French Grocery Giant Rejects Boycott of Israeli Products

Citing Israeli producers’ “full compliance” with French law, the Monoprix supermarket chain declined a request to boycott products from Israel.

Monoprix gave its refusal in a letter it sent last week to Claudine Vegas of Toulouse, who heads the Collectif Palestine Libre (“Free Palestine Collective”) – a group that lobbies for the boycott of Israeli products as part of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel, or BDS.

Vegas wrote to the management of Monoprix, which has hundreds of supermarkets across France, requesting they remove Ahava brand cosmetic products, which are produced by Kibbutz Mitzpe Shalem, located about one mile from the Dead Sea in the eastern West Bank. Ahava products are labeled as made in Israel.

Vegas claimed that Ahava’s products “come from illegal settlements, and are supplied to Monoprix at the price of appropriation, misery and injustice caused to Palestinians.”

But Baptiste Peslouan, a client service representative of Monoprix, on Oct. 26 replied to Vegas that Ahava products comply with the requirements of the DGCCRF, the initials for the French Economy Ministry’s customer protection body.

“To our knowledge, DGCCRF has not initiated the process against the suppliers you mentioned and we have been informed of no judicial decision” with regards to them, he wrote.

French law forbids discrimination against nations.

The European Union is poised to issue guidelines next week that may require its member states to clearly label products manufactured in Israeli West Bank settlements differently from goods made in Israel.

The potential economic impact of the new labeling is limited. Products manufactured in settlements make up less than 1 percent of total Israeli exports to the European Union, according to official figures.


Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

French Grocery Giant Rejects Boycott of Israeli Products

Thank you!

This article has been sent!