A branch of Sainsbury's supermarket chain in central London took kosher foods off its shelves to forestall activists protesting against the Israeli attacks on Gaza, The Independent reports today:
Kosher food was taken off the shelves in a London Sainsbury’s branch that became a target of anti-Israel protests amid fears it would be vandalised, sparking outrage among shoppers.Unsurprisingly (and rightly, in my view) many people were outraged by this. Sainsbury's Facebook page was 'inundated' with messages, attacking the decision.
The decision to remove Jewish products came as pro-Palestinian demonstrators gathered outside the shop in Holborn calling for a boycott of Israeli goods.
Sainsbury’s said there were fears the kosher area could be attacked but the move provoked outrage on social media as people accused the chain of making a “political statement”.
A witness who took a picture of the empty shelf said the section had contained produce made in the UK, Poland and Israel.
Colin Appleby wrote: “When I asked a member of staff what had happened they replied ‘We support Free Gaza’.
Sainsbury's explanation was almost comically inept:
A spokesperson for Sainsbury's said it was “an absolutely non-political organisation” and the food was returned as soon as possible.Uh-huh...sure...they were just trying to 'preserve' the food. Dude, please; the first rule of holes is: when you're in one, stop digging.
He added: “It was an isolated decision made by in a very challenging situation. It was chilled food and [the manager] was simply trying to preserve it.
As much as I abhor the actions of Israel's Likud fanatics, this is not the way to go about protesting against them. 'Kosher' does not mean 'Likud'. 'Jewish' does not mean 'Likud'. 'Israel' does not mean 'Likud'.
'Friends' like these do the Palestinian cause more harm than good.