Boycott success in Glasgow to be rolled out across Scotland

Muslim shops ban Israeli produce in Palestine protest
Boycott by Asian businesses in Glasgow’s south side
Deborah Anderson Sunday Herald 29 Aug 2010

Rizwan Khan, who owns Rizwan stores on Allison Street, dumped a box of dates after being told of their origin and is supporting the boycott. He said: “I have been wary of the dates I buy, but had been stocking Jordan Valley dates thinking these were safe.”

Customer Isahaq Ali, 50, said: “I know what to look out for when buying these items and wouldn’t give stores who stock them my custom.”

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”.

Organisers say that following its success in Glasgow, the campaign is expected to be rolled out across the country.

The focus of the boycott is fruit such as dates, traditonally eaten by Muslims in the holy month of Ramadan. Some of the dates sent to the UK are produced on highly contentious Israeli settlements in the Jordan Valley.

Saddaqat Khan, of Friends of Al Aqsa, Glasgow, said: “Many Muslims are unaware of this and unwittingly purchase Israeli dates, thereby supporting the Israeli economy.”

Campaigners, some draped in the Palestinian flag, held a day of action in Allison Street in Govanhill to target store owners and customers.

Rizwan Khan, who owns Rizwan stores on Allison Street, dumped a box of dates after being told of their origin and is supporting the boycott. He said: “I have been wary of the dates I buy, but had been stocking Jordan Valley dates thinking these were safe.”

Customer Isahaq Ali, 50, said: “I know what to look out for when buying these items and wouldn’t give stores who stock them my custom.”

However, Edward Isaacs, president of the Glasgow Jewish Representative Council, said: “We have excellent relations in the Jewish Community with our Muslim friends and we think that bringing Middle East politics into the Glasgow sphere to this extent is not a good idea. Everyone is entitled to have their views on the Middle East, but we don’t think a boycott is the correct way to advance their political process.”

Original article in Sunday Herald 29 Aug 2010

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Scottish PSC adds:

* Scottish Friends of Al Aqsa took the intiative in launching this campaign and Scottish PSC will work with them and other partners across Scotland to spread this element of the growing BDS campaign.

* It is rich indeed Edward Isaacs criticising Palestine human rights activists “bringing Middle East politics into the Glasgow sphere!”

The Jewish Chronicle reported last week that “Glasgow Jewish Representative Council president, Edward Isaacs led a four person delegation” to oppose “a motion passed by the council condemning the Israeli action against the flotilla to Gaza, in which nine Turkish A previous anti-apartheid politics brought into Glasgow: Mandela Square is in the heart of Glasgow City CentreA previous anti-apartheid politics brought into Glasgow: Mandela Square is in the heart of Glasgow City Centreactivists died.”

* What business is it of a so-called representative body of Glasgow’s Jewish people to support the Israeli murders of Mavi Marmara and oppose peaceful boycott of Israeli produce? We are sure many members of Glasgow Jewish community will wish to distance themselves publicly from from their so-called “representatives” aligning Scottish Jews with the atrocious massacre of nine Mavi Marmara Turkish aid workers.

* See also:
Just as the wider community has raised a loud voice against Tony Blair’s illegal invasion and devastation of Iraq, precisely because he carried out these vile crimes in our name, it is incumbent upon our Jewish fellow-citizens to repudiate this representative of the rogue state of Israel.

* We urge Jewish supporters of Palestinian human rights to join with us both generally and in this particular intiative in order to prevent Israel and its apologists here in Scotland aligning Scotland’s Jews with Israel’s crimes.

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