April 14, 2009

Leading Zio-lobbyist changes tune on Tescos boycott hotline

This is bizarre. You remember that Tescos had set up a hotline for people inquiring about Israeli goods? The Jewish Chronicle picked up on the case explicitly with regard to the hotline thus:
Zionist Federation co-vice-chair Jonathan Hoffman said Israel had been made a scapegoat. “The risk is that supermarkets will say it’s too much of a problem to stock Israeli goods.”
Well then the Guardian reported on it drawing on the Jewish Chronicle thus:
Jonathan Hoffman, the Zionist Federation co-vice-chair, said Israel had been made a scapegoat, the Jewish Chronicle reported. "The risk is that supermarkets will say it's too much of a problem to stock Israeli goods," he told the newspaper.
But now Ha'aretz is on the case and Hoffman's a little more laid back about Tescos:
The supermarket chain Tesco shouldn't be blamed for introducing a special U.K. helpline for complaints about it stocking Israeli products, a leading member of Britain's Zionist lobby told Haaretz.

In yet another series of articles about this controversial topic, British media reported last week that pro-Israel groups attacked Tesco for the decision to set up the helpline, which coincided with government talks on labeling Israeli products.

"Blaming Tesco is ridiculous and unfair," said Jonathan Hoffman, co-vice chairman of the Zionist Federation of Great Britain and Ireland. He explained the chain store had set up the helpline in anticipation of a spate of calls by promoters of a boycott on Israeli goods responding to the government talks.

"Tesco acted as any business would act," he added. "The finger should be pointed at the British government for holding these discussions in the first place and thereby fueling efforts by seekers of a total boycott of all things Israeli."
So what happened then? The Guardian simply followed the Jewish Chronicle (plus sa change!). But how did the JC get it so wrong?

Well the answer, I'm guessing, is that they didn't get it wrong. The ZF got on Tescos case but it was indeed the UK government that responded to Palestine solidarity pressure by calling in all the big stores to get them up front about their collaboration with the Israeli occupation. It just took the ZF a little while to realise who was responsible for what was compliance with a government ruling.

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