Support Trader Joe’s

Beneath the attention of major media coverage, the boycott of Israeli products has arrived in America. Its first reported target over this past weekend was the couscous at Trader Joe’s.

The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg comments: “My recommendation: Head to Trader Joe’s and buy anything made or grown in Israel. I hear the Israeli couscous goes well with grilled scapegoat, by the way.” Rabbi Isaac Jeret of Congregation Ner Tamid in Los Angeles elaborates in an email to friends:

As many of you know, one of the most difficult challenges for the State of Israel during its recent war in Gaza (and ever since) was determining how to counter the numerous boycotts launched against suppliers, vendors, and retailers throughout Europe distributing or selling Israeli products. A major contributing factor to the difficulty in combating these boycotts was and remains the relatively small Jewish population throughout Europe, as compared to the much larger and growing Muslim population.

Very sadly, the tactic employed against Israeli products in Europe has now made its way to our own country, taking root in our own backyard and focusing its attention upon a grocery retailer that many of us patronize, Trader Joe’s. Only the difference is that in the United States there is a significantly larger Jewish population than there is in Europe and we now find ourselves in a position to make an immediate and very positive impact on Israel’s behalf.

Trader Joe’s has been targeted by anti-Israel groups for boycotts, and possibly for picketing, because of their refusal to bow to pressure by anti-Israel groups who have sought to have the store’s management remove Israeli products from their shelves. The group spearheading this effort nationwide is the BOYCOTT DIVESTMENT CAMPAIGN, a coalition of anti-Israel groups that is based in Pittsburgh. Regionally, they are working in concert with the Northern-California-based South Bay Mobilization Group (not our South Bay, but rather that of Northern California).

Together with other groups comprising this sinister coalition that aims to cast Israel as an Apartheid State in the vein of South Africa – a baseless charge that reflects ignorance and, most often, anti-Semitic sentiments, those targeting Trader Joe’s seek to bring harm to Israel’s economy and to tarnish its standing in American public opinion by mobilizing intimidating boycotts in a most offensive manner.

They have selected this coming Saturday, June 20, as their initial, nationwide World Refugee Day. To understand their aims in their own words, the following is a quote from their website: “We invite you to organize in your community and deshelve, sticker, boycott, and protest the presence of Israeli products!”

Here’s what we can do:

Learn more about this immediate concern by reading the report issued on the StandWithUs website (StandWithUs is a Los Angeles based Israel-advocacy organization that does outstanding work).

Please make a point of shopping at Trader Joe’s over the coming days and weeks. Please go out of your way to introduce yourselves to store-managers and to let them know that one of the reasons that you are patronizing their store is precisely because of their principled and courageous determination to continue selling Israeli products. Let them know that you know of many others who feel this way, who might not choose to introduce themselves personally, but who have determined to support Trader Joe’s all the more so because of its decision.

Wherever you may shop – for groceries and otherwise, please consider both or either (a) going out of your way to purchase Israeli products and/or (b) thanking store-managers or proprietors for carrying Israeli products.

Via Fern Oppenheim.

UPDATE: I love this report from Robbins Mitchell in the comments:

I have a long-time friend living in LA who is a former USMC Captain and attorney whom I made aware of the planned “deshelving” of Israeli products at Trader Joe’s that had been widely touted on LA Indymedia and other lefty chat boards for most of last week….he dutifuly headed over there on Saturday afternoon with the express intention of not only buying Israeli goods but also to confront any perspective “deshelvers” that might happen to show up….he spent several hours perusing the inventory while awaiting what he thought would be an eventual confrontation….the miscreants never appeared but he did purchase over $100 worth of Israeli cheese, produce, and what he termed “some excellent pogey bait”…Kosher chococlate bars for those unfamiliar with USMC vernacular….he was mildly disappointed that the “deshelvers” never appeared but took great satisfaction in knowing that he had helped Israeli farmers and producers remain in business,while at the same time doing his part in helping to further damage what credibility Israel’s American enemies in the LA area might previously have enjoyed…..Semper Fi.

If you, like me, are new to Trader Joe’s, be sure to check out the comments.

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