economy.
Frequently Asked Question
Why so many companies?
Our strategy is to have a focused campaign where individual Israeli companies are targeted wherever possible rather than wide boycotts of whole stores. This means that whilst there are more brands on the list, they are actually easier to boycott. So for example whilst B&Q and Homebase are major sellers of Israeli plastic giant Keter’s products we are calling for a focused boycott of each Keter related brand – OutStanding, Lipski, Jardin, Allibert, Curver and Contico, rather than a blanket boycott of these stores.
Why are some of the brands in the previous Boycott Israel Campaign missing from this campaign?
Over time many companies have reconsidered their support for Israel and some have divested from Israel due to many reasons including the accumulated pressure of the boycott. These changes are reflected in the new card.
Disney, working with the Israeli embassy, was given 1.8 million dollars by Israel to promote Jerusalem as the capital of Israel at a special exhibition at its Epcot centre in Florida, strategically positioned so that every visitor to the centre would have to walk through the exhibition in order to reach the exit. Jerusalem is an illegally occupied Palestinian city and under international law can NEVER be the capital of Israel. The exhibition has since been removed so Disney is no longer on the boycott list.
Sara Lee has divested its large stake in the Israeli textile giant Delta Galil so it along with its two dozen plus brands have all been removed from the boycott list.
Nokia Ventures Organization which had so heavily invested in Israel is no longer part of Nokia and is now called BlueRun Ventures and has many investors now. Note that Nokia is still one of its investors, but its stake in Israel is now no more prominent than countless other technology companies who are not on the boycott list, so Nokia has also been removed from the list.
Following a concerted campaign, Arsenal Football Club’s contract with the Israeli Tourism board to promote Israel as the teams “official and exclusive travel destination” on its digital perimeter boards (to an estimated 700 million viewers in 198 countries) was not renewed. Subsequently, Arsenal FC has been removed from the boycott list. Note that Arsenal still runs ‘Arsenal in the Galilee’ coaching project in Israel.
Selfridges flagship store in London was picketed for stocking a range of settlement products including Ahava and soon a boycott of the store followed. It no longer sells Ahava Dead Sea products on its website, although it does advertise Estee Lauder Origins ‘body scrubs’ which include Dead Sea salts. As part of our strategy of a more focused boycott campaign where individual Israeli brands like Ahava are targeted, Selfridges in no longer on the boycott list.
Whilst Danone is still on the boycott list, it has gone through some changes and lost some of its famous brands and these are no longer on the boycott list. Jacob biscuits is now owned by United Biscuits; HP foods and Lea & Perrins is now owned by H.J. Heinz; and similarly Galbani and LU Biscuits are also no longer owned by Danone.
What is the Boycott Israel card and how can I get one?
The Boycott Israel card is a handy sized card listing the companies that give support to apartheid Israel. The card is designed to be carried in your wallet or purse so that when you are out shopping you know what products to avoid.
Over the past 10 years, in conjunction with the Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC), we have published many versions of the Boycott Israel card. They began with credit card size to the now familiar A7 size, each version has seen many, many print runs, with perhaps a total distribution in excess of one million cards worldwide. This latest version was launched on 2nd December 2011.
In 1998 Mr. Robert P. Van der Merwe, chairman of Kimberly-Clark Europe received the Jubilee Award by the Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu. This is the highest tribute ever awarded by the “State of Israel” in recognition of those individuals and organizations, that through their investments and trade relationships, have done the most to strengthen the Israeli economy.
From 1966 onward Coca-Cola has been a staunch supporter of Israel. Recently the Government of Israel Economic Mission honored Coca-Cola at the Israel Trade Award Dinner for its continued support of Israel for the last 30 years and for refusing to abide by the Arab League boycott of Israel.
Swiss food giant Nestle will set up a global research and development center for snack foods next year in Sderot, a town in Israel’s Negev desert, the Maariv newspaper reported on Sunday. Nestle owns 50.1 percent of Israeli food maker Osem Investments and the two together produce snack foods at a plant in Sderot.
