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Shoppers told to buy Israeli goods in new campaign

    British shoppers will be encouraged to buy Israeli products next week as part of an initiative to counter boycott campaigns.

    Dates, fruit, olives and wines are expected to be among the items that Israel supporters add to their shopping trolleys and baskets.

    It is hoped that Buy Israeli Goods Week, starting on Monday, will nullify the efforts of anti-Israel activists who are expected to lobby Sainsbury’s next month in an attempt to see Israeli products removed from the chain’s stores.

    The pro-Israel scheme — dubbed a “buycott” — has been co-ordinated by Stand With Us, the Zionist Federation, the Board of Deputies and the Fair Play Campaign Group.

    Irene Naftalin, Stand With Us community director, said customers should tell supermarket staff “how much they value the opportunity to buy Israeli goods in their stores”.

    ZF chairman Paul Charney said: “Sainsbury’s has so far resisted the boycotters’ call. We need to do everything possible to ensure this boycott attack fails completely.”

    Meanwhile, experts meeting in London have said that boycotts of Israel may not succeed in isolating the country, but could become a force in influencing public opinion against it.

    Sixty academics attended a three-day conference on the history of boycotts, organised by the Pears Institute for Antisemitism, at London’s Birkbeck College.

    Institute director Professor David Feldman said: “Boycotts rarely achieve their economic or political goals but often have more far-reaching effects in building a political movement.”

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