Friends of Palestine

Friends of Palestine

Friends of Palestine

First published in Readers' letters

SIR - While I believe she was expressing a personal viewpoint rather than the collective views of Bradford Palestine Solidarity Campaign, I must agree with your correspondent Kate Toch that it is inappropriate to picket and turn away people from McDonald’s outlets, since, if anything, they have proved themselves to be friends of Palestine, since the chain has braved Zionist ire by refusing to open up outlets in the illegal settlements established in the West Bank.

Last year, McDonald’s Israel refused to open a branch in a mall that was due to be built in a West Bank settlement, and in response Israeli settlers called for a boycott of McDonald’s in Israel.

This indicates that the BDS (boycott) campaign is beginning to bite. Starbucks has already pulled out of Israel entirely and Israeli exporters are having to export dates from the settlements to South Africa, and then re-export them as South African produce.

In 2005 a wide spectrum of Palestinian organisations called for a worldwide boycott of produce from the settlements, and rather than a scattergun approach targeting every single company with any interests in Israel, experience has shown that, just as we stopped buying Outspan oranges in protest at South African apartheid, it makes sense to concentrate on outlets like Sainsbury’s, who violate the principles they claim to follow by selling settlement produce.

Karl Dallas, Church Green, Bradford

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