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Sunday, June 21, 2009

Anti-Israel De-shelving Operation at Trader Joe's Fizzles




I am happy to post this article from the Jewish Journal on the attempt by a San Jose activist group to organize a de-shelving operation at Trader Joe's stores selling Israeli products. Kudos to Trader Joes for standing up to these yahoos. According to the article below, the whole operation was a big dud.

Kudos also to those readers who picked up on the issue and spread the word. The power of the blogosphere should not be underestimated.I am also attaching a reader comment on my original thread from a Trader Joes worker.

Finally, I deleted a comment from a woman believed to be part of the de-shelving movement not because I disagreed with it, rather because it was little more than talking points propaganda. She did acknowledge her disappointment and stated that the next step would be to boycott Trader Joes. If that ever gets off the ground, I will be happy to let my readers know so that Trader Joes can experience another surge in sales.

Anti-Israel Group Boycotts Trader Joe’s
By Lilly Fowler and Tom Tugend
Jewish Journal


By Lilly Fowler and Tom Tugend

Although “World Refugee Day,” the boycott of Trader Joe’s planned by the anti-Israel group “Don’t Buy into Apartheid,” came and went on Saturday, June 20, with no apparent incidents in Los Angeles, other cities in California did witness protesters invade the popular supermarket chain.

Kate Raphael, one of the organizers of the event, said she joined approximately 20 others as they marched into a Trader Joe’s store in Oakland, Calif., passing out hundreds of leaflets, which condemned Israel’s actions, while taking Israeli products off the shelves. Similar demonstrations happened in San Francisco and Sacramento.

In Los Angeles however, the only unusual activity reported was that of local patrons walking into the national food chain to ask to buy Israeli products in specific.

E-mails calling for a response to the boycott had circulated virally in the week prior throughout the Jewish community, as well as on Facebook, asking people to patronize the store in defiance of the boycott and in support of the Jewish State. Roz Rothstein, CEO of StandWithUs, said that her pro-Israel organization had also urged supporters across the United States and elsewhere to go into Trader Joe’s and other markets to purchase Israeli goods.

Despite the Jewish backlash, Raphael declared the “Don’t Buy into Apartheid” demonstrations a success.

“I think overall the response by customers was quite positive,” Raphael said, when describing the reaction to her group and their effort to alert customers to what they see as Trader Joe’s unfair policy: stocking Israeli products, while carrying no Palestinian goods.

She said while some customers argued with her and other demonstrators, others simply thanked them for the information. The response on the part of Trader Joe’s staff was equally wide-ranging.

The manager of the Oakland store informed the group that they would not stop carrying Israeli products until a majority of their customers stopped buying them.

But Alison Mochizuki, a spokesperson for Trader Joe’s more than 300 stores, reiterated the privately owned chain’s stance.

“Trader Joe’s will not be used as a political tool, and we will not remove any products under pressure from any group. We believe our customers are smart and capable enough to make their own choices,” she said.

Raphael said her organization will be releasing a press release and pictures of the boycott on Monday, June 22.

“Don’t Buy into Apartheid,” is part of the “Global BDS Movement,” or “Boycott Divestment Sanctions Campaign,” and aims to “oppose Israeli occupation, apartheid, violence, and land theft and to support equality and justice for all, including the Palestinian people.”

StandWithUs has called the campaign “one-sided” and has accused the organization of undermining the Middle East peace process.
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At June 21, 2009 7:31 PM , Anonymous said...
HI! I WORK FOR TRADER JOE'S AND I JUST WANTED TO THANK YOU FOR ALL OF YOUR NEGATIVE PUBLICITY! WE ARE SO BUSY MORE THAN EVER! OUR TJ'S DOES OVER $100,000 A DAY AND WE ARE BREAKING ARE YTD (YEAR TO DATE) DOLLAR AMOUNTS WHICH MEANS WE HAVE TO ORDER ALOT MORE ISRALI PRODUCTS THAT ARE FLYING OFF THE SHELVES SO YOU ARE DOING THEM A BIG FAVOR AS WELL AS OUR EMPLOYEE'S WE HAVE TO WORK OVER TIME BECAUSE OF OUR HIGH VOLUME SALES THANKS TO YOU! YOUR AWESOME!! PLEASE KEEP DOING WHAT YOU ARE DOING! WE ARE MAKING SO MUCH MONEY AND WE OWE ALL TO YOU!


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2 comments:

Findalis said...

LOL! What Palestinian products? To have consumer products, you first have to be able to produce them.

Gary Fouse said...

Findalis,

Actually a colleague who is married to an Israeli explained to me that many of the Israeli-produced products subject to the protests happen to be produced in areas inhabited by Palestinian workers. Therefore, she explained, to boycott these products actually could result in loss of Palestinian jobs.

Such is the logic of the far-left.