Intel is one of the biggest supporters of Israel. Their very first development center outside the US was opened in Haifa in 1974. Since then they have continued pouring investment in to Israel. By year 2000 they employed over 4000 Israelis. Exports from their Lachish-Qiryat Gat plant in israel total $3 million a day at peak capacity – approximately $ 1 billion a year. The Intel plant at “Qiryat Gat” is built on land Israel confiscated from the Palestinian villages of Iraq al Manshiya. Iraq al Manshiya was a village of 2000 people living in 300 houses with two mosques and one school. The original Palestinian inhabitants were terrorized out of the village and then the whole village was razed to the ground to prepare the way for the new Israeli settlement of Qiryat Gat. Today the remaining population from Iraq al Manshiya is still not allowed to return.
In 1998, Mr. Lucien Nessim of Sara Lee Personal Products received the Jubilee Award by the Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu. This is the highest tribute ever awarded by the “State of Israel” in recognition of those individuals and organizations, that through their investments and trade relationships, have done the most to strengthen the Israeli economy
The Disney Company is owned by Jewish Mogul Michael Eisner. He owns a vast media empire that includes the ABC television network, numerous news dailies, national magazines, Hollywood film companies and a large number of radio stations. One radio station in Los Angeles, KABC 790 AM recently broadcast comments by Jewess Gloria Alred to the effect that the Islamic prisoners at Guantanamo should be tortured by having their “balls” extracted with pliers in order to make them talk. The news and commentaries made through Michael Eisner’s media octopus are extremely Islamophobic and anti-Palestinian.
A good tip for identifying the products to boycott from Denmark, Israel, Netherlands, France, Norwary and German. Every bar Coded product in the market contains its country code included in barcode digits. Please check the barcode of any product before you buy.
Check the first 3 digits from the LEFT.
Example, an Israeli product will have barcode like:
The following list is given according the priority as the worst at top and then second worst is next.
570 – 579 Denmark (i.e. 570, 571… 579)
870 – 879 Netherlands (i.e. 870,871… 879)
300 – 379 France
700 – 709 Norway
400 – 440 German
*** UPDATED OCTOBER 2009 ***
Please find below a documentary published on Youtube, it is very important that this information is passed on to everyone, hence the boycott is revived in peoples minds.
Please also listen to George Galloway explaining how the Jewish state works in destroying Islamic values, also important information regarding the boycott.
*** UPDATED MAY 2010 ***
Jew’s against Israel:
For those who send me emails/comments relating to how Israel has every right to exist even with the ever growing evidence and facts of treatment of Palestinians, you need to watch the following videos available in the public domain to hear the truth (only if you can handle it). Listen to their own people shout out AGAINST Israel.
The following video is amazing, especially how the Rabi tells how Jews and Muslims co-existed prior to the birth of Israel (it brought tears to my eyes after watching the speaker).
Please promote this article, copy the content or email the link to this article to all your email contacts. The truth cannot be denied.
All major UK retailers sell Israeli goods, and most of them sell produce from illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank. Some have made statements in support of Zionism and some have contracts with Israeli companies.
There is a growing movement to boycott Israeli goods in solidarity with the people of Palestine and in line with an international call for boycott, divestment and sanctions. There have been reports in the press that Israeli producers are experiencing a decline in demand for Israeli produce since the bombardment of Gaza in January 2009. This could be the beginning of a snowball effect for the global boycott movement.
Tesco stores stock a large amount of produce grown in the Occupied Territories and purchased from the Israeli state, including fruit and vegetables from producer Carmel-Agrexco. Israeli products stocked by Tesco include fruit juice, mangoes, avocados, grapes, stonefruit, dates, herbs, pickled cucumbers, Exquisa potatoes, mixed peppers (from Israel and a second country of origin), Barkan wine, Yarden wine, biscuits, cold meat, dips, Osem soups and cakes, snacks by Beigel & Beigel, Telma (soup mixes and cubes, noodles etc) and socks (Tesco’s own brand).
