Israel marked a victory in the war against BDS this week when supermarkets belonging to the Coop Forum chain in Sweden changed their policy on boycotting Israeli products.
Three stores in the 655-strong retail chain had agreed to remove Israeli products from their shelves, but the products will be returned to store shelves in the wake of an ongoing campaign by supporters of Israel against the boycott.
The matter began two and a half months ago, when three of the chain’s stores in the northern Swedish city of Varberg, known for its leftist political views, agreed to the boycott.
At an annual meeting of members of the coop earlier this year, anti-Israel groups protested and lobbied for the boycott, with the members agreeing. The story was unreported until two weeks ago, when a local publication noted the decision.
Israel’s ambassador to Sweden, Yitzhak Bachman, immediately began acting to reverse the decision, concerned that it could spread to the rest of the chain.
Bachman released statements and gave interviews on how boycotts were unfair to average working people, and against the principle of free trade.
Bachman and thousands of Israel supporters appealed to the chain’s management, which this week issued a statement saying that they were opposed to any boycotts, and that the decision made by the Varberg committee was unauthorized and would be reversed.
Speaking to Israeli reporters, Bachman said that the lesson was “never give up.”
“The thing to do about boycotts is oppose them for what they are, without trying to decide whether we are right or the Palestinians are right. Thesupport we were able to gain among Swedish citizens was essential, as the chain realized it couldn’t fight the will of the people.”
Source: Arutz Sheva