Israel boycott

Boycott helpline at Tesco

By Marcus Dysch, April 7, 2009

Pro-Israel groups have attacked Tesco for setting up a customer helpline for those considering boycotting Israeli goods.

Tesco says it provided the service in expectation of calls questioning its stocking of products from Israel and the West Bank.

Callers selecting the general information option on its customer helpline hear the recorded message: “If you are ringing regarding Israeli goods, please press one.” They are then connected to specially-trained call centre staff.

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Government quells fears over boycott

By Leon Symons, April 2, 2009

A special meeting to discuss the guidelines for the labelling of products from the West Bank was held in the Cabinet Office on Tuesday.

It involved representatives of food retailers, producers and suppliers and the British Retail Consortium, alongside civil servants from the Department of Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), the Foreign Office, HM Revenue and Customs and one non-governmental organisation (NGO), Oxfam.

But it seemed that fears of a “back-door” boycott of Israeli goods through the labelling of products from the West Bank may have receded.

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Café’s Israel boycott becomes PR disaster

By Marcus Dysch, March 26, 2009

A café owner has apologised for displaying a sign declaring “Jews are welcome”, saying it was a bid to allay fears that his boycott of Israeli goods could be interpreted as being antisemitic.

Chris Boddington said he was open about his boycott and support for the Palestine Solidarity Campaign at Café Crema in New Cross, south-east London. But he realised a boycott of Israeli produce could be equated with antisemitism.

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Back-door boycott fears over labelling

By Leon Symons, March 26, 2009

Jewish groups fear a government-backed meeting about the labelling of products from the West Bank may lead to a new “back-door” boycott of Israeli exports to Britain.

The meeting is scheduled to be held in the Cabinet Office on Tuesday and invitations have gone out to major retailers, consumer groups and a small number of NGOs. Oxfam is the only group believed to have confirmed that it will attend.

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Salute to Israel protest case is dropped by the CPS

By Marcus Dysch, March 19, 2009

A criminal charge has been dropped against the founder member of an anti-Israel campaign who protested with fake blood on her hands at a rally for Israel.

Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi, of Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods, was one of eight people arrested during the Salute to Israel parade through central London last June.

As a UJIA float passed her in Haymarket, Ms Wimborne-Idrissi held up her hands, covered in red food dye, and shouted: “Palestinian blood on Israeli hands.”

She was arrested and charged with a public order offence for “causing harassment, alarm and distress”.

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Rallies against Israeli scientists fall flat

By Marcus Dysch, March 12, 2009

Anti-Israel protestors have failed to disrupt a series of lectures by academics and scientists promoting the country’s achievements to British students.

The British Committee for the Universities of Palestine (BRICUP) had called for Thursday’s event, at the Science Museum, in west London, to be cancelled.

But its members were joined outside the museum by less than 50 demonstrators from other groups, including Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods (JBIG) and students from the adjacent Imperial College.

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Gym targeted by Israel boycotters

By Marcus Dysch, March 5, 2009

A gym which offers free membership to Maccabi GB athletes as they prepare for the Maccabiah Games has been targeted by anti-Israel campaigners.

Stickers proclaiming “Boycott Israeli Goods”, and displaying the Palestinian flag, were placed in changing room lockers at the Village Hotel in Elstree, Hertfordshire.

The company agreed a £250,000 sponsorship package with Maccabi GB in December.

As part of the deal, every member of the British team due to take part in the games in Israel in July was given free access to Village gyms around Britain.

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Top thinkers blast plan to block Israeli scientists

By Leon Symons, March 5, 2009

Dozens of academics have hit back at an attempt to stop top Israeli scientists giving lectures about Israel’s achievements to non-Jewish sixth form students.

A campaign to cancel lectures which took place at Manchester Museum of Science and Industry on Tuesday and London’s Science Museum on Thursday was started two months ago by the anti-Israel British Committee for the Universities of Palestine (BRICUP).

The Palestine Solidarity Campaign joined in and stories appeared this week in a number of national newspapers.

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Teaching Council says it’s not boycotting

By Simon Rocker, February 26, 2009

The General Teaching Council has dissociated itself from calls to boycott two Israel science days for schoolchildren next month.

Two of the 382 signatories of a letter to the Guardian last week calling on the Science Museum and Manchester’s Museum of Science and Industry to cancel the events were described as being from the GTC, an independent body for the teaching profession.

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Canadian boycott motion

February 26, 2009

A major Canadian union has adopted a resolution supporting a university boycott of Israel. The Canadian Union of Public Employees, which represents some 200,000 people, will decide in May whether to cut ties between universities in Ontario and in Israel.

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