Tesco sells products from illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank, many of which are exported by Carmel Agrexco. The company admitted sourcing ‘a number of products’ from illegal settlements, including avocados, herbs, grapes and stonefruit, such as peaches, from farms in the West Bank and Golan Heights. In 2006 War on Want reported that Tesco sells Beigel and Beigel products sourced from the settlements. Tesco also sells gas cylinders for products made by settlement company Soda Club, and repackages settlement dates from Hadiklaim as Tesco own brand dates. Mehadrin-Tnuport Export Company (MTex) supplies Tesco with settlement citrus fruit and there are links between Tesco and the Arava settlement company.
In October 2007, a group of campaigners from the Brighton Tubas Friendship and Solidarity Group entered Tomer settlement in the occupied Jordan Valley and photographed medjoul dates, packaged by Carmel Agrexco, labelled ‘Made in Israel’ and marked as bound for Tesco stores.
Products exported as ‘Made in Israel’ benefit from the preferential trade terms of the EU-Israel Association Agreement, which came into effect in 2000. Settlement products, however, are excluded from the beneficial terms of the EU-IAA.
When ITN screened an expose in 2007 accusing supermarkets of misleading British consumers, Tesco admitted it had acted “in error” and stated that Israeli dates “originating solely in the West Bank will [in the future] be labelled as such.”
BIGCampaign and others groups have been campaigning against the ‘West Bank’ label as it misleads consumers into believing produce from illegal settlements is actually Palestinian. The Palestinian General Delegation to the UK has written a letter of protest to Tesco, and other retailers, for persisting in the use of this misleading label.
Tesco says that ‘freedom of choice’ is one of the company’s priorities and consumers can choose not to buy Israeli products. However, in correspondence with campaigners in 2006, Tesco representatives said they were phasing out Tesco’s line of Israeli peppers due to consumer pressure. Boycott Israeli Goods campaigners have also consistently attended the Tesco AGM to raise the issue of settlement produce and propose a boycott of Israeli goods.
John Porter, one of the principal shareholders in Tesco, also has substantial investments in Israeli companies. In 2000, Tesco awarded a $1 million IT contract to the Israeli firm Tescom to provide a solution for Tesco’s Year 2000 conversion requirements.
During the bombing of Gaza, Tesco was targeted across the country by campaigners calling for a boycott of Israeli goods. In Swansea, activists stole Israeli settlement produce from Tesco and sprayed it with red dye to highlight Tesco’s complicity in Israel’s war crimes by profiting from settlement produce and enabling the settlements to trade and profit from their illegal occupation of Palestinian land.
New Tesco House
England EN8 9SL
Marks & Spencer
Historically, Marks & Spencer has made statements in support of Zionism. Lord Sieff, chairman and founder of M&S who died in 2001, made several statements in support of Israel’s military policies. In 1941, Sieff said that “large sections of the Arab population of Palestine should be transplanted to Iraq and other Middle-Eastern Arab States” (Jewish Chronicle, 21/09/1941). In 1990, Sieff, in a book entitled On Management: The Marks and Spencer Way, wrote that one of the fundamental objectives of M&S was to “aid the economic development of Israel.”
There have been no reports of M&S openly showing ideological support for Israel since 2004. The retail company has repeatedly asserted that “[it has] no ‘special’ relationship with any government, political party or religious group” but accepts that M&S does “make representations to governments in support of [its] commercial aims.” M&S management has not, to our knowledge, commented on Lord Sieff’s remarks in support of Zionism and has not made a statement as to whether the current management stands by them.
In 1998, Sir Richard Greenbury, then CEO of Marks & Spencer, received the Jubilee Award from Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. In 2000, the Jerusalem Report stated that “M&S supports Israel with $233 million in trade each year.”
