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Monday, June 22, 2009

Anti-Israel boycott of Trader Joe's fizzles

I'll bet a lot of you have been wondering what happened with the Trader Joe's boycott that was supposed to take place last Saturday. Well, according to the Los Angeles Jewish Journal, not a whole lot happened outside of the San Francisco Bay area (Hat Tip: Los Angeles Times via Power Line via Memeorandum). That's got to be a disappointment for a group that hoped to have an impact across the United States.
Although “World Refugee Day,” the boycott of Trader Joe’s planned by the anti-Israel group “Don’t Buy into Apartheid,” came and went on Saturday, June 20, with no apparent incidents in Los Angeles, other cities in California did witness protestors invade the popular supermarket chain.

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, while taking Israeli products off the shelves. Similar demonstrations happened in San Francisco and Sacramento.

In Los Angeles however, the only unusual activity reported was that of local patrons walking into the national food chain to ask to buy Israeli products in specific.

E-mails calling for a response to the boycott had circulated virally in the week prior throughout the Jewish community, as well as on Facebook, asking people to patronize the store in defiance of the boycott and in support of the Jewish State. Roz Rothstein, CEO of StandWithUs, said that her pro-Israel organization had also urged supporters across the United States and elsewhere to go into Trader Joe’s and other markets to purchase Israeli goods.

Despite the Jewish backlash, Raphael declared the “Don’t Buy into Apartheid” demonstrations a success.

“I think overall the response by customers was quite positive,” Raphael said, when describing the reaction to her group and their effort to alert customers to what they see as Trader Joe’s unfair policy: stocking Israeli products, while carrying no Palestinian goods.
And the 'Palestinians' export what, aside from terror? You may recall that the 'Palestinians' could have exported lots of produce from Gaza, but they chose not to.

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.
Kate Raphael says that she's going to release photos on Monday. We're all waiting with baited breath.


At 8:23 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

The anti-Israel BDS movement is not helping the Palestinians. Hurting Israel will not improve the existence of a single Palestinian. By building up walls, it will not bring peace closer in the Middle East.

At 12:34 AM, Blogger Dusty said...

Even in the belly of the Beast, Kate Raphael's backyard- the protests were ineffectual at best.
6 protesters showed up at the Rockridge Trader Joes- they left quickly when thye learned that ALL Israeli products had been sold out by Friday. They moved on to the Lakeshore store- and it was also sold out.
It looks like Kate and 3 of her friends (didn't they claim 600 people were involved?) did manage a bit of mischief at a San Francisco Trader Joes- she's posted some photos here:


Through the bay area and all of california- tarder Joes reported the same thing- that much of their stock of couscous, dorot spices and feta were sold out.

Kate's little boycott fiasco turned out to be ridiculously counterproductive.
I don't think she'll attempt a stunt like this again any time soon.

At 9:07 PM, Blogger Dusty said...

Hows that boycott going, btw?

TEL AVIV, Feb 16 2010 - Israel's economy grew at an annualised 4.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2009, its fastest pace in nearly two years and helped by a surge in exports as the country continued to recover from a brief downturn.

Exports -- which account for nearly half of Israel's economic activity -- surged 33 percent in the fourth quarter while consumer spending rose 4.4 percent, according to the government's prior estimate of fourth-quarter data.

Read more:

My question: Do you think the BDS movement by calling attention to the wide variety of Israeli consumer goods available in America, helped fuel this growth?

The thought makes me smile.


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