Staff at Israeli store face death threats

By Jonathan Kalmus, July 31, 2014

Police are investigating racist death and fire-bomb threats by pro-Palestinian boycotters against a shop which sells Israeli cosmetics.

Kedem, in Manchester, reported phone calls, at one point every five minutes, from callers threatening to burn down the shop, beat up or kill staff.

The store has been the scene of daily fierce protests by anti-Israel campaigners, six of whom have been arrested during tense stand-offs with pro-Israel supporters over the Gaza conflict.

In recordings of phone calls obtained by the JC, a man told a Kedem employee: "You would be wiped out right now... if [your owner] puts more videos on Facebook I will f*** him up… I will kill you with it."

Another man calls to say "I will burn your shop down" and in a separate post to the shop's Facebook page, a pro-Palestinian campaigner wrote of the store's owners "I hope he burns in hell like the rest of the Jews."

On Saturday over 70 police officers struggled to contain hundreds of pro-Palestinian protesters outside the shop. One man was arrested for reportedly making a Nazi salute at around 150 pro-Israel supporters, who responded with shouting and name-calling.

Manchester Central MP Lucy Powell tweeted: "I totally condemn escalation of violence, it's unacceptable 2 target law-abiding Brits here."

Boycott protests have also taken place outside Marks & Spencer and branches of Barclays bank.

Manchester City Council's Pat Karney said: "The intimidation and bullying of shop workers and shoppers has to end. In my opinion it does not advance the Palestinian cause one iota."

Also on Saturday, a man suffered facial injuries after an egg was thrown at him from a passing car as he walked home from synagogue in Salford.

Last updated: 4:27pm, July 31 2014