In October 2000, the Jewish Chronicle reported that the British-Israel Chamber of Commerce (B-ICC) had held meetings at Marks & Spencer’s offices in Baker Street. However, in 2008 the store claimed that M&S “do not host meetings on our premises for the B-ICC.” Nevertheless, in December 2004, Stuart Rose, CEO of Marks and Spencer at the time, was a listed speaker at the annual dinner of the B-ICC.
When questioned in correspondence about the sale of Israeli goods in M&S stores in 2008, an M&S spokesperson said that the company buys “from Israel as… from 70 other countries…” and went on to state that the company would continue to do so. The letter continued to say that, “[w]e always put the country of origin on the products we sell. Where we buy Israeli products we label them as products of Israel.”
M&S stocks Israeli grapes, lychees, figs, plums, dates, fresh herbs, sweet potatoes, potatoes (Maris Piper, Desiree, Jacket, Marfona, and King Edward). Many of these products are imported through Carmel-Agrexco, a company part-owned by the Israeli state.
M&S also stocks large quantities of Delta Galil clothing, largely underwear. Delta Galil is Israel’s largest manufacturer and marketer of textiles. It is also a major beneficiary of the establishment of ‘Qualifying Industrial Zones’ (QIZ) in Egypt and Jordan which promote an unequal normalisation of trade arrangements between Israel, the Palestinian Authority and Egypt and Jordan. Marks and Spencer also sells textiles produced by Israeli firms, Solog and Polgat.
Until very recently, M&S openly sold products from illegal Israeli settlements. The Guardian reported in 2004 that the company stocked an extensive range of settlement products. Since 2007, however, M&S has made repeated statements to the press claiming that they do not stock goods from the Occupied Territories (see here, for example). In 2008, the store wrote: “We do not buy products from the West Bank, Golan Heights or Gaza as we cannot safely visit the suppliers in these areas because of the current security situation.” It seems probable that the move to cease selling settlement products was, in fact, due to effective campaigning, protests and fear of adverse press coverage.
But despite the above assurance, there is evidence that M&S continues to stock Hadiklaim dates packaged as an M&S own brand product. According to a recent report by School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), Hadiklaim, the Israel Date Growers’ Cooperative Ltd, “exports dates from Israel and from the occupied territories, especially Israeli settlements in the Jordan Valley.”
In correspondence with SOAS in 2008, David Gregory, Technical Food Director for M&S, stated the following:
“In the past, we have sold dates from this region. However, we made a policy decision sometime ago to cease all purchases from this area. However, our UK suppliers do buy raw material (dates) from the organisation Hadiklaim on our behalf. The contract explicitly prohibits purchase from Palestinian Territories and Hadiklaim source the dates from elsewhere within Israel to satisfy our requirements. Traceability systems are in place to confirm the source of the dates.”
M&S has faced sustained protests due to their historic ideological support for the Israeli state and because of their policy of stocking Israeli goods. Pickets have been held and store signs and billboards subvertised. In Manchester, three pickets were held in January 2009 in response to the bombing of Gaza. Weekly demonstrations have been held in Newcastle and in London. M&S has repeatedly ignored campaigners’ representations against the continued sale of Israeli goods.
Marks and Spencer plc
35 North Wharf Road
London W2 1NW
ASDA sells Israeli basil, tarragon, rosemary, sage, chives, dill, mint, thyme, passion fruit, mangoes, Blackfine plums, autumn red plums, medjoul dates, dragon fruit, pomegranates, avocados, organic sweet potatoes, sweet pointed peppers (red), sweet potatoes (“Georgia Jet”), frozen meat, biscuits, table wine (red, white, rose & sparkling), garden storage units and tinned grapefruit. ASDA also sells Carmel-Agrexco products (see above).
