Reaction split to Co-op boycott

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Tom Joyce

BY TOM JOYCE

@tomfruitnet

Reaction split to Co-op boycott

The Co-op's decision to boycott produce from Israeli firms supplying from illegal settlements has predictably polarised opinion

Reaction split to Co-op boycott

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Israeli officials have reacted angrily to UK retailer The Co-operative Group's decision to boycott companies that export produce from illegal Israeli settlements, saying that the ban would have an adverse impact on the country's exports.

Foreign ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor commented: "They say they are targeting settlement products, but in fact they are targeting everything that is Israeli."

The country's supporters are now being incited to boycott Co-operative outlets in the UK, with advocacy group Stand With Us launching its "Don't Co-operate with Co-op" campaign last week.

The British Israel Coalition Public Affairs Committee did not go as far as to ask its activists to boycott the supermarket, instead encouraging them to buy Israeli goods from other stores, according to the Jewish Chronicle.

However, the retailer's stand has been welcomed by other groups, including the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, the Boycott Israel Network and various members of parliament in the UK, including Humza Yousaf of the Scottish National Party.

“I warmly welcome this move by the Co-operative Group," Yousaf said. "These settlements in the West Bank are illegal under international law, and the Co-op has shown that they are no longer willing to provide settlers with financial support through trade. Their support for the Palestinians living under occupation in the West Bank should be congratulated."

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