June 29, 2015

BREAKING NEWS: Concern Mounts Over BDS Moves Against Kosher Food Products in Miami

Miami - It was an innocent looking box of Kedem Whole Wheat Crackers that was part of a kosher shelf of a Publix store in Miami. But upon closer look it included an awkwardly pasted look- alike nutritional label under the heading “Occupational Facts.” In the spaces where nutritional facts would normally appear were hate messages with statistics of alleged Israeli atrocities against Palestinians. In the wine section were Israeli wines with the sticker “Boycott Apartheid Israel: Free Palestine." Kosher Today was not able to ascertain whether the police had been called in or what action Publix took once the tampering was discovered. But it did send shudders down the spines of kosher food officials who were hoping that the BDS (Boycott, Divestiture and Sanctions) movement would not make its way to the kosher food industry in the US. In Paris, for example, a French anti-Semitism watchdog group called for a police probe against a former lawmaker who warned Muslim shoppers about locally produced kosher products. “Ramadan soon: Watch out with your shopping,” Jean-Claude Lefort, a former lawmaker for France’s communist party and current president of the France Palestine Solidarity Association, or AFPS, wrote in a social media posting. While there have been attempts to boycott Israeli products in many European countries, Israeli officials say that Israeli exports to Europe in the past 6 months have actually increased by as much as 10%.

Kosher officials in the US are urging stores like Publix and law enforcement to take a strong stand against the efforts of the BDS movement. Several attorneys reached by KosherToday said that any tampering with food labels is punishable with heavy fines and up to 10 years in prison under the Federal Anti-Tampering Act which specifically includes food labels. One kosher official said: “Law enforcement and Publix should easily be able to identify the perpetrators thanks to their elaborate surveillance system.”