Since ITN’s 2007 report, ASDA has made several statements denying that it stocks goods in its stores from the ‘West Bank’ (i.e. settlement goods). However, ASDA has recently made several ambiguous statements contradicting its earlier stance. A spokesperson from the company recently wrote, in correspondence with campaigners: “I am sure you can imagine it is very difficult for ASDA to take a position on behalf of all our customers over politically controversial issues such as the current conflict you refer to (the occupation of Palestine). On the sourcing of products from overseas we are always guided by the position of the UK Government and by the European Union on trade policy.”
There is evidence that ASDA does stock goods from illegal Israeli settlements in its UK stores. ASDA stocks potatoes from Mehadrin-Tnuport Export Company (MTex). MTex is now the second-largest Israeli exporter of fresh produce to the UK after Agrexco. In 2005, the company exported 1,500 tonnes to the UK, with a value of £25 million. MTex exports fruit and vegetables from the region, stretching from Lake Tiberias to the Dead Sea; this includes territory both inside and outside the green line.
Campaigners have recently reported seeing herbs labelled ‘West Bank Israeli Settlements’ in ASDA stores. At least that’s accurate labelling but it does contradict ASDA’s previous statements to the press.
Campaigners have held many pickets of ASDA stores in Brighton and London in 2009 protesting against their sale of Israeli goods.
Paul Mason, Chief Executive Officer
Great Wilson Street,
Leeds LS11 5AD
Telephone: 0113 243 5435
Fax: 0113 241 8666
Despite the Co-operative family of businesses’ ethical image, the shelves of its supermarkets and high street stores have been found to carry Israeli products, including Carmel mangoes, sweet potatoes, peppers, sweet peppers (grown by Sulat), cherry tomatoes, herbs, passion fruit, Jaffa oranges and own brand tinned grapefruit.
The Co-op has faced pickets and repeated representations from consumers and campaigners over its sale of produce from illegal settlements and Israeli produce. In the last year, criticism has centred around the sale of settlement produce. For example, campaigners attended the Co-operative Group South East Region General Meeting in January 2008 and raised concerns about the ethics of selling settlement produce. The Co-op board undertook to look into conditions on settlement farms. Throughout the year, the issue was raised with Co-op management by members of the Co-op and its customers.
On the 5th January 2009 Len Wardle, Co-operative Group chair, wrote:
“The Co-operative Group board has decided to suspend sourcing products from illegal West Bank settlements. However, we will continue to trade with Israel and will seek to develop trading links with Palestinian farmers. The Co-operative Group only rarely curtails trade with particular countries or regions. However, in the case of the illegal settlement in the Israeli controlled occupied territories, it has proven to be all but impossible to ensure that supplies derived from the region are not perpetuating injustice and unfair terms of trade. We will no longer source dates, grapes and a number of herbs from the illegal West Bank settlements and will be phasing out the use of similar items from our own brand products.”
In making this statement, the Co-op is the first store to base its reasons for ceasing the sale of settlement goods on ethical concerns. The statement is weaker in some ways than that of M&S, but only in that it precludes the sale of West Bank goods and not produce from the Golan Heights. It is also unclear whether the Co-op’s definition of the West Bank includes East Jerusalem. Moreover, the Co-operative Group does not make any assurance that it will not sell products in its stores supplied by companies which source products from both the settlements and 1948 Israel, such as Hadiklaim, M-Tex and Carmel Agrexco.
In November 2008, YNet claimed that the Co-op had met with the Co-op Israel (a separate organisation) and agreed to open a chain of kosher supermarkets which will be equally owned by Co-op Israel and the UK Co-op. The UK Co-op has refuted this claim but admitted that a meeting took place with Co-op Israel.
On 16th February, 2009, students at the University of Aberdeen protested at the university’s Elphinstone Hall, where Co-op members were meeting, to pressure the food retailer to ban all Israeli products from its stores. A Co-op representative at the meeting said a motion on the subject of Israeli goods was due to be discussed by the organisation’s executive.
