#BoycottWoolworths campaign grows

A Palestinian solidarity group wants the retailer boycotted for importing Israeli goods.

Isu Chiba, a Robben Island political prisoner, calls for a boycott of Woolworths. Picture: via @azharvadi on Twitter.

CAPE TOWN - A Palestinian solidarity group last week started a social media campaign calling for consumers to boycott Woolworths and other retailers which import products from Israel.

Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) last week sent out its call in a newsletter and on Twitter, using the hashtag #BoycottWoolworths.

Since then, the group of South African consumers taking part has grown.

@WOOLWORTHS_SA and the song goes: Woolworths Woolworths u can't hide... Ure supporting genocide.. #boycottwoolworths pic.twitter.com/c748da4mSG

#BoycottWoolworths #FreePalestine pic.twitter.com/EzCvca2mSb

Spotted off Smit Str. offramp.

Make everyday a #BDS day! #BoycottWoolworths #BoycottIsrael pic.twitter.com/FqB6EzChAA

Israeli supporters at #woolworths #sandton yesterday!! We need to unite and #boycottwoolworths @BDSsouthafrica pic.twitter.com/lV31SO8eAy

The campaign, which trended on Twitter last week, says Woolworths imports several products from Israel including figs, coriander, litchis, plums and mangoes.

One of the ways in which BDS has urged consumers to react in stores is to take Israeli-made products through the cashier and then refuse to pay for them - forcing the sale to be reversed.

BDS has also urged protests at stores and has encouraged demonstrators to engage with Woolworths staff to inform them of their alleged wrongful practices.

More ppl joining protest outside @WOOLWORTHS_SA store in Lenasia #boycottwoolworths pic.twitter.com/KDiQRSvfyu

@MRN1SA @WOOLWORTHS_SA east rand mall Benoni pic.twitter.com/cvsmH8EUyg

Banner - APARTHEID : Wrong for South Africans, Wrong for Palestinians. http://t.co/Q5mcOBOno9 pic.twitter.com/WFaKnsXovI #boycottwoolworths

"If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor." - Archbishop Desmond Tutu


I love how a good idea spreads. @WOOLWORTHS_SA should be ashamed when ethical sourcing has been their USP. #boycottwoolworths

If it wasn't "Ok" in South Africa, it's not "Ok" in Israel! #FreePalestine #Boycottwoolworths pic.twitter.com/64qsiqny2i

Woolworths has since responded to the campaign, saying it has no political affiliations.

The retailer released a statement saying, "We respect our customers' right to make individual purchasing choices, which is why we clearly label every product's country of origin and fully comply with government guidelines on products from Israel."

Meanwhile, conflict between pro-Israeli and pro-Palestinian groups flared up at the retailer's Sandton branch at the weekend, with Jewish members of the public apparently carrying Israeli flags, offering people figs and dates and saying 'Take that Palestine'.