Palestinians plan anti-Israel “de-shelving” at Trader Joe’s on June 20th

Do you recall that, in France, Palestinians raided a grocery store and stripped the shelves of Israeli products, while store personnel and customers passively stood by and watched?  Flush with their success in France, Palestinians, and their friends, are planning on “de-shelving” Israeli products here at home, and they’ve selected Trader Joe’s as their target.

As far as I can tell, Palestinians (and their friends) are generally hostile to Trader Joe’s for its temerity in stocking Israeli products.  The pressure is on June 20th, however, because June 20th is World Refugee Day.  (Considering that it is the UN that has ensured that Palestinians have been refugees for decades, you’d think they’d simply boycott the UN, but that kind of logic seems to elude these groups.)

So far, Trader Joe’s (bless its corporate heart), is standing firm.

This letter was received by the Central Pacific office of the Anti-Defamation League from Jon Basalone,Senior VP, Marketing, Trader Joe’s:

“We have received a few letters like this via our customer relations email as well. Our response is that we sell products, and do not use our products as political tools or to make any statements about any political causes. We have no intention of removing any products based on pressure from any group, no matter what they support or don’t support. As always, we believe our customers are smart, and they are capable of making decisions about what they purchase. Let me know if you have any more questions or need more information.”

That’s the kind of attitude we like to see our American corporations show, and in this regard Trader Joe’s is proving itself to be a courageous organization deserving our praise.

And courage may really be needed.  As the episode in France demonstrates, de-shelving can be an actual physical process in which political thugs vandalize a store.  It is entirely possible, of course, to de-shelve a product by putting pressure on management not to stock that product or by stopping your own purchases of that product (and encouraging others to do the same).  As to these last two tactics, as long as the pressure isn’t illegal, they are a legitimate use of marketplace power.

People who support the state of Israel, however, can also use marketplace power.  It’s very simple:  Go to Trader Joe’s and buy products made in Israel.

Purchasing Israeli-made products at Trader Joe’s isn’t a hardship, by the way.  The Israeli products it carries are excellent ones, and can comfortably fit in any kitchen and pantry.  A non-inclusive list of products is Dorot Crushed Garlic (one of my freezer staples), Dorot Chopped Cilantro, Dorot Chopped Garlic (also a freezer staple), Holyland Matzos, Pastures of Eden Feta Imported (many people consider this to be one of the best Feta cheeses around), Trader Joes Israeli Couscous (ditto for best couscous) and Trader Joes Harvest Grains Blend.

So, if you’re in a shopping mood, on June 19th or the 20th (which is Shabbat), go to your local Trader Joe’s and make your market power felt.  And indeed, as a general matter, when you’re in a store and have a choice of imported products, think about supporting the Israeli economy.  I try to buy American when I can, but when I can’t, I’m careful about which the countries to which I like to send my money.

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  • Ellen

    There’s no Trader Joe’s in my small heartland town, but the last time I went to the liquor store I saw a bottle of Sabra. Isn’t that made in Israel?

  • Zhombre

    There’s no Trader Joe’s in my town — my parents in Phoenix are regular TJ shoppers there — but I may try to buy on-line. If I saw that bunch try to “de-shelve” products in a store I was in, I’d confront the vandals for a session of “deconstructing” their mission.


    Luckily, I have several to choose from and have shared this with my entire email list.

    Thanks for posting BW.

    I was do maggots reach the shelves.

  • Gringo

    Book: while I would endorse purchasing Israeli products in response to the Palis, I wonder why you cannot purchase Gilroy garlic and use a garlic crusher.

    My bet is that some of the Palis and pals of Palis involved in the “deshelving” will cry physical abuse etc. Ex: a customer tries to stop the de-shelving. Palis and/or pals of Palis hit said customer. Customer can handle himself very well, and beats up Pali or pal of Pali. They then try to have customer arrested for Pali-assault.