The Co-operative Group
Waitrose stocks Israeli basil, tarragon, thyme, lemon thyme, rosemary, chives, sage, oregano, mint, curly leaf parsley, ‘Red Rosa’ pears, sharon fruit, passion fruit, figs, lychees, oranges, lemons, grapefruit, grapes, strawberries, pomelos, pomegranates, galia melons, dragonfruit, organic medjoul dates, hadrawi dates, “Deglet Nour” dates, Cherry tomatoes, sweet potatoes, ‘Pamino’ peppers, ‘Red Romano’ peppers, mixed peppers, goods from the Tivall vegetarian food range, ‘Food for Thought’ snacks by Beigel & Beigel, cold meat, biscuits, dips and Dead Sea Magik cosmetics (found in John Lewis stores).
Waitrose has refused to enter into any debate about the sale of Israeli goods and its management has repeatedly refused to meet with campaigners. In February 2009, a spokesperson for the store reiterated that Waitrose was “unable to arrange a meeting”. In a letter to one customer, Waitrose said: “Whatever our own views may be about Israeli products, we do not think it is right to ask our buyers to base their choice of products on any other criteria than the commercial ones of quality and value for money.”
Waitrose stocks goods from illegal Israeli settlements and has been unresponsive to the ITN and More 4 reports which have led other stores to label their goods more clearly. The supermarket chain stocks a large range of products sourced from Carmel Agrexco, including a wide variety of organic herbs and vegetables grown on Israeli settlements, mainly in the Jordan Valley, and certified as organic by the Soil Association. Although Waitrose has not made statements to the press about labelling, a store spokesperson said “we clearly label our food to enable our customers to make informed choices.” It appears unclear, however, whether Waitrose still labels some goods from illegal settlements as ‘Made in Israel’.
According to War on Want’s Profiting from the Occupation report, Waitrose sells Beigel and Beigel products. Beigel and Beigel Ltd. is located in the Barkan industrial zone in the occupied West Bank and produces pretzels, savoury biscuits and crackers.
The John Lewis Partnership is one of the only large retailers to sell Ahava beauty products. Ahava is a settlement company based on the illegal settlement of Mitzpe Shalem. Waitrose also sells dates from settler company Hadiklaim (see above).
Waitrose claims that, if it ceased to deal with Israeli settlements, it would impact on Palestinian farmers. In correspondence with consumers, the retailer has described the settlement farms it works with as “joint Israeli and Palestinian” enterprises. In February 2009, a spokesperson wrote: “We currently take organic cut herbs from two farms in the West Bank on which a mixed Palestinian-Israeli workforce have worked side by side for many years.”
Waitrose has responded to some concerns about the conditions of labourers on settlement farms. However, the response has been to assure customers that each ‘supplier’ audits the relevant settlement farms using a “tight criteria” that relates to “worker hours, salaries and employment contracts.” This effectively means that Waitrose entrusts the auditing of settlement farms to the settlement company supplying the produce, presumably Carmel Agrexco. Waitrose claims that its technical directors have inspected its supplier farms in the West Bank.
Overall, Waitrose has been one of the most intransigent British supermarkets when faced with concern over sale of Israeli produce and Israeli settler produce. The chain has been the subject of protests and pickets across the UK, including in Brighton and London where protesters dressed as burglars and displayed banners claiming “Waitrose sells stolen goods”.
