Sunday, August 29, 2010

Muslims in Scotland threaten shops that sell Israeli goods

From the Scotland Sunday Herald:
Asian shopkeepers in one of the biggest Muslim areas in Scotland are backing a boycott of Israeli produce.

In a move that has worried Jewish groups, Muslim families who own stores in Glasgow’s south side are refusing to stock Israeli goods in protest at Israel’s West Bank settlements and policy towards Palestinians.

Around 30 stores in Muslim communities in Pollokshields, Pollokshaws and Govanhill are supporting the drive and yesterday campaigners took to the streets to applaud shopkeepers who are no longer stocking Israeli products.

The campaigners, who toured stores handing out flyers to shoppers, say shops which continue to stock Israeli goods will be “named and shamed”.

Led by the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign and Friends of Al Aqsa Glasgow, many stores in the area are now displaying posters declaring “No Israeli Produce sold here”.
Imagine the outcry that would occur if a supermarket anywhere in the free world would proudly put up a sign saying "No Arab Products Sold Here."

And furthermore, imagine if shops that did sell Arab produce were publicly "named and shamed." There would be numerous left-wing cries of "McCarthyism" and "bigotry" and "thought police."

If Arab stores don't want to sell Israeli produce, of course that is their right. But a public campaign to pressure other stores to adhere to this boycott is a different matter, and it should not be covered in such an "evenhanded" way.

The Guardian quotes the Israeli ambassador to England, when he heard about a boycott of Israeli dates there:
"Israel will continue to successfully export dates, whilst others choose to export hate," he said. "We encourage Muslim shoppers to ignore this nonsense, and instead double the quantity they usually purchase, to help bring about a two-date solution."
Yet the Guardian's article helpfully linked to a website so that consumers would not accidentally buy Israeli dates. I guess it thinks hat helping consumers avoid buying Israeli goods is a public service.