The Co-operative Group has decided to boycott four Israeli suppliers that have operations in Israeli settlements. Fair Play and Co-operative members had tried to prevent this policy from passing (see earlier blogpost here). This decision was taken by the Co-operative Group Board, rather than by the membership through their regional meetings (Israel Statement for Regions).
Fair Play has put the following statement out to the media:
The Co-op’s decision to reformulate its policy on settlement goods to include a boycott of four Israeli companies is naïve and a retrograde step.
This extension is significantly less than the full boycott of Israel sought by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign. However, the Co-op has not fully understood the Jewish community’s serious concerns with an ever-increasing slippery-slope boycott policy.
Despite the Co-op’s claims that they are applying their policy even-handed, goods from Occupied Northern Cyprus, for example, may still be sold in Co-ops and labelled as “produce of Turkey”.
The Co-op claims that it may buy more produce from other Israeli companies in place of these four. This remains to be seen, and we will monitor the outcome closely.