Max Brenner boycotters breach chocolate shop bar

By Jennifer Lipman, August 10, 2011
Some of the treats on the Max Brenner menu

Some of the treats on the Max Brenner menu

Chocolate made by a bald man might seem like an unusual product to incur the wrath of anti-Israel campaigners.

But four members of the pro-Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign have been arrested in Melbourne in connection with a protest at a Max Brenner chocolate store.

The Israeli chocolatier, who founded his business in 1995 with the slogan of "chocolate by the bald man", has stores and cafes in Israel, the United States, the Philippines, Malaysia and Australia.

Its restaurant menu includes unusual delicacies such as chocolate pizza as well as treats like waffles and milkshakes.

The activists were among 19 arrested in July during a demonstration at Max Brenner, when they were said to have chained themselves to furniture.

The four were arrested again for breaching the conditions of their bail by taking part in another march on the store. The authorities had forbidden them from going within 50 yards of the store.

On Monday an Australian minister called for the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to launch an inquiry into the boycotters' activity.

"To target businesses because they're owned by Israelis or because they do business with Israel is entirely unacceptable," said Consumer Affairs Minister Michael O'Brien. "In our view it sets a very, very ugly precedent."

Last updated: 11:04am, August 10 2011