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  • JKB

    Well, I’ve been putting off a road trip to the nearest Trader Joe’s so it looks like a good time to make a food run.

    I wonder if this action would be covered by the antiboycott laws. I guess it would depend on the relationship of those conducting these raids with the Arab League boycott of Israel. I would expect the proper action would be for Trader Joe’s to refuse to a boycott and have those disrupting their stores arrested. If they comply with the requested boycott they could very well end up with some nice fines. Unless of course this boycott is wholly spontaneous and has no relationship to the Arab boycott of Israel.

  • Jewel

    I hope that when the dishevelers come, that the police are called and the vandals are arrested/



    Not before I water board them!


    Made my weekly pit stop at Trader Joe’s today.

    I asked one of the ‘flowered shirts’ behind the desk, if they had any ‘problems’ with any group looking to ‘redecorate’ the store by removing Israeli products. Thankfully, no nor had any of the other area stores had any problems. The young lady, seemed quite surprised that I knew about the plan and wondered if I had heard about it on the news (as in TV). Had to tell, of course not, these matters were only news on the internet.

    She did share with me that the email the stores received and I am paraphrasing her a bit, but more/less they were told to ask them to leave the store and if they didn’t,to call the police, which seems terribly polite way to handle thugs and creeps.

  • suek

    It does raise the question of how many Palestinians live in the US. I never really thought about it.

    I know that they can no longer emigrate into Israel…I think. It would make sense anyway. My understanding is that the other arabic countries won’t accept them for emigration…so…can they emigrate _anywhere_? Were those who did the damage in France confirmed Palestinians? or muslims who _said_ they were Palestinians…?? I wonder…


    I am sure ACORN will work out the statistics…er-um make that manipulate the statistics.

    The largest Arab population is in the Detroit area and this has been the case since the late 70’s. Although, I saw the biggest mosque in Ohio off I-75 (in the middle of farm country).

    France has an Arab population mostly from N. Africa. Maybe they just all chime in and sing…I am Pali, you’re a Pali…wouldn’t you like to be a Pali, too.
    Of course, France as been at the center of one of the most horrific murder cases of Ilan Halimi. I can’t/won’t go into the details, but only to say, he was tortured to death over a 3-week period. Feel free to search the case/story. I’ve been tracking it for awhile.

    There is a large Pali population in Lebanon, but they cannot get citizenship and live in a defined area. I think, other than Jordan, there has never been an open door policy to absorb the self appointed refugees anywhere. Anyway, Trans Jordan, was home for most to them, once upon a time. Since they are sooooo damn pious, you’d think the Saudi would direct them towards Mecca and Medina, but why bother when you can use them as a tool to threaten Israel. Since there never was a *Palestine, except as defined by the British, there is no history in truth. Ahh…by why let truth and facts get in the way of a good Jihad.
    *Philistina I think (?) was a Greek term to define Judea & Samaria.

    Israel has Palestinian cities, town, communities that dot the country. They are Israeli citizens and are afforded the same access to all services and have representative in the Knesset (Parliament). Drive a mile or less one way or the other and you are either in an all Arab neighborhood or a Jewish one. The Tel Aviv-Jaffa municipality actually enjoins both. Israelis shop, eat, visit Jaffa as a way of life.

    Now you’ve got me wondering…isn’t there some sort of stop gap in the term refugee after 60 years.

  • Ymarsakar

    My understanding is that the other arabic countries won’t accept them for emigration…so…can they emigrate _anywhere_?

    Obama gave them permission and money to move here.

    In the 5 or so months that he has been in power, I warrant that a few have come. And the media will not report it, just as they didn’t report the visa violations of the 9/11 hijackers.


    I warrant that a few have come.

    If so, will they be part of the ACORN count?

    It will be curious to see if the head count changes, which may be impossible, since currently the numbers vary by the millions.

    Maybe the best way to determine future numbers is to see how many new mosques are built in the next 5 years.

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