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The Jewish Telegraph
May 18, 2002

FURIOUS Glasgow Jewish shoppers plan to boycott their local Safeway store in protest over its policy on Israel.

After reading the news in the Jewish Telegraph that the store was boycotting goods in what it termed "occupied territories in Israel," many of them have made verbal and written protests to their local Giffnock branch.

They have also decided not to shop there until there is a reversal of policy.

Flora Glekin, co-chair of the Central and Edith Eder Glasgow WIZO, said: "Quite a number of us have gone to object.


"I will be objecting myself today and I would encourage others to do the same.

"At our WIZO meeting, we also decided to write on behalf of the group to the store.

"WIZO is not a political organisation but I feel that this is not a political issue. It is a humanitarian one and innocent people will suffer on both sides.

"Not only Israelis but the people of the West Bank will suffer."

Marjorie Burton, hon secretary of the Central and Edith Eder Group, said: "I have written on behalf of the executive and committee expressing our extreme dismay.

"I have outlined the fact that we have over 500 women in our group, many of whom shop at the Giffnock Safeway.

''A great number of these shoppers will not patronise the store until there is a reversal of policy."

Stephen Kliner, President of the Glasgow Jewish Representative Council, added: "I would advise any individuals who wish to complain to do so. Our general policy is to write and or voice complaints.

''Making contact is the most effective method."


The supermarket chain now claims that it does not purchase goods produced in the "occupied territories" because of its inferior quality.

A spokesperson said this week: "We are not boycotting goods from Israel.

"We do buy goods from Israel although more than 85 per cent of products we sell are produced in the UK. In common with every product we sell we look for the top quality.

"We source some fresh fruit from Israel but we do not purchase any product that does not meet our high criteria and our suppliers inform us that what fruit there is available from such areas as the West Bank is not of the quality that we would purchase.

''Purchasing is made on quality alone."



20 May 2002

Dear Sirs,

In light of recent media speculation, I am writing to confirm that Safeway has taken no decision to refuse to stock products made in Israel or the occupied territories and has no intention of doing so.

Our approach to sourcing the products we sell is determined entirely by the normal commercial criteria.  We aim to offer our customers the best quality and value for money.  In order to meet  this aim we continue to look for the best suppliers, both abroad and in the UK. We stock when in season, Israeli tomatoes, grapes, strawberries, plums and citrus fruits.

Safeway aims to play an important role in all the communities in which it operates.  Over the years we have worked hard in developing our range of Kosher products and we will continue to strive to meet the demands of our Jewish customers.

Kind Regards