Israeli Citizens in Support of Co-op Decision on Ethical Trading

Dear Board and Members of The Co-operative Group,

As citizens and residents of Israel, we would like to convey our deep gratitude for your recent decision to sever ties with suppliers of produce known to be sourcing from the illegal settlements in the OPT. We assure you that such a decision is not only morally justified but is also necessary in order for your actions to be consistent with the Co-op’s values, rather than supporting the contrary. We further believe that all companies that are complicit in Israeli occupation and apartheid should be considered as irrelevant trading partners, as such a partnership may perpetuate the consistent violations of international law and of universally recognized human rights in our region.

By choosing not to participate in such violations you are also sending a clear and positive message that promotes the respect of human rights, thus hopefully inspiring other retailers to follow in your footsteps and help us bring about a much needed change for freedom, justice and equality for all the people in Israel-Palestine.

We therefore respect and encourage your effort to live up to the Co-op’s ethical trading policy. It should be noted, however, that simply by expressing our support we risk being prosecuted under a recently legislated law in Israel [1]. If calling on others to live up to their moral values means violating the law, what does that mean about the state that legislates such a law?

Finally, as Israeli-Jews, it may be useful to stress that we regard your decision as being moral and principled, while having nothing to do with anti-Semitism. The Co-op’s decision refers to companies who profit from their complicity in human rights violations and has no interest in the possibly Jewish character of the company or its employees. Furthermore, the universal and moral character of the Co-op’s stated values and policies is absolutely commendable.

With respect and appreciation,

BOYCOTT! Supporting the Palestinian BDS Call from Within

[1] http://bit.ly/mRxrxG

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