Waitrose Customer Service Department
Sainsbury’s sells Israeli oranges, grapefruit, avocados, strawberries, thyme, tarragon, parsley, coriander, rosemary, passion fruit, sharon fruit, ‘Shelly’ mangoes, mejdoul dates, lychees, fresh figs, plums, fruit juice, minneola (tangerines), potatoes (‘Desiree’, ‘Vivaldi’, ‘Rooster’, white, baking, baby, salad), sweet potatoes, peppers (‘Ramiro’), pickled cucumbers, pickled olives, radishes, ‘Splendid’ flowers, ‘Basics’ flowers, ‘Saveur Mediterranean’ hummous, turkey, smoked chicken breast, Rumples party pretzels, Osem croutons, Telma chicken soup mix and soups, feta cheese, Tivall vegetarian food range, ‘Food for Thought’ dips, table wine (red, white, rose & sparkling), Kiddush wine and Yarden wine and Osem foods.
This extensive list includes many products from illegal Israeli settlements, including fresh lemon grass from the West Bank and Sainsbury’s ‘Taste the Difference’ Pomodorino tomatoes. Sainsbury’s stocks Hadiklaim dates labelled ‘Made in West Bank’ and products from Soda Club, which has an office based in the settlement of Ma’leh Adumin.
Sainsbury’s has said, in correspondence with Boycott Israeli Goods Campaign supporters, that the store is not a political organisation and it does not boycott products from any country. Sainsbury’s does acknowledge, however, that “ethical trading is a growing area of concern for our company and consumers” and that it has an “ethical trading policy.” Whether ethical trading concerns would extend to the sale of goods from an apartheid regime on occupied land, that’s not something the retailer seems interested in answering.
Palestine solidarity campaigners have attended Sainsbury’s PLC shareholders meeting several years running, in an attempt to persuade the company to stop selling Israeli goods and to label its produce more accurately.
Sainsbury’s says it is committed to ‘informative labelling’, despite describing one piece of produce as being from ‘Gaza Strip, Israel’. After the 2007 ITN report about mislabelling of settlement Medjoul dates as ‘Produce of Israel’, Sainsbury’s admitted that it had mislabelled produce and stated that “as from today, all dates from the West Bank will be labelled as coming from the West Bank. We are investigating how this error occurred.”
Meetings have been held between Sainsbury’s management and campaigners and NGOs about the labelling of settlement goods. At a meeting in 2009, James Clark, a ‘public affairs and stakeholder relations spokesperson’, told campaigners that Justin King, CEO of J Sainsbury plc, had written to Hilary Benn, Secretary of State at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), asking him to clarify how retailers should label goods from Israeli settlements. Mr Clark said Sainsbury’s would be revising its labelling policy in the next six months and might consider labelling settlement produce ‘Produce of Israeli Settlement’. Mr Clark was not prepared to listen to arguments that settlements were illegal and argued that the store did not have instructions to this effect from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, despite the fact that this is clearly set out on the FCO website.
Sainsburys have been picketed across the UK by campaigners calling for a boycott of Israeli goods.
J Sainsbury plc
Somerfield sells both Israeli goods and settlement goods in its 880 stores. Apax Partners, an investment company with subsidiaries in Israel and which advises funds holding shares in Israeli settlement companies Tnuva, Agrexco Agricultural Export Company and Field Produce Ltd, has a majority of shares in Somerfield.
It seems that because of the takeover by the consortium dominated by Apax Partners in December 2005, Somerfield rescinded its commitment to the Ethical Trading Initiative. However, as of December 2008, Somerfield is in the process of being taken over by the Cooperative Group. It remains to be seen whether Somerfield, under new ownership, will take a similar stance to the Co-op against the sale of Israeli settlement produce.
tel: 0117 935 9359
fax: 0117 978 0629
Principal sources for this piece:
Boycott Israeli Goods Campaign – www.bigcampaign.org
Palestine Israel Ethical Shopping Initiative – www.easi-piesi.org
Coalition of Women for Peace: Who profits from the Occupation – www.whoprofits.org
War on Want – www.waronwant.org
Palestine Solidarity Campaign – www.palestinecampaign.org
UK economic links with Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territory – Report produced by SOAS
Islamic Human Rights Commission – www.ihrc.org
Brighton-Tubas Friendship and Solidarity Group – www.brightonpalestine.org