Example: [Collected on the Internet, 2002]
On the heels of Mr. Roed-Larsen's now-infamous remark that Israel "ceded all moral ground" in Jenin, comes word from his home country of Norway that some supermarket chains have decided to place special identification stickers on products from Israel. Other Scandinavian countries may follow suit. The Norwegians say the stickers do not constitute a "boycott" of Israel; they just want their customers, who are overwhelmingly pro-Palestinian, to pay attention to where these products are
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'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
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.
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
Ackerman, Gwen. "Government Launches Campaign to Keep Foreign Business." The Jerusalem Post. 3 May 2002 (p. A11). Keinon, Herb and Gwen Ackerman. "Government Slams Norwegian Supermarket Boycott." The Jerusalem Post. 5 April 2002 (p. A5). Keinon, Herb. "Foreign Ministry: We Expect More from EU." The Jerusalem Post. 14 May 2002 (p. 1).