New Seasons: Don't Buy Into Apartheid!

Wael Elasady
Wael Elasady 2 Comments
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Dear New Seasons Management,

We are contacting you to first thank New Seasons and its staff for its passion and commitment to the communities that we live in. New Seasons’ preference for local growers, fishers, farmers and ranchers as well as its commitment to sustainability, social responsibility, and the health of our community is without match among its peers. These values are what elevate New Seasons above its competition and influence many of us to select New Seasons as our grocer of choice.

For these reasons we feel compelled to raise our concerns regarding some products New Seasons carries which we believe run counter to the spirit of New Seasons’ stated mission. Your stores carry at least eight products which are made or produced in Israel. These include: ENER-G wheat free crackers, KEDEM tea biscuits, TELMA broth cubes, OSEM falafel mix, OSEM couscous, FRONTIER bulk dill weed, BINYAMINA winesand FRONTIER bulk citric acid.

We would like to draw your attention to the campaigns in the US and around the world boycotting the sale and importation of goods from Israel. There is growing concern among conscientious consumers regarding Israel’s continuous infringement of human rights and disregard for international law, widely acknowledged and documented by many reputable authorities such as Amnesty International, the International Red Cross, Human Rights Watch, and the UN Office for Humanitarian Affairs. (Please see the other side of this page for more detailed facts and figures on Israel’s abuses of international and humanitarian law.)

By carrying Israeli goods you are supporting companies which benefit from the dispossession of Palestinian families over the past decades. Such support is exemplified perfectly through ENER-G wheat free crackers, which your stores carry. These crackers are made in the Israeli city of Yokneam, the site of the Palestinian Village of Qira, which was depopulated of its indigenous Palestinian population in 1948 by Israeli militias and then destroyed by bulldozers of the new Israeli state.

We believe that carrying these products violates the spirit of New Seasons’ mission of promoting local communities and agriculture, as well as its policy of donating to local nonprofits working to educate future generations and protect our environment. As concerned customers of New Seasons, we ask you to review your policy of carrying products produced in Israel that are distributed in the U.S and that you consider joining a world wide movement to cease rewarding Israel for its illegal behaviors. We understand that some of the products on the boycott list full fill specific religious dietary restriction for members of the Jewish community, but equivalent U.S. made products exist which satisfy those religious needs without reinforcing continued human rights and international law violations.

We urge you to continue on the path that has made New Seasons so unique and successful by replacing these products with local suppliers. We will extend our full support, resources, and efforts in helping you to implement such a worthy policy.

Thank you so much for your time.

Sincerely,
Concerned Customers

Sponsor

Students United for Palestinian Equal Rights Endorsed By: Americans United for Palestinian Human Rights Lutherans for Justice in the Holy Land Jews for Global Justice ILWU Local 5 International Socialist Organization Portland Peaceful Response Coalition Oregon Progressive Party Friends of Sabeel

Links

Americans United for Palestinian Human Rights
http://www.auphr.org/

Global Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement
http://bdsmovement.net/

Amnesty International Report on Gaza Blockade
http://www.amnesty.org/en/news-and-updates/suffocating-gaza-israeli-blockades-effects-palestinians-2010-06-01

United Nations Report on West Bank
http://unispal.un.org/pdfs/HI_Barrier_EJerusalem.pdf

Human Rights Watch report: Use of White Phosphorus
http://www.hrw.org/en/video/2009/03/25/rain-fire-white-phosphorus-gaza

B'tselem- Israeli Human Rights Organization
http://www.btselem.org/english/
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