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Claim: Some supermarket chains in Norway have decided to place special identification stickers on products from Israel to protest Israeli actions in their conflict with the Palestinian Authority.
Example: [Collected on the Internet, 2002]
Origins: The item quoted above is an excerpt from the
The issue we're addressing here is not the validity of
On 5 April 2002, the Jerusalem Post reported that Coop Norge, Norway's second-largest supermarket chain, had opted to boycott Israeli products as a protest over Israel's actions in their conflict with the Palestinian Authority:
Coop Norge, part of a Scandinavian wide chain of food stores, is the first foreign company to impose a boycott on Israel during the current conflict, a threat rarely used since the Arab secondary boycott was lifted following the signing of the 1993 Oslo Accords.However, an announcement posted on the Coop Norge web site the same day said:
"Coop Norge's directors are upset over the way the Israelis are acting in the conflict," managing director Bernt Aas told a Norwegian daily, according to Bloomberg L.P. The chain hoped its Swedish and Danish sister organizations would also impose sanctions. "Israel isn't a big import country for us, but a boycott has great symbolic value," Aas said.
According to Agrexco, the largest agricultural exporter, Israel sells avocadoes, cherry tomatoes, peppers, tomatoes, citrus fruits, carrots, melons, strawberries, celery, and Chinese cabbage to Coop Norge, whose purchases account for about
Thursday's message in media that said Coop Norway was going to boycott fruit and vegetables from Israel, is not correct.Additionally, again according to the Jerusalem Post, one other supermarket chain in Norway decided not to boycott Israeli products completely, but to prominently identify them with special labels:
Together with Coop Sweden and Coop Denmark (Coop Nordic) it has been decided not to boycott Israel, but follow national and international standings in regard to the question of Israeli boycott. There will therefore be no one-sided Coop boycott.
The Nordic cooperatives will support any initiative that will stop the violence and secure the peace in the Middle East.
A second Norwegian supermarket chain, Rema 1000 International AS, has a novel way of expressing its displeasure with Israel's policies that conjures up the most distasteful memories.Imported food products sold in Norway are generally already labelled with the country of origin, however, and none of the major Norwegian grocery chains actually went through with any scheme to single them out for marking in a more predominant fashion.
Rather than outright banning Israeli products, Rema 1000, according to Foreign Ministry officials, intends to mark Israeli products clearly, so that consumers will be able to decide whether or not to purchase them.
One Foreign Ministry official had a cynical suggestion, "Maybe they'll mark it with a yellow Star of David."
The final result was that some Norwegian grocers, dissatisfied with Israel's political stance, made grumbling noises about planning to boycott or slap special labels on Israeli food imports, but within a few days they had all reconsidered and decided to address their dissatisfaction through other means. An American writer jumped the gun and editorialized on the issue without verifying whether the grocers had ever followed through on their threats.
Last updated: 1 October 2007
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